“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I first have to acknowledge that 2017 could have gone one of three ways for you. It could have been the worst year of your life. And it could have been the best year of your life. Or, it was just another year where you felt nothing special happened to you.
Everyone always feels differently on New Years. It is a great time to reflect back to the previous year, but for some, they just want to for get about it. I understand, I have had plenty of years with this feeling.
I Believe 2018 can be Your Best Year Yet
Looking forward to this year, I know our lives can all change for the better. I also know we will experience resistance, trouble, and unforeseen circumstances. However, I believe this can be your best year yet. Whether 2017 was great, good, bad, or indifferent. 2018 can be OUTSTANDING!
As we look forward to this new year, I have found there are a few things we can do to make the year better. They are things that I do every year now, and are part of the reason I share so much about living with intention, and specifically with purpose, direction, and action.
10 Simple Ways to Make 2018 Better than 2017
Here are my ten ways to make 2018 better than 2017. Some of them you can do in a matter of minutes. And some of them will take a few days. However, I would greatly encourage you to try them all!
1. Create a Life Plan
I firmly believe one of the reasons my life is so different now than it was five years ago is because I created a life plan. My life was changed when I created my life plan. And it continues to get better and better every year. If you don’t know where to start, read Michael Hyatt’s book: Living Forward.
2. Create Goals for Your Year
My entire journey to living intentionally and having every year be better than the last started with setting goals. I set a few big goals ever year and focus on accomplishing them. I wrote a post about creating goals and one about achieving goals, check them out.
3. Decide What Your Year is Going to be About
A new practice that I am starting this year is having a word for the year. Normally, I create this word more as a theme my previous year was about. However, this year I am going with the word INTENTIONAL. I am all about this, however, I want it to permiate my life. What is your word?
4. Start Collecting Quotes
This is another practice I started in 2017. I heard on a podcast about an entrepreneur who keeps index cards full of quotes from books he reads, the bible, movies, magazines, and blog posts. As he faces something hard in life, he goes back to the quotes or sometimes, uses them as motivation in life. This has been a helpful tool for me.
5. Find a Community
We were all made to live in community. I am a better version of myself when I am in community with my wife, but other men as well. I thrive when I have accountability and encouragement. My writing has improved by joining a couple of Facebook Groups for writers. We need community to make this year great.
6. Keep a Journal
This is a place where you can keep track of your life plan, goals, tasks, calendar events, hopes, dream, notes from the day, etc. I have been keeping a journal since 2005, it is the most useful tool i have with me at any given time.
7. Start Routines
My routines really started with work. I do the same things every morning when I get to work. Now routines are spreading out to morning and night routines in our home. Routines help us get through important things we can do everything to help win the day. Start a morning routine this week. Do it for a month.
8. Be Thankful Everyday
There is something about being thankful that changes our attitudes. If we are thankful for things in our lives, we tend to not have bad days. And if everyday is potentially your best day ever, why not limit potential bad days!
9. Quit One Thing Every Week
Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to quit something. Like Diet Coke, lots of people love the stuff, I like it with sushi. But maybe it isn’t all that good for you. Maybe its the first thing you quit this year? Maybe there is something else. If we start eliminating things we don’t need or aren’t helping us, I bet we will be able to do more of what we want!
10. Have Meaningful Conversations Weekly
Call you mom or dad, maybe a brother or sister. Sometimes sitting down and having a coffee or a beer with a friend or mentor can lead to life-giving conversation. I challenge you to have 52 meaningful conversations this year, it will change your friendships and relationships.
One More Thing…
An added bonus to this list is to help you know your purpose and to define your priorities. For some of us we know them, for others, it’s an undiscovered country.
I have a great resource to think through our purpose and priorities, it’s my FREE EBOOK: The True North Manifesto. Click the link and downloads it today!