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The hustle and bustle of Christmas is officially over. You know what that means—it’s just about the new year! Just a few weeks ago, you were writing down inspired resolutions for this very occasion. But now that the new year is on your doorstep, you’re just not sure how to get started… not just on implementing those resolutions, but kicking off the new year in its entirety. I need to make this the best year yet. I’ve got to start it on the right foot. These first few days are crucial. The pressure is on.

What you first need to know is that there aren’t foolproof instructions to get you through the new year—to ensure it’s the best one yet. That, my friend, will require some journeying! Furthermore, this first day or week does not make or break how your whole year will unfold. So ditch the attitude that everything is banking on this—relax. That being said, you can start the new year off in an effective and meaningful way that sets a good tone for the days that follow. Simply follow these five tips:

1) Get back to the basics.

You don’t have to kick off the New Year in some grandiose way—in fact, it can be beneficial to keep it simple and focus on the basics. The last few weeks were likely a mess: a holiday-spirited, yet stressful mess. Take this opportunity to return to your norm, to reinstate the daily routine that, tested and true, works for you. You can readjust to account for your new goals, but it’s best to start with a level of comfort. Especially after the last couple crazy months.

2) Pick apart your mind.

You probably jotted down a few offhand resolutions in preparation for the new year… or maybe you really dedicated some time to brainstorming goals. Either way, take this opportunity to really pick apart and explore your mind. Ask yourself meaningful questions that will reveal what you should actually dedicate this new year to: What’s my greatest adversity? What’s holding me back? What am I afraid of? What’s the worst that could happen if…? Asking yourself questions of the like forces you to delve deeper than before, to explore your greatest potential in the coming year.

3) Remember what’s important.

The New Year often puts our lives into perspective. We think back on the last 365 days—the good, the bad, and the people that stuck around for both. And we look forward to the future, pledging to make it bright. But as the new year progresses, we often fall back into old habits and forget or undervalue what matters most. Take additional steps this year to remember and prioritize what truly matters: your health, your wellbeing, and that of your loved ones. Consider starting a gratitude journal or simply counting your fortunes each night—this will go a long way for your mental health and help you plant solid roots for all of the days that follow.

4) Treat your mind and body as a temple.

Every year, a plethora of New Year’s resolutions revolve around eating healthier and exercising more. This isn’t a bad goal by any means—but the intentions and desired outcomes may be a little off center. Consider this year, instead of desperately hoping to lose weight or fit into those old jeans, simply placing a greater importance on your overall wellbeing. Kick off the new year by vowing to treat your mind and body like a temple. Nourish yourself with nutritious foods; prioritize exercising; take a break when your mind needs one. Simply listen to what your mind and body need, and deliver. I guarantee you’ll feel better than you ever have before, and you’ll reap a multitude of mental and physical health benefits.

5) Be forgiving and kind.

Lastly, go into the New Year a forgiving and kind individual. Thank the woman at the supermarket for bagging your groceries; hold the door open for the man with his hands full; say, “it’s okay,” and mean in when a stranger bumps into you on the street. And don’t forget to show yourself that same dignity and kindness: forgive yourself for making mistakes; smile when you look in the mirror; and make it a long-lasting goal to prioritize your happiness.

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is Senior Writer and Editor at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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