As 2013 came to a close, I found myself looking forward, with a great deal of relief and excitement, to the dawning of a new year. It had been a brutal year, fraught with big changes in more areas of my life than I thought I had energy for.
Yet, here was another opportunity to explore where I’d been, and more importantly; decide about new pathways and goals and plan my action steps accordingly.
Even as a youngster, I felt that my life was geared for something more, something bigger than I could then imagine. I still feel that way, believing that, despite a long list of accomplishments to date, I haven’t yet lived up to all my potential. So how will I live up to that potential? The current catch phrase is all about ‘re-inventing’ oneself, which is like a make-over only more from the inside rather than altering a person’s outward appearance.
Re-inventing means changing. Changing from the old to the new often means releasing or letting go of the parts that no longer serve. Whether it’s old habits and beliefs or an abundance of old files and office clutter, letting go can be a huge challenge.
In my home office, I started by ruthlessly purging files of old information and memorabilia – pages I hadn’t looked at for years but just kept packing around. Next were drawers, cupboards and my desk – what I kept was properly re-organized and filed. As I worked to toss that old baggage, the pieces inside cried out for one last look – so I’d open the bag – big mistake!
Because change seems to be both scary and very hard, I was tempted to hang on to some of that old, familiar stuff for just a little while longer. Kind of like an annoying relative that I couldn’t bring myself to say no to.
Courage and a vigorous commitment to the new vision for my life are the two tools I’m using to continue to set myself free.
As my office and living space began to look clean and clutter-free, I started making lists of what was most important to me – what I treasured, how I wanted each day to unfold, where I would find the most fulfilling work, and how I would build in peace and joy for my body, mind and soul. What new thoughts and habits would I need to focus on?
Here’s where the courage comes in. Courage is needed when it comes time to take the action steps necessary to make those new dreams and visions come true. It can involve many fears and much uncertainty because I can’t see the future, and I may not yet know how to get where I want to be – I only know what I’m striving for.
My commitment to getting there sure helps. That commitment builds when I examine the risks of doing or not doing versus the rewards of achievement. I know I will need patience, persistence, and compassion for myself anytime that resolve weakens. May all your dreams and goals for 2014 come true. Trust me – you’re worth it!