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9 Ways to Kick Off the New Year With a Bang There is nothing magical about the New Year, except if we decide to make it so.

By Jacqueline Whitmore Edited by Dan Bova

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Uwe Krejci | Getty Images

It's always kind of a letdown when the holidays end. The decorations come down, the parties and the gift giving come to an end, and there's no more fruitcake. Okay, maybe you're glad there's no more fruitcake, but other than that, it's time to cheer up.

The New Year offers a bright, shiny opportunity to clear the slate, make a fresh start and set new goals. Here are nine ways to kick off the New Year with a bang.

1. Take a break.

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, allow yourself a break in the action. Break from the norm and take a couple of days off to take a day trip, catch up on your sleep, or go to lunch with a friend. A new landscape will help you de-stress and open your eyes to new possibilities. This is also a good time to write thank-you notes to all those who gave you gifts during the holidays.

2. Create a vision board.

Use this quiet time to reflect on the year past and plan for the new one to come. Pick one or two big things you'd like to accomplish and create a vision board. Bestselling author Jack Canfield believes a vision board serves as a tangible representation of where you are going. In other words, it represents your dreams, goals and your ideal life. Set your goals for each month, quarter and the year, and lay out weekly and monthly action steps that will help you reach them.

Related: The Vision Board Is Your Internal GPS System to Realizing Your Dreams

3. Tidy up.

Clear out and spruce up your working space. The new year is also a good time to purchase new office furniture or accessories. Pack away last year's files and make space for new ones. Clean out your email inbox and electronic files. Organize end-of-year records. Dust, vacuum and decorate in order to get those productive juices flowing.

4. Restock.

Like the start of a new school year, you need new supplies to help you do your best work. Take an inventory of all items you need to do business, and purchase or replace items you have run out of or need to order. This can include a new monitor, computer, printer, or even small items such as business cards, stationery, order forms, catalogs, note pads, pencils, pens and paper clips.

5. Get moving.

Perhaps you overindulged during the holidays. Just about everyone does. Get back in a healthy routing by eating well and exercising regularly. Set specific times during the week to take walks or go to an exercise class. Make an appointment with yourself and put it in your calendar. Use your exercise time to calm the mind, listen to music, TED talks or podcasts, or socialize with new friends.

Related: 7 Reasons the CEO Should Get Outside to Exercise

6. Get organized.

To boost productivity and reduce stress, determine which tasks and duties are priority and which are not. Learn to delegate the less important tasks to others so you can concentrate on running the business. Hire talent or outsource work to freelancers. You can find the help you need by using sources such as Upwork or Fiverr.

7. Get out from behind your computer.

Technology is a great way to network and hold virtual meetings, but try scheduling face-to-face meetings with clients and colleagues whenever possible. Relationships blossom and more deals are likely to happen if you can meet someone in person.

8. Commit to a work-life balance.

Don't let work control your life. This year, set a work-life plan that will enable you to nurture relationships and interests outside of work as well as take care of business. A mastermind group or an accountability partner will help you stick to these resolutions.

Related: In Defense of Work-Life Balance

9. Set a theme

Instead of making a New Year's resolution, come up with a theme instead. The theme should be a word that resonates with you and embodies something that has been missing from your daily life. Write this word down and keep it on your desk and look at it every day. Here are some examples: mindfulness, flexibility, simplify and adventure.

The New Year offers an opportunity to reboot, reorganize, start over, and do the things you've been putting off way too long. Be patient with yourself. You have all year to accomplish your new goals. And don't forget to reward yourself whenever you make strides in a positive direction.

Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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