At this time of year, we tend to reflect on what’s happened in the last twelve months and start thinking about the year ahead. As 2016 comes to a close, it’s a good time to plan ahead, and consider how you can better yourself in 2017. Perhaps you’re keen to make resolutions and try and actually stick to them this time. Or maybe you simply want to be a little more proactive, and get out there and live your life to the full. Here are some suggestions to help you ensure the future is bright.
Traveling is something that many of us enjoy. Sadly, there are often barriers in the way that prevent us from exploring as much we’d like. As the New Year approaches, try and find ways to overcome them. Perhaps you could start a savings scheme or diversify your travel plans. Not every trip has to cost a fortune or last for weeks. Learn from your adventures, and challenge yourself. Traveling is such an effective way of opening your mind to new experiences, building confidence, and creating memories that last a lifetime. It can often help to clear your mind and give you a sense of perspective. If you’ve been stuck in a rut, it can also provide you with that change of scenery you’ve been craving.
You hear people talking about the power of positive thinking all the time. It’s easy to say think positively. But it’s much harder to do, especially if life isn’t a bed of roses at the moment. So, does positive thinking work? If you’re not convinced, give it a go. See how you feel when you look at a situation with a glass-half-full attitude. Do you feel more optimistic and hopeful? Or are you left wondering what all the fuss is about?
Take a real life scenario. You have a dental appointment booked. For most of us, going to the dentist is a fraught experience, which causes considerable anxiety. Think about going to the office with a positive attitude. You’re just going in for a routine check-up. The appointment will last a few minutes. There won’t be any pain. You can leave straight after safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to come back for months. Now flip your way of thinking. You’re dreading the appointment. You’re assuming that the worst is going to happen. You’re imagining an awful scenario where you’re lying in the chair, you’re in pain, and you can’t wait to get out. If you compare the two, you’ll probably find that the former is much better for your mental and physical health. Positive thinking is proven to increase productivity and creativity, as well as reducing anxiety.
Expanding your skill set
You may be amazing at your job and have several strings to your bow when it comes to other talents. However, there is always room for development and improvement. There’s no limit to how much you can learn. In 2017, make it your goal to expand your skill set. This doesn’t have to be work-related. Perhaps you’d love to speak Italian or cook like a classically-trained maestro. Maybe you want to learn to play the piano, or you’re keen to hone your first aid skills. Learning is good for your CV, but it’s also good for the soul.
Volunteering is an incredible way of helping others and learning more about yourself. Sometimes, you never truly understand how lucky you are until you’ve experienced life in other people’s shoes. If you have a little extra time, why not take yourself down to a shelter and pack food boxes or become a mentor for children who spend their lives caring for their siblings or parents? You can learn a lot from other people, and your experiences will enrich your life. You don’t have to dedicate every spare hour you have. Even a couple of hours a week or one day a month will make a huge difference.
At the end of the year, it’s always beneficial to set yourself goals for the year ahead. When you strive for something, you’re more likely to achieve success, and it will feel all the more amazing when you get there. There are so many ways you can better yourself. Go for that promotion or quit your dead end job and take steps to getting a job you love. Travel the world, help others, and adjust your mindset. If you’ve got things to aim for, you’ll always be looking forward to a bright future.