new year

Happy New Year 2017

Courtesy of Shutterstock

Courtesy of Shutterstock

 

As I see in the New Year I always reflect upon the year past and the year yet to come. I think it’s human nature to contemplate life like this, especially on bench-mark occasions. But what do you do if the year past was filled with trials, heartache or even unfulfilled dreams?

 

I have had many New Years when the year past felt like a dead-end, when the life I had and the life I wanted were miles apart. Times when the New Year didn’t bring with it any relief or hope; when I was desperately sad at how my life had unfolded.

 

At New Years when most people around us are happy, our pain can feel especially isolating, and, whilst there is no quick fix, there are things we can do to ease our pain and look to the New Year with hope.

 

Highlights

 

Think of five highlights for the year past. If you can’t think of five think of just three. It could be things as simple as having a coffee and a laugh with a close friend or someone you love. It could be as small as receiving a meaningful gift. Whatever you can think of, so long as it’s a fond memory write it down. Put your list down and then re-read it in an hour. Then re-read it again, recalling all the happy memories.

 

Bucket List

 

Another way of bringing joy into your life is to create a bucket list of everything you’ve ever wanted to do but just haven’t for whatever reason. Your bucket list can have big items on it like Skydiving or going to the Maldives or small items like learning to ride a bike or taking a cooking class.

 

It can be made up of skills you’d like to learn, hobbies you’d like to try, places you’d like to go and projects you’d like to finish. Try to create twelve items for the year ahead, committing to do one each month and remembering to make them financially viable. The general rule is if it makes you scared or excited, do it (and if it feels like work, ditch it).

 

Goals

 

Whilst a bucket list is super fun, creating meaningful goals is a sure fire way to ensure you feel positive and optimistic for the year ahead. I review my goals every New Years day to revise them as needed, making certain that they are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timescaled) for the year ahead. This allows me to feel like I am on track and exactly where I am meant to be in order to achieve my dreams.

 

Indeed having a sense of progress in life has been linked to increased long-term happiness. To create goals that are meaningful to you please read my article titled ‘How to Turn Your Dreams into Reality’.  And to create a budget that supports your financial security and life goals please read my article titled ‘Why spending could be damaging your dreams; How to create a budget that supports your life goals’.

 

As the New Year dawns I wish you all a truly special year ahead, filled with renewed hope, optimism, fulfilled dreams and the happiness you so greatly deserve.

 

Join me in making 2017 the best year yet!

 

Wishing you a peaceful and joyous day,

 

x X x Jenny x X x

Renewed Hope and Fresh Beginnings

I love the New Year; it makes me feel like anything is possible, like I’ve been given a second chance to fulfil my hopes and dreams. Over the years I’ve built up a kind of tradition to set myself up for the year ahead. I sit down with excitement and anticipation as I write out my life audit, upcoming goals and 40 before 40 bucket list review.

 

This year I thought I would give you an inside look into the process behind doing a life audit and why doing one is essential if you want to kick start the new year with intention and purpose. Think of this month’s hot topic as a precursor to my article on goals titled ‘How to turn your dreams into reality’. Back in 2009 honestly assessing where I was in life was the turning point that propelled me forward to create tangible goals, many of which I have since achieved.

 

Along with the series posts on Mondays they’ll be weekly posts with questionnaires to guide you through the process of conducting your very own life audit for each area of your life.

 

The eight key areas which we will be exploring in this month’s hot topic titled ‘How to Avoid Living by Default and Design Your Ideal Life’ are below:

 

  • Work
  • Finances
  • Time and Productivity
  • Body and Health
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Relaxation
  • Family and Friends
  • Romance

 

The first instalment of this series is released on Monday the 4th January.

 

Happy New Year everyone, may this year be your best year yet!

 

x X x Jenny x X x