It’s that time again when we’re given the opportunity for a fresh start. It’s a time to re-evaluate, self-reflect, and implement changes in our lives where we feel we need them most. And while a new year doesn’t necessarily mean a ‘new me’, it’s the perfect opportunity to make changes to your routines or your spaces, to implement a reset, and ultimately lay the foundations for a prosperous and productive year ahead.
For many, working from home is still on the cards, and while we don’t know how this might pan out for the year ahead, spending some time tweaking your work-from-home environment to ensure it’s comfortable and productive is entirely worthwhile. Here are a few tips for refreshing or creating a new at-home workspace for 2023:
Assign a dedicated workspace
Having a dedicated workspace helps you maintain the all-important separation between work and home life. It not only helps you steer clear of distractions like piles of washing, but it is also really important for your mental wellbeing – it’s much easier to close the door of an office than shut down a laptop on the dining table. Other considerations for your home workspace should be a spot with a good connection to WIFI, sufficient power outlets, and as much natural light as possible.
Many of us have suffered through makeshift work-from-home arrangements, but now, a few years on, it’s time to commit and invest in some specific posture-friendly office furniture. An ergonomic chair is a great place to start, or you could forgo the chair entirely and go for a standing desk. Posture can quickly begin to suffer when you haven’t got the basics taken care of, so get your work-from-home desk and chair sorted now.
Make it your own
Bring some calming greenery into the space with low-maintenance plants like succulents or cacti, splash out on some colour with fresh flowers weekly, add a candle or diffuser, and some functional (but fun) office stationery and storage. Don’t forget that ample lighting is also crucial for a productive workspace. If a naturally lit space isn’t an option, ensure you’ve got a desk lamp or adequate overhead lighting to help avoid eye fatigue and headaches.
Inject some inspo
Staring at a blank wall? Creativity is known to breed creativity, so style your workspace with art that makes you feel good, inspiring quote prints or something more permanent like a feature wall or splash of paint. These will help you create a defined space from which you feel excited and inspired to work.
Now that your workspace is organised, it’s time to look at how you organise your life. Goals come in many forms – big to small, long-term to short-term, and personal or business-related. And when going into any new year, the best place to start is reflecting on the year that’s been. Check in from a personal and professional perspective and explore the highs and lows, what you could have done differently, and what you wish you’d done more. This will help you prioritise what’s important to you in the year ahead.
Setting goals for a new year can be overwhelming, so we’ve short listed 7 actionable tips to help you get started:
1. Take a look at the big picture
Goals should act as stepping stones towards an overall vision. So, before you start, it’s essential to understand your personal vision – this can be what you ultimately want to achieve for the year or the next few years. Without a clear vision, the steps you take in between will not be clear either, leading to confusion and a lack of motivation. We all have a drive and something that motivates us to do the things we do each day. For example, some people work to make money for an end-of-year holiday overseas, the overall vision being a restful holiday. Think about what small steps you can take to reach your vision – these will help you define your goals.
2. Write it down and create a timeline
This may seem like a given (and very obvious) part of the process; however, common sense is not always that common. It’s proven that writing things down provides clarity, keeps you motivated, and helps you visualise your intentions and formulate plans. Keeping a timeline allows you to stay on track – you’ll need to tick off your goals as you head towards your overall vision. Setting a broad vision with no time constraint means goals can drag on and potentially never be achieved. Online platforms like these can help keep your timelines neatly collated and provide timely reminders and an ever-so-satisfying progress bar.
3. Focus on your wellbeing
2023 is the year of being well! Wellbeing is key to productivity and positivity, so make sure you have ‘you’ on the top of your to-do list. Think about a couple of wellbeing activities you really enjoy and define a goal that incorporates these. For example, is daily meditation a priority for you? Regular attendance at a Pilates class or a daily walk with your dog? According to research, it takes an average of 66 days to create a new habit, so make a goal that helps you cement wellbeing habits into your lifestyle.
4. Grab yourself an accountability buddy
Most people struggle to remain focused on their goals; sometimes, moral support can make all the difference. This is where a buddy comes in handy. An accountability buddy is someone you’ve shared your goal with – a work colleague, a friend, an acquaintance or even a family member – that you can rely on for regular check-ins to track your progress and to be there to cheer you on. This can be particularly helpful if you’ve got a shared goal that you can work on together, for example, both attending a weekly HIIT class – you won’t want to let each other down, and you have a buddy to share your aching muscle stories with.
5. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T
Setting unrealistic goals not only means you are less likely to achieve them, but it’s also disheartening and can leave us throwing in the towel and not achieving much at all. We’ve covered making goals using the S.M.A.R.T method here; however, to recap, it’s all about ensuring any goal you create is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Doing this reduces the risk of discouraging yourself (or others) and will give you the foundations for successfully nailing your goals.
6. It’s all about the good in 2023!
We often focus on the negative and forget to celebrate the small wins or positive things that happen to us daily. Dwell on the positive and concentrate on the good in 2023. Whether you do this by journaling what you’re grateful for regularly or starting a Happiness Jar, you’ll soon realise there’s plenty to celebrate.
7. The fast four
Finally, if you’re stuck for inspiration, we’ve got four fast and easy to achieve goals that we think should feature on everyone’s lists for the year ahead:
- Be present in the morning – spend the first half hour of every day disconnected from screens.
- Sanitise your phone every week – rumour has it that it’s dirtier than a toilet seat.
- Take five mindful breaths each day – sure, you’re breathing, but by simply focussing on nothing but your breath for a few minutes each day, you’ll experience plenty of benefits.
- Carve out time for friends and family – you’ll never regret spending time with people you love, so instead of leaving it to chance, schedule regular catchups with those important to you.
Get set for success in 2023!
Setting goals and defining your visions is a crucial part of the journey towards success. If one of your visions for 2023 is to invest in property, make sure one of your goals is to reach out to your local First National Real Estate office for a helping hand in achieving your goals. And most of all get set for success in 2023 and beyond.