Thursday, January 16, 2020

A Fresh Start

It's a new year; a time for planning, hoping, and maybe a little strategizing. At the end of the year we don't just pack away the holiday decorations to make the room look clear and organized again, we also put up a fresh calendar. We like starting with a clean slate; at least I do. New year ... new hopes ... new ideas ... new plans of attack on how to hopefully accomplish them.

We all have our share of challenges, anxieties, pressures, and responsibilities. Many of us will probably look back at 2019 and think, 'Wow! How did I get through that?' But guess what? If you're reading this, then you did. Don't be so surprised; you're stronger than you give yourself credit for. I know that 2019 was pretty rough for a lot of people; illnesses, finances, relationships ... you name it and I probably know someone who's been dealing with it (or for that fact, still is).

The thing is is that the challenges and the pressures won't always change or go away or even get temporarily resolved, but HOW we choose to deal with them can. We can decide to not let 'it' consume us, whatever IT is. We have the choice to make a change or take a different approach. We get to start fresh if we want to. Every month or every day if necessary.

Who doesn't like the occasional fresh start?
  • a new house
  • a new job
  • an improved body or mindset
  • a new haircut
  • a new hobby
  • a new challenge
  • a new goal

Pick the one that speaks to you and choose to start fresh. Start small and test the waters or be bold and jump in with both feet and arms flailing. What have you got to lose? Absolutely nothing.

How am I starting fresh this year? I'm trying to be more diligent with my blogging. I hope somewhere, someday someone reads one of my posts and is impacted and shares it or shares a positive comment. But if they don't that's okay too. I'm blogging for myself and some days that's more than enough. It's my voice, my thoughts, and I can actually hear myself think as I type. That's worth it in itself.

What does your fresh start look like?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Moving Into 2020

Well, I'm back; although it has been a few weeks again. In my last post I pondered over what direction my 2020 would take. I decided, after much reflection, that more than a resolution or a specific goal I needed to focus on a word that would help keep me on track for the new year. I chose the word BALANCE. Why? Mostly because I am the first to admit that I can easily get overwhelmed or off track or out of sync if I let obligations and responsibilities take over my life. I have a difficult time saying no to anyone when they ask for help; heck sometimes I don't even wait for them to ask for my help - I just offer it up like it has instantly become my sole responsibility to help them, make things easier for them, or help them to stay on track. 

But should I be doing that? If I do, am I helping them or enabling them? By me helping am I giving them the easy way out? Shouldn't they own up to the responsibilities that are solely theirs? It's usually at this point that my life gets out of balance. I become stressed and consumed over things and situations that affect other people more than myself. Why do I do this to myself? That's the million dollar question. I don't think I do it on purpose, but I've grown up my entire life playing the self-imposed role of the mediator, the organizer, the task master, the list maker, the worrier, and the sleep-deprived person. I look at what I think the result should be in the end and I do what I can to help it get there. I don't settle for good enough; that's always been unacceptable to me. I tend to care too much sometimes; but that's on me. Can you see why my word for 2020 is BALANCE? I clearly need more of it in my life.

I need to know that I can help, assist, care for, worry about, and be concerned for other people in my life without letting it become all-consuming. At some point the scales with the ME side of the equation will be out-weighed by the magnitude of everything else. That's unfortunate, but also unhealthy. It's when I can make this clear observation and own it that I hope to be able to learn something beneficial from it.

I want to move into 2020 like there are no set limits. I want to feel unstoppable. I want to feel deserving of my successes. I want to hear the sound of my own voice and know that it matters (not just to me, but to others as well). So how do I go about accomplishing this?

If I need a space where I can clear my head, then I need to make it or at least clean up the one that I have. If I don't have the tools I need to be the kind of success that I want, then I need to get what I need in order to do that. I need to make the effort because I care as much about me and my needs as I do about everyone else's. I need to be my own best advocate and stop being my own worst enemy. I need to convince myself that looking out for what's best for me doesn't have to make me a selfish person. There will always be those voices in your head that say, 'Now isn't a good time.' 'Maybe next year would be better for everyone else.' But that's the thing, there will always be other reasons and more excuses. Maybe it's the fear of failure. Maybe it's the fear of commitment. Maybe it's the fear of insecurity or being judged. There will always be fears that can talk you out of anything. That's when the hopes need to take the forefront and outsize the fears. Listen to the hope in your heart; the hope that tells you that you have what it takes to succeed, that you deserve to be happy, and that you have what it takes to make a bigger difference in the world.

How are you doing so far with choosing your word for 2020?

Are you getting on track with your goals and dreams or do you feel stalled?

Let us know what's going on ... we are all here for you.