7 Steps To A Happier New Year
Well there goes yet another 12 months and with the ringing in of 2018, if you’re anything like me, you’ve already set yourself some new year’s resolutions and goals for 2018, but if you HAVEN’T, then read on my friend, because I’m going to show you how I gear up for success when a new year rolls around.
A few years ago, I made a promise to myself to take a few weeks off in December / January of every year so I can re-charge and take a break from the real estate circuit.
If you follow me on social media, you’ll see I’ve been cruising around New Zealand and the bottom end of Australia (Tasmania that is) on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship with my dad, my sister, and my niece and nephew, Kayla and Ethan.
Cruises are great because internet isn’t the best which means the connection to life back home fades more and more as you navigate sea life and adjust to a world of eat, relax on the top deck, eat, read a book, eat, go see a show, eat, take a walk around the promenade deck, eat and then go to bed.
Rise and repeat for 7 days or more.
If you’ve ever been on a Cruise, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about here, and yes, I have put on a few extra kgs in the process!
Do I care? Not in the slightest. I’m not one of those princesses who get caught up with weight gain over Christmas. Screw it. My trainer can deal with it when I’m back. That’s what I pay him for.
But I must admit, it can be a challenge for someone like me to switch off completely. This Cruise, I decided I wouldn’t do any work until the last few days when we had 3 days at sea with no ports of call.
Turns out this worked out really well for me. I got my break and I also had a great opportunity to reflect on 2017 - the things I achieved, how I could improve my service to my clients and what I should focus my attention on to stay on track for making some pretty big goals a reality in 2018.
Right now, I’m on a bit of a high knowing I’ve got my shit sorted for this year. My head is in the right space, and I’m feeling fresh and ready for another big year.
For those of you who perhaps struggle to balance your work and personal life around this time of year, here’s how I do it - and it works for me because I always come out fresh, inspired and motivated to take on new challenges and achieve great things, both personally and professionally.
My New Year’s Kick Start Plan goes something like this…
STEP 1 - COMMIT TO TAKING SOME TIME OUT AND LOCK IT IN EDDY.
That means you book a holiday. The catch is, it HAS to be somewhere that takes you away from your every day life. This means no “I’ll just stay at home and relax” on my holiday.
Nope, this doesn't work. You HAVE to get away.
I usually book a Cruise because I know it really gets my head out of real estate for a while and I can truly switch off, plus I get my travel bug fix.
Arrange time off with your boss and/or tell your clients you’re going away and won’t be available for a few weeks. Trust me, your work, your life and the clients will be waiting for you when you come back.
Repeat after me, “It is OK to leave it all behind for a few weeks.” REPEAT! It is OK to leave it all behind for a few weeks.
Set up your email autoresponders and update your voicemail so people know you haven’t gone completely M.I.A and then start physically and mentally winding down in preparation to completely switch off.
IMPORTANT NOTE - allow yourself around a week’s grace period when you return home. In other words, don’t go straight from your final day of holiday back into work.
Trust me! You’ll need some time at home to relax, and begin to re-set back into your usual routine before you commit to the hectic day to day schedule once again.
PLUS, you’ll have some Tasks to do. More on this below, so read on…
STEP 2 - SWITCH OFF ON DAY 1 OF YOUR HOLIDAY.
Easier said than done I hear you say. Well, yeah I get that it is, but you HAVE to make the commitment to yourself. It’s for the greater good. Switching off for me was booking a massage, going to the comedy show and enjoying cocktails with my sister by the pool.
STEP 3 - PUT TOGETHER A LOOSE HOLIDAY ROUTINE.
What do I mean by this?
Let me share an example to help me to explain.
Let’s say you’ve booked a Cruise. On day 2 after you’ve eaten breakie, allow yourself about 20 minutes to set what I call a Holiday Routine. Now this can be anything you want it to be, EXCEPT for work related stuff.
MY HOLIDAY ROUTINE ON THE CRUISE LOOKED SOMETHING LIKE THIS.
Wake up, read for 15 minutes, then go get breakfast.
20 minute run or walk around the promenade deck OR 20 minute gym session.
Do whatever the heck I want until dinner time.
Retire to Stateroom (my cabin) around 8pm.
Read, or write a blog (about 20 minutes), then watch a movie or fall asleep.
The trick is not to make this Routine a strict one.
If you happen to detour from your schedule, don’t worry about it.
A Holiday Routine is merely designed to give you a little day to day structure.
I do this because I simply can’t go Cold Turkey when I’m on vacay. I like having a routine of some sort and this works really well for my mental sanity.
STEP 4 - PLAN A GOAL SETTING SESSION 2 DAYS OUT FROM THE END OF YOUR HOLIDAY.
Okay so THIS is my feel-good part. I’ve had a good amount of relax time and I’ve done some sight-seeing and experienced some new things.
Now I’m ready to start planning for the new year.
STEP 5 - NEW YEAR GOALS DAY.
Set aside a couple of hours, and go find a quiet space on your own where you won’t be interrupted by anyone. For me, this was poolside on the Lido Deck.
Grab pen, notebook, iPad, whatever it is you use to write stuff down and record notes, and get busy.
Set two short term goals to work towards by the end of April, then set another two goals to be achieved by the first of November.
Set one Big Achievement to accomplish by the first of December.
This is the ONE thing that you absolutely want to achieve this year. If you do NOTHING ELSE but achieve this thing, you’ll know you’ve had a successful year.
For me, it’s publish my first ever E-Course for First Home Buyers.
If you do this, you’ll have set 5 Goals for the year. You’ll be feeling good.
Once you’ve finished your goal setting, start a list of ALL the things you need to do when you return home.
This list can be anything and everything from washing the dog to opening that new savings account. I number my list, not in any particular order of priority, but by using a number system I can see how many “tasks” I have to complete when I come home.
This year, I have 22 tasks.
STEP 6 - START WORKING THROUGH YOUR TASKS ON YOUR THIRD DAY BACK HOME.
This is why you need to allow yourself an extra week of down time before you “return to earth”.
The first two days at home are for re-adjusting to home life again.
On these two days you do NOTHING AT ALL. My first day back I sat in front of the TV and watched back to back movies. Day 2 I unpacked and tidied up. Days 3 - 7 are for working through the Tasks.
STEP 7 - FIRST DAY BACK ON THE JOB.
By the time you’ve reached Step 7, you’ll be keen to get back into work life… provided you enjoy what you do.
Perhaps one of your goals was to change careers?! If you’re hating being back at work, then one of your goals SHOULD be to make a change.
We MUST love what we do people.
Life is too short!
And remember, the above steps can be put into practice at any time of the year, whenever you choose to take a break. It doesn’t have to be December or January.
If this has helped, please share it with someone who would also benefit from my 7 steps.
Now, let’s get on with 2018!