The time has come! As we move through the holiday season, complete with the craziness of family meals, decorations, holiday shopping and more, many of us are already looking forward to the New Year. However, before you step into 2019, there are a few things you should consider.

The New Year means many things to many people. For some, it is a fresh start, a chance to draw a line in the sand and start all over as they work towards greater things. For others, however, it’s a challenging time as it reminds us that we’re another year old, and potentially not where we envisioned we would be at this age when we were growing up. Then there are those that really have no care for the New Year at all, seeing it as just another day. Regardless of how you view it, it has come knocking and there’s no way to stop it from coming in. Are you ready for 2019? Before you answer that, there are a few considerations that may help you to make this the best year to date…

Don’t forget these 14 things as you step into 2019, leaving 2018 behind you for good:

#1 – Look at just how far you have come.

It’s easy to say that you don’t feel like you’ve actually accomplished anything as you take a look back over the last year, but that is due to the fact we often only look for the major success. However, I encourage you to take a step back and look a little closer. Take note of the small victories. Baby steps in the right direction mean that you are still moving forward. They may not seem like much on their own, but combined, they can add up to great things!

#2 – Practice gratitude each and every day.

You have two choices in every situation – either to embrace the positive or the negative. Which one do you believe will move you forward? Rather than focusing on the problems, struggles and difficulties, take some time to step back and look at your life. Find reasons to be grateful for all that you have, all that you have done and all that you have yet to do. There is always something to be thankful for if you look closely enough.

#3 – Take note of who was by your side through the good and the bad.

Friends will come and go, some sent to be part of our lives for just a short period before moving on while others are here by our side for the foreseeable future, supporting and encouraging us through thick and thin. These are the people you need to take note of, the people you can count on to be there when things get tough, the ones who truly want the best for you. Be a source of strength, encouragement, and motivation for one another as you step into the New Year.

#4 – Recognize the fact that you made it through, even when you thought that you wouldn’t.

Looking back at 2018, there were likely moments where you questioned your ability to overcome your challenges and trials. The good news is that you did it. Whatever life threw your way, you faced it and here you are. You’re a survivor, and it shows. Look at where you are today – if that isn’t a sign that you’re stronger than you think, I don’t know what is. Remember this as you move into 2019.

#5 – This isn’t the end, just a new chapter.

For some, the New Year brings feelings of sadness and disappointment, as it can serve as a reminder of the fact that things may have not worked out ‘according to plan’. This can lead to intense feelings of depression and even trigger suicidal thoughts in those who may be struggling. Try to remind yourself that this isn’t an end, your story is far from over. This is merely the start of a new chapter, a blank slate waiting for you to make it all that you want it to be.

#6 – Reassess your goals from the past year and how they will carry forward.

Did you set any big goals for 2018? If so, how did your efforts to achieve them work out? Did you make progress? If you failed to make progress, what was standing in your way? These are all important questions to ask yourself as they will help you to better understand what changes you need to make in 2019 in order to make your dreams a reality. Set not only large-scale goals and dreams but smaller goals that will help to propel you forward.

#7 – The events of this past year do not define you.

You are more than just the events of a single year. This past year may have been one of great celebration and accomplishment, but it may have also been a challenging one filled with mistakes and moments that you were anything but proud of. We all make mistakes, it’s part of being human. Don’t allow a single moment to define your life. Instead, learn from your mistakes and use that knowledge to become a better, stronger version of yourself.

#8 – Take some time to focus on YOU.

The New Year is often a whirlwind of parties, celebrations, expectations, resolutions and more. When faced with all this, it is no wonder that your own mental and emotional care often takes a back seat. However, you aren’t going to be able to accomplish great things in life if you’re running on empty. Take some time to engage in self-care, whether it’s a hot, relaxing bath or an evening movie marathon at home on the couch. This ‘down time’ is important.

#9 – Consider the possibilities that await you.

Rather than spending all your time focusing on what you are leaving behind, have you taken the time to look forward at what’s yet to come? As you step into 2019 doors are opening before you, so it’s time to consider your options. Are there experiences that you have always wanted to try? Are there places you’d like to travel? The world is in the palm of your hand – what are you going to do with it?

#10 – Leave the pain and upset behind you.

If you have experienced pain or heartbreak in 2018, don’t bury it away. Allow yourself to feel it, embrace it, as that is the only way to release it and free yourself. Holding onto this pain and carrying it into the new year won’t accomplish anything. Don’t allow past hurts to hold you back or weigh you down. You deserve better.

#11 – Take time to celebrate both the victories and the defeats.

We often celebrate our moments of victory, drinking at the moment and remembering it for years to come. However, at the same time, we disregard the times that life didn’t quite work out the way we had planned. Consider, for a moment, that there may actually be a reason to celebrate the times that you fell short. After all, you had the courage to try and in doing so, you learned more about yourself, the situation and the steps you need to take in order to achieve great things. Those are all great things. Failure is merely another step on the pathway to success.

#12 – Get to know the ‘new you’, as you have grown and changed over the year.

Over the course of 2018, you have had the opportunity to face some incredible life lessons, learning aspects of your true self that you may have never seen before. Challenges and experiences have encouraged you to grow, change, evolve and become a new, better version of you. Take some time as you head into 2019 to get to know who you have become, as well as to identify what areas of your life you’d like to focus in the months ahead.

#13 – Don’t take life too seriously.

Sure, there are aspects in life that require your serious attention and focus, but there’s more to life than just rules and responsibility. If you live every moment focusing only on what you should do or feel, you will rob yourself of the joy that life has to offer. Instead, look for reasons to laugh and embrace them. Never hold back.

#14 – Time flies, don’t let it pass you by.

Do you feel like 2018 flew by, leaving you behind in the dust to pick up the pieces? If so, you’re not the only one. While it’s true that time doesn’t actually change, it somehow feels like it speeds up beyond our control and the year is over before you know it. The same is going to happen in 2019, so don’t take it for granted! Take advantage of each and every moment.

Image via Flickr

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