2 Things You Must Do Now For A Successful New Year

Towards the end of the year EVERYBODY and they mama wants to tell you what you need to do before the New Year. Trust me, I get it. I listen to a lot of podcasts (A LOT) and a majority of them have told me what I need to do to get my sh*t together for 2018. BUT SERIOUSLY, if you don’t do anything else, these next 2 things I’m about to tell you will help you set the momentum for 2018. These are literally the most thought provoking yet simple things that will get you on track for having one of the best years of your life and you HAVE to do them before next year. I actually think you should do them now before November is over.

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  1. Write Down Your Wins of This Year (and continue to do so, forever)

The idea for this one I got from one of my most favorite podcasts, Behind The Brilliance by Lisa Nicole Bell. (sidenote: check out this podcast, seriously! Lisa Nicole Bell is so knowledgeable and gifted at telling you what you need to hear while being funny as hell and relatable) Anyways, on one of her most recent episodes titled “8 for 2018”, one of her tips was to track your wins in the New Year, every week. If you’re like me, when you first try to think of your “wins” for this year, your mind goes blank. You might still have credit card debt even though you said you were going to pay it off (guilty) or you didn’t hit that weight loss goal you set back in January (also guilty), BUT I guarantee even if you had your roughest year yet, you still have some wins you can write down. If you’re reading this I’ll give you a free one. In all the craziness that has happened this year a solid WIN would be “I survived this year so far!” Honestly, as someone who has lost two people in my family this year, I’m so grateful to be alive and able to pursue my passions and dreams. Your WINS don’t have to be large scale. They can be as simple as you finished reading a new book that taught you something new, or you fell in love with yourself. Think of the small things that you didn’t give yourself credit for this year and WRITE THEM DOWN. I personally believe November is an excellent month to do this because 1. It allows you to see all of the greatness you’ve accomplished so far 2. It motivates you to finish this year out strong. 3. It helps you keep up the positive energy going into 2018. That being said, you should go ahead and write those WINS down, NOW!

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  1. Write Down Your Goals for 2018 (yes, already!)

Now if you’ve been following my blog for a while you know I am totally the person who starts thinking about what I want to get done the following year in November before that New Year’s Eve. That being said, I encourage everyone to write down their goals for the New Year NOW! Not tomorrow, not next week, not New Year’s Eve drunkenly on a bar napkin, RIGHT NOW. Procrastination is the enemy of progress so the sooner you start writing down those goals, the sooner you can start writing down the steps you need to take to reach those goals. One you write the steps down you can start taking those steps…you guessed it, THIS YEAR! This process is all about establishing our good habits and getting some trial and error out of the way that way come January 1st we don’t look like a dear in the damn headlights.

The end of the year can be a tad bit overwhelming and the possibilities of the New Year can be intimidating. However, if you look at all the wonderful things you’ve done so far and plan for the even greater accomplishments in your future, this time of the year can exciting and inspiriting. Take time to reflect, organize, plan, and even start executing so you can live your best life now and continue to do so into the New Year. Go ahead and drop whatever you’re doing and write down those wins for this year and goals for next year. Do it! You won’t regret it.

New Year, Same Goals: Implementing Structure to Make My Dreams Come True 

It’s been quite a while since my last post and a lot has changed since my last entry! I’m out of Lorain, OH, I visited San Diego, Christmas and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have passed us by. We are finally in 2017. While 2016 was quite an…interesting year…it wasn’t the worst year in my personal life. While I did have many low moments (very low moments), I also had some pretty great moments as well! I got a promotion at my job, I won a volunteering award from the City of San Diego, I won the Visionary Award at SDSU, I graduated college, I saw Beyoncé and Halsey in concert, I saw family I hadn’t seen since I was a child and got to spend quality time with my grandparents and I started this blog! I’m not saying any of this to brag but to really try to focus on all the great moments I experienced last year. I believe I’m going to need to look at the bright side the next few years (completely unrelated to any significant country changing things that occurred around early November, loljkorami?). 

My last blog was on making New Year’s Resolutions and how to make sure you are successful in achieving them. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to cultivate a successful blog. While we all define success as something different, for sake of this post I’m defining it as a blog with consistent posting that meets my mission encouraging others to embrace their own life journeys with honesty and transparency with others but most importantly to gain the ability to be transparent with themselves. Because this is my goal, I now have a little bit more structure in regards to how my blog will be going the next few months as I figure out what the hell I’m doing. 

The structure I will be implementing is as follows: Wednesdays I will pick a random thing to post about, Fridays I will post a something Health + Fitness related (recipes, workouts, apps, etc), and Sundays I will post my musings (I mean hello! It is called The Musings of Mara after all!) I’m also in the process of putting together an Instagram account strictly for The Musings of Mara so that people can follow me there too. At some point before my 24th birthday I will also be buying a domain! 2017 is the year of manifesting my brand and I’m going to get it done! 
My purpose of this entry by posting this I will be feel obligated to hold myself accountable or feel public shame (seriously, call me out on my shit if you actually read this blog and notice I don’t post on one of the days I just said.) I really feel that this year will be a great one. 

When December 31st, 2017 rolls around what is one thing you will have wished you accomplished? 

