So this is the new year and you don’t feel any different? Well, that’s to be expected. However, with 2015 in the rearview and 2016 just beginning, you’re now in the position to start the next 12 months off on a completely new and exciting foot. Celebrate, reflect, and then take some time to think about what the next year can hold. Whether we like to admit it or not, each year of our lives becomes documented in our mentalities as if they were a chapter of a book. One segues into the next of course, but the tone, theme, and pace of each year plays out anew, depending on what’s happening in the life of the narrator.
With that in mind, it’s time to set forth a few path and in order to do that, there are a few things each of us needs to keep in mind as we write the next chapters in our respective lives. Gather your thoughts, tie last year off with a bow, and let’s look forward to how you can own 2016.
Don’t Make Resolutions
The ultimate mistake most folks make when starting a new year is the dreaded list of resolutions. Of course, we’re all susceptible to the go-to’s, i.e. join a gym, call your parents more often, or eat better. These are all good in theory, but once you make them a mandate, it becomes all the more disappointing when you inevitably break them. Additionally, each of these is a small nod in a much larger direction and it’s these bigger aspects of our lives that we should really be paying attention to. Simply put, leave the resolutions at bay and think bigger.
Make Changes & Document Them
We might not be big fans of New Year’s resolutions at Urban Beardsman, but we strongly believe in our fellow beardsmen making concrete changes in their lives for the better and sticking with them. The first part of that is important obviously, but it’s the latter that is key. The best way to further the changes you’ve made, whether they’re health, family, spirituality, or socially-influenced, is to document them. Keep tabs on yourself over the next 12 months and make sure you congratulate yourself on your accomplishments, as well as take note of things you need to further hone to keep up with the changes you’ve made.
12 Months Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Another common mistake people make with resolutions and the like is the expectation of overnight fulfillment. When you set out to make a real, concrete change in your life, you might not see real signs of improvement for weeks or even months. However, do your best to not let this bog you down. Our suggestion: make a plan with benchmarks over the course of the next few months so that you can chart your progress and see how you’re doing. This’ll be a great way to reward yourself, as well as make note of areas that you might need to focus on more or dedicate more time to moving forward.
Find New Ways to Enjoy
This is more of an overarching idea, but most big changes we make with the new year upon us have to do with things we’ve previously found fault with. We look at the new year as a clean slate to better ourselves or reverse wrongdoing we’ve done, but along with those aspects, we should use the next 12 months as a way to make ourselves happy above all else. We each seek and find happiness in different ways and through different means, but what many of us leave to chance is the opportunity to be happy. It turns out you might have to dedicate time and energy to just that, however, if there’s one thing you do this year that you most certainly won’t regret as 2017 approaches, it’ll be injecting an influx of enjoyment into your life.
Slow Things Down
We are all members of the most enthused, multi-tasking generation the world has ever seen. Beyond using multiple screens simultaneously, as young professionals we opt to take on multiple projects, often times fueled by our interests outside of our full-time professional capacities. Whether it’s launching a new website, turning a hobby into a side hustle, or finally introducing your secret at-home project to the outside world, we’re spending more and more time figuring out how to best organize that one non-renewable resource. With a new year upon us, we could each benefit from finding ways to slow ourselves down and pause from time to time. Being productive is great, but sometimes we each need to force ourselves to relax in order to fully enjoy what it is we’re creating in our spare time.