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  • Make Every Year The Best Year Ever - Start 2017 Off Strong
  • Terry Arsenault
  • healthwell-being

Make Every Year The Best Year Ever - Start 2017 Off Strong

Make Every Year The Best Year Ever - Start 2017 Off Strong

A new year is a fresh start. Having a successful 2017 depends on you and how good you are managing things in your life. Here is some practical advice to make sure you are on your way to success.

Set Goals in 2017


Setting New Goals

To set new goals is the first step to having a successful 2017. When you set new goals, make sure they are SMART:

Specific enough they are clear for you now and in the future.

Measurable means you can quantify the progress towards your objective.

Attainable, so that you can reach the goal.

Realistic, meaning you should be able to attain them within the given time frame.

Time bounded, within the current year.

If you want to set long-term goals, make sure you break them into smaller steps so that you can set a time frame within the year.


Be prepared for the Worst Case Scenario

When you plan your goals, make more than one plan. Always be ready for the worst case scenario, and adjust your course if needed. If you are not prepared, you will hardly achieve your goals. You must have a contingency plan at all times. Pull it out only if needed, and work hard to get to your goal with your primary plan.

A contingency plan means change, and you must accept and embrace it. If you resist to changes, you will hardly be able to adjust course when you are not going the right way. Keep your eyes open to identify new opportunities and make changes gradually. There is no need for a radical turn unless you find yourself driving the wrong way. Most changes in life are just about fine tuning your current lifestyle.



Continuity is important. Goals set at the beginning of the year must have a link to your previous targets. You cannot just use the New Year as an excuse to set goals that have nothing to do with what you have been working on. The goals you set must be part of a greater plan, the plan of your life.

If you do not have a life plan yet, then it is time to start. Which are your dreams? Define your dreams first, and plan accordingly. Dreams are meant to become goals, and new goals should be in line with your dreams. Eventually, once you are about to get one of your dreams, defining another. Then, start preparing the ground to get that second dream too.

Your new goals don’t have to be completely unrelated to your old targets. In fact, it is better to have a plan that frames the bigger picture. In that plan, continuity is key to success, not just in 2017, but in life.



Journaling seems to be an outdated activity nowadays. However, it is more important than ever to learn from our past experiences and reflect on what we have achieved in life. It is an excellent way to clear your mind and prepare for what is coming next.

You can make use of new technologies like smartphones to make journaling easier. The important thing about the journaling experience is to make it count as a self-reflection time. To do it constantly is the best way to get results. When you start, never stop.

Be truly honest with your journal. It can become your best friend and confidant. Find your deepest feelings while you are journaling and create a bond with your writing. It is a way of self-discovery, and if you intend to pretend and conceal your feelings, it will not work. Most times, you have the answers within yourself, but prejudices and noise cover them. Writing an honest reflection will help you to uncover the cobwebs on top of your mind and discover your true self.

You will learn much more you think about you just by journaling.


Time Management

Time management is one of the most useful skills most people need to achieve their goals. One of the most common phrases nowadays is “I don’t have time” or “it is not the right time.” Both phrases are not referring to the regular 24-hour ticking clock every day and the 365 days are going throughout a year. They mean your relative time is not right. That relative time is the one you must learn to manage.

First of all, you can use a time-tracking app to learn about your habits. Record every single thing you do on your day. You must add everything, from having breakfast to work and recreational activities. Make sure your list also has the record of the time you spend thinking, talking to other people and attending unplanned interruptions.

All these activities are an indicator of what you are doing. Analyze them thoughtfully, and you will find that most your time is drowning on useless activities. However, your relative time is not aware of it because they are entertaining and therefore seem the blink of an eye.

Once you know where your time is gone, rearrange your schedule. Make a basic program and create a routine with at least 50% of your time devoted to productive activities. Make appointments with yourself to get the most important things done. When you are creating your basic schedule, add 10 to 30 minutes at the beginning of your day to plan the current day. Use that time to check your basic program and add those things you need to get done at the present day. If you have other things to do the following days, make an update so that you can have everything under control. Even conversations and recreational activities should have a schedule. Then, just follow it. It will not be easy at first, but once you get used to it, it will be a piece of cake.

