Inevitably this time as we wrap up 2022, and move toward 2023, we get a bit introspective about what wins and losses we took during the current year, and how to have a better year in the new. I’ve always tried to improve at least in a little way throughout each and every new year. If nothing else, it can force us to pause and think about what direction we’re headed in, thank the universe for the lessons (and the haters), and turn in a new direction if we feel the need.
With this post, I’ve been collecting ideas on how to have a great new year, and so, I wanted to share these ideas with you. Even if only one idea sparks your imagination, it will more than have done its job.
23 Ideas for a Great 2023
- Go Moneyball on the current year — pull out your goals for 2022, and determine analytically how did you do? I must confess that most of my goals completely derailed in 2022, because my career pivoted in a monster way that I wasn’t expecting. Okay! Go with it! It’s a good time to rethink your goals, especially if your life or career changes in a major way. It’s OKAY if you failed. Let me repeat this — it’s OKAY IF YOU FAILED! That means GROWTH! Onward!
- Create an aesthetic for your year — Gen Z has its aesthetics, like dark academia or cottage core, maybe try that idea on in the new year? How do you want your 2023 to look and feel? How do you want your surroundings for the new year? Imagine you inside your ideal aesthetic. If you need to see a range of aesthetic inspiration, go here.
- Images, vision, themes — Once you have your aesthetic, try creating a vision board. You can create it manually or digitally using a board over at Pinterest. I’ve been trying this for a few years now, and it’s fun to go back at the end of the year to review previous years’ boards to see how things turned out. I’ve got my popcorn for 2022…
- Ask yourself, “What do I want more of in 2023?” —
- Ask yourself, “What do I want less of in 2023?” —
- Ask yourself, “What’s working right now?” — These 3 questions in 4–6 are good to start with if you’re stuck on a vision for yourself in the new year. In 2023, I think I’d like to get back out and travel more and do more talks/conferences (I was not great about this in 2022, for a variety of reasons, mainly still pandemic PTSD being one of them.) I’d like less gray days in 2023 (and I’m already working on how to fix that in the new year.) What’s working for me right now is my job — I love what I do, and it challenges my brain each and every day. Just these 3 tiny questions can make a huge bolus-level start for you to reset your new year.
- Find your theme word for 2023 — If you find these queries overwhelming, just come up with ONE word that you really want to be your theme for the new year. Maybe it’s “cull,” or “clean,” or “fun,” or “consistency,” or “listen.” Whatever your one word is, write it down, and then think about what success might look like around that theme word for the year.
- What’s your stage song for 2023? Think of this as an audio utopia, like your vision board, but for your ears. Imagine you’re walking on stage, about to give the speech of your life — what soundtrack do you want the masses applauding to as you roll out to the microphone?
- Write it down — I am a total sucker for lined notebooks. I write everything down. Pull out your favorite notebook and writing utensil and WRITE IT ALL DOWN. I saw another goals technique on Instagram — write a letter from your future ‘successful’ self back to your current self and date it 12/31/23. I tried this for the first time ever this year — it helps you frame retrospectively what you want to accomplish during the year in a different way.
- Share your goals — Every time you share your goals, you bring them more to life. Now, I’m not the type to shout my goals from the rooftops, but I do share them with one or two people I really trust, and we hold each other accountable….which leads me to my next point:
- Find an accountability buddy — I recently read about groups that get together online just to work out problems in their lives without involving their family or friends. There have always been mastermind groups. Zoom makes it easy to not even have to leave the house anymore if you want to form an online group, even if it is just one other person! Find someone you trust who will hold you accountable and just make a pact to check in 4 times during the year. Zoom is free. You are not bound by space with these accountability buddies anymore.
