3 Simple Ways to Make this Your Best Year Ever

Updated to Habits, Life on January 23, 2023.

“We’re drowning in information and we’re starving for wisdom.” Tony Robbins

Imagine if every year – like this year – you could start fresh.

There was the old you, with all your annoying habits – procrastinating your way through life.

And then there is the NEW YOU!

Full of ambition and hope – marching into every day with enthusiasm and focus.

Like Phoenix from the ashes; Sisyphus without the boulder—you with a new start…you are unstoppable.

You are unstoppable.

Yup—it’s a new you. And you are awesome.

Wanna know a secret?

It’s all possible.

Whatever your situation, bank balance or the size of your belly, YOU can have a start fresh in the New Year and change your life.

Here’s how…

Enter a Better Version of You.

“The greatest mistake in life Is to be continually hearing you will make one.”  Elbert Hubbard

There are only 3 ingredients to life transformation:

  1. better outlook
  2. better habits
  3. better environment

But first a warning. I’m guessing at this point – when I start prescribing an oh-so-simple-for-you recipe for success the bile starts rising in your throat and you roll your eyes: “What the hell does he know?!” “My life is complicated – I have HISTORY!”

Fair enough. You’re different from me—your story is certainly different. But bear with me – all I ask is you consider the possibility for change. And one more thing…

it might even be FUN to experiment with your life.

After all, it is your life.

And maybe – just maybe – one small change could blossom into something quite fantastic.

Okay, with that out of the way…let’s get started with the new you.

1. Have a Better Outlook

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.”  Paulo Coelho

You need to understand something…

you are a fool—you are, I certainly am, we all are.

Well, not completely a fool – but you’re fool to think you know what’s going on.

If fact, you are only aware of a thin slice of your world. The rest you completely ignore—we all do. It’s called selective attention or cognitive bias.

Driving your car you only notice some 200 bits of information, when there’s some 1 billion bits of data available. This same selective noticing happens all day and in every situation:

Listening to a friend you only hear how their life is better, not ideas that might be helpful for you. Looking at your work you only see what is a struggle, or what is failing – not all the successes you created. 

The corollary is you miss out on what is possible—you’re so fixated on what you can’t change you don’t notice what you can change.

The solution is so simple most people ignore it: choose what you focus on.

Choose what you listen to. Choose what you tell yourself. Choose where you put your energy. And notice what you notice. 

It’s your choice: continue wallowing in what is not working or turn your attention to what is. Every moment, every day we can choose. I choose to look forward at what is possible. And then to act on that.

1) watch “Life is Beautiful” (winner of 3 Oscars) with Roberto Benigni and
2) practice using a morning journal (I use the The Five Minute Journal) for just one month. After that – you decide if you want to keep going.

2. Build Better Habits

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”  Mike Murdock

I’ve written loads about habits because they are so critical to our success. Practice one good habit and that small slice of life just got better. And then another and another. Like making your bed in the morning or starting your week with a Flight Plan – each habit repeats with little effort. And each good habit makes you a better person and gets you better results.

Start there: what habits to drop because they don’t serve you?

And what habits to build and practice because they make you better? Read this article to learn the steps to take.

Not sure where to start? Try this list of great habits:

  • make your bed in the morning (if you are a habit novice, start with this one)
  • drink water before your morning tea or coffee
  • start your week with a Flight Plan
  • stay off social media until 10:30AM
  • count to 3 before responding to anger
  • at stop lights, breath and relax yourself 

Your homework:
1) read this blog post to understand how to create a new habit.
2) Choose one habit to create (bonus points: stop doing one habit) and fully invest in its success.
Hint: it’s not about doing it for 21 days (that’s a myth) it’s about having a “reward” that is better than your current behaviour.

3. Create a Better Environment

“There is no reward in this world for settling for something you don’t want.” John Cougar Mellencamp

Maybe you’ve experienced this recently:

you clean your car and it feels wonderful to go for a drive.

You join a new yoga, fitness, cycling, reading or cooking group and the new friendship you create there motivates you to keep showing up.

You donated a pile of old clothes to charity and you love how uncluttered your closet feels.

You can’t help it—you are influenced by your environment. The desk you work at, the car you drive, the clothes you wear and the friends you keep.

If you want to kick off the New Year with a new start you need to create a better environment.

I’ve written about the impact clutter can have on your productivity, feelings – even mental state.

You don’t need a bigger desk, new clothes or a new car—you need to remove distractions. A distraction is any random thought that is unproductive. Looking at beautiful art or a scene in nature is not a distraction. Staring at a bloated InBox, a half-read book, or listening to a colleague complain for the hundredth time about their partner are all distractions.

Your homework:
1) Read this short post about distractions.
2) Commit to a 30 minute purge. You can purge your sock drawer, your desk, or your InBox, but don’t stop until the 30 minutes is up.

You might not complete the task, but you will be ahead. Finally, notice what you notice. Do you feel a little better? Lighter? Happier?

Your job is to create a better environment, a better experience and a better life.

Maybe I’m too Simple

Maybe I’m too simple—after all, how could just 3 actions make any difference after 30, 40, 50 – whatever – years of living? Well, if not this list, then what?

It’s your year. You deserve to have your best year ever and sometimes you need to get your ass in gear and take charge to make it happen.

Two last things: tell me in the comments below what you are going to take action on – I really, really want to know! And please share this article. I am on a mission to help people get this year off to an amazing start!

Happy New Year (you deserve the best).