Among many important holidays throughout the year, Christmas and New Year are considered to be the most exciting holidays in the U.S. The holiday season brings an opportunity to refresh our mind and body through activities that we adore, i.e. spending time with families and loved ones, planning relaxing vacations, and arranging parties.

The New Year seems to me like the beginning of a new chapter in life. An opportunity to grow both as individuals and professionals with an opportunity to reflect on the mistakes that kept us from our desired goals and milestones. In addition, this is the best time to make plans for the coming New Year. I have compiled a list of a few things to do in the coming year as “New Year’s Resolutions”. We have all followed these practices at one time or another, but making them habits will be beneficial for our inner peace, our society, and our personal effectiveness.


1. Connect with someone new everyday…


“When people go within and connect with themselves, they realize they are connected to the universe and they are connected to all living things.”– Armand Dimele.

Strive to meet and/or greet someone new every day. He or she may be a neighbour you have never met, the person standing next to you in the queue, someone sitting beside you on a train or sharing a cab, your office boy or a mailman, a delivery boy carrying pizza, etc. You may also want to follow someone new on Twitter or subscribe to a new blogger, interact and wish them good luck.


2. Do at least one deed/good gesture everyday…


“A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love”. – Saint Basil

Try to do at least one good deed every day,whether it be lending someone a helpful hand, donating materials you no longer use, giving a cup of tea or coffee to the guard working all night, feeding the hungry, or simply sending a silent blessing someone’s way. This practice surely generates positive feelings.


3. Explore at least one new thing everyday…


“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.” – Ansel Adams

Be an explorer; try to explore at least one new thing every day. It can be the capital of any country, the name of a flower, the name of a star, an animal in the Amazon forest, or simply a word from a different language. Try watching documentaries, biographies, or short films based on real events and characters. Choose a topic that interests you, such as space exploration, wildlife, or the biography of an artist, sportsman or legendary political leader. This practice is beneficial for enhancing knowledge as well as exposure.


4. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and wake up at least half an hour earlier…


“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

An increased workload can stress your nerves which could provoke you to smoke, consume more caffeine or alcohol, or suffer dehydration. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. A balanced diet will help you stay active, energized, and focused on your goals. Choosing plain water over beverages, fresh juices over preservatives, and herbs over artificial flavors will help you achieve your goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Whether you are a morning or night person depending upon the nature of your work, strive to get out of bed half an hour early. Meditate, jog, do a little bit of exercise, and prepare your mind for the day. By following this practice, you will find yourself more productive than when you woke up, got ready and simply rushed to work. “In the early-morning hours, our brain starts preparing our body to wake up before we actually are conscious,” Michael Decker, Ph.D., a sleep specialist and associate professor at Case Western School of Nursing, tells The Huffington Post. “The way we wake up really sets our tone for the day,” he says. This half hour daily will impact your whole day, so get the best use from it.


5. Simplify, Simplify, and Simplify…


“Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Begin simplifying tasks whether they are personal or professional. Keep your work desk simple and tidy by organizing your files. Remove sticky notes you no longer require. Remove old files from your desktop screen or save them to another location for future use. Simplify your phone-book and mailbox by making separate groups and synchronizing your calendar across all of your devices. This will reduce clutter, save time, and get you focused with minimal distractions.

Breaking down your tasks into smaller, simpler steps helps you achieve your target within the defined time limit, making it interesting and easy to execute.


6. Plan out your next day’s activities and priorities…


“A Good Plan Today Is Better Than a Perfect Plan Tomorrow.” – George S. Patton

Maintain a concise to-do list notebook or an app on your smartphone. At the end of the day give yourself enough time to plan your next day’s tasks and activities, both personal and professional. Do some groundwork for tomorrow’s meetings, calls, and appointments, and sleep with a clear stress-free mind.


7. Stand up for a social/ noble cause…


“Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.” – Henry David Thoreau

Make a difference by standing up for any noble cause such as water conservation, global warming, gender discrimination, child labor, peace promotion, and others. Whenever you find some time, do some research and create awareness among your social circle. Explore ideas on how you can contribute to the cause or help spread the word.


8. Don’t let technology drive you; take control…


“Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

Technology is available to make your life easier and more convenient by using resources effectively. We can not deny the fact that IT has revolutionized the way we work and do business by automating business processes. The invention of cloud computing and smartphone technology has further pushed the limits and suddenly we are trapped in the cyber world so deeply that we never have a chance to free our minds.

We begin our day by checking e-mail messages and texts right from our beds and doing so at night before sleep. Give it a break; take control of the technology rather than it driving you. Limit the time you spend consuming addictive games on your smartphones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.

Doing so could free your mind for other important aspects in your life while you are away from work.


9. You are in charge of your destiny; make it count…


“Control your own destiny or someone else will.” – Jack Welch

Be determined and believe in self-empowerment to take charge of your destiny, fate or future. Sail in the right direction that you have planned for your life. Benjamin Franklin once said “Energy and persistence conquer all things”. We are free to choose our own path; however, not every path is alike. If you think you can do it, you can do it!

Now that you are energized, passionate, and determined to enter the New Year after the holiday season, make it count by converting your enthusiasm into a positive energy that should take you to the end of the road. May this New Year be an insightful and positive start for a new chapter in your life.

In the comment section below, please share your thoughts.