Now that you’ve gotten past the busy holiday season and the first few weeks of the New Year, I hope you’ve settled into a new and healthy routine for the year ahead. At the start of a new year, most people have the best intentions to keep up their healthy habits but by February, some people lose steam and motivation. So, how do you keep the momentum going? The short answer is to take a look back at your past to help you carve a clearer path in the future.

Here is how to do that.

Reflect on Last Year

Pour yourself a cup of tea and sit down with a journal or in front of your computer so you can write down answers to these questions. In the last year:

  • What were your resolutions / healthy goals? Did you meet them?
  • How are your relationships with your spouse, family members, friends?
  • How did work go for you?
  • How was your work / life balance?
  • Did you exercise? If so, how consistently?
  • Did you start something new (i.e., a hobby or a relationship or a job)? How did that go?
  • If you could do the year again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?
  • How did you feel the majority of the year?
  • Pick 5-10 adjectives to briefly sum up the year.

Reflect Upon the Year Ahead

Now take the time to answer those questions about the year ahead. Here they are, slightly reconfigured. For the year ahead:

  • What are your healthy goals? How do you plan to meet them?
  • How do you want your relationships with your spouse, family members, friends to be? Why?
  • What are you professional (work) goals?
  • What is your ideal recipe for work / life balance?
  • Are you planning to exercise? If so, create an exercise plan that you can schedule into your calendar.
  • Name two (or more) new things that you would like to try.
  • What personal success do you want to have accomplished by the end of the year? (It can be anything from weight loss to writing a book to meal prepping to cooking healthy meals five nights per week instead of eating at restaurants/take out to knitting a sweater.)
  • How do you want to feel this year?
  • Pick 5-10 adjectives that you want this year to embody. Why did you pick those?

Re-Read Your Answers

The reason I suggested writing down your answers to both sets of questions is that they will help you find your “Why?” to keep your momentum going. When you feel uninspired, and that will happen, take some time to sit down and re-read your answers. Your own words and internal voice are some of the greatest motivators.

Progress Not Perfection

Remember that there are always pitfalls on any journey, so don’t beat yourself up over a slip. Strive for progress, not perfection, and keep looking and moving forward.

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