The year comes to an end and it’s time to prepare for the next year!
For lots of people, their mindset at the beginning of the year is extremely important and actually influences their whole year a lot. So it is substantial to plan everything in advance if you want to be in a different place a year from now. Putting your thoughts onto paper and classify them helps you clear your mind and instead of a messy place with all sorts of information make it a nice pleasant environment for personal development and new ideas.
So, without further ado, here are my ideas of lists to create before the New Year!
1. List of habits you want to change
This one includes both: good habits you’d like to acquire and bad habits you want to get rid of. You may want to create two separate lists or combine everything in one, whichever works better for you.
Some ideas of good everyday habits might include: following a morning routine, spending 15 minutes cleaning your apartment, studying a language or some subject you are interested in, meditating, writing about your day (whether it’s a 100-day challenge to achieve your goals or just writing down 3 good things that happened to you during the day), jogging or walking, drinking enough water, waking up early.
Some bad habits you might want to quit: smoking, working overtime, eating junk food, using a credit card, drinking too much alcohol, sleeping in, biting nails, wasting time on social networks.
Always plan your habits so you can keep an eye on the process of habit construction. One good way to keep track of everything is to use a habit tracker. Print it or draw it in your planner and check your progress every day. Do this long enough for each habit until one day you understand that you don’t need a tracker anymore, you have successfully incorporated it into your life and you do it mechanically as a part of your daily routine. Until that moment, use a habit tracker as a daily reminder and extra motivation. No one likes to fail, that’s why seeing the clear picture of you non-sticking to the new habits will make you put more effort into this process.
Don’t put too much on your plate at the same time, though. Choose the most important tasks you are willing to do every day and focus on them. As someone who has tried a few times to start more than 15 new habits at once, I can tell you that it’s not working. You might work hard doing everything for a week, but then you are either too tired or something interferes, and eventually, you find yourself ticking none of the new habits as done today.
Focus is the key. You might want to change all the areas of your life at once, but because of this scattered focus you will not put enough effort into any specific one and in the end, nothing will change. So choose a couple of the most desired ones, stick to them, and next month you can add new ones (they say you need 21 days to build a habit).
Make small steps and fixate the result – it will be much more effective than if you jump high and fall with nothing.
2. List of trips to plan
This is probably the most exciting list to make!
Decide where you want to go next year. Whether it is to ride an elephant in Sri Lanka, to join dancers on a carnival in Brazil, to visit your hometown or just to take some friends on a road trip, write it all down as a list. Leave some space for details you can fill in later: preliminary dates, route, accommodation info, travel buddies, must-have places to visit, estimated cost, etc.
In case you don’t know, planning trips in advance has a lot of perks!
Flights and accommodations, that are usually the main part of your travel budget, are much cheaper if you book them at least a few months before. If it’s a year before, those prices might be ridiculously low! But I understand that not everyone is at that stability point in life to be able to plan that far ahead. And that sudden trips might be more fun sometimes. But still, keep in mind that when you decide last minute, there might be no tickets or nice rooms to stay available for your chosen dates. So my advice is to think your trips through and start planning and booking everything as soon as possible!
BTW, huge aggregators like Booking.com usually let you book without any advance payment and in many cases cancel your bookings for free up to a month before your journey starts. Why not use this feature to guarantee the best price for yourself? Give it a chance and be shocked months later when you see the current price for the same service! Then you’ll thank me.
3. List of all good things that happened this year
While advance planning for next year is awesome, it’s still some time left for you in this one!
Take some time to look back and remember all the good things that have happened to you during this year. Write them all down! It might seem like not much at the beginning, but just start writing and you will remember more and more good stuff when you open this flow of memories. For example, I thought about this summer just like about any previous summer, like nothing special, until I started to think of it month by month and remember everything that has happened. I was amazed by how many good things have actually happened which I either forgot about or just didn’t see in whole summer picture. Believe me, it all ends up! And there is always nice to have a list of things to be thankful about.
Don’t just write them down. Find some time to reflect on how each of those points affected you and your life and what feelings do you remember.
You might also want to print a couple of photographs and add them to your photo album or a scrapbook if you are into this stuff.
Most important: enjoy every moment of your good memories!
4. List of new experiences to try
New year = new beginnings.
If you want the next year to be full of interesting and memorable moments, plan it!
Create a list of things you always wanted to try and choose which of them might be possible to do next year. Maybe some of them can be crossed out of the list during your trips from list 2! For example, some interesting dishes to taste are definitely an easy wish to make true if you go abroad.
Have you ever wanted to do something crazy? If you were always curious about skydiving, bungee jumping, diving, skinny dipping, hiking and whatever else you could only think of, why not to try it next year? Let the next year to be great and believe in this greatness – the reality will follow.
But it’s not only about food and extreme adventures. Think about all sides of your life: maybe you want to learn a new language, acquire drawing skills, start to play guitar, etc – add all of them to the list! Choose at least one and decide to implement it during next year. Learning something new is always great for your self-development and personality.
Promise yourself that you’ll do this and set it as one of your main goals for the next year! Which leads us to the next point…
5. Top 3 main goals to focus next year
On New Year’s Eve, all of us have a lot of wishes and expectations for the next year.
While it’s great to have many different goals, it’s still important to focus on specific ones. Not that you can’t achieve everything you want, but if you follow too many dreams at once you might lose your enthusiasm really fast and sadly not achieve any of them.
I would say choose three main ones, preferably from the different areas of your life (e.g. one business goal, one health-related and one about relationships). And focus on them. You might want to add some smaller ones during the year, and it’s ok as long as you keep in mind those three and always keep them at the beginning of your priorities list.
And remember: it’s almost impossible to fulfill a dream if you don’t convert it into a goal of yours.
6. List of books to read (and movies to watch)
Well, this is quite obvious, but as a bookworm myself I just couldn’t not mention this.
There are just too many books worth reading (and movies worth watching) and having too wide of a choice makes you struggle every time until you choose. When you have a system, you can easily avoid the struggle. You may even sort your books in the exact order you want to read them (but, of course, nothing is carved in stone, you can totally ignore the order and read any book you want at the time).
I personally organize my bookshelf exactly this way. The book I want to read next goes first, and others follow with the same idea. It really helps me: I decide an order once and then just pick the first book from my shelf every time after I finish the previous one. Sometimes I get inspired and want to read a specific one from the middle – and totally do it!
However you do this, make sure you read at all 🙂
So there were my 6 ideas for lists to create before the end of this year. You might apply it to every year, of course.
If you have more ideas on the subject or there are some lists you create every year, please tell me in comments, maybe I’ll want to make them too!
If you like this list, pin in to your board in order to not lose it!