6 Ways to Start the New Year With a Blank Slate

This advice will help you start 2022 on the right foot.

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By Kelly Hyman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Once the chaos of the holidays is over and a new year is on its way, what better time to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Taking much-needed time to disconnect and reflect will help you better prepare for the year ahead.

The power of disconnecting actually allows us to recharge the batteries and refocus, which leads to more productive, purposeful days. The goal isn't always to work harder, but rather to work smarter. And with that comes knowing when to take a break. Ready to start anew in 2022? Here are six tips to help you get started.

1. Schedule solo time

The holidays are a time to get together with family and friends and create new memories. Life gets busy for all of us, but there's nothing like taking time to be with those who mean the most to you. However, we often forget to schedule time for ourselves as well. Heading into the new year, work in moments of self-care. Whether that means a long walk in nature, curling up with a good book, or enjoying a day full of pampering, however you like to reset your energy, find ways to make more room for it in your life.

Related: Why Alone Time Gives Your Business an Edge

2. Prioritize your health

Whether you're working toward specific fitness goals or giving more attention to your mental well-being, prioritizing your health is essential. If it's become a norm to skip a daily workout or barely make it outside due to back-to-back meetings, use this time to reset. The more we give back to our bodies, the better it is for us in the long run. Showing appreciation through mindful eating, exercise, and meditation are ways to preserve our health and ultimately, make us more productive.

3. Nurture the home

Is your home a place of calming sanctuary or has it become Grand Central Station, where your work and personal life are combined as one? Assess the areas of your home dedicated to work tasks and responsibilities and carve out areas where you can relax without a computer monitor or piles of paperwork nearby. Clearing out the clutter of your space has a positive impact on clearing out the clutter of the mind, making you more efficient and focused throughout the day.

Related: 10 Ways to Declutter Without Going Minimalist

4. Acknowledge simple joys

The simple joys of life sometimes get missed as we go from one event to another. However, some of the smallest things can have the biggest impact on our overall mood and the makeup of our life. Maybe your simple joy is a cup of morning coffee or an evening mug of tea. Maybe it's a kind word from a stranger or enjoying a bubble bath at the end of the day. Start making a list of at least three simple joys you've experienced each day. It'll help you feel more intentional and get your day started off right.

5. Start a gratitude journal

Rather than jumpstart your day scrolling through your emails or social media, set aside a few moments to make a gratitude list. It can be as formal or as informal as you'd like. Make it convenient so you'll keep consistent. The point is to disconnect from the busyness and check-in with yourself. Whether it's something you write down first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed, it helps fill your mind and heart with intentions of thanks. This mindset then influences those you come in contact with and spreads gratitude in subtle ways all the time.

Related: How Journaling Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur and Leader

6. Remove one thing

If the idea of getting rid of your to-do altogether causes more chaos than calm, consider removing at least one thing. Whether it's one meeting (where an email would suffice), one after-work event, or one last check-in on social media, remove it. Though it's nice to take a few days to disconnect completely, when this isn't possible, one thing is achievable for anyone. Alternatively, add one thing that could help you disconnect. Whether it's a daily meditation, an exercise class, or pampering treatment, make sure there's time baked in when you aren't required to be "on."

New Year, New Motivation

However you decide to prepare for the new year, consider disconnecting from the multitasking chaos of the day-to-day. When we slow down and pay attention to all we have, it allows us to refresh and enter into new projects, ideas, and goals with new inspiration and motivation.

It also prevents burnout, illness, and other things that can bring our schedules to a halt whether we like it or not.

Regularly scheduled times to disconnect and be intentional can make a big difference. As you review the past year and prepare for the new one ahead, consider the things you'd like to change and what you'd like to keep. Are you in maintenance mode or ready for growth? What habits have served you well and what are ones worth getting rid of?

This kind of self-assessment will help once the planning mode is in effect. Until then, enjoy time to unwind and wipe the slate clean. Then, once January is in full swing, you can feel ready to take on whatever the next chapter has in store.

Kelly Hyman

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

TV legal analyst and Attorney

Kelly Hyman has been called "a modern day Erin Brockovich" by Forbes. Hyman has appeared numerous times on Law & Crime, Court TV and Fox@night. She is a TV legal analyst and democratic political commentator, and as an attorney, Hyman focuses on class actions and mass tort litigation.

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