It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when a new year rings in. But that’s because we don’t create the appropriate space and time it takes to grow. Start from within by practicing these essential ways to prepare for 2021.

New year, new you? Not always. No matter how many times we promise – year in, year out – and then slack off in a fortnight, we’ll still come back to our resolutions every December.

We dream about the person we can become, how we’ll transform our lives and become leaner, stronger, healthier, happier, more everything-er. This gives us a burst of good feelings, before we’ve even done anything to achieve them. And when you (most likely) don’t achieve your goals, you abandon all hope. Not this year. Let’s tackle it differently with these three effective ways to prepare for an amazing 2021:

Reflect, but don’t dwell

We all dive straight into the New Year, but often fail to look back on the last 365 days. A lot changes in a year: successes were had, mistakes were made, and relationships come and go. Most crucially, lessons were learnt. Taking time to be honest with yourself, reflecting on major events in 2020, can help you recognise your flaws and strengths so you can take the best actions in 2021. What’s your most precious moment of 2020? Who helped you grow? Who held you back? What did you do most to lead to your successes? What did you do to lead to your failures? What will you look back on in 2030 and be proud of?

prepare for 2021

Dream big, but start small

When we decide to change for the better, we feel little heart bursts of hope. Which means it’s easy to set ourselves huge tasks to take on. When every TED-talker worth their salt is telling you to dream big, why start small? Dropping two stone is surely better than drinking two extra glasses of water every day? This is where the problem lies. Big resolutions don’t stick. One of the best ways to prepare for an amazing 2021 is to change those small, everyday choices that lead to motivating results. One more sit-up at the gym, one more vegetable on your plate, one more class a week, one more book a month… once you’ve made these a habit, you’ll be ready for the next steps. What’s more is you’ll have the energy and mental willpower to actually do them.

Practice positive intent

We can’t all be shiny happy people, all of the time. And that’s okay. But practicing positive intent day-to-day can really help shift your perspective, helping new habits stick and make goals simpler to reach. To truly see progress, simply turning up to the gym isn’t always enough. Practicing intent helps you make decisions based on what you want or need. You’ll exercise with a clearer sense of purpose, or work towards a goal with a strong idea of what it looks like. Which means you’ll feel more accomplished when that goal is reached. Close your eyes and imagine what the first three or four months are going to bring for you – whether that’s running 5K or learning the basics of a new language. Think about what it can do for you. Personal independence? Better health? Happier life? Visualising your intentions will strengthen your mindset – which is often the very reason we don’t live out our year the way we want to in the first place.

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