This year can be your best yet. Here are 5 relatively small steps that can get you on a new track leading to big changes.
1) Choose new friendships
Just because you’re going back to school doesn’t mean you have to get back into all your old routines and hang out with all the same people. You don’t have to abandon all your old friends… but maybe you should.
If your friends bring out the worst in you, encourage you to do things that just aren’t who you are, or spend time doing things you don’t enjoy doing, then maybe it’s time for a fresh new group of friends. Show me your friends and I’ll show you future. It can be hard to push the reset button your friends, but the beginning of a new school year is the easiest time of the entire year to do that.
Even if you don’t need a brand new group of friends altogether, the start of a new school year is a great time to be intentional about getting to know new people around you.
So how do you take the plunge and build a new entourage? Be the ice-breaker. Be the one who approaches others. Be the conversation starter. Be the one who talks first. By simply starting the conversation, you are leading by example and showing initiative, and what may start as a surface level conversation may turn into a life-long friendship.
2) Choose new opportunities
While working with Monster.com, I had an inside look at what universities and employers were looking for in their candidates. Most recruiters are looking to see if you’ve challenged yourself and in what ways. In other words, it would be better to have B’s in a few AP classes than to have straight A’s in regular classes.
Safe is overrated. Easy is overvalued. Comfortable is dangerous.
Keep your eyes open to new things that interest you. Maybe it’s a new sport. Maybe it’s an AP class. Maybe it’s a new job. Maybe it’s that new girl.
Get outside your comfort zone, stretch yourself, and take on challenges that make your heart beat faster. Too many people play it safe and sit on the sidelines watching other people doing amazing things.
Why can’t you do amazing things? You can if you choose to.
3) Choose a new reputation
You can’t control what people think about you or what they say about you. But even if you have a horrible reputation based on your past, the summer works as a cleanser. You can go away for a few months and come back an entirely new person. You don’t have to be known for your past mistakes, so don’t live up to who you used to be. Make a new reputation for yourself based on new choices and decisions that align with the person you want to be.
4) Choose responsibility
By being responsible with the little things, you’ll get more responsibility with bigger things. When you say you’ll be somewhere, be there. If you have a job, show up on time. If you have an assignment, get it turned in. Following through isn’t rocket science, but by doing small things consistently well, you will likely have more opportunities come your way.
5) Choose grace
People screw up. You screw up. You can let little differences come between you and your friends, or you can choose to forgive quickly and move on. Choose to be someone who doesn’t wallow in bitterness and resentment. It’s not healthy for you, and it taints how others view you.
By implementing these 5 choices at the beginning of your year, you will see big changes by the end. By being intentional and avoiding the temptation to just have a new year that’s the same as your last, this could quite possibly become your best year yet.