When we welcome a new year or a new phase in our life, we welcome a new chance to start over — a possibility to start a blank new page with a fresh start, a chance for new beginnings with invented possibilities.
Does this mean we have to erase our past and forget about it?
I usually reflect on my past year, my many accomplishments, and regret my aborted and failed resolutions. The way I have done it in the past was to open a new page and carry over some of my failed resolutions, created upgraded ones to enhance my life and leave some wiggle room for some unknown possibilities that I may grab on the way.
This year, I decided to do it differently…
How many of you have witnessed your resolutions fall apart year after year despite your strong intentions to see them come through? So why is there such hype about starting over with commitments and resolutions every year? Is it because your life as is needs a re-haul? Or is it because you are ready to embark on an incredible new chapter in your life?
Both are phases that we all go through in our lives. There have been times when my life needed a makeover and could not afford baby steps: I needed to act with power and persistence and commit to big, hairy, audacious goals where I could literally change my life. And yes, these moments could be definitive ones in anybody’s life and if you are in this situation, I encourage you not to hesitate and to move full force ahead. In that case, the clarity of your vision is your ally, boldness is your friend and hesitation is your enemy.
But this year for me is one of maintenance not overhaul. I took the time to be grateful and thankful for every thing that came my way during the past year. To my great astonishment, I was grateful for all the challenges as well. I took time to look at them and appreciate the opportunity for growth that these trials afforded me. I found that each gift I have received had its own comfort and every test I went through brought me its own gift! My happy or challenging moments came with their dual perspective. I found that my most precious moments occurred at times I used to overlook: the laughter of a baby, the cuddle of a dog, the comforting smile of a stranger.
This year, I will appreciate the small things. I am not one who usually takes my time — I like to dive head first — but I certainly find that those who can are more successful long term. They also have a very balanced work and fun life. Therefore reinventing myself this year consisted of being determined to accomplish this one goal:
Take it easy on myself by learning to take baby steps in all the challenging areas that I face while making more time to do what I love doing. Here’s how I decided to start over:
1. List all the challenging resolutions of the past
2. Determine if these are important ones to keep on the bucket list
3. Keep only the ones that are must haves
4. Take baby steps towards the challenging resolutions (remember they come with their gifts)
5. List the things I am most passionate about
6. Take giant steps towards them and do more of what I love doing!
7. De-clutter my life from my mind, to closets, to drawers to my accumulated inbox
8. Last but not least: Give up control
No matter what reasons are behind your goals, I found that making peace with our past and appreciating the lessons that came from it are necessary to our successful journey. You certainly don’t want to carry your past with you but you don’t want to avoid it and run away from it either. Any thing we resist, persists.
Would you like to join me in starting over? Come on… Tomorrow is a new day, let’s start a blank new page and let’s make it a great happy journey together!