New Year’s goal planning is one of my favorite times of the year. A time to turn the page, start a new chapter, and set intentions for the coming year.
But following through on resolutions is a different story. So instead of setting myself up for failure I started picking a theme for the year. Something to focus on instead of achieve.
Every year I send an accountability email (or as some may call it, my aggressively long email about myself) to 15–20 of my closest friends reflecting back on the year that was and looking forward to the year to come. 2016 was about Love and this year my word for 2017 is Trust.
LOOKING BACK: finding gratitude for what has been
I knew going into it that 2016 was going to be a big year of change. However I wasn’t prepared for all of the changes and chapters that would be coming to an end that I didn’t see coming.
It could be because as I write this my house is currently packed up in boxes and life hasn’t yet sent me the e-vite to my new house warming party.
My intention last year was about focusing on love and boy did I find it. Often in the most unexpected people and places — but most importantly with myself.
Some of the highlights from last year were …
- Wearing more more real people clothes (because I’m worth taking the time to put on real pants)
- Allowing relationships to change, letting go of relationships, staying in relationships that have changed me, and staring new ones
- Writing a love letter to myself
- Saying goodbye to things, and hello to things
- Buying more fresh flowers (because they make me feel good)
- Not solving other people’s problems to avoid my working on my own
- Being curious
- Getting more manicures + massages (because investing in myself without apology feels good)
- Spending 3 weeks in the jungle in Costa Rica exploring myself and what I want
- Falling in love with my job and I can finally say that I truly love what I do and who I help
- Launching Women on a Mission before I really knew what it was and watching it grow
Trust that life is giving you exactly what you need practice in
One of my goals for 2016 was to be brave enough to say what matters. And I got plenty of practice in that.
There were a lot of tough conversations, there was a lot of vulnerability, there were conversations I didn’t handle so well, there were conversations that brought awareness and intimacy, there was fighting and healing. But however well or not so well all of them went, I was brave enough to say the things I was afraid to say.
What all of that taught me is that when something works, it just works. And when it doesn’t, it never really does.
I’m not saying things don’t take work or are always easy — but I am realizing that forcing things isn’t particularly effective and certainly doesn’t feel good (yes, yes it did take me 33 years to realize that).
LOOKING FORWARD: Trust the timing of your life
As I’ve been packing up all of my things to move out of my apartment with no security as to where I will be going it has brought up so many feelings. Most of them have been anxiety or scarcity related: “Will I find a house as nice? Can I even afford San Francisco rent? What about the dog?”
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go and I’ve had to come face to face with the battle between being complacent with good enough and the uncertainty of change.
Having something that is close enough versus holding out for what I really want.
It seemed like the responsible grown up thing to do would be to wait, get my ducks in a row, line up an apartment but I don’t think I would ever leave — the golden hand cuffs of close enough and the security of having something even if it wasn’t exactly right would never push me into action. Apparently Jim Collins was right “good is the enemy of great.”
And as I am often reminded — my way is usually messy and rarely the logical or safe choice.
So I decided that commitment to holding out for what I really want in the face of the unknown with options that are close is the bravest choice of all.
Because when everything is uncertain, anything is possible.
TRUST THE MAGIC OF NEW BEGINNINGS:
“When the student is ready the teacher arrives.”
If spending 3 weeks in the jungle in Costa Rica last year taught me anything it is that sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until you find it. And you might know where you should go before you know the way.
But if you listen to the whispers in your soul and have a little faith (or trust) then you find what you need exactly when you need it.
If TRUST is my goal for 2017 it doesn’t seem right to set goals — but here are areas I want to focus on
- Allowing Women On a Mission to grow
- Less planning, more presence
- Self care
- More effort + discipline
- Less judgement and shame
- More expression
- Still being brave enough to say what matters, but maybe learn some more skills to execute it all
- Enjoying things as they are instead of what I’m trying to make them
- Holding out
All of this comes with boundaries (you know those things I’m oh so good at) because what I allow is what will continue and these things need the space to grow. And if you want a change, you have to change yourself.
So here is to trusting life in the coming year, the beauty of becoming, and progress over perfection.