A Remedy For New Year Blues

There’s a dark side to seeing in a new year.

And we’ve all been there.

The holidays end. You need go back to work. Get started on all those new year resolutions… but when you wake up in the morning –

Something cracks.

A new year used to bring excitement and joy. But for most adults, going back to the grind can be dangerously depressing.

What’s worse – this depression creeps up on you. It doesn’t announce itself right away.

The first week or two of January are usually fine.

Then the third and fourth weeks comes along, and a dark feeling starts brewing.

If you’re not careful, by February these dark feelings can turn into full-scale overwhelm.

Like someone punched you right in the stomach.

It’s unbelievably HARD to climb out of this hole.

Not just because of the emotional challenge itself. But because once you fall into the New Year Blues – you become blind to opportunities.

And when you’re blind to opportunities – reaching your 2021 goals becomes impossible.

Before you know it, it will be 2022 – and you’ll wonder where all the time has gone!

Well, Not This Year!!!

Summertime is a season of massive opportunities – and I’m not going to let you miss out on them!

If you’re feeling a little blue, and the excitement of the new year is rapidly subsiding, listen.

I’ve been there.

I’ve faced the same monsters.

I still do. (And so do most successful investors.)

So what I want to do in this post, is give you –

My System For Combatting “New Year Anxiety” (In 5 Simple Steps)

Important: The key for this to work is that you follow these tips before February ends.

This is how you create momentum and clarity for the rest of the year!

Skip it, and you risk falling into the trap of “OMG it’s March already, and I haven’t accomplished anything I planned!” (And I’m sure we’ve all been there!)

So here’s what you do instead to make sure you don’t slide down the rabbit hole, developing negative feelings that will block your success:

Step 1: Stop! And Think

2020 went quick, (just like every other year). And here’s a little secret:

By acknowledging the past, you have the opportunity to take ownership of mistakes. To learn from them. And leave them in the past – where they belong.

You also get a chance to relive your wins, congratulate yourself, and use them to inform your decisions for this coming year.

Take a moment to reflect:

  • What 3 things did you achieve this year?
  • What 3 things can you take away from this year?
  • What frustrations did you have this year?
  • What did you learn?

It wasn’t until I sat down and took a good hard look at 2020 before I realised how eventful it was.

I had a lot of frustrations:

  • Not acquiring the house we wanted in France (our home away from home!)
  • Not completing my goal of learning didgeridoo (Still learning the breathing techniques!)
  • Not completing my 42km marathon run in the desired time

That’s a lot of emotional baggage I was carrying around. Weighing me down without me even realising it.

However, by asking myself what I did achieve in 2020, I was able to change my mindset. To breathe new life into 2021. To get inspired for the year ahead!

Some positives for me were:

  • Spending 4 months in France with my family
  • Running 2 Joint Venture Bootcamps. Helping more than 50 people change their lives and whole approach to property investing was a huge and satisfying win.
  • (There’s another bootcamp coming up by the way.
    Click here to learn more and save your seat!)
  • Meeting more interstate people by making our monthly property meetups online and free during lockdown (so everyone could share in our incredible events!)

And some more little things that warmed my heart:

  • Watching our kids learn during lockdown
  • Climbing one of the local mountains or hilltops
  • Helped fund a large development on the Sunshine Coast
  • Driving for 12 months without copping a speeding fine!!

Step 2: Switch Off & Let Go

“For there’s no need for turning back

‘Cause all roads lead to where I stand.

And I believe I’ll walk them all

No matter what I may have planned.”

Don McLean, Crossroads, 1971

Whatever happened in 2020 was part of your journey.

Things just had to happen the way they did.

And now –  it’s time to let it go. “‘Cause all roads lead to where your stand.”

You can’t move to the next stepping stone if you don’t let go. And here’s a fascinating human quirk:

Here’s the best way to make your body let go of emotions:

Kickstart the healing process by letting go of all the stuff you don’t need. Clear out the old – so you can bring in the new:

  • Get rid of or donate unwanted clothes or the kid’s toys
  • Change your language by removing the negatives like “I can’t find any deals” and replace with “there are an abundance of deals for everyone”
  • Remove people out of your life that suck your energy or don’t contribute to your well being.

Then, allow your brain to re-adjust, by giving it much needed space:

  • Switch off and go “device-free” for a day
  • Take a weekend in nature (or even just a walk on the beach)
  • Do something fun and exhilarating (snow skiing, bungy jumping, whatever floats your boat!)

I promise you – you will feel like a brand new person!  

Step 3: Make Room For Big Dreams

Now that you have physical and mental space, you mind is fertile. It’s time to sow some new seeds.

Now is the time to think, dream and wonder – what do you really want from the next year? Five years? Ten?

With all the baggage from last year casted aside, here’s how you re-discover what you really want:

Take a night or weekend away. Maybe a yoga retreat away from your usual surroundings. Or if that’s not possible, even an afternoon session with nature would do.

