7 Things Mentally Strong People Do To Prepare For a New Year

About the author of this article: 

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, and startup enthusiast. He is founder of the calendar productivity tool Calendar.

Although it can be chaotic, I tend to enjoy this time of year. Putting up decorations, listening to my holiday playlist, spending time with friends and family, wrapping presents, and stealing freshly baked cookies: It could very well be my favourite time of year.

But as the year comes to a close, I also think about what I did — and didn’t — achieve. Most of the time, I was able to reach my goals and exceed my own expectations. But I’ve also experienced some challenges that really tested my mental toughness, and that’s not a feeling I enjoy.

To make sure 2019 isn’t a repeat, I’m preparing for the new year by developing my mental strength.

1. Make space for quiet reflection.

We do a good job of constantly surrounding ourselves with noise. Whether it’s loud offices, music, games, email, social media, meetings, or conference calls, this prevents us from taking the time to enjoy silence. No wonder Gordon Hempton, the founder and vice president of The One Square Inch of Silence Foundation and co-author of One Square Inch of Silence: One Man’s Quest to Preserve Quiet, says silence is an endangered species. However, according to Hempton, quiet is essential because it’s the “think tank of the soul.”

As you head into a new year, this is the perfect time to give yourself a couple minutes of quiet time so you can reflect on how you’ve progressed and what you want to do better moving forward. Make it a point to schedule around 15 minutes per day to unplug and reflect in solitude. You’ll feel energized and have more clarity on how you’ll achieve your goals in the coming year and beyond.

2. Stop setting high expectations for the new year and focus on realistic goals.

Right now, you’re probably thinking about New Year’s resolutions, like saving more money or losing weight. Unfortunately, only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

The majority of us don’t stick to our resolutions because they’re too ambitious, unrealistic, and broad. We then feel discouraged and throw in the proverbial towel when we don’t reach our goals.

Instead of setting these high expectations for ourselves, we should focus on creating realistic goals that are simple and tangible. You’ll notice small, incremental changes in your life that will motivate you to keep pushing forward because you’re seeing progress.

For example, as a speaker, I wouldn’t set a goal like “I want to book more speaking engagements.” Instead, I would focus on something more specific, such as “I want to book two speaking engagements per month.” I’d be able to track my achievements clearly, and I could build my platform and expertise through articles and videos, as well as speaking for free.

3. Embrace change.

Change is never easy. In fact, most of us tend to avoid change and withdraw to our comfort zones. That’s another reason why your New Year’s resolution doesn’t stick: It’s scary, tough, and unnatural.

However, change is inevitable. And it’s needed if you want to be more successful at work and in life. So stop avoiding change and start embracing positive changes by:

  • Understanding what you want to change. This should be based on your core values and what’s most important to you.
  • Eliminating negativity in your life, such as naysayers and negative thoughts.
  • Building a supportive network of positive people who can help you.
  • Being flexible and believing in your ability to adapt.
  • Breaking your large goal into manageable steps.
  • Facing your fear and embracing failure.

4. Remove temptations.

There’s a misconception that mentally strong people can resist temptation. But that takes a lot of mental energy — remember, we only have so much willpower.

Rather than constantly resist temptations, mentally strong people remove temptations from their lives. It’s not the easiest of tasks, but you can get started by identifying your impulses and looking for ways to make it harder to give in to them. For example, if you’re on a tight budget, you may invite your friends over for a game night and pizza instead of going out to an expensive restaurant. If you’re trying to lose weight, get rid of the junk food you snack on throughout the day and replace it with healthier options like almonds, fruits, and veggies.

5. Have a daily game plan.

Mentally strong people don’t hit “snooze” or stay in bed all day. They wake up early and have a game plan for what they’re going to accomplish during the day. This way, they can get started on the tasks that have to be done right away.

Before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, make it a habit to write down your Most Important Tasks (MIT) the night before. These should only be the three things you need to accomplish.

Next, start waking up earlier. Personally, I wake up before everyone else in my house because it gives me some quiet time to review my calendar, assess my MITs, reflect, and catch up on news. The most effective way to accomplish this is by gradually waking up earlier. For example, if you want to wake up 30 minutes earlier, set your alarm five minutes earlier for a week, then 10 minutes earlier, and so forth, until you’re waking up half an hour earlier.

6. Plan for obstacles.

Life has a way of throwing a monkey wrench in even the best-laid plans. Your diet could go out the window because of the holiday treats you’ve been enjoying. You can’t spend as much time with your family because you’re swamped at work. You experience a financial setback and can’t start your business when you planned.

Mentally strong people aren’t disheartened by these roadblocks because they thought ahead and planned for the challenges they could anticipate. For example, if you’re planning on starting a business, make sure you have an emergency fund so if you experience financial problems, you can still act.

7. Don’t expect immediate results.

Losing weight, having more money in your savings account, or launching a business won’t happen overnight. It could take months, maybe even years, to reach these goals.

Mentally strong people realize this fact. Instead of being impatient and discouraged, they’re patient, persistent, and passionate. You can start becoming less impatient by being willing to learn from your mistakes, enhancing your skills, tracking your progress, and always keeping your eyes on the prize.

Putting it all together

While right now is a great time to start mentally preparing for a new year, you also don’t want to get overwhelmed. For now, you might work on waking up earlier. In January, you could focus on eliminating temptations. This way, you’re getting a little better and stronger each and every day of the year.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-things-mentally-strong-people-do-prepare-new-year-john-rampton/

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