The New Year hype is over and we’re getting back to reality as the dust settles. How about doing things in a new way? What if this year, you go beyond goal setting to make a difference in your life?

As you work on your goals, it’s easy to get lost in the doing and forget about being alive and human. This year, I challenge you to do things differently and create more happiness and fulfilment in your life instead of waiting for other people or events to change.

When you deliberately focus on making a difference in your life, you start doing things that you love and end up blessing yourself, your family, community and the world.

Here are 7 tips to get you started.

1. Evaluate 2018

Looking back at 2018, identify what went well, what didn’t work out, and the successes and failures you had (both big and small).

If you get stuck and can’t think of many positive things, have a friend ask you the question “What else?” to jog your memory.

Sometimes we focus more on the failures and challenges we’ve had that we forget to appreciate the lovely surprises we got in the year.

When you use this review process weekly, monthly and annually, you’ll grow your ability to set and achieve goals that are meaningful to you.

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TIP: Instead of waiting until the end of the year to do an evaluation, start journaling on a daily basis. This simplifies your year-end evaluation because you’ll just browse through the journal entries.


2. Practice uncommon gratitude

Be grateful for everything that’s happened in your life so far – both good and bad. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are labels that we give the experiences life throws our way.

The seemingly bad things that happen to you have the potential to help you grow faster than the good ones. So thank God for everything and take the lessons learnt so that you’re able to move forward fast.

Take this a step further and make it part of your day by writing in your journal 5 things you’re grateful for every day. You can do this first thing in the morning or last thing at night, just before going to sleep.

3. Be the #1 priority in your life

Women are especially notorious for putting everyone and everything first and forgetting to take care of themselves.

I’m not talking about grooming, image or dressing. I’m talking about having some regular me-time where you go off on your own or set aside time to unwind.

However, if you can’t take time off, find something that you can do each day just for yourself, even if it’s simply relaxing for 30 minutes at the end of the day.

Be very selfish with this time and make it as important as any appointment in your schedule or work calendar.

Here are some things you can do in your me-time:

  • Relax in the bath with slow music and candlelight.
  • Read a novel.
  • Watch a movie alone or with friends.
  • Have a cup of coffee at your favourite coffee shop.
  • Treat yourself to lunch or dinner.
  • Meditate
  • Go to the gym.
  • Meet your girlfriends.
  • Eat a meal without having to rush through.
  • Engage in a craft or hobby that you love.
  • Clear your schedule so that you have one unplanned day where you go with the flow.

The more you put yourself first, the better-tempered you will be. You will also get amazing ideas and solutions to your challenges as you relax.

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If you struggle when it comes to prioritizing yourself, sign up for the 28 Days of Loving Yourself Challenge. This challenge is for high achievers who want to implement a system of
self-care and self-love.


4. Be 100% authentic

Many people spend their lives trying to be what other people tell them they should be. This may work in the short-term, but it only brings misery in the long-term.

Be yourself because you have only one life to live…this one.

The age-old saying “This is your life and not a dress rehearsal” is a reality and not a cliché. If you allow other people to dictate your life, you’ll end up miserable.

The real you – the one you hide from the world – is bold, creative, beautiful, happy and fulfilled. Let that inner gal out.

The world needs more happy people and not more people wearing masks or trying to fit in with what other people expect of them. So no more masks in 2019!

5. Clear your internal and external environments

Environment has a silent but highly powerful effect on your ability to be happier and more fulfilled. This year, start creating an environment that makes you feel better about yourself and life in general.

  • Ditch the friends and contacts who bring you down or motivate you into negative habits and actions.
  • If your colleagues back-stab each other, complain or gossip, it’s time to start hanging out with different colleagues who are more positive.
  • Clear clutter from your home, one room at a time. Don’t wait to upgrade your home to your standard when you have the time and money. Start now and slowly turn your home into a place you’re happy to come back to each evening.
  • It’s time to make critical decisions if you’re experiencing abuse from your boyfriend or partner. Constant exposure to emotional or physical abuse will drain you and leave you at the mercy of the abuser.
  • Take control of your emotions especially if you lose your temper or get worked up easily. Inner calm translates into outer calm and this impacts your life and relationships positively.
  • Start hanging out with people who are moving in the same direction that you want to go while reducing the number of toxic people around you. Hanging out with toxic people ends up killing your motivation and sapping your energy. It also brings out the worst in you!

The theme here is purge, purge, purge! Then replace, replace, replace. Don’t leave a vacuum because you’ll end up bringing back the same habits, people and experiences that you didn’t like in the first place.

Here’s what you can do to make new friends or connect with more like-minded people:

  • Join a few Facebook or LinkedIn Groups that suit your personal, professional or business goals. Just be careful to join groups where people are genuinely working together and not those that are full of complainers or spammers.
  • Attend networking events and breakfast meetings.
  • Go for talks or workshops.
  • Sign up for a class or training where you’ll get new knowledge or skills while meeting new people.
  • Sign up for a group coaching program or mastermind.

[Tweet “You have only one life to live…this one”]

6. Get support and accountability

Every successful person has support and accountability. They’ve made it a priority and not a maybe.

Pick one area of your life where you want to make changes (career/business, finances, relationships, parenting, health and fitness are the main ones) and set a goal.

Then find a way of creating accountability so that you stick to your goal and work on it consistently. The fastest way to achieve your goals is to work with a mentor, sign up for coaching or join a mastermind.

7. Support a cause

Is there something you strongly believe in? What are the injustices you see in your community or the world, that you’d like to change, if only you were able to?

Choose one cause and spare some time each week or month to attend to the cause. You don’t have to go all out, but simply find a way to participate.

You can:

  • Support a foundation or group.
  • Volunteer your time and/or expertise.
  • Teach a class for free or mentor someone.
  • Participate in a fund-raising event.

When you’re willing to help, you will find a way and create the time required.

The simple act of supporting something you believe in is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things you can ever do in your life.

What Next?

These 7 tips will help you make a difference in your life this year. This list is not exhaustive and you don’t have to implement all these ideas.

If reading through the list leaves you overwhelmed, simply pick one and commit to it for the rest of the year. You’ll get great results even if you only take one step and work on it diligently through this year.

What do you think of this list? Are there other things you’ve done that helped make a difference in your life within a year? I’d love to hear from you so share your thoughts and experience in the Comments.

(Image Credit: Stuart Miles at


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