Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

How to Make the Most of the New Year

For the past few years, I’ve greeted the first of the year with eagerness and excitement. Why? Because these past couple years have been some of the best in my life. And not for the reason you’re probably thinking.

New Year Sparkler

Photo credit: Bethan (Creative Commons)

Not because I made resolutions or created new life goals. Heck, I didn’t even have a plan! I continue to have the best year of my life each and every year, because I’ve learned to change my habits.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of challenges in life I’ve yet to overcome, and every day isn’t always a cake walk. But by practicing a few simple habits every day, I’m able to tackle the challenges that come, and do so with confidence.

Here’s what I do (and what I recommend you do) to make the most of the new year:

Say “yes” more

The experts who tell you to say “no” don’t know what they’re talking about.

Sure, that works if you’re already busy and your time is in demand. For those people, saying no is a matter of survival. But what if you aren’t there yet? What if you dreamed of being busy in the right things?

The best way to create new opportunities is to start saying “yes” — not to everything, but definitely to more things that excite you, even if you’re not sure how you’ll pull it off.

Make faster decisions

You know what phrase I never hear? “I sure learned a lot from that decision I never made.” People who don’t decide, don’t do much.

Here’s a little secret: most choices can be reversed. And those that can’t usually have a lesson to teach us. So trust your instincts and start being bolder with the decisions you make.

This will cause a boost in your confidence and make you feel more in control.

Pick something (anything)

We live in a world of distractions — that’s nothing new. So how do we focus on the right things and accomplish something meaningful in life?

Take that list of goals you’ve set for the new year and pick one thing, then circle it. Maybe it’s to write a book or lose 20 pounds. Whatever it is make sure, you circle just one thing.

And then — are you ready for this? — do it. That’s it. Move on to the next thing and repeat the process until your list is done.

Don’t add to your list until you’ve finished everything on it.

This isn’t rocket science

Changing your life isn’t complicated, but it’s not easy, either. If you are going to make this year count, you’re going to need to focus, but you won’t have to drive yourself crazy.

A great place to start is to make more room in your life for new things to happen, become more decisive, and drill down on your to-do list, doing one thing at a time.

It’s not a complex process, but few will have the discipline to do this. They’ll spread themselves too thin, walk away from opportunities due to fear, and suffer from indecision.

And in another 360 days, they’ll be writing down their goals again. Maybe, hopefully, you’ll be different.

If you need some help kicking off this new year and beginning some new habits, check out 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever. It’s a course that I’ve gone through for the past two holiday breaks, and it’s made all the difference. I’m a proud affiliate and highly recommend you start your year right with it.

How do you plan on making the most of the New Year? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I am the best-selling author of five books, including the national bestsellers The Art of Work and Real Artists Don't Starve. Each week, I send out a free newsletter with my best tips on writing, publishing, and helping your creative work succeed.