Whew…February 9th, I’m happy we’re past this day! The gym where I exercise is returning to a state of normalcy. According to health club industry research, this is the day gyms start to get less crowded as many of the New Year’s Resolution-making, new members stop exercising. The most popular reason for breaking this resolution is “lack of time.” Too bad they couldn’t jettison those things that didn’t serve them well in order to make space for the mission critical, like exercise.
To make space in our lives to ring in the good, last month I offered the first five things to kick to the curb in 2016:
1) Energy Vampires
2) Over Committing
3) Bad Habits
4) Other People’s Approval
5) Bad Self Image
For February, may I offer the additional five suggestions to help you make space for things in your life that really matter:
6) Remnants of a Past Self: The races you didn’t win, the report cards with the Cs, the deals that fell through and the relationships that failed. These are all gathering dust in the archives of your soul. A couple of readers suggested donating clothes that no longer fit your slimmer self. I concur. All other relics of a less-than-inspiring past should be kicked to the curb.
7) Placing Yourself Last on the To-Do List: There is a reason air stewards instruct you, in the case of sudden cabin decompression, to place the oxygen mask on yourself first, take a deep breath, then help those around you. If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of those you love? Even if…especially if…you are a caregiver, keep your own doctor and dentist appointments. Also, look good to feel good and do good, so don’t cancel hair, nails and other self-care. If you are even considering blowing off your yoga, Pilates or exercise sessions, I may have to pay you a visit and give you a serious talking-to. I’m from Jersey, and there are lots of landfills to hide the bodies.
8) Negative Self-Talk: You have been created in God’s image and enjoy far more power to be successful than you can imagine. Like attracts like, so give yourself a pep talk, reminding yourself of how good you really are. Enjoy the company of the better angels on your shoulder as they bring you fulfillment. As for the naysayers and cynics on the other shoulder, banish them to dumpster Hell in a proverbial hand basket.
9) Unrealistic Expectations: Say goodbye to all the “shouldda, couldda and woulddas of the past. Wrong turns, detours and accidents are a part of everyone’s life. Let your moral compass find true north and guide your journey. A GPS system programed by others becomes out of date quickly and limits your options. Time to place it at the curb in the electronics recycling bin next to your Beta Max player.
10) The Chains of the Past: Your ancestry is not your destiny. To accept the influences of your past as the sole determinants of your future is to reject your own self-efficacy. The past has an undeniable vote on your present, but it doesn’t get a veto. Take the ballot boxes full of disappointing past election results and send them to the shredder.
Last month I started my own assessment of what to kick to the curb. After making additional space in my life, I find that I’m reading more and nurturing two new friendships. Once you clean house by discarding what no longer serves you well, what will you fill this newfound space with? I’d love to know your interior design plans.