This is a wonderful time to reflect on the past year and choose what you would like to say goodbye, adios and au revoir to.
Preparing for the year ahead is a bit like packing for vacation. A bathing suit won’t do you much good if you’re planning a trip to the Antarctic. Likewise, some of our attitudes and actions get in the way of getting to where we say we’d like to go. In other words, it might be time to ditch the bathing suit, or the “should’s”, “must’s” and “have to’s”
If there was one thing that you could unpack and leave behind this year, what would it be?
Does your chosen leave-behind involve fear, worry, shame, anger, self-doubt, control, or something else? Whatever your “it” is, now is a great time to unpack it from your bag, set it aside, let it go, leave it behind.
Easier said that done right? We all know it’s hard to let go of something that has been a long-time companion and at times feels like a comfortable pair of old shoes. There may even be times when “it” has been helpful. Maybe you don’t want or need to say goodbye to “it” forever. Maybe just give “it” less power.
As you move into the new year, I encourage you to begin to weaken “its” control on your life. Ask yourself, “If not now, when?” Start where you are. Do what you know to do. Do what’s in front of you. Keep doing it. Do the best you can. Forgive yourself. Do it again.
This Week’s Action Item
If you don’t already journal, I encourage you to start. I have started and stopped more times than I can count, reread and torn out pages and shredded entire journals. But, among other things, I’ve found journaling to be a great way to figure out what it is that I think about something. It also offers a way to look back and gain perspective on myself and major life events (moving to the US, work, divorce, relationships, etc). Perhaps you will see how you “used to be”… something Seth Godin calls “a sign of bravery and progress”. I love that! For those interested in more information about the benefits of journaling, I highly recommend Julie Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, in which she describes Morning Pages.
A more direct and immediate action is to choose a particular doorway in your home. Each time you walk through the doorway, think about what you are leaving behind and what you are stepping into or beginning. As a gentle reminder you may want to put something on the door or door frame. Most importantly, get creative and have fun.