10 Tips for a Meaningful New Year (and Life)

Most of us start the new year focused on ways to maximize our productivity, health, finances, etc. While each of those are certainly good, it’s also important to start the year with the right perspective.

Below are just a few simple thoughts / reminders on how to have not only a meaningful new year but also a meaningful life. Feel free to add a comment at the end and share a few of your own tips as well.

1. Put God First. Your relationship with God is what matters most. Seek Him, trust Him, obey Him, and let Him guide your life! It’s not about a religion, it’s about a relationship (with the God who loves you and who wants great things for you)!

2. Make Your Family a Priority. No matter what goals you have or what you want to “achieve,” don’t let those “things” get in the way of your family’s happiness. Spend time with those you love, be present, make them feel important, and let your actions prove how much you care. Your family matters more than money or your accomplishments.

3. Treat People Right. Be intentional with others, treat them as you want to be treated, take time to appreciate them, spend time with them, encourage them, support them and make them feel like they matter (because they do). Do this at home, at work, at school, at the grocery store, etc. Do this with people you know and with people you don’t. Try your best every day to make someone else’s day.

4. Don’t Settle. You were called to do something more. Don’t live a life simply seeking “comfort.” Comfort leads to mediocrity and you’ll regret it in the end. If you’re feeling called to make a difference, you can, but you must take action now.

5. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters who say that it is impossible or you can trust that with God, faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible (because they are).

6. Focus on Solutions. Don’t focus on problems, they are plentiful and never ending. Instead be a Solution Seeker, one who looks for opportunities in everything. Remember, where there is a will there is a way.

7. Overcome Adversity. We all face challenges and hard times. The key is to remember that adversity is not a dead-end but a detour to a better outcome. Rise above, don’t let your circumstances stop you. Circumstances are temporary and with determination, perseverance and faith… you will overcome.

8. Don’t Chase Success. Instead decide to make a difference and success will find you.

9. Stop the Negativity. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, negative people (aka Energy Vampires), issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in what you can control… your own thoughts and actions. YOU have the power to choose a positive path or a negative one. It’s not up to anyone else but you.

10. Focus on “Get to” vs “Have to.” Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation. Be grateful.

What are some of your tips for having a meaningful year / life?

Leave a comment below.

*Some of these tips were inspired from my friend Jon Gordon and his “20 Tips for a Positive New Year,” another outstanding list. (Read here).

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • PaulSteinbrueck

    Thanks Daniel! Great advice!

  • Well said, Daniel. There are two other big ones on my list:

    1. Ask penetrating questions, including uncomfortable ones.
    2. Listen – REALLY listen – to others.

    Your post prompted in me this question: Why is is that calling people to an ultimate allegiance to God (#1 on your list) is unusual/uncomfortable/taboo in public contexts (well done for transgressing the taboo!), yet we recognize that it was fitting and right for MLK Jr. to do it in the context of calls for justice?

    • Thanks Graham. If I'm being 100% honest… posting this post did create a little stir in me. Why? Because of listing #1 as #1 but it is #1 for me, which it is, then I'm not going to hide it. However, as you said, we all know that it's considered taboo in the "professional" world to bring up God. I've personally just decided to draw a line in the sand and be true. If it means some chose not to do business with me, so be it but I have to be faithful to God first before I worry about trying to please people. : )

      • Daniel, thank you for posting #1 as #1. If it helps confirm the decision for you, it made ME keep reading. 🙂

  • Amal

    Thanks a lot Daniel for the precious advice and for you honesty 🙂 I especially liked #1.