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You may be tempted to countdown the days until you can kiss the year goodbye, but this is the perfect time of year to reflect on the past 12 months and plan for a happy and fulfilling year ahead.

Here are 10 steps to plan for your best year yet.

1. Reflect on the year that was.

Take a few moments to look back on your year. Where did you experience the most joy or satisfaction? What areas of your life are not working so well? What life lessons did you learn and what did you discover about yourself?

Your answers to these questions will provide vital clues and insights into what you need to focus on and how you can positively transform your life in the new year.

2. Choose to let things go.

We all have old resentments from the past, regrets or mistakes that we carry around with us. They weigh us down and holding onto them is not serving us.

Make a list of memories or events from your past that you are willing to finally let go this month. You may also like to physically declutter items your home (like excess clothing, broken furniture and old paperwork).

By doing this, you will be making space for new dreams to come to you in the new year.

3. Get in touch with who you are.

There is no one single definition of success. In order to live a happy and fulfilling life, you need to get in touch what what you value, what you desire, what you are passionate about, and what your gifts or strengths are. By knowing more about your uniqueness you will be in a better position to set goals that feel right to your soul, rather than setting goals based on the status quo or expectations of others.

4. Create a vision for your life.

Write down what you would love your life to look like in key life areas, like love and relationships, career and contribution, wealth and lifestyle, health and wellbeing, learning and creativity, and soul or spirituality. Let your imagination run wild and map out an overall vision for your ideal life.

5. Set your top goals and plan of action.

Take your vision and choose your top goals or priorities for the year ahead. What would make the biggest impact on your life? What excites you the most? Goals take time and energy, so you need to make sure you are committed to your top goals and know why you want to achieve them; how will it benefit or change your life? Then take your top goals and break them down into action steps you can take each month.

6. Upgrade your mindset to match your dreams.

You need to believe in your ability to kick your goals in order to achieve them. Ask yourself: "What beliefs would help me achieve my goals?" For example, believing that you are capable, resourceful, confident, and of value to the world. Write a list of 5-10 affirmations based on your new beliefs and read them daily.

7. Schedule in time to fill your cup.

A happy life is not just about external goals and achievements. It's also about making time for doing the things we love - for play, creativity, laughter, relaxation, hobbies, learning, and quality time with loved ones. Take a look at your calendar and make sure you are scheduling in time each week for fun and relaxation.

We are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. Reflect on your circle of friends. Do they bring out your best? Are they supportive and uplifting? Make a commitment to invest your time in good company over the next 12 months, and distance yourself from people who don't serve your highest good.

9. Choose a new habit to add to your routine.

We become what we repeatedly do. Reflect on your daily habits and routines. Are they serving you? What is one small positive habit you can add to your routine to set you up for success? For example: Meditation, journalling, yoga, doing a weekly review of your goals, or giving your time for a cause you believe in.

10. Be present in each moment.

Every day is a beautiful gift filled with beauty, blessings and magic. Don't make the mistake of playing the when-then game, which sounds like this: "When I achieve my goals, then I'll finally be happy".

The truth is happiness is a mindset and a state of being that you cultivate through gratitude and enjoying your life now. And when you learn to appreciate and enjoy this very moment, you will have more energy and inspiration to achieve your biggest goals and dreams.

Elyse is a writer and life coach at NotesOnBliss.com. She teaches people about soul, dreams and happiness. For FREE updates and inspiration, sign up now.

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