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-By Favour C. Nrabulu

Starting anything new like living in a new house, starting a new job, a new life partner or even moving into a new year can come with anxiety. In this article are some few pointers to help you start the New Year on a positive note.

1. Show Gratitude for 2020: We all know the year came with its numerous share of challenges; the Covid-19 pandemic which caused a lot of deaths, the lockdown, the economic recession, the end SARS protests, the high percentage increase in the prices of commodities and many more unfortunate mishaps. In all of these however, if we reflect inward as well as around us, we will still see countless things to be grateful for. To start the New Year, we need to identify those reasons why we should be grateful for 2020 and show immense gratitude for them.

2. Think of the things you have to look forward to: as the year begins and progresses, I’m sure there are programmes, holidays, birthdays, events, graduations, and many more things to look forward to. Write them down so you can go back to them whenever you are feeling discouraged, it will make you just think of all the possibilities ahead. Thinking of the good things already planned could and all the amazing things that could happen will keep you excited and optimistic.

3. Make a vision board (this will require you to get creative): think of all the things you want to achieve and what you want the new year to bring to you. Do you want to improve your fitness or eat better and healthier? Or maybe you want to get that promotion at work or get that scholarship? Maybe you want to travel a lot or make a lot of money or get married? All you need to do is to go online and get images or quotes containing the things you want, print and attach them together on a board and hang them somewhere in your room where you can see them every day and it will motivate you to achieve them. You can also simply make a collage of everything on your phone and make it your wallpaper. It will empower and remind you that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to achieve.

4. Make realistic goals and resolutions: sometimes at the beginning of a new year, we tend to set unrealistic resolutions that we end up not fulfilling. The secret is not to set any goal that will put you under unnecessary pressure because at the end of the day, you’ll get discouraged and abandon it all together. So set goals you know you can achieve and break it down to smaller goals you can achieve on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. For example, you want to be in better shape and more fit by the end of the year, you can decide to increase your intake of water daily, workout at least three times a week and eat healthy food daily instead of junk. Achieving these three goals on a daily basis will culminate in you looking and feeling better as the year runs by. So break down your goals be it academic related, work related or marital goals into smaller achievable goals.

    A new year means a fresh start; it is time to stop focusing on what you have done wrong in the past or what has gone wrong for you. Instead, focus on making the most of the New Year and the good things it’ll bring for you and your family.

             I hope 2021 brings so much happiness to us as individuals, to our families, to Nigeria and the African continent at large.