With the new year right around the corner, many of us are figuring out how to end it with a bang.

We're planning holiday parties, checking our fourth quarter numbers, and looking back on the year that was. For some of us, this has been a year of trials and tests. For others, it's been a year of challenges and changes. But despite all of that, you can make the decision now to make sure what's coming is greater than what's passed. You can decide now to make your next year be the year of freedom and fruition. You can decide right now that things will be different, but it's up to you to take the necessary steps.

Issa New Year coming soon sis, and I don't know about you, but I don't want to be caught slipping when it comes. Here are a few things you can do to get yourself primed and ready.

Set Your Intention For The Year

With every year that comes, find one word or phrase that will serve as the tone for how you move. What this does is make you more conscious about the actions you take or don't take as the months go by. This word or mantra will serve as a rubric and an accountability meter to determine whether or not you're actively living out what you said you wanted for that year.

Write it down every day, make it the lock screen on your phone, add it to your affirmations in the morning. Proclaim that over yourself and be willing to put the work in behind it, I promise when the year is up, you'll be amazed at what you've accomplished.

Map Out Quarterly/Weekly Goals

If you haven't learned that chopping your goals down in smaller bite-sized pieces is the best way to get them done by now, then I don't know what to tell you, sis. While quarterly goals might give you a sense of leeway, weekly goals will help to keep you on track and keep you focused on the task at hand.

Determine the overall task you want to see done each quarter, and then map out all the things that it takes to see it done on a weekly basis. By doing this, not only will you set yourself up for success but you'll be able to look back and see tangible results at the year's end.

Assess Your Relationships

Listen, now is not the time, nor has it ever been the time, to be surrounded by those who no longer serve you. What previous years should have taught you more than anything is the value of good relationships and having the right people in your circle. You are the sum total of the five people you hang around most and, if that doesn't make you pull back and look at your environment, then I don't know what will, beloved.

Make it a point to look at the benefits and risks of each person you call “friend" before this year is up. If one outweighs the other, then you and I both know what you need to do.

Establish Boundaries

One of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard is that you teach people how to treat you. Essentially, it's up to you to show people what you will and will not tolerate. With that said, before you become a witness to 2018, get clear on your limits. Figure out what works for you and what doesn't when it comes to your relationships, your mental space, and your environment and put certain boundaries in place to keep all that's good coming and all that's not out of your life.

If that means getting off social media an hour before you go to bed, or not getting on it until an hour after you've woken up, put it in place. If that means only having contact with that certain friend or family member that absolutely drains you every time they come around once every blue moon, then do that. (CUT THAT RELATIONSHIP OFF SIS, but you know baby steps.)

Declutter Your Environment

How can you make room for the blessings of the new year when you're still holding on to the baggage of the past year? In the words of Badu, "You gon' hurt yo back draggin' all them bags like that." While it may have been a catchy song to sing, the sentiments ring true to this day.

Rid yourself of anything and anyone that's potentially holding you back. That teddy bear you got from your ex that you loved dearly but was hella toxic. Throw it away. Those old baggy clothes that remind you of the weight you used to have when you we're going through a rough patch? Trash it. Those mental strongholds that are keeping you from forming real long-lasting relationships? Get rid of it sis; out with the old.

Create A Reading List

Pick out 12 books you've been wanting to read and assign one to each month for 2018. It may seem like a lofty feat, but in all honesty, it isn't. We all make time for what we really want to do, so choose to do this instead. Reading has more benefits than we realize and it's important now more than ever to expose ourselves to works that will help us grow for the better. Expand your vocabulary, entertain new thoughts and paradigms, explore a whole new world outside the one you currently live in.

Make this upcoming year your year of yes, and choose to soar to new heights.

What are some ways that you're preparing for the new year?

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