Here’s one thing we can all agree on: 2020 has taken its toll on everyone. We are collectively going through a pandemic, recession, job losses and stay-at-home orders. That is not to mention political strife, inequality and the loss of many of our favorite stores and neighborhood restaurants. The turn of a new year provides us the opportunity to start the transition to better days. As I have spoken of on countless times, sometimes we have to go through the darkest times in order to be prepared for changes to move forward.

Consider these tips for redefining your days and charting new directions for new outcomes:

Take it one day at a time. Change is hard and can be overwhelming. Often, the the most successful minds set small achievable goals that can be accomplished one at a time. In this way, they build their change-making skills. Like building back muscle after an injury, you start small and build endurance a little each day. Coming back from the trauma of 2020 will require a transition period. We will have to retrain our thought processes, expectations, behaviors and habits. 

Try something new. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress may be an opportunity to start a new chapter in your life. Have you ever wanted to paint, read, meditate, walk or cook? Now may be the time to break up the old routine and work something new into your day. Any one of these activities can give your brain a boost, build confidence and help create a new perspective.  

Don’t be afraid of failure. Setbacks don’t always equal failure. The journey to greater satisfaction and happiness may not be smooth. You will still have good days and bad days. Allow yourself to be sad, disappointed or frustrated. Learn from each experience. Don’t avoid unhappiness, but instead challenge yourself to a new perspective. Life is often good because we know of the bad. It builds our sense of gratitude for things we are able to celebrate.

Celebrate successes. Whether it is significant milestones or simply small wins each day, you need to acknowledge your achievements. How often do we beat ourselves up for every little set-back, but then forget to reward ourselves for the steps forward? Those living empowered lives recognize their accomplishments and build upon each step.

Don’t go it alone. You have to want it, but you also may need support. Build your network of helpful partners, such as friends or family. Sometimes it’s best to have some new influences in your life. Sometimes we just need someone to support us and empower our journey and help us take one step at a time.

Remember this concept: A new start often requires new mindsets and new actions, don’t shortchange your journey by falling back on old ways and concepts of what “was.”

Together, we can stay safe. Regardless, the dark days of winter will eventually warm into the brighter days of spring. Be diligent. Be patient. The changing times and changing seasons offer us a chance to build new, healthier habits and fresh perspectives into our lives.

Peace and Love, Jim

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