With the new year starting, it’s a nice time to think about what things to keep as well what to ditch in the next year. Here's a list of my personal Keep and Ditch items for 2018.
Gratitude is shown to improve your mindset (check out Harvard Medical Letter review of gratitude). Those who actively practice gratitude report feeling happier. I’ve taken up a gratitude practice in the past year, journaling about what I’m grateful for, taking a moment to say thank you for the small things in life (a parking space, a sunny day, a sweet comment from my kids), generally trying to be more in the moment so I can be present to the greatness around me. I wouldn’t have thought this small practice of saying “thank you” more would have such a big impact, but it has had a tremendous influence on how happy I feel. I am more optimistic and joyful because of being more grateful. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is something that will continue for me in 2018.
I find that trusting myself is in many ways harder than trusting other people. I’ve always thought of myself as a trusting person, but when I turn that thought inward, not so much. I was talking to my coach about this recently, and discussed how big a breakthrough it would be for me to truly operate from place of self-trust. I declare for 2018 I will trust myself. Trust my own thoughts, feeling, and purpose. I will trust that I’m good enough and worthy of great things.
Courage is defined as, “the ability to do something that frightens you.” You may ask, “What frightens you?” Here’s my short-list: Mistakes, making my opinion public, social media, conflict. You may wonder what someone who is afraid of that particular list of things is doing blogging, posting to Instagram and Facebook, and generally putting herself out there for the public to see? Well, I’ve actively chosen to act from a place of power and purpose rather than a place of fear. I want to live a life of infinite possibilities, not a life that is constrained by my fears. Courage is central to living a life I love.
Perfectionism is a result of operating from fear rather than operating from commitment and purpose (check out my blog post Just Keep Moving). To ditch perfectionism, trust and courage are key. Trust in my thoughts and opinions is critical. Courage to act, even when it’s scary or uncomfortable, is vitally important. Perfection is the enemy of progress. And progress toward goals is what 2018 is all about.
You get to choose how you relate to fear—you can relate to it from a place of power or disempowerment. Building the courage to trust to do the things we are afraid of and act from a place of power allows us to achieve our potential. I claim power over my fear and will act from a place of courage and trust in 2018.
What role does obligation play in your life? I found in mine, I was relating to activities more as obligations than as commitments, and that relationship needed to shift. I may not WANT to do the dishes, but I am COMMITTED to having a clean(ish) kitchen. Thinking from commitment rather than my obligation is a simple mindset shift, but changes my perspective and how I feel while I’m doing an activity. It’s helped tremendously with how I relate to my young children. I often don’t WANT to play hide and seek after a long day at work, but I am COMMITTED to having a playful and loving relationship with my kids. Mindset shift. Playing hide and seek, no longer an obligation, it’s now a commitment to my purpose (and kind of fun when you just play). For 2018, I seek to act more from a place of commitment than from obligation. It’s just a happier place to be.
I invite you to create your own, considering what activities serve you well and what act as barriers to you reaching your goals and fulfilling all that is possible in your life. Whatever you decide to keep and ditch this year, make 2018 all about living a life you love!