New year, new you? Making the case for new year, evolved you.

Each year, many people interpret ringing the new year as a fresh start: a new year, a new you. It manifests itself in many ways, with the quintessential example of a promising new gym membership that quickly devolves into a monthly $55 donation to your local gym (I’m looking at you, 2012 Anita).

Instead of wiping the slate clean, let’s think about 2017 as an evolution of time, and correspondingly, an evolution of you. Take these four steps, with a personal example I have from this year:

  1. Record events: document what has stuck with you from 2016. In December, I spent a few nights in a Belizean jungle, wedged in a wooden slat that marginally resembled a bed, insect noises keeping me up at 3am.
  2. Categorize events into themes: personal growth, friendships, career, family, romantic relationships, etc. I filed the jungle under personal growth + travel.
  3. Reflect: on what you learned, what you’re proud of, what you would have changed, and why. From the jungle: I played the drums, built a fire, and stargazed with Belizean locals. I spent an evening chatting away an older couple from Alaska that had gone snake hunting in the Amazon. My stretch experience led to this incredible cultural experience.
  4. Develop your evolution plan: in the next year, what do you want to keep, what do you want to change? What themes will be the most important to you? From the jungle: continue to seek uncomfortable experiences, and find meaningful personal growth in them.

How will you become a more evolved, balanced version of yourself? What goals will you undertake, be they small and tactical or big and nerve-wracking, that you’ll revisit in 2018 and be proud of?

Here are mine:

  • Start blogging. I view writing as a terrifying thing to share with others, so like my jungle experience, I’m going to file this under a stretch experience for personal growth.
  • Plan a concert experience to share with my younger sister, who is passionate about music. Filed under a small, but meaningful family goal.
  • Get Flex off the ground. Document my experiences as a first-time entrepreneur and co-founder, and their personal and professional implications. Filed under career growth.

It’s easy to let a “new you” fall to the wayside. Let’s make an evolved you last.

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