2021 is almost here and now is the perfect time to start planning how you want your year to go.
Yes, we just got off one wild ride with 2020…and things are still not back to normal. But don’t wait for things to get better…instead, seize the day and resolve to make 2021 a great year! Here are a few things I have done in my own life and have seen a positive impact (and I plan to double down next year).
I hope you will use some of these suggestions to set yourself up for a great year.
1. Invest In Your Own Personal Development
If you don’t already invest in your own personal development…now is the time! I wrote a post about the 8 lessons I learned in 2020 and one thing that stuck out to me the most is how much my personal development helped me through the year. Instead of crawling in a hole and hoping for change, I created a change in my life.
The world is different and you need to be resilient for what’s to come. Why not spend this coming year investing in yourself? Figure out the areas of your life you want to change and then take action every day to get there. Maybe you don’t believe in yourself, yet. If that’s the case, then take the actions needed to create confidence and believe in yourself. Just try it and see what happens.
2. Start a Morning Routine Even If It’s Only 15 Minutes
Morning routines are such an important part of personal development. This is the time you set aside first thing to invest in yourself and set yourself up for a good day. Even if it is just 15 minutes, I want you to put together a short morning routine. If you simply can’t do it in the morning, then make this time at night…either way, schedule it in your day.
A simple morning routine can include meditation and gratitude practice. I think morning routines are most effective because gratitude practice and meditation can go a long way in putting you in the right mindset to face the challenges of your day. For more inspiration, you can check out my morning routine. The major things I recommend are reading, exercising, gratitude, and meditation.
It’s ok if you need to start slow and work your way up. Commit to 15 minutes a day and build your way up to an hour. It is an effective way to systemize your personal development because you chip away at it every day during your routine.
3. Level Up Your Skills
Make this a year where you commit to leveling up your skills. A lot of jobs are being outsourced or cut altogether. It’s no better time then the present to focus on your skills.
For me, personally, I’m going to focus on leadership, marketing, sales, and personal development this year. I’m going to sign up for MasterClass, read books that focus on my priorities, and invest in one of Darren Hardy’s courses.
Yours might be different. Maybe it is a certain technology you need to learn more about. It could be public speaking or learning how to host online speaking events. Maybe you’re a chef or have some sort of creative skill you want to refine.
When you level up your skill, it levels up your confidence. It also creates a ripple effect. But how do you do it? Find people that you resonate with. Like I said, I’m looking at a course put out by Darren Hardy. Also, I’m doing some things by Jim Rohn. You can look for someone in your niche’ and get their course or go the free option (library).
4. Write Down Your Goals and Review Them Daily
I think of goals like the GPS in your car. If you don’t put in the destination, you will just be driving around and end up wherever the road takes you. I hope you will have goals so you can know where you want to go. How can you expect to have the life you want without a direction?
Haven’t done goal setting before? Take an hour and put away your phone so you can think about what you want to achieve. These can be short-term and long-term goals. For example, one of my long-term goals is to buy a lakehouse in Vermont. I’ve made up my mind about this and I will make it happen. It’s important to me to have a place for my family to vacation…and it’s an investment. When I think about this goal, I visualize sitting on a porch and relaxing.
This is not the time to make excuses or question if you can reach a goal. Just write it all down and read them every day. You don’t have to married to this list of goals. They can change, so don’t overthink this.
Read your goals every day as part of your morning routine. Writing down your goals makes them more concrete. And then reminding yourself of those goals will cause you to make different decisions every day that will point you in the direction of reaching those goals.
5. Take Action Every Day Towards Your Goals
Simply having goals is not enough…you have to take small steps every day towards your goal. No matter how little, just take a step. What’s most important with your goals is that you only worry about the things you can control. You can control your outlook and actions. Nothing can happen if you don’t take steps in the right direction. As I’ve mentioned before, small steps create a compound effect.
Every day, ask yourself what are the small steps I have to take to get to my goal. Maybe it is working out, sending out sales emails, taking a course…no matter how small, it will start to take effect. You’ll gain even more momentum when results start to formulate.
6. Make A Conscious Effort to Invest in Others
If 2020 taught me anything, it’s that relationships are key. That’s why it’s important to make a conscious effort to inspire people and build more friendships and deepen key relationships. Relationships take work. You have to reach out to people and pour into them.
This is an area where I can do better. Even though I’ve come a long way, I don’t think I’m where I need to be. Life gets in the way, so you have to be intentional about it. For example, you can reach out to someone to grab coffee or call them on the phone. You have to make time to spend with them if you are going to develop a solid relationship.
Why I’m Investing in People Outside of My Immediate Relationships
I feel like I needed to go beyond my immediate family when it comes to relationship building. For me, I believe I have to go beyond that to have a complete life. That’s why I started Morning Upgrade. This is the only way I know how to get outside of my immediate influence. For you, it could be in your community, at your church, or another organization. Whatever your skills are, lean into them.
I think that the evolution of personal development is to go outside of yourself. When you look at some of the richest people in the world, they put a lot of effort into creating an impact and charity work. That’s the evolution of life. I’m trying to start early, because it is fulfilling to me, and why not?
7. Exercise Daily Even If It’s 15 Minutes Per Day – Move!
Movement is so key. Obesity is too high in America and we have to do something about that. This past year, I decided on a weight loss goal and I’m halfway there. Part of the way I’ve reached that goal is to spend more time moving. Not only does movement help with weight loss, but it also extends your life.
Your exercise routine doesn’t have to be crazy like something Arnold Schwarzenegger would do. It can be something simple like walking for 15 minutes.
Here are a few things I do every day to increase my movement:
- Do a 10-minute bodyweight routine every morning.
- Go for a walk as much as possible.
- Use a standing desk.
- Do jumping jacks throughout of the day.
We just bought a Peloton, so this year I’ll spend some time cycling, as well. I don’t do a massive workout, but these small habits have made a big difference. I encourage you to find ways to stand up and move around.
8. Read Every Day
This goes back to leveling up your skills. Reading is a habit that almost all highly successful people do on a daily basis. You have to be learning new things. It’s part of being a growing human being.
Even if it is only 5-10 pages, reading every day is a key skill and habit to create. You can make this part of a night routine where you are winding down from the day. Or you can do like I do and make this part of your morning routine. Whatever works for you, it is worth it to make the time.
Key Take Aways
- Prepare yourself for the year to come by investing in your personal development.
- Incorporate reading and skill-building into your daily routine.
- Focus on your health through moving more and diet.
- Inspire others and focus on relationships.