Imagine yourself a year from now making a toast to your best year ever.
You look back on all the great moments of 2017 with a heart full of joy and just a little mist in your eye, so deeply thankful for your good fortune and forward progress.
Your life has changed. Your income, your life purpose, your relationships, your health, everything improved beyond what you thought possible in one year’s time.
You vibrate with anticipation because you know – not expect, but know – that 2018 is going to surpass even 2017 because of the unstoppable momentum you’ve built up.
You’re on fire. You’re finally living the life you dreamed of as a child, before other people and external conditions influenced what you believed was possible or not possible.
At long last, YOU have arrived….
Can you believe this is your life one year into the future?
If you can’t believe it, there’s no point in reading any further.
But if you can believe it at least for a few moments, let’s discuss how to set yourself up for success in 2017.
5 Keys to Making 2017 Your Best Year Ever
Considering the topic of this article, let’s get the tired old concept of New Years’ resolutions out of the way:
They’re just a lame tradition that’s become the inside joke of our entire culture. Nobody takes them seriously, particularly those who make them. So let’s not bother with resolutions.
What we’re interested in is making real change over the next 365 days that’s worth more to you than all the resolutions in the world combined. Here you go:
Practice Gratitude Every Single Day
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” ~ Willie Nelson
There’s a big difference between giving thanks on special occasions and practicing gratitude on a daily basis.
Practicing gratitude is a constant mindfulness about how fortunate you are even on your lousiest day. It’s about keeping all of life’s events in perspective because no matter how hard you think you’ve got it, there’s somebody out there who only wishes they had it half as good as you do.
It’s the attitude that your greatest opportunities lie within your greatest hardships. Therefore, be grateful for the hardships.
High achievers past and present – JFK, MLK, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Lauryn Hill, Mark Zuckerberg to name a few – speak of gratitude as elemental to their success. It’s something you do BEFORE, during, and after getting what you want out of life.
So how do you practice gratitude? Here a couple of ways:
- Start a gratitude journal: at the same time every day, jot down a few notes about what you are grateful for. Don’t just think them, write them in order to make a stronger impression on your brain.Go old school with pen and paper if you like, or utilize an online journal like Penzu. Once you write it down, contemplate what you’ve written and make sure your feelings are sincere. If you don’t feel sincere about it, keep writing until you do. Do this every day of 2017 and you’ll be amazed at how much more you have to be grateful for at the end of the year.
- Say a gratitude affirmation at the beginning or end of each day. Let me give you an example of why I believe so strongly in gratitude:
Last year, I wrote the following affirmation on my bathroom mirror:
“I am grateful for everyone I have ever met, for what they have taught me, and have yet to teach me.”
Every time I looked in the bathroom mirror, there was the affirmation staring me in the face, and as long as I was looking in the mirror, I was repeating it over and over to myself.
About a week after starting this practice, three people from my past, two with whom I had some “hurt feelings”, contacted me out of the blue wanting to reconnect and renew our friendships.
It was one of the most profound things that ever happened to me.
Since then I have moved this affirmation from my bathroom mirror to my laptop screen saver where I still see it and say it constantly. As a result, I continue to connect with people on a deeper more rewarding level.
Mind the Company You Keep
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” ~ Jim Rohn
Think about this. Are you content to be the average of your five closest friends?
It’s a tough question, kind of cuts close to the bone. If you really want to succeed in life, you’ve got to have people who want to succeed with you. You’ve got to have people around you who inspire you and fire you up.
Now if this doesn’t sound like your current situation, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to disown people you’ve known for years. That would be cruel. It simply means you need to find five thriving or aspiring people to hang out with a lot more often than the others.
These five positive people may already be right in front of you – spouse, parent, brother, sister, coworker, or a former associate who’s making a name for herself – and you just need to cultivate these relationships more.
If you don’t see these people around you, then use social media for its highest purpose – to connect with people you admire or share interests with. Go to Google and type in “networking groups in ___________”, you know how it’s done.
Your closest associates form the foundation of everything you achieve in live. If you want 2017 to be your best year ever, make those connections now and develop them throughout the year.
Be True to Yourself
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” ~ Steve Jobs
This life comes and goes in the twinkling of an eye. Living up to other people’s expectations at the expense of your own heart’s desire is a travesty.
Guidance from parents, teachers, and other well meaning people is a good thing up to a point. It’s important to have mentors. Unfortunately though, most human beings have a tendency to believe what is best for them is best for you too.
So we get programmed to do what we’re supposed to do as opposed to what actually brings meaning and purpose to our lives.
If you’re not excited and inspired most days with what you do for a living, you’re not living an authentic life, which will continue to cause you much pain and frustration.
But if the only change you make in the coming year is to start doing work you love, then you will have an incredible year. If you feel this is a change you need to make but you’re not sure where to start, check out Manifestation Miracle, which is one of the best resources I’ve found in living a life of personal authenticity.
Invest in Yourself
“If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.” ~ Brian Tracy
You’ve probably heard the phrase “invest in yourself” before. Perhaps it was right before some self-help guru asks you for $900 to attend his weekend seminar. (LOL)
Seriously though, the best thing to invest in yourself is time.
You can get an awful lot of benefit from reading a personal development book that costs a few bucks or you can listen to great podcasts for free! Just start somewhere and each successive resource will lead to another.
The key is to spend quality time on YOU every single day. If you don’t want 2017 to be your best year ever, don’t worry about it.
Let Go of Past Resentments
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Everyone experiences hurt and disappointment in life: loss of love, loss of friendship, loss of job, divorce, getting passed over for promotion, bankruptcy, name your poison.
Let it go.
Send your nemesis well wishes. Forgive everything and everyone including yourself.
Develop a keen self-awareness of what you think about throughout the day. When you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, immediately start thinking of something positive.
Listen to some inspiring music or keep an inspiring book close at hand because whatever you project gets reflected right back to you.
Let go of anything that does not serve your higher purpose. Dwelling on the past is living in the past and a severe impediment to having your best year ever.
If the only thing you do this year is let go of the past, meaning letting go of everything that doesn’t serve your higher purpose, you will have an absolutely beautiful, breathtaking new year.
PEACE and BLESSINGS!
I recently discovered and AMAZING resource for letting go of old resentments, pain, hurt, and anger. It’s called the World Tapping Circle. I actually had to be coerced into trying it but once I did, I can’t get enough of it.