January, the first of the month, is so named after the ancient Roman god Janus, who possessed two heads with which he could look both forward and backward. To this day, the New Year is a time when we too look back in reflection and forward with resolution. If you’re not happy how your last year went, now is your chance to change course so that 2019 is your best year yet!

When strategizing for a new year, it’s important to identify mental stumbling blocks that are holding you back. No matter how determined you are to change, if your head isn’t in the game you’ll be sunk before you even start. Not only that, but negative thought patterns could be the very reason for past challenges. Here are four ways to hit restart on your thinking so that you can move forward unhampered.

#1. Filtering Your Inner Voice

We all have an inner voice that narrates our lives. For many of us, we’re so used to self-talk we don’t realize we’re constantly engaged in self-dialogue. Unfortunately, this internal conversation is often negative. We call ourselves fat, ugly, incapable and more. If you truly want to succeed this year, it’s time to start paying close attention to your inner voices. If the little voice inside your head is telling you that you’re not enough, it’s time to shut it down and start recording more positive, self-affirming messages. Practice giving yourself compliments throughout the day, especially when you look in a mirror. With time, a positive self-image should become second nature, and when you see yourself as an incredible human and asset, others will begin to as well.

#2. Cut External Negativity From Your Life

One reason why we adopt negative outlooks is because we are often in contact with negativity. The more you hear negative talk, the more likely it is that you’ll adopt a negative outlook, which can severely hamper your ability to succeed. If someone in your life is a source of negativity, try to limit your exposure to them. When you can’t, create clear boundaries about what you will or will not talk to them about. If the root of your negativity is something inanimate, like news, try to limit your exposure to that medium. Put limits on computer time or disengage from social media for a while. Take a purifying mental break from causes of disillusionment and cynicism, and you should see your energy increase and your optimism restore itself, making you a valuable member of your team and an all around great person to be around.

#3. Send Out Good Vibesmental

If there’s one message the holiday season teaches us, it’s that as great as it is to receive, it’s even better to be a giver. If your mental atmosphere is bleak, put a pep in your internal step by looking for ways to make other people smile. Giving people compliments, holding doors open, being the first to greet others with a smile not only lifts your environment but gives you a boost as well. You’ll find you feel more productive and more willing to get things done after you’ve performed some good deed for others.

#4. Treat Yourself

Finally, a great way to mentally refresh is to periodically treat yourself to good things. We often forget that as people we have needs. During the course of the year, we lose track of the things we like to do or feel. Take some time to pamper your body and soul. If you like baths, make it a point to soak in some bubbles every once in a while. Consider taking a class in a hobby you enjoy. Look to incorporate healthy, delicious foods in your diet. Little changes to how you interact with yourself will go far in how you view yourself and how others view you.

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