Amid a sea of ads for New Year’s Eve parties and discounted gym memberships, it’s easy to forget that the New Year isn’t just a fun reason to stay up late and enjoy great snacks. It’s a complicated holiday. 

There are a lot of conflicting feelings people might juggle around New Year’s Eve and the beginning of the new year.

  • Grief over losses that happened that year.
  • Sadness about the end of the holiday season—or maybe relief that it’s over.
  • Hopefully, contentment and joy from all the rest, good food and good company you’ve enjoyed.
  • Dread about all the work that’s waiting for you in January.
  • Excitement about all the possibilities of a brand new year and what you could accomplish with it.
  • Determination to do things differently.
  • Nervousness about whether you’re actually going to be able to do the things you want to do this year, or whether your time management and productivity challenges are going to hold you back again.  

By all means, notice all of the complicated feelings that show up for you this time of year. But then…

Put Aside The Negative Stuff And Focus on a More Positive Framing

Going into January with a positive mindset puts you in the right space to build positive habits that feel great and help you take action toward your goals. It allows you to focus your energy on the things that are most important to you and create momentum that invigorates and motivates you to keep going.

This isn’t the same thing as creating New Year’s resolutions, by the way. They’re often unrealistic, too vague, and/or not aligned with you actually living the best version of your life. For example, making a New Year’s resolution to “exercise more” might seem like a positive one. You’re aiming to do something that would be healthy for you, right? But without a time management plan that builds exercise time into your routine and a sincere desire to exercise more, you’re probably going to abandon that resolution pretty quickly… and feel guilty about it. 

Focusing on actions that support your most important goals and approaching a new January with a positive mindset is probably going to bring you closer to the life you want than making arbitrary New Year’s resolutions will. 

3 Steps for Setting Yourself Up For Success in the New Year 

1. Start from scratch with your daily and weekly plans.

If you’re constantly struggling with time management and productivity, the new year is the perfect chance to wipe the slate clean and rebuild your calendar and routines. Starting over allows you to approach the process of building those daily and weekly plans from a positive and proactive place. You get to ask yourself, “What would be the best use of my time here?” instead of “How am I going to jam absolutely everything on my to-do list into my limited time?” 

2. Be realistic about expectations and limitations.

It’s pretty easy to feel optimistic and excited about the year ahead on January 1st when nothing has gone wrong yet. It’s harder to keep that positive mindset once it’s mid-January and you haven’t made progress on your biggest goals for the year. Then again… maybe the first few weeks of the year are always some of the busiest for your business and family, and you’re setting yourself up to fail by expecting yourself to start your marathon training on January 2nd. So maybe you book an appointment with a running buddy or trainer for January 15th, and don’t ask yourself to do any training before then. In other words: as you think about creating your daily and weekly plans, be realistic about what you can get done in a day without sacrificing your quality of life.  

3. Get the tools that are going to help you manage distraction.

You can have clear goals, a positive mindset and a solid plan for the day… but you also have a very interesting phone with games and apps that are designed to be fun time wasters. And people around you who need your attention. And a 24/7 news feed to scroll through. There are always going to be distractions around you that can pull you out of your focus. Being able to recognize when something is distracting you and you need to refocus (or when you need a break) allows you to stay on track with your plan and keep moving forward instead of getting stuck.  

Need more? Like more help figuring out where you’re wasting time, or more help figuring out how to pull yourself into your routines to get things done? 

I’ve got your back. Join me for my Jump Start Your Productivity program, starting in January. You’ll get all the resources you need to create the plans that will take you where you want to go. You can access the weekly trainings whenever it’s convenient for you and get live support with live Q&A calls with me as soon as you start. And because I want to help you create the life you crave this year, I’m offering a New Year’s special deal on Jump Start Your Productivity through January 4th. Click here for more information and to save your spot. 

Happy New Year to you! May it be the best year yet! 


Sarah Reiff-Hekking