It’s that time of year again! It’s the time when we promise to do what we think we should be doing to lead happier, healthier, more successful lives. We examine our day-to-day habits and decide to do more of the good and less of the bad than we managed last year.
Whatever you resolve to do this year, there are a few things you should consider adding to the list. Things that don’t fall into the traditional eat less/exercise more paradigm of New Year’s resolutions. Things that will hopefully help you lead a happier, healthier life this coming year.
12 Things You Should Get Rid Of, Get Over and Get On With:
#1: Get Rid of the GUILT — Stop beating yourself up over what you think you ‘should’ be doing (or more likely, what other people think you should be doing). It’s your life! Live it in the best way possible FOR YOU (key words being for you because what everyone else needs isn’t necessarily what you need and vice versa).
Just because it says you should be feeding your toddler such-and-such bizarre and disgusting superfood in the food pyramid book doesn’t mean that’s the right decision for you and your family. And certainly, just because your neighbor stays home full-time doesn’t mean that’s what you need from a financial or personal fulfilment perspective.
#2: Get Over the COMPARISON ANXIETY — Stop comparing your reality to everyone else’s edited and filtered social media updates. Besides being ridiculously unfair to compare your day spent lounging in your yoga pants to your high school classmate’s beach vacation, it’s unhealthy and demotivating.
Everyone has yoga pant days where the house is upside down, the kids are glued to the TV, and the hairdo can only be described as sideways. The trouble is most don’t tend to advertise that fact and opt only to share the highlight reel. Remember this little gem courtesy of a former boss: “You never know what goes on behind closed doors.”
#3: Get On With LIVING OFFLINE — Don’t mistake seeing status updates as staying in touch with friends and family. Get out there and socialize with people IN PERSON (like we did in the good old days before we could stay home and still feel some semblance of connection to the outside world).
Make it a daily (or weekly) habit to schedule some social media downtime where you put the devices away (or at least severely limit your activity during those periods of time). For me, it’s between when my daughter gets home from school and bedtime, and on the weekends.
#4: Get Rid of CLUTTER — Ditch the clutter that we both know is slowly driving you crazy. Start your New Year off with a clean slate and clear all the clutter that distracts you from your daily doing. That means the clutter on your desk, the clutter that slowly builds up on your eating bar, the clutter that magically fills your front entry. Get rid of it…once and for all!
The key to getting rid of clutter for good is not to simply put it away, but to reduce it. Take the time to go through each room, one-by-one, and evaluate what absolutely must stay and what can go. Start with paper clutter because everyone always has a ton of that and work up to letting go of those seldom used items that you hold onto for some unknown reason.
For more clutter-clearing tips, check out section on Getting Organized!
#5: Get Over PERFECTION — Repeat after me, “Good is good enough!” Speaking as a recovering perfectionist, it’s okay to lower the bar every now and then (and by now and then, I mean most of the time because our ridiculously high standards are soul-destroying and motivation-crushing).
Curb your desire for achieving perfection by aiming to first get something done and out there (as a means of testing the concept before investing time and energy into perfecting it), THEN work on refining and perfecting it once you have proof of concept. The “good is good enough” mantra is the best way for perfectionists to avoid getting stuck at the 80 percent mark.
#6: Get On With SIMPLIFYING — Make your life easier by simplifying the process for the tasks you tackle on a regular basis. Everything you do on a daily (or weekly) basis can be reduced to a system. Sometimes the system requires a bit of organizing to make it work, but once you have it in place, they will save you time and energy!
Bill payment? Set up automatic withdrawals. School lunches? Teach the kids how to help you and do the prep work together the night before. Groceries? Create a list of your regular purchases in a grocery app or set up home delivery service if it’s available in your area.
#7: Get Rid of TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS — Say goodbye to friends (and yes, even family members) who make you feel horrible. You don’t need to be told how bad those relationships are for you, but if you are looking for permission to let them go, consider this your official nod: get rid of them (here are a few warning signs to look for)!
That being said, you may want to give the certain individuals fair (but firm) warning. For example, you may feel obligated to give your Negative Nelly niece, who plagues you with her constant complaining, another chance out of loyalty to your brother, but know that if it continues, you have no choice but to set her free.
#8: Get Over PAST MISTAKES — Consider the new year to be your cue to keep moving onward and upward. So you made a mistake or two (or twelve or two hundred) over the past year. So what? The only thing you can do is learn from them and aim to do better moving forward.
Rarely do we see all the behind-the-scenes failures that lead to the ultimate success. All we see is the smiling achievement once all the mistakes have been made. Know that every success requires a certain amount of failure and how we handle that failure ultimately determines whether or not we succeed.
#9: Get On With YOUR HEALING JOURNEY — If you are holding onto something from your past, let it go and get on with growing into the amazing person you know you are inside. There is no catch-all piece of advice that I can give you for your healing journey so just follow your heart and seek advice from people who understand what you are going through.
Know this: everyone deserves to be happy. If you aren’t feeling that way because of something in your life currently or something that is haunting you from your past, you need to deal with it. If these words are resonating with you, burying it hasn’t worked so it’s time to do something about it.
#10: Get Rid of WHAT IF’S — Stop letting your fear of the unknown hold you back. There is a psychology of fear that protects you from harm, but sometimes that same protection instinct protects you from success too. The key is knowing the difference between fear as help and fear as hindrance.
Now even if you “feel the fear and do it anyway”, chances are you are still going to have those nasty what-if’s buzzing around in your brain. To quiet those thoughts, go through your list of what-if’s one-by-one and come up with a strategy for each of the scenarios.
#11: Get Over YOURSELF — Set aside your ego and be okay with whatever outcome happens. Failing at something doesn’t magically attach itself to you, making you a failure. Failing means you tried something that for some reason didn’t work (like many entrepreneurs before you).
Just as your fear of the what-if’s can hold you back, your fear of looking bad/stupid/silly in front of your peers can also keep you stuck at GO instead of moving forward with your plans. The only thing you will regret in life is all the things you never tried so try them FEARLESSLY and without ego!
#12: Get On With FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS — Dare to dream! It’s tempting to make following your dreams dependent on other things happening. The biggest one is perhaps one you have already tackled: when I have saved enough money, I can quit my job and start a business.
Sometimes those dependencies are necessary, like when you need to save enough capital to finance your start-up. Other times, the desire to add conditions simply delays following your dreams, like when you set out on your own to start your own consulting practice when all you really need is one or two clients to commit to working with you in your new venture.