How to Live Your Best Life in 2020

Everyone wants to live their best lives, but that's especially true when a new year, and a new decade, rolls around. This year, you'll be setting attainable goals and taking steps to achieve them while also making time to support yourself and your wellness. Set yourself up for success by taking the time to reflect, reevaluate, and make adjustments throughout the year. And don't forget to dream big with your bucket list!

Start with Setting a Goal

Goal setting is a very important part of living your best life in 2020 because it's how you're going to accomplish the things you've always wanted to. Most people have goals they're working on right now, even if they didn't officially set them.

A goal is simply something you want to complete or accomplish by a deadline. This can be something you want to complete today, this week, this month, throughout the entire year, or at some point in your lifetime. When you think of goals, you may think of larger things, maybe even unattainable things, but almost anything can be a goal if it's important to you that you complete it. You may also see New Year's resolutions as goals, which is another way to frame this basic concept.

There are a few steps to setting a goal and achieving it, and you probably know them already, but maybe you haven't thought about the process specifically. You just say to yourself, "I want to accomplish this by this time," and then find ways to work on that until it's completed. The steps are outlined in more detail below, so they can be adapted to fit goals of any size.

Steps to Successful Goal Setting

  • State your goal.
    • You can use this framework: "I want to [inset goal here] by [insert date here] because [explain your reason/objective]."
  • Outline the steps you'll need to take to achieve this goal. These steps can be big pieces of small, specific steps.
    • The smaller the better, as these steps can be easy to complete and help you gain traction.
    • Transfer these small steps to a task list. This will give you concrete action items to complete your goal.
  • If the goal is to be completed in a timeframe longer than one week, set smaller goals to help reach this larger goal.
    • Breaking this down into pieces you can complete each week or within a few weeks will make it easier to achieve.
  • Explore your task list.
    • Choose one task to complete today. This will get you started and quickly making progress.

Five practices to help you live your best life in 2020

1. Reflect on 2019

In order to live your best life in 2020, you first have to look back on 2019. Reflecting on 2019 means taking a few minutes to flip through your calendar, your social media, and any other place you may have documented your year, maybe a journal, planner, or photo album. This will help you remember all the wins and losses of the year as well as those goals you may have set and the progress you made. Living your best life in 2020 means learning from 2019 in order to excel.

A person journaling

Before setting new goals and talking about how to change things for the better, consider where you are right now. This means looking at your current routines, habits, hobbies, and your daily life. By examining where you are and where you spend your time, you can see where you want to change and grow, and any areas you may want to set goals for in the new year.

Taking time to reflect on 2019 is a great way to see where you want to improve and change for 2020, but it's also a great way to see what you want to keep in your next year. Scrolling, flipping, and reflecting helps you remember each month and can highlight things you'd like to continue to do, from connecting with friends and exploring, to digging deeper into your hobby or maintaining a good habit. Reflection reminds you of all you've learned and experienced in the year, and can help you set smarter goals for the next, which is a great way to prepare you for living your best life in 2020.

Steps to a successful reflection practice:

  • Take a few minutes to review any place you've documented your year
  • While looking at this documentation, take notes of the following:
    • What worked
    • What didn't work
    • Goals you achieved
    • Goals that fell away
    • Successes
    • Stumbles or failures
    • Memories: both good and bad
  • Take note of anything that jumps out at you that you'd like to carry into 2020, including:
    • Goal ideas
    • Places to visit
    • Things to continue
    • Things to remove to stop
    • Bucket list items

2. Consider a wellness routine

Another great way to live your best life in 2020 is to consider adding a wellness routine into your weeks. Wellness could also be considered self-care, how you can create habits to help yourself relax, or take care of yourself in places you may be struggling. It's basically a practice that helps you connect with yourself to understand your thoughts, feelings, and dreams throughout the year. A wellness routine will help you take care of yourself beyond exercise or fitness by helping to support your mind, body, and soul with a unique opportunity to connect with yourself.

Your wellness routine can take many forms, including something like journaling, which can help you dig deep into what your dreams are, what you want out of life, and how you can make these changes. Other options may be meditation, yoga, or relaxation practices, while some may consider following a simple morning or evening routine, from taking medication to preparing an enjoyable meal to be wellness.

No matter what routine your decide, it's important that it helps you connect with yourself and support yourself. It can be easy to neglect the basic wellness routines when life gets complicated and busy throughout the year, but taking a few minutes each day or more time each week to connect and check in with yourself will help you support yourself and live your best life in 2020.

3. Create a bucket list

A bucket list is a list you create that contains all the goals or things you'd like to do at some point in your life. This is a great way to dream big and collect everything you have an interest in doing all in one place. This list will help you grow and live your best life because it gives you large events to work towards and lets you stretch your mind and dream. Your bucket list shouldn't be completely achieved in 2020, but it will offer a few places to visit, things to do, and big accomplishments to get started on or see through in the year.

A bucket list will help you grow and explore. This list will also help you stretch. That is, setting large goals that seem overwhelming, while also setting goals at home, work, and in your relationships. The bucket list is where you get everything on paper and use this as a starting point to your best life in 2020. Take a few minutes and write down anything that comes to mind from vacations you want to take and hobbies you want to try, to home, work, and family goals you'd like to see achieved. Think of this list as a living document. You can add to it, cross things out, and highlight items as you complete them.

4. Start a gratitude practice

Another way to live your best life in 2020 is to reflect on what's already great in your life. Taking a few minutes to write down what you're grateful for in your day-to-day can help you see the best parts or the highlights of even the worst day. Expressing gratitude has been known to increase overall happiness and can be that push you need to achieve your goals.

This simple practice only takes a minute or two and can be incorporated into your wellness routine, a journal practice, or even a line in your planner or notebook. You can also express gratitude by thanking someone each day, reminding yourself of gratitude with a mantra or affirmation, or incorporate gratitude into your hobby, work, or home life.

5. Take time to reflect

As you saw in taking time to reflect on 2019, taking time to pause and look back can be a powerful way to move forward with direction and knowledge. Taking time to reflect allows you to see your progress, your plan, and how things may need to be adjusted, changed, or scrapped altogether. Reflection helps you gauge how things are going and will be useful in continuing to reach your goals. Without reflection there's no space to adjust, which can lead to dropping your goals without understanding why you stopped or what was blocking you from achieving them.

The frequency in which you stop to reflect depends on your goals, but a good way to get started is to reflect at the end of each month. This gives you enough time between check-ins to see how you've progressed and where things might be blocking you, along with an obvious reminder on the calendar. The first of each month, starting with the first of the year will give you a chance to see where you were and how far you've come. This also gives you a good amount of time – around four weeks – to take small steps toward your goals.

Reflecting on the past, setting goals for the future, dreaming big, and taking care of your whole self is how you can live your best life in 2020. These practices can be applied to almost any area of your life to help you grow in the direction you've always dreamed, from checking a large trip off of your bucket list, to connecting with and supporting yourself throughout the year.

About the Author

Cory Lee

After being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, Cory Lee's thirst for adventure never ceased. He went on many trips around the U.S. when he was younger, and then started taking things internationally when he turned 15. Since then, Cory has traveled to 21 countries across six continents, all while managing to start up his travel blog Curb Free with Cory Lee, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not-so-accessible travel adventures with others. Cory is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, in a nationwide segment for CBS News, Lonely Planet, and many others. His blog won the 2017 Best Travel Blog Gold Lowell Thomas Award. He hopes to inspire other wheelchair users to roll out of their comfort zone and see all of the beauty that the world has to offer.

Cory Lee's ride is a Quickie QM-710.

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Date: 12/31/2019 12:00:00 AM


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