A few days ago I shared the marriage and life goals that Brandon and I have set for 2017. We are excited for the New Year and really hoping that we are able to turn it in to our best year yet. We have travel plans and money goals, but individually we also sat down to work on areas of self-improvement because it is important to us to share the best possible versions of ourselves.
My husband set his goals quickly. I don’t believe it took him longer than 10 minutes but when he shared them with me I was impressed with the depth of his aspirations for next year. He had things related to his health, his patience with the pets, and being a good husband and leader for our family. I had only written, “Stop thinking so much.”
After writing that down I started (as always) to over-think what my next few goals should be. I was obsessed over how they should break down. I wanted to have 10 in total so that meant I had only 9 goals left. Should I create 3 personal, 3 professional, and 3 marriage? Should I do 5 personal and 4 professional? I had become so trapped inside of my own head I couldn’t move forward. I just froze, staring at a blank page, while Brandon easily wrote his down in a fluid thought as if it was the simplest thing in the world.
After he shared his with me, it made it so much easier. His were so heartfelt, like most everything he says and does. My husband and I are very different in that aspect of personality – he is emotional while I am logical. His decisions and desires are fueled by feeling. My decisions and desires are fueled by logic. In that moment though, my need for logic was killing my emotional connection with my own life.
It also reinforced what I felt the other day when I bought this sweater (affiliate link). It just feels like the perfect motto for 2017 – “Inhale. Exhale. Love.”
When I let go and let my heart start leading it was so much easier to come up with 10 personal goals for this New Year. When I was finished, and I shared them with my husband, one thing I noted was that they were all things I wanted to stop doing. I did not have a single goal that about “starting”.
So although I had originally thought my 2017 word of the year was going to be “Risk” I realized it is really about “Let Go”. (Go ahead…cue ‘Let it Go’ from ‘Frozen’, I know you want to.)
10 things I want to STOP doing in 2017
With that being said, here is my list.
1 – Thinking so much. (See also: over-analyzing, over-thinking, over-researching
This applies everywhere. It applies in my career, my side hustle, and my blog. It applies in my marriage and my friendships. It applies to my finances, my debt, my diet, my pets, etc. to my entire life. I’ve always found the most success when I’ve just let go. In fact, my most popular posts weren’t thought out nor did they include perfect photos. They were emotion-driven but that’s why people connected.
2 – Using fear as an excuse
I feel like fear held me back a lot in 2016. It was fear of a disagreement, fear of losing followers, fear of being rejected, fear of failing, etc. that stopped me from doing things and growing like I should have. It’s why I haven’t created any videos for my blog, it’s why I’ve never used FB live, it’s why I’ve never hosted a webinar, and it’s why I rarely share pictures of myself. I need to learn to stop letting it hold me back.
3 – Going out to eat
Since my husband is a vegetarian I find that we make plans to go out to eat far more often than we should. Now, I know this is on our marriage goals but it applies to me personally because I’m the cook in our marriage. I find that I use the excuse of not having enough time or being too tired as a reason to not cook and provide food and meals to my family. When I plan for meals, I don’t find making them so overwhelming. Also, when I actually do cook I find I enjoy my own food more than restaurants.
4 – Accepting laziness (especially on the weekend)
#RealTalk, I’m the queen of lazy on the weekend unless I have a place I have to go. I’ll try to run all possible errands on Friday night because if I’m able to not leave my home on Saturday, I won’t. Often, that laziness equates to a top knot and yoga pants. While that’s fine and I totally agree that we all deserve those days where a Netflix binge and yoga pants is totally acceptable, it shouldn’t be my norm. I want to be more engaged with my husband and our life during the non-work days.
5 – Putting myself last
I don’t go shopping for myself as often as I should. I don’t keep my haircuts on steady appointments, get manicures, or indulge in any self-pampering except on very rare occasion. Brandon is continually on me to do the things I want to do – get the keratin-treatment, indulge in the massage, go for a pedicure. I just never do it. I know I’m not the only woman that does it either; from what I gather, it’s the norm. Ladies, why do we do it?
6 – Hiding Behind Stock Photos
This one is going to be tough for me but nearly every single person that took my 2016 Reader Survey (which you can still take here, by the way) said that they wanted me to share more personal photos. Y’all don’t realize how hard that is for me but I’m going to do it, for you. I don’t have a DSLR camera, I don’t know how to really even use one all that well, most of the time I’m not photo-ready (see #4), and frankly, I feel like just about anything is prettier than looking at me but you want more personal photos so I’ll give them to you. It’s going to be hard for me though.
7 – Expecting perfection
Ah, yes, another fatal flaw of mine (perfectionism). You know that old adage, “If you want something done right, do it yourself?” Ugh, it’s so hard for me to let go of that. As a result, I tend to pile too much on my plate and then expect perfection. I do the same with the people that work for me. It’s one of my worst qualities and I know I need to let go of unreasonable expectations and focus on the attainable, the doable, and the good enough.
8 – Obsessing over fertility and babies
While Brandon and I are still desperately praying for a child, I have decided I can no longer allow it to maintain an emotional hold on me or our marriage. Even for the most recent 2 years, when emotions have been at their highest, we have avoided making certain moves or decisions because, “What if I get pregnant?” We turned down job offers, cancelled moves, and made other major life decisions because, “What if?” but this year I told Brandon we need to do the opposite. We need to plan as though their won’t be a child, then adjust if one enters the picture.
9 – Neglecting my dogs
I am sure that you all know how much I completely and utterly adore my dogs but, being honest, I don’t always give them the devoted love and attention that they deserve. Sometimes I’m late on their appointments, I don’t bathe them like I should, and I’m not consistent about our trips to the dog park even though I know they adore it there. In the new year I want to be more deliberate with my dogs and put them on a more consistent schedule.
(I even bought this Kurgo Bench Seat Cover for my backseat to keep it clean from dirty dog paws.)
10 – Accepting the pressure
There is that famous quote, largely attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt which says, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” That quote has never been more relevant to me than right now. There is so much of it out there in the world. So many ways to not feel “enough” of anything. It’s easy to feel as though you’re not smart enough, wealthy enough, pretty enough, tall enough, skinny enough, talented enough, etc… to do whatever the thing is that you’re thinking of doing. This is right in line with letting go of perfectionism and not using fear as an excuse.
I suppose what I’m saying is that this year is a year of addition by subtraction. By letting go of the negatives that I’ve let make me a victim to pressure and perfectionism, I’m hoping to find a more freeing and joyful 2017.
Is there anything you’re letting go of this year? Anything you want to package up and send to God with a message stating, ‘Hey, I know this isn’t from you so can you help me get rid of it?