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Hello, 2018: 10 Ways to Start the Year Off Right

This is definitely your year.

Clink! Happy New Year! From all of us at Venna, we’d like to welcome you to 2018 with open arms and hopeful hearts.

Now that we’ve got the first few weeks of the new year under our belts, it’s time to get serious about setting goals, reaching stars, and chasing dreams.

Sound like a lot? Don’t worry, Venna’s got your back. We’ve put together a list of ways to make this year magic by setting yourself up for success from the start.

2017 was a year full of ups and downs, and we’d be lying if we didn’t say we weren’t a bit excited to wave goodbye to some of the challenges the previous 12 months presented us with. But, as with every new year we encounter, this one will have new opportunities, hills to climb, and mountains to conquer. And quite frankly, we’re looking forward to celebrating all that we have, and all that is to come this 2018.

So, if you’re needing some inspiration and organization to kick off 2018 with a bang like we are, read on to our top 10 ways to get ready for an incredible year.

1. Treat yourself.

The concept of self-care can come in many forms. Whatever you decide to do to reward yourself for all you accomplished in 2017, make sure it’s something that you’ll really love. Whether it’s a massage to de-stress from the holiday season, or a new pair of shoes to step into the year in style (we’re loving these booties from Seychelles at Nordstrom, which are perfect to go from winter to spring!), allowing yourself to splurge or take time to enjoy something you love will put you in a good mood to start the year.

We believe that when you feel your best, you’re more likely to do your best in all areas of your life. One way we like to indulge ourselves this January is to grab our favorite Venna flavor, a good book, and take a long hot bath while reflecting on how far we’ve come since this time last year. After feeling refreshed and renewed, taking on the challenge of a whole new year’s worth of possibilities seems a lot more manageable. So, let yourself buy that new coat, take yourself out to a nice dinner, or spend a day on the couch watching your favorite shows. It can be anything, as long as it’s something you like to do.

2. Set goals, and write them down.

This one may be pretty self-explanatory, but it’s a good reminder to hang up your goals somewhere where you’ll always see them. This way, you’ll have to stare them in the face every time you start to think about giving up, and trust us, it’s a lot harder to give up on something when it’s right in front of you every day.

So, grab some pretty paper, your favorite pens (we recommend these fun gel pens from Ban.do), and write down your goals, then hang them up somewhere visible like your bathroom mirror, fridge, or above your bed!

3. Find your word.

Sometimes, a resolution as concrete as “I will go to the gym every day,” or “I will save a third of every paycheck,” can be daunting, and hard to stick to for an entire 12 month period. Think about your goals and resolutions as individual pieces in a collection that will all fit into one overarching theme or motto that ties it all together. What theme would your collection of goals for 2018 be? Maybe it’s “health” because you want to eat cleaner, shop organic, and strengthen your core. Or, “creativity” to inspire you to explore your artistic side, think of more innovative solutions to problems at work, and spice up your romantic life with new and exciting date ideas.

Whatever your theme is, make sure it’s a word you’re excited about and can come back to again and again throughout the year. Essentially, it will be your motto to live by, and it should motivate you to stick to your goals. Some of our favorite words to use for 2018 include self-appreciation, open-mindedness, spontaneity, productivity, and empowerment.

Tip: If you’re struggling to find one word that encompasses everything you want in 2018, write out your goals and ideas for the year on paper, cut them out, and separate the strips into groups. The groups can be based on goal type, or area of your life they will affect. Then, you can choose a few words to string together that will capture all of your resolutions. Or, seeing them in front of you may help you realize they’re more related than you think, and you can find one word to live by for the year.

4. Get serious about scheduling.

I know, I know, it sounds horribly boring. But it’s going to be a lot harder to conquer your goals if you never have the time to work on them! So, invest in a great planner. We love Ink + Volt for all things organization and planning, and their Signature Series Planner is perfect for making the most out of your year. It helps you set goals, reflect on your progress, and stay organized all from a beautifully-bound book you can fit in your bag.

Try dedicating an hour or so each Sunday evening to write out everything you know is happening in the upcoming week. That way, you can write in when you’re going to work on personal projects, goals, or even schedule your down time. Knowing you have an hour dedicated to yourself mid-day will make getting your chores and work done so much easier.

5. Pursue your passions.

Things we enjoy doing outside of work are an important part of mental and social health, and you may realize you’ve found a new calling (or maybe, you’ll connect with interesting, like-minded women through experimenting with your interests). After a 2017 that was at times rocky and unstable, putting off your interests or hobbies for another time is out of the question. If 2017 taught us anything, it was that we have no time to waste, and must take every golden opportunity that comes our way.

