The beginning of a New Year leaves us thinking and considering what goals and ambitions we want to reach in the upcoming year. There are a lot of great things to look forward to and anticipate.
I have come to realize that not only is it a wonderful practice and tradition to build things INTO your new year, but it’s also equally beneficial and valuable to leave some things BEHIND in the old year.
As I look forward into 2019, I also wanted to share with you the things that I am going to be leaving behind in 2018:
It’s easy to get caught up in negative conversations, negative thinking, negative attitudes, and with negative people. I have realized that negativity has had far greater affect on my heart, body (stress) and thoughts than I want. Negativity creates a feeling of being stuck. It drains you of energy and can leave a feeling that is hard to shake.
As I go into a new year, I am letting go of areas of negativity that have surfaced and left an impression on my life. I am letting go of self-doubt, of pain, of failure, of unreal expectations, and of negative relationships.
Letting go of negativity is harder done than said.
Simply start by facing your fear and acknowledge it. Avoiding the negative attitude/thoughts/person will only add to it and make it harder to overcome the negativity.
2. Worrying over little nothings.
I am a worrier.
We joke about how there is a worrying gene in our family as many of us will find ourselves worrying.
Worry has been an interesting thing for me to carry because I haven’t always been a worrier. It was after a challenging season of life that left me feeling worried about nearly every little thing. For me, worry started as my (work) world began to feel unsafe (international travels to areas of conflict, gaslighting, manipulative management). I stepped away from the unhealthy, toxic work environment, but noticed I had created a habit of worrying. A habit I’m not planning on keeping and worth breaking!
The reasons for worrying is different for each person. That’s because each of us have different stories and experiences. While our reasons for worrying may vary, there are some things we can each embrace to help minimize our worrying.
- Take a deep breath, quiet our minds and calm our physical bodies down.
- Take notice of when you are worried and why; also be mindful of self-talk that may reinforce those worries.
- Acknowledge and face your fears.
- Live in the presence — let go of the past and don’t stress about the future.
3. Comparing my story and journey to others.
At some point in life, we find ourselves comparing who we are (or where we are at) with someone else.
I’ve found myself wondering why other’s achieve the dreams and hopes I hold as well, and I’m left waiting. When I compare, I am looking at what I don’t have in my life instead of seeing the things I do have.
I am also going to speak up when other’s compare their life to mine. Each person’s story is unique, beautiful and one-of-a-kind. Plus, your story is just that — yours! You weren’t meant to live my life nor was I meant to live yours.
When we let go of comparisons, we can embrace each other’s differences in a beautiful way. We can support, cheer and give more freely to each other. We can live our best life and let other’s live their best life!
4. Unnecessary apologies.
Have you ever heard that women apology excessively for things when they’ve done nothing wrong? I am one of those women, and have realized how much I apologize for the funniest, little things. I probably apologize the most for moments I THINK are inconvenient for others, such as when I’m knock on their door to ask a question or slow to text back. These unnecessary apologies take on a position of blame and puts oneself down on the hierarchy.
It’s the wrong assumption, gives the other person receiving the wrong type of “power” or influence in my life and shows me where my insecurities lie.
Apologies are important. And, when you’ve wronged or hurt someone, then be quick to apologize.
For me, as I go into a New Year, I’m nixing the unnecessary apologies.
5. Being too afraid (or proud) to have hard conversations.
In early December, I saw someone at the store who sent me an unkind email on my birthday. I would love to say that I was brave enough to say hello and acknowledge her.
But, I didn’t. I was scared and shrunk back into the produce section of the store.
Later, I kicked myself for not having the courage to have a hard conversation. In this NEW year, I am going to act courageously, lean into those hard conversations and not shrink away.
6. Trying to impress others.
When we try to impress others, we become people pleasers. We essentially lose ourselves in the process. We lose our joy. And, sometimes lose our dreams. We can also lose our motivation.
Instead of trying to impress other people, my plan is to impress myself.
I am going to impress myself by:
- Owning my decisions and actions.
- Building healthy boundaries.
- Being proud of the life I am living (and creating).
- Living unconcerned with how others think of me.
- Investing time, energy (& sometimes money) toward things that bring purpose.
- Choosing to be happy!
“Being yourself means shedding all the layers of looking good, wanting to be liked, being scared to stand out and trying to be who you think people want you to be. Being yourself means being naked, raw and vulnerable.”
– Jeff Moore
You are responsible for your story, your journey, your growth and your time. Become the best version of you! Become the type of person who is true, kind, honest, loyal and one-of-a-kind. Grow and live in a way that impresses you!
The greatest gift you can give to the world around you is simply you. Don’t try to be anyone else.
7. Excessive things and clothes.
Clutter creates anxiety and, truthfully, it is exhausting.
It takes a lot of work to maintain and manage excessive things and clothes. This year, I started decluttering and donating used items. With every little bit, I have felt lighter and less stressed. Decluttering has helped me become more mindful with purchases.
Why do I want this purchase? What is the importance of this purchase?
Therefore, decluttering has given me more space, saved me money as I slow down on my spending, made it easier to clean up and tidy around the house, and has left me feeling more happy as I keep things of importance or value to me.
This past year, I’ve grown a lot — personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually. It has been exciting, stretching, tear-filled, laughter-full and a journey. What I’ve come to realize more each day is how each person matters immensely and brings unique gifts to the world. When we get caught up in things that distract or derail us from being who we were created to be, it’s harder for us to live out our life purpose. We get lost in the chaos and craziness around us.
Each year, we find ourselves making resolutions to what we want to ADD to our lives. But, I’m also realizing that there are things we need to SUBTRACT from our lives. We pull out the unhealthy habits, mindset, thoughts and relationships, and we fill those spaces with the things and people that bring healthy value to our lives. As we grow and change, our world grows and changes around us. Sometimes it can be uncomfortable, but it’s far better to be uncomfortable with growth than discontent and miserably stuck in the same place.
Here is to a New Year with new things ahead, better choices, healthy habits, authentic relationships and favor from God as we live our fullest and best life!