The New Year is an opportunity to reflect, regroup and reprogram. Think of it as a clean slate. It’s important to take time out in January and focus on yourself, your achievements to date and what you want your future to look like.

Here are five ways to ensure you start the year on the right foot.

  1. Scrap the resolutions

The whole concept of setting New Year resolutions is flawed because New Year resolutions don’t work. Research shows that of all of us who set New Year resolutions just eight per cent of us actually see our plans come to fruition1. The term ‘resolution’ conjures up negativity, it encourages you to focus on problems and when you do this, life feels dark, difficult and daunting. Setting goals is a much more positive approach. Which bring us to our next point…

  1. Start setting goals

Goals encourage improvement, progression and optimism – and that’s what sets you up for success. American poet, writer and historian Bill Copeland summed up the purpose of goal setting when he said: “The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”

Goal setting marks your first point toward success and puts your life into action mode. Small wins are the secret to securing big-picture goals. This might mean swapping a mid-afternoon sweet treat for a handful of nuts, saving just a dollar a day or making your mornings more productive by setting your alarm 20 minutes earlier.

  1. Challenge yourself

Challenging yourself daily is a sure-fire path to success in all areas of your life. If you don’t challenge yourself and try new things, how will you know your potential? Choose one thing you´d like to try but are afraid to do wrong, and go for it. Don’t be scared of failure as every time you pick yourself up after a fall, you have learned one more lesson.

  1. Healthy body, healthy mind

You have heard it all before but exercise really is good for your body and mind. Not only does it help control your weight but exercising regularly combats health conditions and diseases, boosts your energy and helps you sleep better. If you’re new to exercise and unsure where to start, be smart about it. Fitness is just like any addiction – it all starts with a small dose.

  1. Be positive

Sometimes bad things happen and you can’t help but feel negative, but don’t let negative experiences define you. Life is filled with challenges that make it very difficult to be positive sometimes. Be positive where you can be – it really does make even the most challenging situations easier to bear.

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