When you plan your basic schedule, add time to handle interruptions on a schedule. The good idea is to set a timetable of “working hours” to attend people talking to you over the phone or messages. You cannot force people to talk you only during that time, but you can silence any means of communication outside these hours. That way you will focus on your scheduled tasks when they are scheduled and will not delay them due to interruptions. Use your interruption time to answer emails and make phone calls. You can also assign the idle time to recreational activities. That way the interruptions will not impact the performance of your day.

Manage all the communications you start properly. Good advice to do so is to take the first 5 minutes before the conversation starts to set the objective. What is it that you want to get from the communication? Ask this question in advance, and you will go straight to the point faster, saving time for you and your interlocutor. Make it a habit, and you will do it automatically.


Eliminate Distractions

Eliminate distractions and focus on your goals. Procrastination is one of the main time wasters. Keep your mind apart from all distractions that are not adding value to your life either personal or professionally.

Some of the following are practical advice to eliminate distractions.

Avoid unnecessary breaks.

Block social media while you are working.

Limit your attention to tweets and other social media.

Manage your schedule upfront before you start your day and stick to it.

Reduce your texting.

Silence your incoming email.

Turn off sales pitches sources.

Turn off your phone on a schedule.

Turn off your TV.

Not all these distractions apply to your particular lifestyle, and you may have other distractions drowning your time. Use this list as a basis. Eliminate the lines you don’t use and add new items as needed.

To find your personal distractors, check all your activities carefully. Distractions come even while you sleep. For example, you can set a bedtime routine that includes downloading your mind on paper. After all, they are also distractions to a good rest.


Think it twice on your next Purchase

Material things will not bring you success. They are just an additional distractor on your way. Think it twice on your next purchase. Do you really need it? Will it serve a purpose? Is it a way to succeed?

If you cannot answer positively to any of these questions, most likely you don’t need it. Do not hesitate to skip that purchase and move on. By sticking to what you strictly need, you are going to save some money and most of all, save some time.

When you get things you don’t need, you lose focus too. By identifying your needs properly, you will be able to take your efforts to that path and avoid others.


Work on your Relationships

Work on real-life relationships. Don’t get engaged with social networks and virtual connections.

Look around and engage with people that matter and you will feel happier.

Having somebody truly close to you will make your success really enjoyable. It is a matter of sharing with others what is happening in your life. There is no need to have thousands of friends, but just a few you can count on a single hand. Those few close friends are the ones that matter.

Instead of spending time connecting with strangers, strengthen your bonds with people in real life. You will feel much better when you share your accomplishment with a close friend than sharing it with a million connections in social networks.

Stay Positive in 2017 

Keep a Positive Attitude

If you want to get a positive outcome, a positive attitude is a start. Most happiness issues come from self-induced negative thoughts. Take the beginning of this year to gain a positive mood and keep it along the year.

To keep a positive attitude, get surrounded by positive things. You must get away from people and messages that drive you to the wrong side. Get close to people with positive attitude. Celebrate all your achievements to keep you motivated. When you make mistakes, learn but never get stuck or regret any of it.

Don’t be afraid of winning and fulfilling your goals. At times, the wrong attitude comes from fear, and you must keep away from it. Fear will only tie you to failure and will cloud your mind from any opportunity that shows on your way. Citing a famous phrase, “fear is the path to the dark side,” and the dark side has no positive attitude at all.

Believe you can, do it and enjoy the journey. Every small achievement will keep you motivated. That is the way to keep a positive attitude at all times.



Use the fresh new start of the year for reflection. Meditation is useful to eliminate the noise surrounding you and take acquaintance of your true self. Spare some time for reflection. That will allow you to learn from your past actions and have a prosperous 2017.

With the thoughts that pop in your mind, grab those things that you did right and brought you the better results, and keep on doing them. They are proved ways to achieve success, and you already know the way because you did it before.

Look at your mistakes from a distance and ask yourself how you can do it better if you are in the same situation again. Learning is part of living, and mistakes will allow you to learn the most. You will make better choices in the future once you take some time for reflection.


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Terry & Monica 

  • Terry Arsenault
  • healthwell-being

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