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Ask Erin: 2018, Your Best Year Yet

By Katie Sloan
In AskErin
Jan 8th, 2018

by Erin Sharplin Love

Yes!  You read the title of this article correctly – 2018 CAN be your best year yet!  And the best part is that no resolutions are required!  Instead, I will ask that you make a lifestyle change and become intentional about living your best life.  Don’t get me wrong; you will still probably want to set goals and milestones throughout 2018, but they shouldn’t be in the form of the oft-dreaded (and often neglected) “New Year Resolutions.”

So, with that said, let’s take a minute to visualize what YOUR best year would look like. For instance, is work more demanding than ever or less so?  Are you committed to frequent date nights with your significant other or to spending more one-on-one time with your children? Maybe you visualize yourself lounging on a beach and relaxing more frequently.  Whatever you imagine, I can promise you it will be different from almost everyone else’s version of their best year.  So…in short, you don’t have to worry about being wrong or right; you just have to worry about creating a clear vision for the upcoming year.     So let’s get started!!

Choose a word of the year.  I mentioned this concept a few articles back (“How to FOCUS and Stop Wasting Time”), and it is integral to living your best year, too!  If you missed the “focus” article, let me explain briefly – A word of the year can be any word that resonates with you and makes you want to accomplish its full meaning.  For instance, my word of the year for 2017 was focus.  At the time I chose the word, I felt that I lacked complete focus in a lot of life areas, such as with my children, marriage and business.  I found myself not able to concentrate (focus) on what was happening in the moment, and instead, I allowed too many things to take my attention away from what matters.  Choosing the word of the year allowed me to concentrate on changing that and reminded me to FOCUS.  This can happen for you, too.  Choose a word that resonates with you and post it everywhere you can – office, car, wallet, etc.

READ!  Personal growth is a huge part of living your best life, because if you aren’t growing and becoming a better version of yourself, you will definitely not be living your best life.  One of the quickest and easiest ways to ensure growth is to read!  And, I’m not referring to true crime novels or “Fifty Shades of Grey” type books, either.  Instead, read thought-provoking and life-changing books that are often found in the “self-help” section of any bookstore.  If you are unsure where to start, take your word of the year and enter it into the search bar on Amazon.  Choose the book that stands out the most.   Don’t stop with one book, though.  I suggest reading at least one book a month to keep your  momentum  going!  You can even “read” more than one book at a time by purchasing audio books and listening to them while traveling.

Improve your surroundings.  The things you surround yourself with can have a positive or negative affect on your well-being.  For instance, have you noticed that being surrounded by clutter zaps your energy and leaves you feeling depressed? Or maybe you’ve noticed that anytime you snuggle with your pet you have a feeling of happiness and calm.  Take the time to notice what zaps your energy and what gives you energy, and then get rid of the people, places or things that are bringing you down.

Become a healthier version of yourself.  I know this suggestion sounds like a resolution, but it’s not!  It should become a lifestyle, instead.  Figure out what you need to do to become a healthier version of yourself and commit to making it happen!  Are you staying active enough?  Can you cook more and stop purchasing fast food as often?  Or maybe you feel the nudge to stop consuming meat products? I felt that nudge over twelve years ago, and I haven’t looked back (except maybe for the pepperoni cravings I used to get until I found Yves’ brand of veggie-based pepperoni)!  Seriously though, becoming healthier isn’t relegated just to what you eat or to how much you work out.  Health can also come from your posture, breath and brain.  Master those and you will instantly feel better.

Become intentional with your everyday life.   THIS is the most important part of living your best year…become intentional with your days, weeks and months.  Sit down daily or weekly to set your intentions for each day.  For instance, what needs to be done today or this week?  Set times for self-care, date nights, girls’ night, etc.  Not being intentional with your time is the reason you never have enough of it!!  I, personally, do this in two different ways – 1.  I keep my daily tasks in the calendar on my phone and 2.  I keep a bullet journal/planner for details.  It will probably take a bit of trial and error to figure out what works best for your lifestyle, so get started now!

Are you excited about 2018 yet?  I am!  Now, let’s get started and do this together!  Follow me on Facebook (Erin Sharplin Love) and subscribe to my blog at www.panachebyerin.com for more tips and to see my word of the year for 2018!