The last whispers of 2017 are echoing in our ears as we prepare for the arrival of 2018. January 1 is always a day I look forward to as it is my youngest troll’s birthday and it’s also a day where the slate is wiped clean. Pages upon pages of empty space from which to write the next chapter of my life.
So leading up to that epic January 1, I tend to spend these last couple of days reflecting. Given that all the hoopla of the holidays is winding down, it’s the ideal time to think about my positives and my negatives of the past year and fine tune what I want out of the next 365 days of my life. I don’t like the term resolution so I prefer to think of new rules or guidelines from which to live my life. For me personally, I have found that the rules have a tendency to lead to life changes that in the end help me to reach my goals.
Rule 1. In 2018, I will not give part time people a full time position in my life.
We all have those people in our lives, relationships that maybe we hang on to, a less than positive friendship that takes away more than it gives. Out of comfort, habit, fear we hold onto those relationships, those people and give them a full time place in our life. Not this girl. Not in 2018. Doesn’t mean I won’t still have them a part of my life - just means that my inner circle is smaller.
Rule 2. In 2018, I am going to start and end my day with gratitude.
This is such a big one and one that resonates with me time and time again. And I can do a better job this next year. We all have things that go wrong in our days, in our lives. But if you make the commitment to start and end your day with gratitude think about the difference it will make. Before you get out of bed - what are you grateful for? What makes you smile? What do you love in your life? Before you shut out the lights - what was good about your day? What brought some joy? It starts and ends our day on a positive note and who wouldn’t want that? I certainly do. Gratitude - I’m locked in.
Rule 3. In 2018, I am going to take better care of my health.
I haven’t had a physical in probably 2 years. Haven’t had blood drawn, a colonoscopy (shudder), and any number of other things that at the ripe old age of 46, I’m a little bit overdue for. I don’t drink as much water as I should and although I eat pretty clean, I don’t eat as balanced as I could. This past year has been an eye opener, a precious reminder that our health is not something to take for granted and so many of us do. So I’m going to get it done.
Rule 4. In 2018, I am going to find my indifference.
Indifference is a powerful tool. By definition it means lack of interest, unimportance, insignificance. And when we find our indifference to situations, to people trying to get a rise, to circumstances - we essentially rise above. Turn the other cheek. Don’t let it have any sort of effect on us. It doesn’t mean that we don’t care - it simply means that it lacks the importance to negatively impact us.
Rule 5. In 2018, I am going to make a difference.
Whether this is through giving back, giving a kind word or going above and beyond for someone else, making a difference should be something that we all have on our radar for 2018. Because I truly believe that it is when we live a life of service, a life of awareness, when we make a conscious effort to make a positive impact - it has the ability to change not only our lives but the lives of others. Small gestures - a smile, holding open the door, letting someone ahead of you in traffic, helping out someone in need - it makes a difference when we aim to make a difference.
Rule 6. In 2018, I’m shutting down my screen.
Ugh. The dreaded iphone. I need to turn it off. It’s a little harder once troll 1 and troll 2 go back to school as that is the quickest and easiest way for them to reach us. And more often than not, it’s momma they turn to. While they’ve been home I’ve found that I leave my phone downstairs at night and not on the nightstand, I make them put theirs down while we watch Jeopardy together and as we head over to visit friends later this evening, their phones will remain in my purse. I look forward to having more conversations face to face and less with my fingertips in 2018, more time together and less time online.
Rule 7. In 2018, I am going to let go.
I have some baggage that come December 31, 2017, I’m letting it all go. I have children that are growing and changing and evolving and I need to let them go and grow and change and evolve. It is such a hard thing to do, letting go, but such a necessary part of becoming whom we are meant to be. I’m transitioning from the mom of three teenagers to a mother with two that will be in college and one that is slowly parting from my clutches. My family has changed, my friends have changed, my life has changed. And there is so much ahead of me. I need to let go to make room for the changes ahead.
My brother is a great one for setting goals yearly. And he’s done it right by writing them down and then he will go back from year to year and see where he was successful and where he had to change or even get rid of a rule. And the transformation in him as a person, an entrepreneur, a husband, father and friend has been incredible.
As we approach 2018, take the time to reflect and think about where you see yourself in the next year. What did you do right? What can you do better? What didn’t work? Write down changes you can make, rules you can live by that will have positive lasting effects. The time is now. Commit. Drink the kool-aid.
Wishing you all a 2018 that is full of good health, great friends, the love of family and a grateful heart! Bye-bye 2017!