Sooner or later, everyone reaches a turning point when they desire to quit old bad habits and turn over a new leaf.
Nevertheless, despite our good intentions, we are often held back by the fear of change. However, wouldn't you agree that there's never a better time to start fresh at the beginning of a sparklingly fresh New Year? In my opinion, this magical and festive time is perfect for making such important decisions! But, of course, the main thing is to make sure that these decisions are balanced and necessary and not act in the heat of the moment.
"The 'wheel of balance': change your life gradually
So, before you start with a clean slate, I suggest that you identify what it is that you want to start over? It's not likely to be about moving to another country, changing your name, and pretending to be a different person. Even if you truly do want to start over, there's no hurry because, in all likelihood, a change in one area of your life will be enough to give you a burst of energy and open you up to new horizons.
At the very least, start by making a change in the area in which you are most dissatisfied. My advice for identifying that area is to do the "Wheel of Balance" exercise. It's very simple. Just sit down in silence, take a piece of paper, and draw a circle. Then divide the circle into seven sectors:
- Love and relationships.
- Career or business
- Family or friends
- Health or sports
- Hobbies and entertainment
- Personal and spiritual growth
Next, color in each sector based on how successful you are. The most shaded sector is the one in which you are the most successful. Then look at: which sector is the emptiest? Where is there a clear imbalance? Clearly, the emptiest sector is the place to start making changes!
If you have "Health" and "Family," almost empty, then it's time to put in two hours of fitness and swimming instead of playing with your kids or chatting with your girlfriends (you maxed it out anyway, so it wouldn't hurt). Moreover, if you don't fill the "Finance" sector enough, it's time to think about creating additional or passive sources of income. Lectera's courses or at least core books can help you in this, as well as in "filling in" the Career and Personal Growth sector.
Five ways to feel brand sparkling new
Everyone has their strategy on how to make a fresh start in life. Of course, it would be best if you worked to your strengths, goals, and abilities to achieve this. That's why I advise starting with something easy and simple because that will help you determine whether you need to give up everything you've accomplished for a sense of newness. Or maybe it's just enough to change vectors a bit? For starters, try my five universal ways to trigger change!
- Don't hoard unworn clothes – Get rid!
I do this when I need to clear my mind and look at a difficult situation from a new angle. It works like meditation! For instance, open my wardrobe and consider which clothing items you wore last year? Then, the stuff you haven't worn, chuck it in the bin or give it to charity because there's a 98% chance that you'll never wear the item again.
I also make sure to do the same 'uncluttering' during the winter holidays — on the balcony, in the bookcase, and at the workplace. The cleaner and looser they get, the lighter my mind goes. My outlook on life clears up! That's because, after all, this rule works for everything. It would help if you got rid of the old to bring in the new.
- Update your CV.
I recommend doing it at least once every six months, even if you don't intend to look for a job anytime soon. Updating your CV allows you to analyze how much you have grown in competence, tasks, and skills. If you have nothing to add to it other than a new job, it is very unfortunate because it means you are stagnating in your professional development. Likewise, you can track your career and career progression based on your new and previous CVs and see your career trajectory.
You can also compare your updated CV with the job description of the position you once dreamt of and assess how close you are to it.
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- Set Fifty Goals for the year.
In my career marathon, I have an exercise called the '200 list' where you have to set two hundred goals for the rest of your life. Fifty of these goals will be enough for a year. So take a nice notebook (make sure it is nice because you have to look at it regularly!) and try to write all fifty goals in one sitting. You'll be gobsmacked by what hidden desires may be inside of you and how many of them are easy to achieve tomorrow!
When you have written down your goals, think about how you can achieve them fastest. For instance, maybe you dream of moving abroad by the end of next year. So it would be best if you learned the language, got the relevant qualifications, found a job, and built up a safety cushion. So now, that's the plan of action!
- Break down stereotypes
Have you always thought going to restaurants or movies alone was awkward and embarrassing? Or that you can't wear an evening gown to the library? Try the things you've been trying to avoid for a long time. You can do it at work, too. For example, set up a TikTok business account if you've avoided the social networking site before. Changing your habitual pattern of behavior makes our brain make new neural connections, which boosts your brain's activity. Indeed, you'll be surprised at how many new opportunities and interesting things you'll start to notice around you!
- Reconsider your surroundings
Niccolo Machiavelli infamously said in The Prince, 'The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps and a lion to frighten wolves.' Have you've heard that expression? You don't have to hang out only with super-productive and successful people, cut out your old friends from your life, but take a closer look anyway. Are there people in your environment who slow you down? Perhaps it's a toxic buddy who likes to make jokes about your new hobbies and efforts. Or maybe it's an acquaintance who's always borrowing money from you, which has kept you from being able to afford your dream purchase for a year. Start by deleting unnecessary contacts from your phone and social media, and then stop communicating with real people who are pulling you down or making you feel insecure. Believe me, in my experience, this is often enough to start a new life!
A fresh start sounds great, and the New Year's Eve vibe and spirit are perfect for that. Nevertheless, before you act, consider whether your current life, career, or relationship has anything you'll miss. Maybe it's worth keeping it. After all, change is only satisfying when it's a change for the better.