Everyone Deserves A Fresh Start—Here Are 19 Lessons To Learn For An Awesome 2019 Ahead
Make the new year the best you've ever had with this list of life lessons to help you unlearn the bad and the damaging while attract the beautiful, the nurturing, and the soul-enriching.
1. Turn regrets into opportunities for change.
With a new year comes a tendency to look back on the 12 months that just came to a close and concentrate on the bad. There might be many things that you wish you could have done differently, done, or not done at all, but instead of looking to the past, keep your eyes forward and concentrate on how 2019 can be the solution, the change, or the fulfillment of a potential. It's a new year for a reason—use it to reboot.
2. Make 2019 the year when you become proudest of who you are.
And we're not just talking about the way you look, your cultural heritage, or the career you've chosen. This extends to finding the conviction to support your principles and values, your decision to be a working or stay-at-home mom, the advocacies you support, the ambitions and dreams you have for yourself—everything that makes you you, be proud about all of it and never hide.
3. Accept that not everything goes according to plan.
Resilience and flexibility—master them in 2019, as your emotional and mental health will depend on it. It has become too easy to stress over the things you have no control over at work and at home, so it's important to keep in mind that there are limits to human intervention and planning.
4. Walk your talk.
Be the change you want to be. Lead by example. There are many ways to say this, but the message is loud and clear regardless of how it's worded; if there's something you wish to get done or want others to do, show that you yourself are capable of doing the same and never be a hypocrite.
5. Ask for help when you need it.
You're at your prime and at the top of your game. You're the best and most credible at what you do. But know that there will come a time when your plate is full and a helping hand or two—rather than an impressive list of accomplishments and years of experience—will be what you need most. When you find yourself in this situation, remember that it's okay to ask for assistance; bearing burdens alone should disappear from your emotional repertoire.
6. Practice (then master) the art of communication.
If we counted the number of problems, misunderstandings, and fall-outs that began with poor communication, we'd never stop. Make learning how to communicate in all forms (verbal and non-verbal, in-person and virtual, oral and written) and in every context (at work, with family, and with a significant other) a top priority in 2019. That means being conscious of body language, becoming more open and direct rather than passive-aggressive, learning to give and and receive sincere apologies, and ultimately thinking before speaking.
7. Unload the unnecessary.
From dusty piles of clutter and toxic relationships, to old hurts and clothes you haven't worn since 2010, get rid of it all. Moving forward and becoming an improved version of yourself can only happen when you've freed yourself of baggage, both literal and figurative. It's the only way to really say that 2019 will be a fresh start, a clean slate.
8. Remember that kindness extends to yourself, too.
So 2018 was the year when you outdid yourself and proved that you could exceed self-imposed exepctations. Your drive is admirable and it's what got you to the heights you're at today, but just like remembering to ask for help when you need it, remember to be kind to yourself when those expectations aren't met. It's okay to want to slow down and rest, or adjust targets you set for yourself; you're a person, not a tireless machine.
9. Stop worrying about pleasing everyone.
Instead, strive to please those whose opinions of you or your work matter most. It's an impossible task to always win everyone over in every situation, so focus on getting the approval of the right people. It will likely be difficult to manage those who disagree with you in the beginning, but over time, this will be a skill you'll be happy you learned.
10. Guard against stagnancy, not change.
It's easy to become complacent when you've found your sweet spot, professionally speaking, or even in a romantic relationship. Don't let this be the case. Learn to strive to do more and spot opportunities to mature, learn new things, and enrich yourself. "Change" in this context need not be big, either; shaking up the way you do meetings to engage your staff, going somewhere new for date night, or even inviting a colleague out for an unexpected lunch are all welcome.
11. Block all traces of self-doubt.
More than external factors, the first thing that hinders you from achieving a goal, big or small, is self-doubt. Once that's out of the way, the possibilities become boundless and that newfound bravery you have? It's already half the journey to getting where you want to be and accomplishing what you want to do.
12. Replace pride with humility.
The difference this can make is unbelievable. With humility, you're more able to handle mistakes and move forward, improve the quality of the most important relationships you have, become more likeable, and easily improve as you manage criticism more effectively.
13. Share more.
2019 will simply be the continuation of the string of success you've spent many years building; the only difference is that it will be the year when you learn to share what you have more. Be more generous with what you have, be it your finances, resources, network, expertise, or effort and time.
14. Evaluate priorities.
Make sure to do this as soon as possible, so that the rest of your year can be dedicated to working towards what you really wish to happen in your life. If your priorities remain unchanged, then stick to the path—there is nothing wrong with this. Otherwise, if you wish to spend more time with your family, are preparing to retire, or want to rejoin the workforce after concentrating on raising children, don't be afraid to take the steps to get there.
15. Be body positive.
This goes for both men and women! The fixation on the inches of our waists, shape of our eyes, or curve of our lips do not define us and have little to no bearing on whether or not we succeed or are fulfilled in life. Look to the right people for inspiration; there are many individuals and organizations, local and international, that encourage us to develop body positivity and embrace everything we are, bumps, humps, and all.
16. Aim for holistic wellness.
Health is the whole package: mental, emotional, spiritual, sexual, and physical. Be careful not to neglect one, and ultimately, care for your health, period! Never say being too busy makes it difficult to do so. At the end of the day, when all deadlines have been met, deals closed, and meetings finished, good health is what you'll have. In 2019 and beyond, it's never worth it to put health second.
17. Exercise understanding, not judgement.
Though easier said than done, this is important to practice whenever the chance to do so presents itself. Keep in mind that at first glance, you never fully know the background of a situation, what a person might be going through, or the context of words exchanged. Before instantly getting angry or passing judgement, do your research. More often than not, the full story reveals more details about a situation that could change your mind.
18. Do not rush the process.
We know you have goals and we know you're fully capable of meeting them, but if God, the universe, or fate decides that it's still not the time for things to happen, sit back and relax. (Remember what we said about accepting things that are out of your control?). There is a plan for you, and it ends well. Have patience and you will eventually discover it.
19. It is up to you if you want to love or hate.
Contrary to what your emotions dictate, loving or hating, being happy or unhappy, is something you can choose. The feelings don't just take over; you have the power to turn negativity into positivity, then to make sure that that positivity is maintained. Think about it—you can literally make your own happiness without depending on others to give it to you or for events to create it.