Clean slates and fresh starts inspire us to dream. Each New Year, we imagine the kind of life that might be ours. The promise of change fills us with hope as we get excited about the possibilities.

People promise themselves that this is the year everything changes: out with the old and in with the new. Gym memberships soar, cupboards are cleaned out, and new standards for romantic relationships are set. 

Who doesn’t want to be healthier, happier, and wealthier than the year before? But it takes focus, resilience, dedication to the monotonous, and sheer will to make it happen.

A new you in the new year is possible, but how much do you want it? How much comfort are you willing to give up to create the life of your dreams? Dreaming is easy. Doing, well, that’s the hard part. 

Change starts with reflection

Reflect on where you are in this season of life and consider where you want to be. Imagine ways to use your time and energy to make things better, more fun, and more meaningful. Decide what you must give up to gain what you want most.

There’s a lot of truth to the old adage: No pain, no gain. In Arnold Schwarzenegger’s words, “Hard work works.”

What Worked in 2023?

Spend time reflecting on what worked for you in 2023. What did you do that support your health, relationships, career, and dreams? What results are you pleased with? 

Does anything stand out in particular? Were there any meaningful experiences with friends or loved ones?

Were there any special moments with your children or family that you want more of in 2024?

Being mindful of what you appreciate about 2023 can help you bring them into 2024 and inspire you to live by design instead of default.

What crashed and burned in 2023?

Not everything about 2023 was ideal. Certain things were probably a disaster. 

Were you overwhelmed by an activity or assignment you thought you’d enjoy but was a total waste of time and energy?

Did any relationships crash and burn? If so, why?

If you’re married, what were some highs and lows, and what made the lows low?

Do you have personal standards that must be changed or any values you must add?

Missing the mark can be painful. But pain can be the best teacher ever.

As you reflect on the flops of 2023, what are some things that were so bad, disappointing, or painful that you say, “No more!” going into 2024?

What was missing from 2023? 

If you could do 2023 again, what was missing that you’d surely add next time? 

What would you do differently? What would you say “yes” to more often because it fills your life with more of what brings you true joy, and what, or to whom, would you give a hard “no” because it subtracts from your happiness instead of adding? 

Your 2024 Pep Talk

Remember your value going into 2024. Don’t sell yourself short by settling for less than you KNOW you deserve in 2024. 

Toxic activities must go, along with toxic people, energy stealers, and dream killers.

You’ve outgrown certain activities, relationships, and standards. 

Reflecting on 2023 while fresh in your mind is an excellent way to ensure 2024 will be better and help you stick to your vision when things get hard, and you’re tempted to give up on yourself and your dreams. 

May 2024 be the year you leave behind all the things that steal life and joy from your soul and unlock your best life!  

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