Take your goal book with you (if you don’t have one, buy one – I recommend the Otto A5) and get ready to put some ideas on paper.

Pro tip: The secret to making goal setting FUN (instead of a chore) is to KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Open the journal, and divide the first page into 3 parts. On the first one, write the headline: Family. On the second, Finance. And on the third, Fitness.

Now in each section, list one or more things that would make you happy. Just the thing itself – don’t worry about how you’re going to achieve it yet!

(Getting too far ahead of yourself is how people get overwhelmed in the first place!)

For example:

Family

  1. one holiday to your favourite destination booked and paid for by 5th February.
  2. A separate monthly date night with each of my kids and partner

Finance

  1. Double my current income
  2. Completing one property deal

Fitness

  1. Run 21 km

Can you see how simple these ideas are to create? Yet this exercise is far more effective than meets the eye. Because as soon as you’ve sown the seed, your mind begins to take over and notice the possibilities all around you.

Here are some of my 2021 Goals:

  • Family – Separate Monthly date nights with my wife and kids
  • Fitness – Run a half marathon under 1hr 45mins
  • Finance – Acquire one positively-geared property

Step 4: (Very Very Easy) Copy Your Goals

Writing down your goals in a journal is an important step.

However, if you truly want your mind to commit to achieving these goals, you need to take this next step:

Copy your goals to somewhere you will see them every day.

(By the way, even just the act of copying is proven to have a huge impact on increasing the odds you achieve your goals!)

What I recommend to all my mentoring clients, is to copy their goals into a visual format they can look at daily. Like a Goal Board.

If you’re not into goal boards just create something you can look at daily.

Buy a bunch of second hand magazines. Then go nuts! Start cutting out any words or images that resonate with the goals you wrote down in step 3.  

Include things like:

  • Holiday destinations
  • Car, boat, house
  • Healthy bodies
  • Inspiring quotes
  • Print out photos of yourself and loved ones

Pro tip 1: You don’t need to get it all done in one session.

In fact – you shouldn’t, because it turns it into a chore, and your future is not a chore! So spread this across multiple sessions, and have fun!

Pro tip 2: Remember this is NOT  about how these dreams are going to come true. So don’t hold back. Dream BIG!

Arrange the images and text into a type of collage and glue onto the board. Remember, it’s your life goals. So choose the images that YOU resonate with!

Here’s one of my goal boards from a couple years ago. Marisa and I created it before we went to live in France for 2 years. The daily joy and excitement this goal board brought us just by looking at it was immense!

(Needless to say – everything on this dream board came to be)

Matt Jones Goal Board
My Goal Board from a few years back

Step 5: Create An Actionable Theme for 2021

Warning: now is not the time to create a super-duper detailed step-by-step action plan for each goal!

It goes against logic, but it turns out the most effective way to start working towards your goals is way more basic:

What you do is, you review your dream board. And you choose a word or a phrase that sums up everything you want to achieve this year.

And this phrase becomes your 2021 theme.

And the theme is like a lighthouse, bringing you back to what’s important to you if you ever lose your way.

Here are some examples:

  • Curious as a child
  • Playful, fun
  • Connection, presence
  • Integrity

Brainstorm this idea a bit. I promise – the word or phrase will come to you.

For example, my theme for 2021 is Connection.

It works for me on so many levels (which is why I chose it.)

Family, Fitness, Finance all require me to connect:

Connect with loved ones. Connect with myself. And connect with my colleagues and UPH members.

How did I find my theme? Funny story. It actually came to me as a blinding flash as I was driving home one night.

No, it wasn’t an oncoming car, thank god! It was my subconscious doing “its thing.” And it did so automatically for me, after I spent some time brainstorming in quiet reflection. Following exactly the same steps as I’ve laid out above.

Pulling It All Together

I already gave several pro tips in this post, and here’s my best one:

You win the he battle through consistency.

Consistency is the key to EVERYTHING.

Small, consistent steps will always beat pie-in-the-sky mega plans.

Break down your goals into quarterly milestones. Break those down into daily actions. Into themes. Into repeatable baby steps. And I guarantee you – you will win this race.

We all underestimate ourselves. Where in fact, according to science, most of mankind only operates at 40% of their true potential.

So there’s so much more inside you – even when you think you’re done and dusted!

Don’t let the new year blues kill 2021!

Set you goal. Define your target. And start taking aim. Do that, and you’re already on your way!

One More Thing…

If you’re still doubting yourself –  hold it right there!!!

As I said,  everyone needs help in getting this right. Which is why I created the Ultimate Property Hub community

If you want to make sure you smash your property goals, finance goals, and life goals in 2021 – you need to Jump in and check it out.

It’s going to be the best decision you make this year.

I’ll see you on the inside!
Matt

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