There’s no hiding it or denying it, 2020 was challenging for most of us. We still see some of the effects of this past year. 2020 was supposed to be the best year of our lives. We started optimistically! Many people looked at the start of a new year and decade as an opportunity to kick life into high gear. Those plans changed. But thankfully, 2021 is starting on the right foot! In this post, I am going to share how to make 2021 your best year yet!
Listen to the Good Christian Podcast episode about this post:
“5 Ways to Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet”
For my first blog post and podcast episode of 2021, I wanted to start by helping people position themselves for what indeed could be their best year yet. Last year I wrote a post similar to this one titled, ‘How to Make 2020 Your Best Year Yet‘ I encourage you to read that post (or listen to it here) as it covers different points than I will be covering in this post.
Step one, before we get ahead of ourselves, is to make sure that you seek God and intentionally ask Him to be part of your life in 2021. The only way to make 2021 your best year yet is to put God first this year. My points below will cover this further, but remember, God has to be the center. (If you’re reading this and you’re not a Christian, that’s okay, you can talk to God and ask Him to be first this year, ask Him right now!)
Okay, let’s dive in…
5 Ways to Make This Year Your Best Year Yet:
- Express Gratitude
- Eliminate Something
- Set (The Right) Goals
Disconnecting means to get away from the world and get alone with God. I recommend leaving your everyday environment. Go to the place that inspires you the most. (For me, that’s the ocean!) Bring only a journal and pen. No phone, no music, no laptop. Just you, a new environment, and God. (For more on this: 7 Ways to Disconnect and Reconnect with Your True Identity) Now you may be saying, “Okay, Alex, but what do I do?” First off, pray, and listen. Then, move on to #2 below.
The lack of self-reflection is one of the greatest hindrances of human growth. Self-reflection leads to breakthroughs, and I encourage you to make this a regular part of life. I reflect on where I am and where I’m going on a daily and weekly basis. For the sake of this post, I encourage you to self-reflect while you’re disconnecting. Write down everything you want to do this year and everything you feel God is speaking to you. (For more on this topic of self-reflection, download the eBook referenced at the end of this post.)
#3. Express Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to experiencing more happiness in your life. It has been proven that thankfulness is the beginning of happiness. If you want a better life, start thanking the people around you for being part of your life. While you’re disconnected and self-reflecting, I also want you to think about the people who have helped you get to where you are or inspired you, or encouraged you. Make a list, then express gratitude to each of them! And I don’t mean to send a group text. Individually call, write a letter, send a video, spend time with in person; whatever you can do, make sure to be thankful and make this a regular practice throughout your year!
#4. Eliminate Something
If you want to make room for the great, you sometimes have to remove the good. But typically, the “good” is just bad in disguise. While you’re disconnected and self-reflecting (after you’ve expressed gratitude), I urge you to think about the things (within your control) that you enjoyed least about the last year of your life. What held you back? What kept you from moving forward? Again, things in your control. I want you to be bold and overcome fear. Let go of the thing that’s holding you back. I know this is scary. I did this last year; in fact, I left my job of 15 years in a time when it’s tough to find a job to pursue my startup, a 100% decrease in my salary. (Talk about scary!) Eliminating something from your life is POWERFUL. Don’t skip this!
#5. Set (The Right) Goals
Finally, we get to the part everyone wants to skip to. Setting goals! I’m not talking about New Years Resolutions. I am talking about real goal setting here. Here’s how you effectively set goals: First, determine what you want in this next year of your life while you’re disconnected and reflecting. You’ve already removed something from your life, so you should have room for a new goal. Set just ONE goal for 2021 and WRITE IT DOWN. Then ask yourself this question every day: “What is the one thing I can do today that will get me closer to achieving my goal?” Then be disciplined to do that one thing every day that takes you closer to the goal. Tell your friends about your goal and your progress. I promise you’ll accomplish whatever it is if you do this. (More on goal setting below!)
For more on these 5 points, I wrote a short eBook (only 8 pages) explaining each of these points in more detail.
I encourage you to invest in yourself by reading through this eBook. In conclusion, please remember to keep God first in 2021. Happy new year, everyone!