New year, new …?

The new year is up and running. Plans and plenty of goals were set not too long ago while letting the past year slide through our minds. Have you set yourself some goals? Plans? Any “I might, should, better not”?

What are we going to do with our time this year?

I’ve never been big on new year’s resolutions. I strongly believe that if I do want to make a change or reset my focus, I don’t need a certain date to roll by for me to get started. I am quite aware, however, that a new year makes such a nice, clean cut and in our minds provides this empty canvas to paint. Plus it very often is this moment where we allow ourselves to sit down and reflect on the past. What has happened? What were the highlights in the past few months?

So, I did sit down, too. Yet, rather than focusing on what I want to do this coming year, or what I need or hope to achieve, I went the other way – what can I let go of? What is something I want to leave behind from the last year?

I find that so often we get trapped in that “loading on” kind of thinking. By that I mean, we often tend to look for things we need more of, events we plan and work towards to, promotions we anticipate. It’s that becoming better, having more, doing more, … – that loading on to our plate so that we are happy, or maybe find our balance.
What if we simply let go of some stuff that we no longer need, that no longer serves us to feel balanced? Very often we get stuck on habits that naturally keep us away from being a better version of ourselves.

Sometimes letting go brings so much more freedom that searching for the better

For example, one thing I wanted to let go of is ending up exhausted. The last year has been pretty full on working non-stop, most times seven days a week. And while I enjoyed all of what I was doing, I knew this wasn’t going to be a long-term way of life. I ran out of fuel, my body and mind just couldn’t keep up anymore. I kept on pushing through, saying Yes too many times, working late too many evenings – a habit that just became normality over time. So for me, rather than setting myself a goal such as “getting more sleep, or prioritizing better”, I decided to let go of my day job. I needed to offload some weight so that I could make space for myself and give my best 100% when working and being with others.

Yes, that has been a bit scary, a bit uncomfortable as having a “proper” job allows for financial security. It provides a title and somehow that acknowledgement among others that you are “someone”. I guess that’s what often makes it hard to let go. We get attached and comfortable to the way things are right now. By looking for what else we can do, or what else we might need more of we kind of shift our focus away from what is actually excess weight we are carrying at that moment. It provides us a way out of working through the uncomfortable. If we do, however, have a good look at all those distractions, habits, and unnecessary worries and deliberately choose to clean them up, so much freedom grows from that.

A worksheet template for your new year's reflection by Lena Pfitzner
A worksheet for your new year’s reflection

When you are sitting down and setting yourself intentions, goals for the year ahead, take a look back at what hasn’t been working well. What are the things that made you struggle? What are the things you weren’t happy with? Take a close look at those and allow yourself to let go of that, so you can polish any scratches on your beautiful self and shine simply by being yourself.

Feel free to download my little template for your reflections. Simply click on the image.

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