How to Set the Tone for the New Year
Updated: Jan 15
Ok. You’ve made your toasts, set your intentions and watched the ball drop.
Now you are left wondering…what next?
How do I set the tone for the new year? What am I wanting to change? What am I wanting to preserve? How do I want to feel?
Of course, we all want to set an exciting, revitalized, tone for the new year once the firework smoke has settled and the confetti is all cleaned up. After all, this time of year is full of energized individuals with their sights set on success for the new year, and we can feel that energy around us - especially after navigating the ups and downs of a previously challenging year. You might find yourself feeling uncertain of what's to come, but one's thing may feel certain - you're ready to feel refreshed and renewed.
However, how many of us find ourselves falling off the wagon the further into the year we get? Guilty! It’s common, and I can’t tell you how often it has happened to me. I start the year with a vision, then by month 3 my vision has become blurry and I become stagnant. In January, we become excited and energized by those around us determined to meet their goals but what’s the key to keeping that energy and tone throughout the year?
Here are 5 simple tips to set the tone for your new year:
Break it down: Instead of make a list of goals for the year, try making a list of 3-4, realistic goals you want to accomplish each month. For example, January might include looking over your finances for the year (1), engaging in physical activity 3 times per week (2) and decluttering one area of your home (3). This way, you see steady progress throughout the year, marked by small, realistic, achievable goals.
Always check-in with yourself: Try this quarterly or seasonally, maybe even monthly if you have a habit of moving full-steam ahead without much reflection, to assess if your goals are still aligning with your changing paths. How much changed for you over the last year? Personally, I had 3 major life changes, and the majority of them were not planned in January. Check-ins allow us to make sure that our vision aligns with the path were leading. Additionally, they allow us to continue to redefine and set the tone that fits with how we’re progressing.
Have some fun: Not everything has to be so serious! While scheduling fun may seem silly, don’t forget to carve out time for that movie you’ve been wanting to see, that date night you’ve been promising your partner (or yourself) or that trip you’ve wanted to take. We need balance. After all, it’s good for the soul AND for setting the tone. Plus we can find motivation in recreational activities. For example, reflect on a movie that has touched your soul and made you want to strive for better. Believe it or not these activities can be a form of connection, something essential for setting a tone of health and wellness.
Engage: Bring a friend, family member, colleague or partner on board in your process for setting the tone. We are more motivated when we’ve got someone going along with us. It helps create accountability and can always add a little more fun to those goals that may be less than fun.
Finally, and this is a big one, be kind to yourself!: None of us are perfect and sometimes we set intentions and goals that we find ourselves straying from. Get back on the horse and welcome the failed attempt with open arms. It’s a lesson in making changes and adapting. Give yourself permission to not be perfect at maintaining the tone. Be aware, reflect on what needs to change and start anew.
Wishing you all the best on setting the tone for your new year!
If you are wanting to start the year of strong but find yourself struggling to maintain the energy, we're here to help! Kate Daigle is a clinician who understands that making changes in our lives is not always straightforward – sometimes we all need a little extra support. She can help you explore obstacles to and find what works for you personally from a warm, compassionate, and strengths-based approach. Book a free 15 minute session with her here!