It’s that time of year again when we are ready to start setting goals for ourselves and enter the “new year, new me” era. But before we dive straight into setting new goals for yourself, I think it’s important to take some time to reflect on our approach (note to my younger self!).


We’re constantly bombarded with so much messaging about all the things we can be doing…should be doing…all the things that everyone else is doing. We’re kind of being primed to feel less than anytime we open our devices.  It becomes a point where we might begin internalizing this messaging and start asking ourselves “Why aren’t we accomplishing those things?” 


You might start to notice that things are no longer joyful or you feel blocked from experiencing the light of life. You might start to notice it in terms of physical health, emotional health, and even stress. 


These changes may be an indication that deep in your soul you know you want for yourself. You know that’s what you should be listening to. These are your soul goals. It’s about tuning into your body, paying attention to that inner wisdom. Oftentimes, that inner wisdom is letting us know it is time to let go of something holding us back. 

For instance, many of us get stuck in a cycle of comparison. We often look to what other people are doing as setting a standard that we should achieve too. One of the best examples of this is career FOMO, in which Dr. Anisha Patel Dunn and I came together for a Forbes article. This is when you see other people hitting these career milestones and  it really amps up the anxiety, the imposter syndrome and can cause you to spiral into really unhealthy thinking about where you’re at in your own career.


But it’s important not to fall too deep into this unhealthy pattern. This is where knowing when to let go comes in handy. 


The older I’ve gotten, the better I’ve become at recognizing when I’m getting a little too far into that upholding mindset. Recognizing when to let go of things that no longer serve you is essential to getting back on track. We frequently become fixated on the new things we should be doing rather than purging our lives of the old habits we should abandon.


If you’re feeling stuck, I’m here to tell you that you have everything you need to move forward within you. You just have to unleash it. One thing I have found incredibly helpful is articulating what you need to let go of instead of focusing on what it is you want to add into your life. You know how the saying goes, it has to be  “out with the old” before you can come “in with the new.” 


There is an exercise that I think you will enjoy. This is a tool that can be really useful in approaching the year ahead


Grab a piece of paper and make two columns. Things to Keep, Things to Let Go Of


Meditate for 5 -10 minutes about how you want to feel in the new year. How are you spending your time? Who are you interacting with? What habits do you have in place? 


Now start writing, and don’t sensor. 


You can tweak your list if you want and refine it. 


On the other side of the paper, write some words that describe how you want to feel, or an energy you want to bring into the new year. 


After completing this exercise,  you will feel incredibly refreshed with a new perspective. And when you put this into action, you’ll find you have a deeper capacity to go after some of those new habitats you want to implement in your life.


Again, there’s no one right way and there’s no one right time to start making these kinds of changes in your life. There’s just the right time for you and the right way for you. I also want you to remember, just because the calendar year starts on January 1st does not mean that we have to wait to make changes until that date. You should start whenever you feel ready. And that’s going to be different for all of us. But what’s most important is that you give it a shot.


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