Preparing for the New Year

I can't believe 2016 is rapidly coming to a close! 2017 is just a few weeks away, and getting a head start on your plans, to-do lists, and goals will help you transition into the new year effortlessly and smoothly. A new year is all about a clean slate, starting anew, and leaving all of the bullshit and worries of the former year IN the former year, or at least making the conscious effort to. Sometimes, life happens. But knowing you're at least being proactive about creating a fresh start will make you feel so much better when midnight strikes on December 31st.

1. Reflect. Take a moment to note some of your highlights of 2016. Write them down in your journal, or simply write a blog post about it. Praise yourself for all of the great things you've accomplished. Also, think about some of the challenges that you faced this year. The challenges we face help us to grow, so take note of how you handled those challenges, and how you can turn them into triumphs in the new year.

2. Organize. Out with the old, and in with the new. This is the perfect time to simplify the things around you. Clean out your closets, donate unused/unwanted items to the Goodwill (I'm actually taking a trip there today!), organize your book collection, clean out your refrigerator and freezer, shred your old mail, buy some new candles, clean up files on your computer, rearrange your home to give it a new look and feel. It's the little things that can give you a boost of motivation and accomplishment.

3. Release negative energy. Write down a list of things you want to let go of, and when you're done, tear up the list. I've heard that this exercise is very freeing, although I've never done it before. I think I am going to do it this year. Also, burn a sage stick in your home. This is also something I have not done yet, but I am big advocate of anything that will bring peace to your living space, and to your mind, so I plan on buying one in the next week or two. First, I need to work through my fear of burning down my apartment. Read more about sage smudging here. You can buy smudge sticks here.

4. Take action. Think about all the things you've always wanted to do, and come up with a plan to do at least three of those things in 2017. Also, starting now, do more of the things you love - focus on unfinished projects that you were so excited about starting, but abandoned them shortly after, for whatever reason, the things that once brought you happiness - your hobbies, your stress relievers. DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE. The sense of accomplishment (and actually doing what you say you're going to do) is worth it!

5. Stay ready. You ever heard the quote, "if you stay ready, you ain't gotta get ready?" I really love that motto, and it sticks with me a lot. Being prepared ahead of time could make or break a moment. Update your resume. This is something that shouldn't need to be said, but you'd be surprised how many people get comfortable. Keeping your resume updated at all times is beneficial because you  never know what opportunities will present themselves, and sometimes, situations occur unexpectedly. It's best to always be prepared for the unexpected, just in case.
Update your Amazon wishlist (I know you have one). Hey, you never know when someone will randomly want to purchase a gift for you. I haven't shared my wishlist in years, but it's still active, and constantly updated with new items, as well as removing items that I no longer have the desire to own.

What are some of your year-end rituals that prepare you for the upcoming year?

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