Let's keep it simple. Five key ideas to provide a focus for this year.
Ignore the pop psychology. These are my picks from objective research.
1. Choose to take charge of your own life
It's a liberating choice and having decided that you are the captain of your own ship, you can make other liberating choices.
For example, you could choose to be an independent thinker, not a slave to others' opinions. You could choose to be unembarrassable, so you don't fret about what anyone else will think of you if you speak up at a meeting or a customer is rude to you.
2. Adopt a growth mindset
People with growth mindsets believe that life is a series of learning opportunities, even when things go pear-shaped. They enjoy challenges and they're resilient.
Not if you've come to believe that people are either talented or not, or intelligent or not - and there's not much they can do about it. That's a fixed mindset.
Fixed mindsetters avoid challenges because failure could be devastating. Practice doesn't appeal to fixed mindsetters either. Practising, like failing in a challenge, would suggest that they didn't already have what it takes.
Who would you admire more: someone who is 'gifted', or a 'high-achiever'? Choosing gifted suggests a fixed mindset. It's time to change.
3. Add some pessimism to your goal-setting
No, really. Too much optimism gets in the way.
Be hopeful and show grit for the long haul, but count on setbacks along the way. Imagine what the setbacks might be and come up with strategies to get you back on track if they happen.
Don't wait. The most optimistic goal-seekers are the least resilient. They are crushed by setbacks. With your strategies in place, you won't be.
4. Make your goals action-based
Dream big if that's your thing. But whatever your ultimate goal, break it down into mini-goals describing what you will do, or have achieved, by a certain time.
A picture of your dream home on the fridge and no steps to get there is just a fantasy.
5. Go easy on yourself
It just sounds like a soft option.
If you decide on a diet, but cave in at the sight of the cheesecake, accept that lapses happen and get yourself back on track. Beating yourself up about it won't help.
Watch out for another trap - the 'what-the-hell effect'. (That's its official name.) A WTH effect victim would think, 'Ah well, the diet's gone now. Where's the rest of that cheesecake?'