How to Prepare for 2017 – Part 1

In less than 10 days, we’ll cross over to 2017. Many regard a new year as a chance at a new beginning. A new year is pregnant with opportunity. It’s full of hope. And this energizes the soul.

That said, too often, once into the new year, it doesn’t take long that hope wanes, opportunities dissipate, and your spirit falls back into the coma your routine puts it.

The hard truth about a new year—and 2017 won’t be any different—is: it’s not new for very long. The novelty factor dies down quickly, and you are left with ordinary days, weeks, and months.

You must understand that, ultimately, your year will be what you make of it. In fact, even with all its surprises and unforeseen events, your year will be a reflection of the decisions you make, the actions you take, the attitudes you have, the connections you establish, and the things you focus on.

In my last two posts, I got you to slow down and take the time to reflect on the closing year. In the next posts, I continue with the questions, but now we are looking ahead, in preparation for the new year.

What Do You Want to Do More of?

Next year, I want to exercise more. This year, I have done the strict minimum in this area of my life, and my energy level suffered a little because of it.

When you look at your own life, what are some activities you wish to do more of in 2017? Perhaps, you want to spend more time with your spouse and kids or maybe you want to read more or meditate more or pray more or, just like me, exercise more.

Whatever you wish to do more of, what will matter most is that you get it done. And to get it done, you’ll need to commit and schedule time for it in your already busy life: you must put it on the calendar and follow through.

What Do You Want to Do Less of?

It’s constructive to look at the activities and behaviors that haven’t helped you produce the results you wanted in 2016—or at least not at the level you wish they had.

You’ve probably wasted time, energy, and money in 2016, engaging in activities that had little positive effect on your life. You would be wise to invest far less on these in 2017. Perhaps, you want to spend less time roaming aimlessly on Facebook or maybe you want to do less binge shopping or perhaps you want to eat out at restaurants less.

This one was a little harder for me to reflect on; I have been doing this exercise for a number of years, and with the years, I’ve worked hard to fill my schedule with activities that are truly important to me.

But one thing I noticed this year is: my smartphone can be a major source of distraction, and it’s so subtle that I could have easily missed it: I grab it, look at my notifications to see if there is anything “important”, and then put it back on the desk. 99% of the time, there’s nothing important. What a waste…

Next year, I want to spend less time being distracted by my smartphone, especially while working (e.g. writing a blog post). Therefore, what have started to do and that will continue to do in 2017 is to keep my phone away from me when I’m working.

A new year is pregnant with opportunity. It's full of hope. And this energizes the soul. Click To Tweet

Action Step

In the next few days, take a few minutes to reflect on the activities you want to do more of and those you want to do less of in 2017.

While you do this, you can also reflect on the activities you want to completely eliminate from your life and the ones you want to add. For example, you may want to start journaling, and thus add, in your schedule, 15 minutes a day to write your thoughts in your journal.