We all do it, don't we?
A new year is fast approaching, so all of a sudden our eyes get all big and dreamy and we start thinking about change. What am I going to do differently this year? What big breakthrough in 2017 is going to change my life?
And then we start writing.
We make lists of ideas that include everything from drop those holiday pounds to becoming a bigger activist in a certain organization.
I'm here to tell you that these are all well and fine. We all need to have goals to work toward. However, none of them stick if you aren't in the right state of mind.
Mind over matter is everything. Don't lose heart.
Personally, I think a little failure here and there is good for the soul. But just once, wouldn't you like to look back on a year and say, “Yeah, I did that?" Me too!
So here are a few ideas that may keep you motivated or prevent you from rounding the drive-thru after leaving the gym two months from now:
1. Change your approach.
Don't work to accept things you cannot change.
Change the things you can't accept.
Change the things you can't accept! Within reason, of course.
You aren't going to bring back any of the wonderful icons of 2016 who have recently passed on. But you can make sure that they aren't forgotten.
Just like you can change the course of your future by taking a long look at your life and surroundings and deciding which parts are no longer acceptable.
Have a "this isn't working for me anymore" moment and take out the trash!
How's that for Jedi advice?
2. Have a year of YOU.
In all the hustle and bustle of this life, we tend to forget about ourselves.
Please don't forget about yourself! As a mother and teacher, this one is extremely hard for me. I get it.
But, consider this: No one is going to do it for you.
If you don't start making yourself a priority you will one day look back and wonder where your life went. It's not selfish. It's more like the greatest gift you can give to the people around you.
When you feel more balanced and whole, the rest of the world gets the best parts of you, too.
3. Get acquainted with empathy.
That's not meant to be an insult. And may not even apply to all of you reading this. A lot of people are already extremely empathetic.
In general, however, we seem to be a divided country as things now stand.
We have forgotten the art of listening and learning from others. I think empathy is one of the most obvious hidden secrets of the universe. Oxy-moronic? Maybe.
I think that once more people start putting themselves in others' shoes, this thing called karma may actually show up and bless all of us.
Just a thought.
4. Dream BIG!
Yeah, I know. I said you don't want to feel like a failure this year. So right now you're thinking: Why the hell would I want to dream big?
But here's the thing. When we start checking off little boxes on those perfectly written little lists, everything stays perfectly small. Compartmentalized, if you will.
Small doesn't work for me anymore.
Are you with me? Small doesn't work for me anymore. Maybe it's being in my 30s and seeing the long road ahead of me and all the things I want to do.
The time we all waste thinking small is a disservice to this world that needs all of us to be invested on a greater scale. Does that mean that you or I are going to be the next big thing? Probably not.
What it means is that when we open ourselves up to the possibility of a goal without boundaries, we usually end up accomplishing more than we ever thought possible.
That, my friends, is a “yeah, I did that” moment to be proud of.
If 2016 has taught me anything, it would be that gratitude is a thing.
Be grateful for the people, and even the pets, you have in your life and the time you have with them. Enjoy them. Because nothing is finite.
And as we have learned from the Broadway musical “Rent,” we only get 525,600 minutes to make a difference, change a heart, really live a life this year.
Bring it on 2017. I'm ready.