How to Prepare for a New Year

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The start of a year can be daunting. You’re facing 365 days of unknown trials, joys, struggles, and successes.

How can we best prepare ourselves for these days so we can face them with confidence and positivity?

This article will talk you through some of the ways that we can create goals we want to reach in 2023, and the methods you can use to hold yourself accountable for reaching these goals.

Ways to tackle a new year

Reflect on the past year: Either on a piece of paper or simply in your head consider what went right in 2022, what were your successes? And what went wrong, what would you wish went differently? Noting these down and analysing what happened last year will help you establish goals and habits you want to aim for this year – and it helps you become aware of any unhealthy habits forming.

Reflect on all aspects of your life: Address all areas of your life – health, mental wellbeing, finances, relationships, career etc. Ask yourself which areas are thriving and which need more improvement. Are you in a position that you didn’t intend to be? How can you get where you want to be? And what can you do this year to develop all aspects of your life?

Write down your goals: From this reflection you will gain an idea of the goals and habits you want to develop or form this year. New year’s resolutions have a reputation of being short-lived due to their reliance on motivation. Motivation fades over time as it is based on temporary desires. When setting our goals it is important to take into consideration the skills at your disposal for managing these goals and the opportunities you will have to enact them.

Don’t set goals like “I will stop smoking by February” or “I will run 3 miles every day”, instead focus on goals that will improve your life and that you can work on consistently i.e. “I will become more organised at home and work” or “I will spend more time with friends and loved ones”.

A useful way to ensure that these goals are met is by having a system of accountability. As motivation falls over time, having someone who will check in on your progress will ensure you stay focused. This can also take the form of setting deadlines to your goals – as Antoine De Saint-Exupery said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.

Make a bucket list: Write down everything you want to do this year. What have you wanted to do but always put off? This can be travelling to a new country, taking up a new hobby, or tackling an old fear – be inventive!

Declutter: As the year goes by we collect more and more clutter. A new year is a new start so it’s important to start it with a good organised clean space. Go through every room of your house for anything that needs binning; also remember to declutter your workspace, car, and email inbox. During this try to create an organised system where everything has its proper place so that clutter cannot form as easily.

Review your finances: Take time to look through your expenses from last year, your current spending, and expenses expected for this year. Create a budget by looking at your income, average expenses and bills, rent or mortgage, car payments and travel, food bills, outstanding debts, student loan repayments, investments, and your emergency funds.

This can be a daunting task especially given the current economic climate. For more information on financial anxiety and tackling your finances with confidence, see our article Financial Anxiety – Mindspace 247 – Online Therapy.

Evaluate your progress regularly: Schedule regular check-ins with yourself to address your progress towards your goals. Big goals can be intimidating but if you break them down into smaller goals that can be reached regularly, you will feel a sense of achievement whilst also keeping you motivated.

Going forward

This is a time of possibility and anticipation. Anything can happen this year and it’s up to you to make the most out of it. Planning and organising your life, space, and the goals you want to achieve will help you face this year with a renewed sense of confidence.

For many this time of year is hard and a new year is just something to get through. It is important to speak to those you trust about these negative feelings as they will build and have a large impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. At Mind Space we have trained and trusted professionals who will lend a kind ear to your worries and help you through these times. Call us at 0207 553 5010.