It’s officially 2023, meaning it’s an entirely new year, a time when the whole world would pause and take a look forward. Some would have a hefty new year’s resolution list ready, itching to tick off their biggest dreams and aspirations. Others may take the new start as a daunting task, not knowing what they’d want to accomplish and whether they even want to leverage the new year as a launching pad for their future goals. Whatever your stance, we wanted to help you kick off 2023 with a bang so we’ve gathered some tips and tricks from Ahmed Tawfik, an expert psychologist on the best ways to prepare for the new year.
Take A Look Back and Appreciate The Past
With every new year, a lot of us have a tendency to use it as a way to avoid our past and instead only look forward to the future. Many will say “I hope the upcoming year will be better”, not being aware of how there is a danger to that sort of mindset. Tawfik stressed on how merely making that statement has this hidden effect of making us conceive of our past in a dismissive way. When we do not acknowledge or reflect on our past, it is hard to move forward because everything that we went through during that year played an immense role in shaping the person standing here today.
“We have to be grateful for the past year” said Tawfik because even the bad moments taught us life lessons that will help us break strides and get closer to our goals in the years to follow. “We need to remember all the moments of patience and every time we were able to persist in the face of the most difficult situations.” Those moments will remind us what we are capable of and what we can bring to the next year.
Time To Be Realistic With Your Expectations
Excitement builds once the new year hits as to many it’s a chance to re-wind the clock and take a second stab at pursuing one’s goals. The problem is that for some, that excitement can be a real kryptonite, sinking us all into the trap of decking out massive goals that are impossible to accomplish. Tawfik gave a simple example of what a typical unrealistic goal would look like:
“Exaggerated expectations can manifest themselves in many ways. One way is for example when a student with a bachelor’s degree aspires to get their hands on a doctorate degree by the end of the year. This is pretty much impossible because of the simple fact that the person doesn’t even have a master’s degree to let alone shoot for the doctorate.” Three months will pass and the student will find himself facing major obstacles and just like that, disappointment will kick in. That immediate loss of hope will sort of paralyze the person from attempting to try again with a different approach.
So, to avoid that journey and truly begin the year on a high note, Tawfik recommends a reasonable wish list, one within our capabilities and financial means. It is okay even if we have to tone down on the goal and make it smaller or even break it into reasonable parts and tackle each one as we go. A great approach to try for the new year is to adapt and constantly change and alter one’s goals. These changes and the small baby steps you take are what will lead up to the bigger result that we strive for.
Make Yourself The CenterPoint
Every year, we all fall into this trap of placing a big lens on the concept of time and change. We aspire for change in such a big way that we lose ourselves in the process. Tawfik says we need to put less focus on the conception of a new year, our aspirations and goals and instead, place a big lens on ourselves. We need to be the focus and center point of the new year, not our goals and our hopes but rather our existence as human beings. None of these aspirations would have meaning if we were not in the picture.
We need to remember ourselves because let’s say we aspire to land a new job for the next year but our health doesn’t permit us to do so. Another example is if we hope to own a yacht but our financial situation makes it impossible to turn that dream into a reality. Without that facet of being honest with oneself, of tapping into our self-awareness and getting to know ourselves, even if it feels like it’s for the first time. The hardest thing to do is to face oneself but without doing so, it will be practically impossible to achieve anything.
With that, we’ve given you snippets of truth and wisdom from an expert psychologist in hopes that you will have some of the ingredients to prepare for a fruitful new year.