This is the time of the year when I usually do my normal retrospective of the prior year, complete with an intention for the new year. But I'm not doing that this year because, frankly, I really don't want to revisit 2016.
The year sucked for me in every which way. Not just because my candidate lost the election. It sucked every month, in every corner of my life. I thought after years of being sick and finally feeling physically good, that it would be a good year. There were many lessons. And I had my health. But I lost a lot of other things.
As much as I'd like to bitch about 2016 and keep that energy alive within me, however, I'm not going to. Instead I'm going to offer two thoughts.
The first is a tool you can use to get out of a rut, relieve the blues or move forward on something you haven't been making progress on—perfect for the new year. I call it One Better Decision and I have posted about it before.
Essentially, you set a goal. Then each day you choose just one thing in your day and make a "better" or different decision about it than the decision or choice you usually make. So if you usually watch the news at 6pm, skip it today and don't turn on the TV until 7pm. Or if there's a carryout you've always been curious about, stop there on the way home. Or if you usually park at the front of your office building, park in back.
Easy peasy. Minimum effort. But it offers a big payoff almost immediately. And if you feel beaten down by the world and can't take on another project, don't despair—the decisions can be really small. One day I replaced a glass of Crystal Light with water, for example. Another day I made the decision to do another week of better decisions. They really can be that lame...haha. So there are no excuses. Just do it for a week or a month and see for yourself.
Since I came up with this method, I have returned to it time and time again. Each and every time, it shakes me out of my funk and sets me off toward my goal. I should probably do it every day for the rest of my life, but that's unrealistic for me. Which is why this plan is so realistic. Do it only as needed, and as long as is needed! The hardest part is remembering to do it.
The second thought I'll offer up for the new year is that, over the holidays, I watched Antiques Roadshow. As a longtime watcher of this show, I can attest that it is a great equalizer. No matter how rich or poor you are, no matter where you live in the country (or world, since it originated in the UK), and no matter what your politics, we are all the same on the Roadshow. We all have "things" that matter to us. And we are all touched when we find out the things that hold great value to us—the family heirlooms, childhood possessions, cherished gifts and flea market finds—hold great value to others as well. We all hunger to be affirmed. And affirming others is such an easy way to spread light in this world (if you're looking for ways to spread light in 2017, that is.)
That's not all we have in common, either. We all want security and comfort. We all want love. We all want to feel valued and heard. We all have dreams for ourselves and loved ones. We are more alike than we are different. And when we see each other through the eyes of the Roadshow, we can't hate. We can't discriminate. We can't harshly judge.
So I'll leave you with those two things—One Better Decision and the Roadshow equalizer. If that's all we take into the new year, I think it will be a better year than last. And I'm certain that "the answer to all the world's ills" lies in opening our hearts more fully to others, rather than closing them further.
As for my plans in the new year, keep your eye out for the One Better Decision e-book! People have also been asking me to put some of my stories and lessons in an e-book or two for purchase. I have a few ideas of how to do that in some value-added way, so stay tuned.
Also, just thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for all your affirmation. And thank you for keeping this a "safe place" where I can be vulnerable and where others can feel supported when they make vulnerable comments, too. I think I'm five years into this blog and, while the blog itself (at tierneysadler.com) gets very few comments, my personal Facebook posting of it usually gets some good discussion. In all that time, there has been zero drama. So thank you for honoring this space. Happy New Year!