New Year Thoughts

Each year January (or thereabouts) I try to set a new tone for the year. Not goals or resolutions, but guideposts to keep in mind day-to-day. I save the more concrete goal-setting for my birthday each year. But the new year thoughts are just that – little mantras to keep in my pocket for the coming months to help create subtle but important mindset shifts. There’s still quite a bit to be said about 2016, that deserves a separate post. But I’ve been ruminating on the future lately, so here’s to 2017: 

Never be embarrassed about something you like.

Who cares if it’s “age appropriate” or cool, or timely, or whatever. If you’re into it, embrace it. Judgment be damned. Celebrate your interests, unapologetically.

Let go of what no longer serves you.

Habits, attitudes, relationships, clothing, stuff – all of it. If you look at your closet and think why did I buy that? Or you hang out with someone and think why are we still friends? Or you drink all night and wake up feeling horrible about yourself – CHANGE IT. Let go of anything that no longer serves you. Don’t lament it, stew over it, or harbor regrets. Accept the lessons you need to, take action if you must, and move on.

Courage over duplicity:  No more masks.

This goes along with not being embarrassed about what you like, but deserves to stand on its own. How many “selves” do we have? How debilitating is that? You know that anxious feeling you get when your worlds collide, like at a social function? Why is that? Who cares? Let your work self meet your weekend self meet your family self. You are a multi-faceted person, no need to pretend otherwise. There will be loved ones who don’t understand, and people may fall away in the process, but isn’t that a small price to pay in order to be your true self all the time? Duplicity feels cheap, and there’s an authentic version of you just waiting for the opportunity to shine.

“One of the challenges to finding our light is the courage to be who we are everywhere. Everywhere.” – Mark Nepo

Keep an abundance mindset.

Success. Money. Food. Clothing. All of it. There is plenty to go around. The opposite of abundance is scarcity, which causes that panicky feeling of “not enough.” But in reality, there will always be more opportunities, and living as though you’re watching sand slip through an hourglass is a dangerous way to go. There is time to do what you want, there are resources available, honest people to help you along the way. And in terms of material goods, chances are you have way more than you need, even if it might not feel like it. That’s just decades of marketing settled into your pores. Repeat after me: more for others does not mean less for me. If someone gets an exciting new job and moves to a cool city – how does that make me “less than?” It doesn’t. If I hear about someone taking an exotic trip, does that make me boring? If someone gets a promotion, does that make me lazy? Who cares if someone is at the gym more often, or posts more content, or has more followers? Repeat this again: more for others does not mean less for me. Which leads me to the final guidepost:

Get deliberate.

Take some time to revisit how you want to show up in the world, what’s important to you, who you want to be. Let your actions be guided by this as often as possible. Jill Coleman and Gretchen Rubin share a similar sentiment on this, and it’s one I love: be so wild about what you’re into, that you don’t have time to worry about what others are doing or saying. Getting absolutely clear about what you want makes it easier to stick to the path. Don’t get distracted by all the other stuff out there. Besides, when you take a good hard look, are those even things you want out of life? A phrase echoed from elementary school: eyes on your own paper.

There you have it. A few guideposts I’m going to keep in my pocket the next few months. It’s my hope that these little bits of light will bring clarity when I’m struggling with a decision I already know how to make, or if I’ve been having a few off days. Because really, most of the time we already know what we want or what needs to be done, it just takes a little more for our hearts to convince our minds what’s best.

How about you? Any mindset shifts or guideposts you’re trying to keep with you in the new year?

One thought on “New Year Thoughts

  1. Good one!

    On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 9:23 AM, alisonspencer.com wrote:

    > Alison posted: ” Each year January (or thereabouts) I try to set a new > tone for the year. Not goals or resolutions, but guideposts to keep in mind > day-to-day. I save the more concrete goal-setting for my birthday each > year. But the new year thoughts are just that – li” >

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