10 Things That You Should Be Doing To Prepare for the New Year

2018, Is That You Playa?

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With 2018 right around the corner, it’s time for us (if you haven’t already) to end this year off with something spectacular and head face-first into 2018 with a fresh outlook. It’s safe to assume that many of us are well into the Christmas spirit (decorating, shopping, planning parties, and dinners, etc.)

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In the midst of it all, I am sure that we are all reflecting on 2017 and how good, bad, or ugly the year was. For some of us, the year has been very challenging and trying. And for others, it may have been a complete breeze. Either way, we should all be thankful for another year of life. In addition, we should begin to map out the ways in which we can make the New Year one that is fruitful and better than the current one.

Yes, I know that somehow we always tend to make these New Year’s resolutions...you know, the ones that we soon forget to stick to after January 8th or thereabouts. Listed below are things that you should be doing right before the New Year hits. In the words of the most honorable Will Smith (and a long list of other folks that have said this), “If you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.”
 
 
1.      Don’t Put Pressure on your Goals.  

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There’s this New Year’s ritual that we always seem to indulge in. We set our resolutions and goals…We are committed to said goals the first couple of weeks into the New Year and then somewhere in the midst of it all, our goals tend to get lost in the sauce. Then, we beat ourselves up about it. Like, really stress ourselves out about it. 

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In order to stop perpetuating the feeling of constant failure and inadequacy, we need to be completely present in the New Year. Enter the New Year with no pressure on your back to do anything other than to remain open, receptive to growth and change, and positive. In simpler terms, just GO WITH THE FLOW. Let your life be the pilot and your resolutions, aspirations, and goals sit first-class.

2.      Quit one unhealthy habit. Start two healthy habits.
 

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Unhealthy habits are definitely difficult to break. But in order to keep your mind off of the bad habit, start two healthy ones. For instance, if you are someone who wants to change your eating and exercising habits…try eliminating your guilty pleasure food and increase your workout and healthy eating habits.
 
3.      Figure Out Your Theme(s) For The New Year

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Find one (or a few) encouraging mantras that exemplify your aspirations for the upcoming year.
 
Currently, I have two:
 
      “Allow the space between where I am and where I want to be... inspire me and not terrify me.” – Tracee Ellis Ross.
 
      “Your crown has been bought and paid for. All you must do is put it on.” – James Baldwin
 
4.      Write…Journal…Blog…Song Write…Write Poetry...

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Do whatever you can to get your thoughts and feelings out. Simply jotting down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas have long-lasting benefits on your mental health. If you are someone who has struggled with stress or depression – this can help you combat these issues. Don't keep anything bottled in going into 2018. 
 
5.      Read More

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“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” —Mark Twain

There is worth in reading, so start doing it more.
 
Some of my favorite reads of 2017:
        Black Privilege - Charlemagne tha God
        The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
        Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates
        
*** For more book recommendations, refer to my bookshelf. 

6.      Meditate.  

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Meditation isn’t to control your thoughts but to stop letting your thoughts control you. Protect your peace. 
 
7.      Eliminate one or more negative forces in your life.

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There's no need to keep entertaining negative influences and there's definitely no need to take that energy with you into a new and prosperous year. It’ll only hinder you from being your best self. 
 
8.      Save money.

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This may be the hardest thing that we engage in. Saving money is difficult but can be achieved. Try to save at least 10 percent of your earnings every time you get paid next year. 
 
9.      Appreciate yourself more often.

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Sometimes we are so busy with our everyday lives that we tend to forget to appreciate our number one — ourselves. We should have ample “me time” every other week. Constantly being surrounded by people can hinder our time of personal relaxation and appreciation. In other words, don't be afraid to ‘treat yo self’. 
 
10.  Find Your Passion. Live Your Life’s Purpose.  

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The things that excite you are not random…they are connected to your purpose. Follow them. 


Before the upcoming New Year I want to challenge you all to complete all of these tasks (or just a few if you’re not feeling some of them) — and if you aren’t feeling any of them, I want to challenge you to at least work towards achieving number ten…find your passion and live in your life’s purpose. Recently, I decided to take out time to work on what I feel like my life’s purposes are. Since doing so, I have noticed a positive shift in my demeanor. 

All in all, let’s not wait for the New Year to come for us to pick up new habits. Let’s go into the year already equipped so that we are not putting gratuitous pressure on ourselves.