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11 Ways to Prepare for the New Year

Article by Mckenzie Joyner

Photography by Mckenzie Joyner

Wow Wow Wow! We are at the end of 2020! Can you believe it? A year we will never forget, yet, are SO ready to let go & move on! The exact reason why I wanted to share 11 ways to prepare for the New Year. Before we dig in and get to the good stuff, I wanted to take a moment to say Thank You. Thank you for being on this journey with me. For being a part of this community, for reading my blog posts, for buying my ebook, for following me on Instagram. Thank you for being by my side during this weird and crazy year. I see you, appreciate you, & love having you here.

Ok! Now, let us begin. The space between Christmas and the New Year has always been a mix of emotions. A combination of rest, recovery, recognition, & getting ready for the end of one year and the start of the next.

I have to admit I haven’t always been organized nor detail-oriented when it came to the time between Christmas and New Year’s. For many years I allowed the days to slip through my fingers to then feel frazzled and rushed when the clock hits midnight. With trial, error, and my own experiences, I can confidently say, this is not the way to go into the New Year. Let’s get you set up to know what you are wanting and what you are happy to leave behind. Find what worked for you, what didn’t, and possibly new things to try all together.

Take a big, deep breath, friend. This isn’t meant to be hard nor complicated. It should be done with clarity, positive energy, and care but also, fun, creativity, and a mindset of abundance. Have it be something you look forward to, not something that is an added check to your To-Do List.

1. SET ASIDE TIME + TAKE INVENTORY

If you only do one thing on the list, I highly recommend doing this one. We move through a year so quickly and at times forget everything that took place. This activity allows us time, and space to really take a look at what we spent our time on, who we spent it with and how we felt. This reflection can help us know what we want more of and what we want less of, and to take note so that we don’t fill our schedules with the latter.

Another step of this activity is to write down what you are most grateful for, most proud of, all the good you did in the last 365 days. Don’t hold back; allow yourself to pat yourself on the back and recognize what you achieved and accomplished. I created the 2020 year in review pages below to be a starting point for you. Feel free to download and get your pen to paper!




2. CLEAN + CLEAR YOUR MIND

This goes hand in hand with the activity above. Before you can make space for new, you have to get rid of the old. This step can be combined with the inventory activity above or created into something all on its own. I like to journal every morning to allow my mind to clear out and to write to my heart’s content. Journaling allows for you to write whatever is on your mind and free up space for new thoughts, emotions, ideas & experiences to come in. Benefits of Journaling

BENEFITS OF JOURNALING
  • Reduces Stress
  • Boosts Mood
  • Improved Immune Function
  • Keeps Memory Sharp
  • Evoking Mindfulness
  • Healing – emotionally, physically & psychologically
  • Self-Confidence

I have to admit that there is something a bit more magical about journaling when you have a journal you love. I took some time to find a couple that I really liked and thought you would too.

3. CLEAN + ORGANIZE YOUR PHYSICAL SPACE

Our physical space plays just a huge role in how we feel from day to day. I know personally, I thrive in a clean, clear of clutter environment. It helps me feel light, ready to take action, and free to move about. If I am surrounded by clutter and stuff, I tend to feel constricted, a bit anxious, and unable to focus until the mess is taken care of.

Don’t think lightly of your physical space; it really does impact our mood, our energy, and emotions even if we aren’t fully aware of it. This year had many of us at home for a greater amount of time than usual. I took this opportunity to really get organized, release items that no longer held joy & enjoyed the new open space and feel of my home.

HOW DOES THE PERSONAL ENVIRONMENT AFFECT YOUR WELL-BEING?

  • Influences your mood, emotions & energy
  • Impacts your behavior & motivation to act
  • Encourages or discourages interactions with others
  • Increases or decreases stress

WAYS TO TACKLE YOUR PHYSICAL SPACE

ORGANIZING TOOLS I FOUND

  • The book that started it all…. This book will change how you look at things, have you checking in on how you feel & also have you folding everything in a new & Perfect way!
  • Can’t say enough good things about this drawer organizer! I never thought I needed it, but now I love opening my drawers and seeing everything in the proper place. No longer digging to find what I am looking for.
  • I was tired of having plastic bins to store things in my closet and was ready for an upgrade. I invested in this 4 drawer fabric dresser & have loved the ease of use and the way they look when I open the closet.
  • Looking to organize your car? Wanting everything to be in one easy location? This car cargo trunk organizer has me using it daily. Making it easy to remove and unload when needed and keeping things tidy and organized.
  • Have a business and need to track & keep all your receipts? This receipt organizer has been a game-changer for me. Making it so that I can have it conveniently in my car to place the receipt in for safekeeping right after receiving it. My taxes and write-offs are going to be a piece of cake this year!

