Thursday, January 16, 2020

4 Tips for Successfully Turning Over a New Leaf in 2020

With the New Year still in its early days, it’s likely that you are either already pursuing some resolutions that you’ve set for yourself, or are still trying to work up the inspiration and motivation to “make a fresh start” in 2020.

Something about the idea of turning over a new leaf naturally appeals to people in all sorts of situations, and all around the world. It’s a great thought that, in the right situation and with the right motivation, we can all actively move to become better representations of our ideal selves.

Of course, many good intentions that exist at the New Year do unfortunately end up fizzling out – so it never hurts to have some proactive plans, tricks, and techniques up your sleeve to make sure that things remain on the right track.

Here are a few tips for successfully turning over a new leaf in 2020.

Use your current circumstances to springboard yourself to something new
Generally speaking, it’s always difficult to take a completely new direction in life, in a short space of time, without any buildup. People do manage it from time to time, but the far more reliable approach is to use your current circumstances as a springboard to something new and more desirable.

You can do this with a bit of creative thinking in your professional life. For example, maybe you want to become a writer, but have a background in some field like engineering or IT. Instead of trying to immediately reposition yourself to make a living as an author of literary fiction, why not make a smoother and faster initial transition, by offering up your services as a writer for engineering or IT websites? Or as a copywriter for those sorts of companies?

Sit down for a while and actively try to brainstorm ways to use what you have right now, to springboard yourself to something more desirable.

Define and clarify your goals and ambitions – don’t just leave them vague
A big part of the reason why goals and ambitions are often not achieved, is because they simply never get clarified at the right level of resolution.

Anyone can have a vague sense that they would like to do something a bit different, or that “one day” they might want to be a world-traveller, or something along those lines. But far fewer people actually specify in detail just what it is they want, and what it would mean to set about pursuing and achieving their goals.

When your goals and ambitions remain vague and undefined, that can be a bit of a “relief” in some sense. That’s because, when you don’t define things clearly, you can free yourself from a lot of the potential anxiety of realising that you aren’t doing a good job of progressing towards your ideal situation.

If you really want to significantly turn things around in the New Year, though, you’d be much better off clearly defining a set of targets for yourself, and then actively moving to pursue them, even though this might be frightening on some level.

Make some symbolically significant changes upfront to “change gear”
As human beings, we are all largely motivated by symbolism and narrative – and we will typically look for certain psychological cues in our own behaviour and environments, in order to establish and refine our sense of just who we are.

If you want to make some big, significant change in your life, it can be very useful to begin with some symbolically significant action, upfront.

If you want to travel more this year, for example, you could begin by buying yourself a nice rucksack upfront, and putting it in a prominent location in your home, so that you’re always reminded of it.

Do something, right now, to psychologically commit yourself to your ambition and make its “more real.”

Establish accountability systems and networks
No matter how highly motivated and driven you are, it can be difficult to remain consistent – especially over a period as long as a year – without having external accountability systems keeping you in line.

To dramatically increase the odds that you will actually stay the course, come rain or shine, begin by looking to join networks of people who will hold you accountable. And, consider tools and services designed for the same purpose.

Everyone has days when they want to give up and go to bed – but it’s much harder to do that when you have to justify your actions to other people.

Take steps to make your financial habits and goals more mindful and intentional

Making a big change in your life is generally far easier if you first begin by getting your financial habits tidied up; and by making your financial goals more mindful and intentional.

Among other things, this could mean investigating topics such as topics such as why refinance a home loan? and adopting an intuitive budgeting system that helps to move you out of the realm of guesswork, and towards a greater degree of certainty and planned-action.

When we manage our finances “by intuition,” we may manage to cover our key expenses each month, and to continue to accumulate savings at a decent rate. But a greater degree of financial awareness and intentionality can really make all the difference when it comes to enabling us to effectively and efficiently pursue our dreams and ambitions.

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