Regardless of what type of year you have had and the aspirations you have moving forward into 2020, it is never too late to stop, reflect and set yourself up to enter a new year with a positive mindset. If unfortunately this year has been a challenging one for you, we share some insights into how to approach the new decade proactively, drawing a line under what has gone before and starting afresh:

1) Start by self-reflecting

Have you achieved what you wanted to this year? What challenges have you faced? What breakthroughs have you made? What are your aspirations for 2020? Give yourself time to ponder these questions ahead of the new year. Try to draw on the positive moments rather than the negatives- if this is hard to do, write down the things you are most proud of this year, or moments that made you happy. Sometimes writing these moments down can be a reminder of just how many positive experiences we have had and serve as motivation moving forward. 

2) Give something back

This time of year is all about giving, and regardless of whether or not you have achieved your goals for the year, it is a good idea to end it positively by giving something back. This could be donating to a worthwhile charity, supporting a local business or partaking in a fundraising activity such as a fun run. Equally, you can give back to the community without spending money- why not volunteer your time? You could help at a homeless shelter, support those most lonely at Christmas or just simply make a phone call to somebody you know is struggling. Not only will this serve as a reminder that there is always those worse of than you, but it feels good to reach out and help others- never underestimate an act of human kindness.

3) Express gratitude

For those moments that have gone well this year that have involved others, it is important to take a step back and say ‘thank you’. Why not include an additional note of gratitude rather than just sending a generic Christmas card? Or you could take 5 minutes on Christmas Day, message them, and let them know how much you appreciate everything? Saying ‘thank you’ helps us to stay grounded, stay in the present moment and stay humble in our achievements.

4) Tie up any loose ends

It’s always good to go into a new year with a clean slate… so focus on any work projects that are left incomplete, any to-do-lists that have been put off, or any unresolved projects (yes we are talking about that cupboard you have been meaning to clear out all year!) Try and complete as many of these tasks as you can. Tying up the loose ends will help clear your mind and make room for those new years resolutions and aspirations you are going to make!

5) Finally… begin a brand new journal

Journalling is a great way to write down our thoughts, feelings and to-do-lists as well as acknowledging any emotions that may otherwise be difficult to express. If you already keep a journal, start a brand new one in 2020… even if your old one has pages left in it, there is nothing quite like starting afresh knowing you have a brand new year to shape exactly how you want. Likewise, if you don’t keep a journal, make it a resolution to start- you don’t have to be a writer and log pages and pages of your life, but simply jotting down a few key points daily can do wonders in clearing your brain and reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

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