- Answer this statement, “This is going to be the year in 2023 that I ______________.” I used to send out annual postcard updates on my own stuff, but on the front and far more important was a bunch of questions you could ask yourself for the new year. Keep this idea simple and just answer to yourself the statement above. (Here’s a sample below of the holiday card below — use all the questions below if you like for more ideas:)
13. Ask yourself one thing you want to try in 2023, and write it down — I know one thing I definitely want to try in the new year — WhatNot and social selling. And, I’ve found a way to get started early. What’s the one new thing you want to try?
14. Who inspires you? Who do you admire? What do they do that makes you pay attention? Can you replicate their method (without replicating their message — don’t be a copycat — that’s not cool), but you can find an avatar or method that your inspirational muse uses that you can try to employ over the new year for your own jam, great! For me in 2023, I want to focus on leadership rather than just career development. So much so, that my trifecta of nerdy jams will be changing — from pharmacy benefits, pharmacy law and career development to — pharmacy benefits, pharmacy law and leadership!
15. Ask yourself what’s NOT working or what did NOT work for you in 2022 — Let’s be honest, 2022 was still a burning dumpster fire of garbage-y chaos in many ways — supply chain woes, stock market volatility, hirings and layoffs o’plenty. We’re not out of the woods yet post-pandemic either. So, this is an amazing opportunity to ask yourself what did NOT work for you in 2022 and then look at how to reverse that Titanic in your life before it hits the iceberg. My icy Titanic is giving a d@mn about people’s opinions that just don’t matter. I refuse to let that be a focus for the new year. Pick your albatross and kick it to the curb!
16. Ask others what their goals are for 2023 — you’re doing you and them a favor by asking them this question. You’re bringing their ideas to life, and maybe you’ll also get some inspiration for yourself…? Ask and listen. Be curious. Figure out a way to help them if you can.
17.-20. Check your ikigai — This is my favorite exercise, and I taught it when I was in academia for students trying to figure out their own reason for being. It’s the 5 part test below — 17. what you love to do, 18. what you value, 19. what the world needs, 20. what your strengths are and what someone will actually pay you to do. If you can find that middle ground or intersection of those 5 things, NO ONE can stop you! That’s your ikigai and you should do everything in your power to find that intersection. We’re all just here to find our own centerpoint on the map of the universe! (Note that this was built for 2022 — but I’m bringing it back in 2023. And note to self — go back and check Jenny Blake’s book for 2023…now that the career has shifted!)
21. Legacy check-in — I find this one kind of intimidating myself (full disclosure) but think about whatever you want to do in the new year relative to what your legacy to be. Like, that thing you want to be known for or accomplished before you die. As in, the ‘write your eulogy’ exercise. I think of one of our company leaders at Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs, Mark Cuban himself, and how he is building his legacy to get lower-cost quality prescription drugs to the masses of Americans who don’t have insurance or just cannot afford them. Yes — intimidating example, but worthy of mental exercise!
22. Bucket List check-in — do you have a bucket list? Anything you can cross off from the current year? Anything new you want to cross off in 2023?
23. After you figure out where you want to go, pretend you’re there — Get out your LinkedIn profile and your goals, then start to change up your profile to fit what you want to focus on for the new year, and pretend you’ve already arrived. If you want to speak more, put your talks on your profile, and share what you want to talk about in the new year. If you want a new job, change your strengths and skills to align with the type of work you want to do — use the keywords for the job you want. If a career change is for you in 2023 — go out to the job boards, pull the job descriptions you want next or ultimately, and go back to your LinkedIn profile and figure how to use those keywords and skills in what you’ve already done and articulate them. If you have a clear job description of where you want to go, use the keywords back in your social media and you’ll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Note, I’m not saying LIE on your profile. Chances are that you’ve already somewhere in your past and used the skills you need for your next gig. I’m saying make sure you’re hi-lighting those so you attract the right HR and jobs you want.)
There you go! Twenty-three ideas for you to spark joy in your goals for the new year. I’m here to say…don’t use all of these. Too much! Just try one. Maybe two if you’re super ambitious. Even one can help. Start small, think big.
May you and yours have an amazing 2023, because let’s be honest, we need it after the past few years.
Bring it on!