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Photo by Aimee Whitmire

January is my favorite month of the year as it signifies a new beginning. New possibilities and new resolutions. Of course, we can set goals at any time of the year, but there is something about January 1st that holds a special place in our hearts and creates an ache in us for a fresh start.

Below are my top three tips for establishing goals in 2017:

01 | Let Go of 2016 Baggage & Retain the Good
It’s a New Year, time to de-clutter! This week, take 30 minutes to reflect on the past year. What were your biggest accomplishments? What did the obstacles teach you? Would you have done anything differently? Make sure to take note of all the amazing things that happened in 2016 and write down what you’d like to grow upon in 2017. The next step? Forgiveness. Take time to sit quietly with yourself and work on forgiving those who may have harmed you in 2016. You don’t have to feel anything. You don’t even need to talk to the person you are forgiving. Instead, you have to consciously choose to let go of the anger and resentment that you feel towards that particular person or even yourself. This is a process and won’t happen in one day. It will take time, but by letting go of your 2016 baggage, you’ll be making space for all the incredible people and experiences that are headed your way in 2017.

02 | Have a Clear Vision
Once you’ve given thought to your past year, look ahead. Where do you want to be when 2017 comes to an end? It can be overwhelming to create a complete vision of your new year so let’s break it down. On a piece of paper (hand- writing things helps us to remember them!), write down the following categories and answer the corresponding questions for each.

Career/ Finances: What career changes do you want to make in 2017? How much do you want to be making each quarter? How much would you mind putting into savings each month? Challenge yourself to learn something new about your profession or a field that you’d like to move into through podcasts, books or online courses.

Physical Health: How many times do you want to work out each month? What does that movement look like? Yoga in your living room? Bootcamp at a local gym? Spin class? Don’t feel like you need to fit into a mold: do what type of physical activity works for you. Just make sure to keep moving each week!

Family/ Friends: How are you going to strengthen your closest relationships this year and improve those that need some TLC?

Spiritual/ Mental Health: Build habits into your daily routines that are going to boost your spiritual and mental health. Buy a journal and set a timer for 5 minutes each day to start your thoughts, dreams and desires chronically. Find a meditation practice that works for you. Start small and add one thing in at a time.

How will you measure these goals? Break down the year into quarters. Where do you want to be at the end of March? The end of June? At the end of September? At the end of 2017? Make sure to break your goals into “bite-sized” portions so that for every month of the year, you know what actions you have to take to step towards your yearly goals.

03 | Look Outwards
It may be cliché, but it truly is better to give than receive. Want to be happier in 2017? Then develop a mindset of service. Resolve to spend a certain amount of hours each month or every other month is serving your community. Whether it’s spending time with the elderly at your local nursing home, becoming involved in the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of America program, or even looking abroad at a missions trip, resolve to spend 2017 living not only for yourself but others.

What are your big goals for 2017? What are you most excited for in the new year? Share below!

FROM THE EDITOR
At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture, and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers within the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you join as a member.

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