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2023 is your year to make good choices when it comes to your circle and routine.

You may have heard the term ’You are a product of your environment,' which means the environment you live in, has become your accepted norm, and it now influences you rather than you influencing it. Many people are indeed a product of their environment, but that doesn’t mean its all bad, it’s important however to analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things or people around you helping you toward success — or are they holding you back? The latter may of course be a big problem for you yet you struggle to change it.

Our circle and routine are two of the most important things that can either harm or hurt us in life, they are within our environment and yet again we control both. We can all be affected either positively or negatively by the people around us — family, partners, friends, colleagues, and even strangers within our environment. Because of the effect they can have on you and your personal wellbeing, who you choose to allow into your personal space and your life circle needs to be something that you make a good judgement with. It’s ok to make mistakes, but what is not ok is to keep making the same mistakes, that’s when you need to question your decision making and the environment you’re living in. Is it good for us, or does it have a negative impact?

Your routine determines your progress, and your progress in turn determines your personal happiness, but the environment that you immerse yourself in is one which is down to you and you alone. How you lay out your day, your week, and month are through the choices you make, as are the people you mix with. Starting with your routine though, this usually appears as boredom for most people, but it is what keeps you organized and focused on your goals and objectives too. If you spend a lot of time mindlessly scrolling on social media, chances are this kind of procrastination will become a big part of your life and routine that you become used to. If you wake up without a plan, head to work, go through the workday in a hectic way, come back home to eat dinner and watch TV until you go to bed, chances are you will be bored with your life and you’ll be getting minimal fulfillment from it, or maybe none at all.

Your life circle, like your routine, is one of the areas of your life where you have complete control through the choices you make. If you are impacted negatively by some people around you, then you’re the one allowing that, you are the one that is unconsciously embracing that. You may have others who influence you positively, those who offer support and encouragement and whose general life opinions, ideas, and goals, fall in line with your own, this of course brings a positive environment for you to be in. It feels good to have them around because you have something in common with them, and you know you can bounce ideas off them and gain valuable feedback. What about those negative ones though? Well, it can be a tough choice or an easy choice, but that choice is very much yours to make. How do you feel around them? What do they bring to your life that helps you to grow and prosper? Only you can answer these questions, but you should look at your circle and find the answers, they’ll be right in front of you.

The first circle I had in life was with my family around me, as is the case for most of us. I learned about their way of life, but I didn’t pay that much attention to them as I was young, but it felt good to have that family around and to be a part of that circle. As we grow older though, we start to identify other circles, social ones with friends and those we hang around with, they become part of our life in a different way. It is, however, during these younger years when we start to fall into social circles, that we start to identify what works for us and what doesn’t, and often mistakes are made as we learn and grow.

What we are looking for and what we are not looking for become important to us, we learn to filter out those who aren’t good for us, but sometimes that isn’t always the case, even as adults, yet although we know certain things aren’t so great for us, we keep them in our lives.

I wrote about the circle I found myself in as a teenager, and although it was cool at the time to be mixing with others in my area, I soon found that the circle I was in was having a negative impact on me. I knew that if I didn’t make some adjustments then I’d most likely fall into a mundane way of life at the very least, or the very worst, a life of crime. It was serious business, so I made the decision to pull myself away from that and go and do something with my life. Looking back, identifying those positive deficiencies with that circle as a young boy, gave me the platform to ensure I built on it moving forward.

You have the power to choose who is in your circle, irrelevant of age or regardless of where you are in life. Are you going to hang around with people who only have a negative impact on you, or are you going to surround yourself with people who have a positive influence on you? Again, only you can decide but you know the answer deep down, it’s just a case of whether you’re prepared to step out of that comfort zone. Regardless of you thinking the circle you’re in is not for you, you may feel an attachment to it because it’s a family member or a close friend, but you can’t let that negativity hold you back as you strive to be the best version of yourself.

You may have guessed, but I keep my circle extremely small and that works for me, but you’ve got to find the one that works for and benefits you. For example, I’ve never understood those who have a large social media network, that is a circle that we have control of, yet for many they don’t know more than half of those who they allow into that circle. You’re possibly sharing things that may be personal, to strangers, so there may also be personal security implications with this, think about that and how it could impact you and those close to you. If you’re promoting your business or product, then it’s understandable for you to want to create that circle as big as you possibly can, but it doesn’t mean that you must allow every single person into that circle, and the same principles very much apply to your small, trusted circle, erase the negative and the unknown.

You don't need a big circle of people in your life, but each person who is your circle should be relied on and trusted, that's a great feeling to have when you know they've got your back and you've got there.