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  • Dr Maike Neuhaus

From life on autopilot to thriving: 10 Steps to making the most of the new year

As the new year approaches, many of us are filled with excitement and a sense of possibility. It's a time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. But with so many potential resolutions and goals to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start.


Here are 10 steps to help you make the most of the new year and avoid falling into a life on autopilot.

Woman thirving in the new year

1. Reflect on the past year


Before you start setting new goals, it's important to take some time to reflect on the past year. What were your achievements and challenges? What did you learn? This will help you get a better sense of what you want to focus on in the year ahead, and identify areas of your life where you may be languishing and could benefit from some extra attention.


2. Set specific, achievable goals


When it comes to setting new year's resolutions, it's important to be specific and achievable. Rather than making a vague resolution like "exercise more," try setting a specific goal like "exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week." This will make it easier to track your progress and stay motivated as you work towards thriving in the new year.


3. Make a plan


Once you have your goals in place, it's important to create a plan to help you achieve them. This might involve setting smaller, intermediate goals to help you reach your bigger goals, or breaking your goals down into actionable steps.


4. Stay focused and motivated


It can be easy to get sidetracked or lose motivation when working towards a goal. To stay focused, try setting reminders for yourself or enlisting the help of a friend or accountability partner. You can also try rewarding yourself for reaching smaller milestones along the way.


5. Don't be too hard on yourself


It's important to remember that making lasting change takes time and effort. If you hit a roadblock or have a setback, don't be too hard on yourself. Instead, try to learn from the experience and adjust your plan as needed.


6. Prioritize self-care


As you work towards your goals, it's important to take care of yourself. This might involve setting aside time for self-care activities like exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones. Taking care of yourself will help you feel more energized and focused as you work towards flourishing in the new year.


7. Be open to trying new things


The new year is a great time to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Whether it's trying a new hobby, travelling to a new place, or learning a new skill, embracing new experiences can be incredibly rewarding and help you grow as a person.


8. Set financial goals


The new year is also a great time to set financial goals. This might involve creating a budget, saving more money, or paying off debt. Whatever your financial goals, it's important to create a plan and stick to it.


9. Focus on relationships


In addition to setting goals for yourself, it's important to focus on your relationships in the new year. This might involve spending more quality time with loved ones, or working on building stronger relationships with coworkers or friends.


10. Be kind to yourself


Finally, it's important to remember to be kind to yourself as you work towards your goals. This might involve setting aside time for relaxation and self-care, or simply taking a break when you need it. By taking care of yourself, you'll be better able to focus on your goals and avoid falling into life on autopilot.



As the new year approaches, it's important to remember that change takes time and effort. But by setting specific, achievable goals, making a plan, and taking care of yourself, you can make the most of the new year and create a brighter, more fulfilling future for yourself. Remember to be kind to yourself, stay focused and motivated, and don't be afraid to try new things. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to thriving in the new year and avoiding a life on autopilot. Here's to a happy and flourishing new year!

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