My birthday is coming up and I was thinking about what I wanted to do to celebrate. Every year I am either very happy on my birthday or depressed. Birthdays are a time to reflect on what you have accomplished (or not accomplished, hence the depression). This birthday I plan to reflect and motivate myself towards my future goals. I call it birthday motivation. In this article I will provide my strategy (four tips) for using your birthday as an annual reflection / motivation going forward.
1. Reflect on what you have accomplished / learned
First, you should spend some time reflecting on what you accomplished or learned in the past year. Combing through pictures on social media or on your phone are a good place to start. If you had a disappointment this past year, reflect on what you learned from that so you can move forward. How can you turn a negative into a positive?
2. Reflect on what you want to do
Once you know what you learned / accomplished, think about what you want to do this coming year. Do you want to accomplish something on your bucket list, like run a 5K or write a book or do a poem at an open mic night? Or do you want to be better physically and lose weight or eat healthy or read more books? Or are you looking for a new job, or to get a promotion a work or to go back to school? Think long and hard about what you want to do. Spend some time alone to do this.
3. Make a plan going forward
Once you know what you want to do, you need a specific plan to do it. Let's say you want to eat healthy, read more books and get a promotion at work. How will you do these things? What will help you? If you joined a book club or started a book club with your friends that would help you read more books. If you got your library card, or asked for gift cards to buy books, that would help as well. If you set aside a comfy chair at home to ready that would also help. Make a list of things to help you accomplish these goals or a list of what's needed. What do you need to get a promotion at work? More education? To impress the boss with a project? A mentor or colleague to assist you? You can also make a vision board showing your goals and some of the steps to get you there. For eating healthy your vision board could include healthy alternative recipes and pictures of your favorite meals. If you make a vision board and look at it daily, that will help you stay focused. If you make a list, you should revisit the list monthly to edit it and make sure you stay on track.
4. Celebrate another year of life with family or friends
Finally, celebrate your successes and another year of life with those you love. It's doesn't have to be elaborate, it could be a simple meal, but having those you love around you to celebrate your accomplishments, what you learned and the day you were born should help give you the motivation to focus on your goals for the coming year.