4. CLEAR + ORGANIZE YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

I feel there are two types of people for this: the ones that have zero emails in their inbox and those that have 1,000+ emails in their inbox. The organization, clarity, and cleanness of your computer, phone, social media really do matter. It might seem simple or that it wouldn’t affect us so much, but it really does start to add up, taking away from your creativity & productivity. It can subconsciously have you avoiding tasks on your computer because of the clutter you will find.

This goes along with your physical space. Set a timer, put on some good music & tackle one thing at a time.

WAYS TO DECLUTTER YOUR DIGITAL WORLD

  • Unsubscribe to anyone and anything you are no longer interested in
  • Unfollow anyone who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, your work, your life.
  • Delete old emails you no longer need.
  • Organize photos and delete duplicates or ones you no longer need.
  • File paperwork, business records, etc.
  • Delete old texts, apps, and create categories or rearrange apps for ease of use on the home screen.
  • Set limits + boundaries on screen time & use. Here are some great book recommendations. This one takes you through 30 days to get your life back. This one talks about Digital Minimalism and how to do so in the world we live in. If you have kids, this one is a great one to see the effects of so much screen time.

5. EVALUATE YOUR FOOD + FUEL CHOICES

Knowing me and how much I love and enjoy food, you had to know I would be including it. Food is such a HUGE part of our every day. It directly impacts our energy, our moods, our overall health & well-being. I find that so many of my clients don’t make that connection until starting to work together. You can’t upgrade and focus on all areas of your health without taking into account what you are putting in your mouth.

Take some time to think about how you want to feel and the foods that will help you get there. Remove the items that tempt you when you aren’t feeling your best. The food that might taste good as you consume it but quickly has your blood sugar spiked or maybe crashing a couple of hours later. Find the foods that nourish your mind, body, and soul. The foods that keep you firing on all cylinders for hours until the next meal.

TIPS TO FUEL YOURSELF

  • Eat the rainbow! The more colors on your plate, the better.
  • Practice filling your plate with protein, fat, fiber, and greens at every meal. Creating a balanced meal will help you feel satisfied at the end of the meal and full for hours to follow.
  • Take a moment to check in with yourself before eating. Ask yourself how hungry are you? Are you eating because you are truly hungry or feeling stressed, bored, lonely? It allows you to connect to your body.
  • Start practicing mindful eating. Take a deep breath and fully relax your body before taking your first bite. This allows your body to release stress, become present to the meal in front of you & helps aid in proper digestion.
  • Put down your phone, turn off the TV, stop working, or multi-tasking during a meal. Have your full attention to what you are eating. This will help you chew better, smell, taste, and enjoy your food more. When we don’t have awareness while eating, it will make you miss the eating experience and can leave you reaching for more even if you are full.

WAYS TO UPGRADE YOUR FOOD

6. GET CREATIVE + CRAFTY

I have to admit this might be one of my favorite activities! Creating a vision board doesn’t have to be a once-a-year project. You can easily create one for each season, each goal, etc. There are no rules to creating a vision board; this is for you and you only. A way for you to get clear on what you envision for the year to come, goals, ideas, tasks, words, etc.

BENEFITS OF CREATING A VISION BOARD

  • Creates an emotional connection that motivates you.
  • Brings to life the dream in your mind so you begin to believe it’s possible.
  • Helps you clarify what you want out of your life.
  • Refocus your life
  • Something to look at daily to remind you of what you are working towards.

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE CREATING YOUR VISION BOARD….

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7. WRAP UP LOOSE ENDS

Taking the last week of the year to check off the things that you have let linger. This can be making appointments, paying bills, calling family or friends—it can be anything. As I write this, I have a couple of items popping into my mind. We all those to-do lists that somehow get skipped, placed on the back burner, well, now is the time to get them finished. Don’t allow them to roll with you into the New Year. Like I have mentioned above, set a timer, put on some good music, and power through! Don’t underestimate what a good pump-up song or two can do for your productivity! You might be dragging your feet now, but I promise you will have a pep in your step as soon as you cross these last items off your list.

8. SET GOALS

SMART Goals have been my tried-and-true way of writing goals for years now. I find it to be the best way to work out exactly what your goal is and how you will accomplish it.

I found this layout and explanation to be helpful in understanding and getting started on SMART Goals. You will also find their free SMART goal worksheet at the bottom, a great resource to walk you through the process.

S – SPECIFIC

When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to accomplish. Think about this as the mission statement for your goal. This isn’t a detailed list of how you’re going to meet a goal, but it should include an answer to the popular ‘w’ questions:

  • Who – Consider who needs to be involved to achieve the goal
  • What – Think about exactly what you are trying to accomplish and don’t be afraid to get very detailed.
  • When – You’ll get more specific about this question under the “time-bound” section of defining SMART goals, but you should at least set a time frame.
  • Where – This question may not always apply, especially if you’re setting personal goals, but if there’s a location or relevant event, identify it here.
  • Which – Determine any related obstacles or requirements. This question can be beneficial in deciding if your goal is realistic.
  • Why – What is the reason for the goal?

