Were you one of the people who was delighted to see the year 2016 in the rear view mirror? Well, how would you like to make 2017 your best year ever?
There’s only one way to make sure this will be a great year. And here’s the good news: it’s completely within your control!
Take a moment and think back on prior years and identify some you considered especially good or bad years. Good years might include when you were married, gave birth to a child, or took an exciting vacation. Bad years might involve financial setbacks, personal disappointments or loss, or upsetting global events.
Regardless of the specific details, most people label their year as good or bad based on external circumstances.
The world cannot be counted on to conform to your wishes. When you tie your happiness to conditions outside of yourself, you set yourself up for a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows.
When things go your way you feel great and are happy. And when they don’t you feel bad and are unhappy. Up and down, up and down… and when the downs outweigh the ups, you conclude “it” was bad for you. In this case, the “it” was your entire year.
You Have the Power to Choose What You Think
You mind has a conscious “Pilot” and a subconscious “Autopilot.” When you let your Autopilot run the show, you live a reactive life. Your Autopilot decides what is “good” and “bad” based on your personal values, pleasures, and desires. You then have emotional ups and downs based on whether things are going your way or not.
Through your Pilot (the pre-frontal cortex or “executive function” behind your forehead), you can put yourself in the driver’s seat. You can consciously choose what you will think, and especially what your interpretation or “story” about events will be.
Lots of things in life are painful and/or don’t turn out the way you want. But only you can develop a story that they are “good” or bad.”
Having a great year begins with interpreting each moment, each day, each week as a positive experience. By year-end, you will have lived a great year!
5 Actions to Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever
- Decide this year will be your best year ever. Creating a positive expectation harnesses two powerful brain functions: confirmation bias and self-fulfilling prophecy. These functions engage the sub-conscious Autopilot in fulfilling your expectations. Power phrase: This will be a great year!
- Stop labeling things as good or bad. See the positive in every situation. Life’s circumstances are neutral. They’re just something happening until you choose what they mean to you. The story you tell yourself about them is up to you. Choose positive and empowering interpretations! Power phrase: I can choose a positive story.
- Focus on your outcomes instead of something being wrong. Focusing on your outcomes helps you have a positive approach to any situation. Power phrase: What’s my outcome here?
- Let go and move on. Learn to accept that many things won’t work out the way you want. Life moves on, and so can you. Power phrase: I can let this go.
- Practice gratitude all day, every day. Focusing on things you are grateful for— especially small everyday matters—releases the happiness hormone oxytocin. A day filled with gratitude is a day filled with happiness. And 365 of those is a year! Power phrase: Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Share in the comments below some of the things you are doing to make this your best year ever. While you are at it, take a moment to acknowledge the ideas that others have shared. Thank you!