The Reasons Why I’ve Already Finished Planning My New Year’s Resolutions in November and Why You Should Do the Same

If you’ve spent a decent amount of time on social media over the last few years I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon the typical end-of-the-year Facebook statuses, Instagram captions, and tweets that start coming around this time of the year, EVERY year. You know the ones I’m talking about “New Year, New Me!” and “Next year is going year is going to be MY YEAR!” Depending on who is saying those statements you miiiight believe them or (more often than not) you roll your eyes to the back of your head and think “yeah…sure.” Many people meet these statements with contempt and thoughts similar to “You didn’t accomplish anything the last three years; what makes you think next year is going to be any different?” or my personal favorite “Why wait for the New Year to make a change? Just do it now!” What do I think? I think there is a gray area that needs to be explored when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions and everything surrounding them.

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As you can tell by the title of this post, I completely believe in New Year’s Resolutions and people striving to become better people and achieve various goals as the years go on. However, I do believe that in order for people to be successful in achieving their goals and sticking to their resolutions we must think of them way before December 30th or 31st and maybe even before the month of December even begins. I was listening to an old episode of one of my favorite podcasts “Behind the Brilliance” from Lisa Nicole Bell and she was talking about getting a running start on the New Year in the end of September/early October. While I did love that episode (as well as the whole podcast in general), I don’t necessarily believe that you are doomed to failure if you didn’t start planning your New Year goals, plans, and resolutions by the end of September. You can still be successful if you sit down, reflect, analyze, and come up with your plans by the end of November.

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Many of you are probably reading this and thinking “Well thanks Mara that only gives us a mere few DAYS to get to our $#!+ together. Well, I apologize but you’ll be happy to know working on timing of blog entries is one of my many resolutions, haha. Your next thought might be something along the lines of “Why must we have it all sorted by the end of November?” I’m going to tell you why. In my opinion, by mid-November enough of the year has gone by and we have endured enough failures (and hopefully successes as well) that we can accurately reflect and analyze on our year, patterns, and behaviors to see what worked, what didn’t, and what we need to avoid completely in the following year. If you are able to solidify your New Year’s Resolutions and Goals by the end of November you can get your trial and error out of the way without making yourself feel hopeless in the New Year.

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Whenever I try to make resolutions there are quite often times that I make them without the realistic expectation that changing my habits overnight will be extremely hard…if not damn near impossible. Making our New Year’s Resolutions randomly a day or two before without giving it much thought, we don’t allow ourselves enough time to work out the kinks through trial and error that is needed ultimately to make a lifestyle change. If we were to spend the month of November reflecting, brainstorming, and analyzing we will be more likely to succeed because we have already invested so much time in and developed attachments to these resolutions and goals. I have a personal example from late last year and early this year to prove my point. One New Year’s Resolution in particular which is a popular and very common one was “to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.” While I was successful in losing weight over the course of this year, I could have been even more successful if I had already started thinking about it prior to December. I wasn’t able to actually establish a successful routine until mid-February if not almost the end of February. I think by not reflecting on WHY I wanted to lose weight (besides superficial reasons like I want to be sexy by my graduation) and not giving myself time to adjust my lifestyle accordingly, I had already set myself to go into the New Year without any momentum and no plan for success. Luckily for me, I didn’t let my lack of success in January discourage me. However, this is not always the case for many people.

So how exactly does one come up with their New Year’s Resolution in November and make sure they achieve their goals in the upcoming year? Since I barely dropped this news on y’all with a week left in November, I’ll give you a condensed step by step guide.

  1. Reflect on the past year: What did you do well this previous year? What areas could use improvement? It’s sometimes easier if you do it month by month if you don’t know where to start.
  2. Create a list of your Goals and then your Resolutions: Base these on your previous answers to the question “What areas could use improvement?” First make a list of goals and then make resolutions that would be needed to achieve each goal.
  3. Analyze them and discover your why: Are all of your resolutions truly important to you? Are any of them superficial and based on how others perceive you rather than how you truly are? Why are these your resolutions and goals? How would your life look like if you didn’t achieve them?
  4. Edit your list: Make sure everything on your list is for you to achieve things that are based on yourself and your happiness alone. You want to make sure they will give you a truly fulfilling life and not just a life that looks good on the outside. WRITE THEM DOWN.
  5. Plan, Plan, PLAN: What resources do you need to establish the necessary habits for you to be successful? Break each resolution down to monthly check-ins that will allow you to track your progress.
  6. Act on them now: Decide which resolutions you can start on now so you can get the kinks and bumps in the road out of the way now. WRITE THIS DOWN TOO.
  7. Be accountable: Stick to your resolutions once the year begins! You have spent too much time on them so far to just leave them abandoned.

There you go! Less than 10 steps will help you on your way to having a successful and life-changing year. After you finish reading this blog entry, walk away from your computer screen, put your phone down, and get to work! January 1st will be here before we know and it and I MEAN…you don’t want to be the person in the same spot 365 days from now. Answer the following questions in the comments to get your brain working towards these steps!

What is one area of your life you hope to work towards and experience improvement in the New Year? What is one goal you hope to accomplish by this time next year?