M – MEASURABLE

What metrics are you going to use to determine if you meet the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress. If it’s a project that’s going to take a few months to complete, then set some milestones by considering specific tasks to accomplish.

A – ACHIEVABLE

This focuses on how important a goal is to you and what you can do to make it attainable and may require developing new skills and changing attitudes. The goal is meant to inspire motivation, not discouragement. Think about how to accomplish the goal and if you have the tools/skills needed. If you don’t currently possess those tools/skills, consider what it would take to attain them.

R – RELEVANT

Relevance refers focusing on something that makes sense with the broader business goals. For example, if the goal is to launch a new product, it should be something that’s in alignment with the overall business objectives. Your team may be able to launch a new consumer product, but if your company is a B2B that is not expanding into the consumer market, then the goal wouldn’t be relevant.

T – TIME-BOUND

Anyone can set goals, but if it lacks realistic timing, chances are you’re not going to succeed. Providing a target date for deliverables is imperative. Ask specific questions about the goal deadline and what can be accomplished within that time period. If the goal will take three months to complete, it’s useful to define what should be achieved half-way through the process. Providing time constraints also creates a sense of urgency.

Find a Free SMART Goal Worksheet here.


9. MAKE ROOM FOR REST + REJUVENATION

This year has been A LOT! A lot of new things to navigate as we were at home, with or without family, friends, community, and support. It has been a year of stress, confusion, new routines, and work schedules. With all this being said, it is so important that we make space and take time to rest, recovering and fill our cups back up. To make sure that we are being proactive in decompressing, releasing emotions, and allowing ourselves to truly rest.

This can look so different for each and every one of us. There is no right or wrong way, just finding what works best for you. Your mind, body, and soul will need different things at different times, so here are some items I use to help me replenish when I feel depleted.

WHAT I HAVE UPGRADED TO SUPPORT MY HEALTH & WELL-BEING

10. FIND YOUR WHY + YOUR WORD

I started to pick a Word for each year a couple of years ago and have never stopped. It is such a powerful way to commit to the way you want to feel, the way you want to show up & the life you want to live. So, with that being said, don’t take picking your word lightly. It should be a word that strikes a chord, lights a fire under you & keeps you moving forward. A word that is connected to your why.

STEPS TO TAKE TO CHOOSE YOUR WORD OF 2021!

  • Reflect – How do you want to feel? What do you want more of? What do you want less of? How do you want your energy to be?
  • Visualize/Envision – Take a moment to think up your ultimate day. A day in the life of you. Your perfect day! How do you wake up? What do you eat? How do you move your body? Who is with you? What are you doing? Visualize all of it and sink into the feelings that come your way as you envision it all.
  • Brain Dump – Put pen to paper and write down any and every word that comes to mind. No exceptions; this is a brain dump, so put them all down. Take a moment to look at every single word that came to mind.
  • Scale Down – Sift through the words and only take the ones that move and inspire you. The ones that really hit something within when you read them.
  • Last Straw – Ask yourself does this word have me liking the sound of it, or does it have me feeling fully committed? You want a word that will light you up when you are uninspired, push you when you need support, and hold you until New Year’s Eve 2021. Do you have your word?
  • Write it – Write your word EVERYWHERE! You want this to be on something you see every single day. You want to be reminded of it every time you look at your phone, open your planner, walk into our office.

11. SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

We have arrived, my friends, at the final way to prepare for the New Year. This final point is more about placing everything that you have read and learned above into action. To not allow yourself to sit back and watch the days pass you by without putting things into place. I always think of the quote "Fail to plan, plan to fail.” I really believe our success comes from our planning, our mindset, our ability to work for the outcome we want.

THINGS I PUT IN PLACE TO SHOW UP AS MY BEST SELF:

  • Finding a daily routine that works for me & making sure I committed to it daily.
  • Deciding what food and drink I wanted in my body and said no to anything that no longer nourished or supported me.
  • Made note of what fills me up and what depletes me so that I can be aware of and protect my energy.
  • Listed my Most Important Tasks daily so that I conquered and completed these first before moving on to other things on my To-Do List.
  • Tracked my Habits. This one was huge for me, but I wanted to see it on paper. I wanted to be able to see where I put my time and efforts, and this sheet did wonders for me. You are able to print one off for each month & list your habits you’d like to track. You will be amazed at how it helps being held accountable with this tracker. Be sure to download your own copy below & start tracking!

That is a wrap, my friend! I hope you have gathered some great information and some tools to step into this next year in every way you want! Wishing you a Happy New Year & can’t wait to see what you create!

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