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As we head towards the New Year, many people are looking to this time as an opportunity to start fresh. We see the changing of the year as a significant time, a temporal landmark that marks our transition into a new period of our lives, and many of us feel compelled to make resolutions or promises of self-improvement around this time each year. Rather than deciding to go on a crash diet or visit the gym twice a day, use this new year to look for ways to self-improve on the inside. Not sure where to start? Here’s how to make the most out of the fresh start the new year gives you.

  1. Let things go

The New Year is a time for reinvention, and in order to shed the past and move forward, you need to actually shed the past. So often, we let our mistakes and failures hold us back in life from actualizing our full potential. Let go of your old fears, slough off your insecurities, and free yourself from the words you repeat to yourself that hold you back. It is a new year; let go of the past and start fresh.

  1. Look for happiness in the here and now

There will always be something in the future that you can point to and say, “When ‘x’ happens, I’ll finally be happy,” or “When I finally accomplish ‘y’ it will give me time to enjoy life.” However, happiness is not simply a destination that you can reach when you try hard enough and nothing in this world will make you happy if you don’t find happiness within yourself. No matter where you are in life, happiness is possible. Learn to find happiness regardless of your situation and let yourself experience it in little ways every day rather than reserving it for when you feel as though you’ve earned it.

  1. Give yourself time to focus

The world we live in is a consistently stimulating and rather overwhelming place. We’re constantly glued to our phones, our computers, and our devices at the disposal of anyone who needs to get in touch with us. For the New Year, let yourself unplug, remove yourself from distractions, and refocus on what’s important to you. Take an hour each day – or as long as you can – and let yourself focus on what’s important and what you next step in life should be. Let yourself clear away the mental clutter in your life so that you can refocus on what matters.

  1. Reinvent yourself a little every day

Enacting big changes within ourselves is a process. If you want to quit smoking, it’s not a one-and-done decision; it’s a process that requires commitment and resolution to really stick. Any change that we make in our lives is the same way. Want to be a more open and friendly person? Take the steps each day to push yourself out of your comfort zone and talk to more people. Change is slow — the process more comparable to a marathon than a sprint — so look for little ways each day that you can push yourself towards the person that you want to become.