Let's make 2019 YOUR year

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 05:56

It’s a new year…and we all have plans, goals, and wishes for what 2019 will bring. That said, why do so many of us find ourselves wishing at this time every year?  And more to the point…what makes January 1st so special anyway? I mean let’s cut the crap. I’m betting, like me, you woke up the exact same person, with the exact same problems, struggling with the exact same issues.

Maybe 2018 beat you up a bit. I know it did me. I lost loved ones. Had a house burn down. Had some business endeavors fail. The year kinda sucked to be frank. And yes some of it was my doing, but some of it wasn’t. And there I found myself on 12/31 at 11:59pm wishing for a better year. And this wasn’t the first New Years Eve I’ve felt this way. Then I stopped to really ponder – why?

Do years really get better? If so, how? Bad stuff never stops happening. In the immortal words of Kurt Vonnegut, “And so it goes”. Translated literally: "So" (in that manner), "it" (the indeterminate), "goes" (transpires). Translated metaphorically, bad shit happens to good people.

Which leads us to the inevitable question – what can we really do about it? The answer… it depends.

I’ve come to realize that the things that are out of our control, like the loss of a loved one, getting laid off from a job, or losing a home due to a natural disaster to name a few - are exactly that. Out of our control.  And in those instances it’s futile to hope for a better year because life inherently is a roller coaster with a constant flow of ups and downs. All we can do in these situations is give the loss a meaning. Learn from it and allow it to make us stronger, wiser, more empathetic, and more resilient. This, as they say, is the part we lean into. Let it break us so that we may rebuild new and improved as individuals, spouses, parents, children, siblings, and all around global citizens.

Then there are the negative patterns we repeat and the drama we create in our own lives that have nothing to do with the outside happenings of the world at large. Dating people that just aren’t that into us. Taking poor care of our health. Sabotaging our careers by showing up late, missing deadlines, or being ill prepared. These types of heartaches are the things we can change, improve upon, or avoid entirely – but not by wishing or hoping.   

The only way forward here is to first take responsibility for what we are contributing. If we can’t take responsibility for how we enable those dynamics and play victim to mean people we are fundamentally disempowering ourselves and greatly inhibiting our ability to create change.

Now, this won’t be easy. You have to be honest and realistic with yourself about that fact. If it was easy you would have already changed it. Take some time to acknowledge that we don’t engage in destructive patterns, habits, or relationships because we are dumb, lazy, or stupid. We do it because it affords us something. And while you may not know exactly what, I guarantee you it’s true. It could be that keeping the weight on keeps the status quo going with your significant other. Maybe you are sabotaging yourself at work because your sibling always felt you like you were the golden child and got all the attention so you sabotage your success to not alienate them. It could be a million things from comfort to a sense of control, but the bottom line is change isn’t easy for this reason. Because it means giving up something (while bad for us) is usually unconsciously protecting us from something else.

In these scenarios I try to help people get in touch with the pain the way they are living is causing them.  Because if that pain is greater than the fear and the sacrifice associated with the changes they want to make they can find the will to move. Again, it won’t be easy, but it’s so so worth it.

I highly recommend finding support this year. Whether it’s exploring counseling to gain a better sense of self or surrounding yourself with new friends who are like-minded. Share similar goals and aspirations and want what’s best for you. A good place to start might be my private Facebook group. It’s of course totally free to join and there are thousands of women there, just like you, to share with and grow with. 

No matter what, know you will always have me and I will always have you guys and we will continue on this journey called life doing our absolute best while having each others backs.