I’m not one of those “New Year, New Me” people. In fact, I don’t even make New Year’s resolutions. I do, however, see the value in using the beginning of a new year to reflect on who and where you are versus who and where you want to be. So I’ve come up with five things I’m letting go in 2017 to put me closer to who and where I want to be.
- Taking things personally
I’m a 32-year veteran of the thin-skin club, so I know this will be a challenge. What I’m coming to realize more and more with age; though, is that very little of what others say or do directly relates to me.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson I need to mentally bookmark in this category is that I can’t control the level of effort other people put into relationships. Only my reactions and my own efforts are within my control. This year, that will be enough.
2. The Social Media Hold
A blogger letting go of social media? I might as well get ‘hypocrite’ tattooed on my forehead, right? Hear me out. Despite its pitfalls, I do love social media. I just don’t love the hold it sometimes takes over my everyday life. I know that surfing Facebook and Instagram can quickly turn into a waste of time and that I’m less productive in other areas when I choose to stare at my phone. BUT…I do it anyway. Those blinking social notifications are a cruel mistress, you know.
So in order to take back control of my time, I’m choosing to dedicate specific, thoughtful chunks of time to social media and being fully present (read phone-free) in all other moments.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to completely let go of this in 2017 (see how I’m already doubting?), but I’m determined to make a real effort. As much as I tend to be guilty of self-doubt, even an ounce of greater self-confidence will be a satisfying improvement.
Living with three kids, I realize some level of clutter will remain in my house until they go off to college. I’ve accepted it (mostly). What I’m really letting go of here is keeping unnecessary things myself and acquiring more things than we truly need. I’m not going full minimalist (though I am fascinated by those living that lifestyle), but I do want to free my family of needless stuff.
I’m coming at this one from two sides. First, I think it’s important to remember that absolute truths are few and far between. What’s truth for one person may not be for another and that’s okay. Differences should enhance our communities and relationships, not drive them apart.
Second, I’m too often guilty of not attempting something new without having an absolute plan mapped out. Needless to say, this scraps quite a few (potentially awesome) life events. Equally bad is how much I beat myself up for starting something, realizing it’s not going to plan, and quitting. Yep, I’m a quitter. But I’m letting go of that guilt and forgiving myself for not wasting time on things that simply aren’t working. If something wasn’t absolutely complete, it doesn’t mean I didn’t benefit from the experience.
What about you, friends? What are you letting go in 2017?