How to start off the New Year proactively
Maybe you stayed up till midnight to watch the clock change to January 1st, or you just slept in like every other day.
Regardless of what you did on New Year’s Eve, it’s no longer 2021. It’s 2022.
2022, or 2020 2? (I don’t want to repeat 2020 again, and I hope you’re on the same page).
If you think that was some corny joke, it is. I’m just trying to grab your attention.
Now, it’s the second week of the new year. Many people still have their new year resolutions intact, but also quite a few already messed up on theirs. Whichever category you’re in, at the end of this article, you’ll be able to start off the new year proactively.
Remember, we’re still in the beginning of the year, so it doesn’t matter what has happened between January 1st till today. If you’ve been doing well, keep going. If not, no problem.
Here are three simple steps that will allow you to start off the year proactively.
1. Have a proactive mindset
“I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life. If you’re proactive, you focus on preparing. If you’re reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.” said John C. Maxwell
This quote sums it up. The most important thing we need to change in our lives is first and foremost, our mindset. There's no one more powerful than an individual who faces challenges and difficulties in all spectrums with a proactive mindset. Take for example Chris Gardner, a successful American Businessman. Will Smith acted as him in "The Pursuit of Happyness", a film dedicated to Gardner's proactive mindset. Garder had his wife leave him, all his entrepreneurial plans failed, and he became homeless, having to take care of his little son the whole time. Nevertheless, Gardner persevered, and became one of the greatest American Stockbrokers who ever lived.
Having a proactive mindset means that we look at everything in a positive light; that nothing can stand in our way of having a positive end in sight. We choose not to have things happen to us, but instead to take what we have and use it to the best of our ability. It's you strike first at life's obstacles before they strike at you.
2. Develop good habits
"A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time." said Mark Twain.
Habits are what makes our character. Habits are what creates real changes in how we act in life. There's nothing more powerful in physically changing our actions than the small, incremental steps of developing good habits.
Everything we do in our daily life, from how we wake up in the morning to how we go to sleep, is dictated upon our habits we've developed day by day.
Our brains have formed our habits through repetition in our striatum. Regardless of good or bad, our striatum will incorporate a habit once we keep doing it, and neurons will wire together to establish that habit. Each time you follow through with the habit, dopamine will be released, and will motivate your brain to strengthen the wires associated with that habit so you can do it again in the future.
While these wired habits in your brain may be difficult to lose, your brain is neuroplastic. It can change its neural networks through growth and development. Our brains are always growing and developing based on what we do. Therefore, to develop good habits, replace a bad habit with a good habit.
This good habit can be anything easy and simple that you can incorporate into your life. Take it slow and eliminate your bad habits one by one. Whatever your ultimate goal is, a big part of achieving it is by replacing your bad habits with good ones.
Nothing worth it comes easy. That's why you'll need to have patience while you're working on your habits. While your brain is neuroplastic, it takes time to replace a wired habit in your brain with a newly wired habit. It's like new software on your computer. It'll take some time getting used to, but it'll be worth it, because it's new and improved.
The last and final part of this 3-step proactive plan is simply to maintain consistency with the first two steps. It's vital to maintain a proactive mindset and develop good habits at the same time for a prolonged period of time. They've got to become consistent aspects of your life if you want to live in 2022 proactively.
There's nothing special about proactivity. It's the simplest step out of the three. Just don't stop. Keep going.
It doesn't matter if you've established the mindset or habits yet. With consistency, they'll automatically be incorporated into your character.
You mess up on your good habit and go back to our bad habit? No problem. You become pessimistic after wanting to be proactive? No problem. Keep your head up and don't stop trying.
Your brain will change once you change, and no one changes in an instant. Be patient with yourself and maintain a level of consistency. Before you know it, you'll have developed yourself into a proactive bubble where everything around you has a solution.
Let 2022 be your year of proactivity.