So, consider this your golden opportunity. I am presenting you with a free pass to do whatever you want to do in 2018. Want to learn pottery, salsa dancing, or photography? Sign up for a class. Check out CreativeLive for flexible online classes you can do from home! Interested in woodworking, or metal engraving? Head to the book store (or internet) and see what you need to do to get started.

Whatever it is you’ve been longing to try, 2018 is the year to do it. You can even put down your first day of passion-pursuing in your schedule, *wink wink…

6. Get your priorities straight.

That means doing what’s best for you, all the time. Don’t worry, we’re not talking giving up nights out having fun for nights at the gym. What we mean by “getting your priorities straight” is making sure you’re not focusing your energy on things that aren’t benefiting you, especially long term.

This means dropping bad habits (even ones as small as biting your nails, or as crucial as overspending at the mall just because there was a sale- try painting your nails, or buying a cup of coffee instead), doing what’s best for yourself, and not putting up with negativity.

You don’t have to cut out things you enjoy, in fact, you should give them more time and attention. Just make sure you’re not spending too much time on what doesn’t make you happy. Been unhappy in your career for awhile now? Quit. An unhealthy relationship interfering with your life outside of it? Leave. Trust us, you’ll be better off in the long run. Whatever isn’t making you happy, phase it out of your life, and focus your energy on what you know is good for you.

7. Go easy on yourself.

As exciting and productive as the start of a new year can be, there can also be a lot of pressure. This can come from friends, family, or social media bombarding you with “motivation”. But, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or just not into the resolution-making spirit, that’s okay!

Switch off your phone, cook a delicious meal, and don’t beat yourself up for not being on your A-game right away. The holidays are stressful and you may just need a little time to get in your groove before jumping into a whole new set of obligations.

Try not to sweat the small stuff.

8. Visualize, visualize, visualize.

Where do you want to be by the year’s halfway point? How about the end of the year? Maybe you’ve got a new fitness goal, or want to finally perfect that recipe that you never get quite right. Perhaps you want to finally ask for that raise, or go for a promotion at work. Instead of thinking about it and wishing it would happen, close your eyes and think about already being there. Think about what it would feel like to be sitting behind the desk in the corner office, or how great your body will feel when you finally complete that yoga class.

Sit with this image for a minute and take note of what kinds of things you’re feeling and noticing in your mind. Okay, have you got the feeling of having accomplished your goal? Great. Now hold onto that feeling of success, and think about all the steps you need to take to get there.

This sort of “working backwards” thinking can help motivate you to set your game plan into action. If you have an idea of how wonderful the success feels, you’ll want to work for it all the more. Going even as far as writing down what it will take to get where you want to be in a checklist if it’s possible can help break down big goals into smaller, more manageable steps. Rifle Paper Co. has the perfect notebooks and journals to inspire you to keep your thoughts looking pretty on paper. And, you can get one in a beautiful pattern, to match your favorite Venna pen!

9. Reflect on your progress from 2017.

2017 was difficult, eye-opening, challenging, and empowering, all at the same time. We now live in a world where women are lifting each other up, and no longer holding back from chasing their dreams. Think about what your goals were at the beginning of last year. You may be surprised at how many of them you actually accomplished, even if you weren’t consciously crossing them off a list.

We sometimes forget that we are in control of many outcomes in our lives, things aren’t always happening to us, but often because of us. Use this idea to remind you of your power and strength, and give yourself the credit you deserve for how much awesome sh*t you did last year. Promise, you earned it.

10. Tidy up your space, and mind.

Taking a few hours at the beginning of the year to clean out any old junk you don’t need, and 20 minutes or so at the end of each week to reset your living and workspace tidiness can make all the difference in your happiness and workflow. Having a clean home, car, or office will ensure you’re ready to take on whatever 2018 throws your way, without having to shove 2017’s leftovers in your junk drawer before getting started. Having trouble keeping your desk organized? Target’s Threshold collection has desk accessories to match any office color scheme, and will instantly up your work space’s chic-level.

It’s no secret that a cluttered desk can make you less productive, but the same can go for your brain! If you’re worrying about insignificant details all day, you won’t be as likely to be performing at your best (and we know a busy woman like you does not have time to waste).

Make a list, check it off, and take fifteen minutes to meditate and center yourself each morning so you can get your thoughts in order before starting the day. Nothing feels worse than losing precious time to worrying about something that isn’t going to happen for another few days or weeks. Focus only on what’s right in front of you, don’t lose sight of your end goal, and never let inconveniences or outside forces distract you from conquering your next meeting, interview, date or barre class.

So, dear Venna woman. How will you use these tips to make 2018 your year? Let us know, comment below, or reach out on Instagram @my_venna. As always, thanks for letting Venna stand by you as you embark on what is sure to be a year to remember.

And cheers to the new year!