Three Things to Let Go of in 2018 (And Three Things to Adopt)

Yeah, yeah, yeah – everyone is scribbling their list of New Year’s Resolutions, hoping 2018 will bring with it newfound talents, money, travel, etc.

We tell ourselves “this year will be different!” But, often we fall back into the same bad habits that haunt us year after year.

I blame the lack of growth and change partially on lofty, lengthy lists that are, in reality, unrealistic.

That being said, I’ve scribed a short, sweet list of three fairly simple emotions and behaviors to let go of as the new year approaches, and three suggestions to start off 2018 on the right foot.

LET GO OF:

1. Anger. I struggle with anger issues. I see red. I quite literally go crazy. I am aware of my shortcomings, and situations and behaviors I view as fundamentally wrong, absolutely enrage me. I hold on to transgressions. I let it stew, then unleash the *rightful* anger on whoever did me wrong with no regard for the other person’s perception or position in the situation. So, I get it. And I realize how damaging this anger is on relationships. Mark Twain was right; Anger does do more damage to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. People who love you do the best they can with cards they have been dealt. No one is perfect. No one is going to never hurt your feelings or make you mad. The difference is in how the anger-inducing situation is handled. Ditch the blood-curdling screaming, attacking, and low-blow insults. You’re allowed to be angry, hurt, and disappointed, but certainly don’t unpack and live there.

2. Trying to do everything. We are incredibly overstimulated with social media, reality TV shows, commercials, and general advertisement of the “perfect life” we all should be balancing. Our houses should be spotless, perfectly decorated, with a gourmet dinner cooking in the oven in our over-priced Le Creuset in the trendiest color. Our pets and children (if you have them) should be perfectly groomed and on their best behavior. Us women should be up early, clad in Lululemon, skipping off to our barre class that costs more than a car payment, yet home in time to be ornately dressed and ready for a day at the office or household duties. All while not being stressed out, frustrated, or just plain exhausted. This is not reality. Stop trying to live up to the ridiculous standards society has ingrained in us. If your house doesn’t get cleaned this week – so what. Spend an extra hour next week really scrubbing. If you’re too darn tired to hit the gym, skip a few days to recharge. I do believe in preparing the majority of my meals at home, but I opt for quick, healthy meals with minimal ingredients and prep time. The perfect life is made in happiness, not in obligation to keep up with everyone else.

3. Selfishness. This one is easy. We all are a little selfish. We all prefer to only do the things we like to do, watch the movies we want to see, spend the day prioritizing things that are only important to us. Just stop. Ask your spouse how they want to spend Saturday afternoon. Do a friend a favor that may inconvenience you, but really helps them out. It’s easy to get caught up in yourself, but let me clue you in – there are billions of other people sharing this planet who are just as important.

ADOPT:

1. Prayer. Whether you are a staunch believer or not – pray. Find God. He’s there, waiting for you to develop a relationship with him. Prayer and faith in God brings peace and contentment that cannot be found in earthly delights.

2. Discipline. This is where typical resolutions come into focus. We often don’t keep up with a healthy lifestyle because we get lazy and it’s easy to make excuses. If we have discipline, we stick to our goals. It’s funny, because as a kid, you can’t wait to grow up and make your own rules. No one to tell you what to do, or how to do it. The irony is that once you actually are an adult, you find (at least I find) that I wish I did have someone to tell me to eat more vegetables, or to put down that mac ‘n’ cheese I’m eating for the third day in a row. Disciplining yourself is the hardest part, and once you get that down, everything else will fall into place.

3. Reading. I learn from reading. Whether it’s a Wall Street financial forum online (about the only reading J does), a feel good novel, or a spiritual book (my favorites as of late), reading not only recharges your mind, but forces you to take time to rest. Oh, and if you don’t know where to begin, the Bible is always a good place to start <insert winky face>.

I hope my tips resonate with all of you. Have a joyous New Year!

E

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