New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday. 365 delicious days. 52 wonderful weeks. 12 mesmerizing months.
It’s the ultimate new beginning. A clean slate … ours to create!
Looking back and looking forward
It’s also a time for reflection — looking back at the year in review — and looking ahead at the year in preview.
Whatever does or does not happen on a global level in 2022 remains to be seen. All the more reason, in my mind, to live life fully as we go along.
How will you show up?
So, how will you be living your life these next 365 days? And I don’t mean how many resolutions and goals you want to achieve. How will you show up — at work, at home and out in the world?
There are both contenders and pretenders in life. And I don’t think any of us want to end up like Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront,” ruminating that “I coulda been a contender.”
Stop the juggling
For those of you at a crossroads right now, it may help to step back and reorder your priorities. Major life events have a way of jolting us. And sometimes we need a compass to get back on track.
To enjoy a more fulfilling personal and professional life, you may need to give up your juggling act, advises Cheryl Richardson, author of “Take Time for Your Life” and “The Art of Extreme Self Care.” Richardson notes the following behaviors can get in our way — and that sometimes we may need to let a few balls drop:
- Trying to do everything perfectly
- Trying to please everyone
- Relying on adrenaline
As you consider the balls you’re juggling, ask yourself how you’ll need to grow in order to let one drop. Pick one item from the list and notice where it plays out in your daily life.
If you’re a people pleaser, challenge yourself to say “no” at least once a day to something (or someone) you normally say “yes” to. Although it takes time, new behaviors will likely emerge to replace old ones.
Are you sending your representative?
Being aware and being present don’t sound like very lofty goals, yet these two characteristics have everything to do with the quality of life you experience.
How many times have you sent your “representative” out into the world — going through the motions — instead of really showing up yourself? Have you stopped to think how you might have cheated yourself out of richer experiences?
All too often you may find yourself stuck or frozen in fear. Too busy worrying about something that happened in the past — or projecting into the future. While you’re doing this, you’re missing out on your life today.
I’m not saying you don’t need to plan. I’m a big believer in setting goals. It’s just when the process starts to overcome the end result that you may need to take a step back. Hurrying through life really has no purpose, and it’s certainly not very fulfilling.
Our minds are like puppies — easily distracted, says author Iyanla Vanzant. Train your mind to sit. If you’ve gotten used to overloading yourself with thoughts of next week or next month, stop.
Take a moment to focus. Licking, nibbling and gnawing obsessively on next week — when this week is still here to be enjoyed — can exhaust you.
At the speed of life
Who knows? Single tasking may become the new multitasking — and actually result in more accomplishments for you this year, along with more quality.
Although your speed of life has, no doubt, expanded exponentially, that doesn’t mean you have to hurtle through space just to keep up. After all, what’s the point? If you’re always striving, you’re never arriving.
Enjoy your clean slate. Plan to show up more in your own life this year. Anticipate the palette you’re bringing to it – and the rich tapestry you’re weaving.
As author Carlos Castaneda said, “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”