New year, new goals, new pressure to change for the better. Every year, it’s the same mantra come January: How are we going to change? It can get exhausting, no?
I do always find a beginning of a new year to be equally nostalgic and exciting. Fresh starts, resets and hopeful possibilities. After years of hard work and a bit too much patience, last year turned out to be unreasonably lucky for me professionally – 2016 brought a new job working for CBS Los Angeles news and a book-publishing deal (my first book launches in April). Truth be told, I’m not sure I want this year to change too much.
I enjoyed 2016. (Is that wrong to say?) Professionally, I finally felt validated. Personally, I felt more settled and content. Family-wise, I felt a bit more balanced. (That said, my life is not perfect; I’m just measuring noticed progress from one year to the next.)
So, I’ve made a choice to continue and repeat the same things I did at the very start of 2016, with hopes that more of the same will yield even better for 2017:
1 I stepped away from certain friendships. This was the hardest thing I’ve done in a long time. But, if a friendship is bringing more worry, conflict and uncertainty than joy and support – or if you just don’t feel like you can trust someone the way friends are supposed to trust each other – it’s time to step away.
Cut the cord; don’t smack; don’t question yourself; don’t feel guilty. You might just find yourself feeling more settled and focused over time.
Fewer friends – real friends – can add up to feel much more fulfilling and meaningful if you just allow it.
2 Throw it all away. I tend to be a pack rat. Keep those T-shirts from when I was a part of that group back in seventh grade! Don’t get rid of that dress you haven’t worn since 2004 – you might still wear it because it’s still cute!
Wrong. Be brutal, be honest, be ruthless if you have to. Give away the useless items that don’t bring you joy and just take up space – in drawers, in closets, in cars, in rarely used purses. (Admittedly, I’m still working on this – it’s hard to do!) Less stuff makes room for better energy and clearer thinking. Less stuff makes me feel more in control.
3 Say “thank you.” Every morning, since January 2016, I’ve said “Thank you for this day” when I wake up. I also sometimes say it while driving in my car, loading my dishwasher (it’s most difficult at this time) and going to sleep. Saying thank you – to God, to the universe, to a spouse, to friends, to children or to yourself – makes us happier, regardless of what’s going on at a given time.
Being thankful is one of those magic life skills that we need more of, even during tough times.
So, what do I want to change this year? I’d like to change the ongoing need we tend to have for always seeking change. Maybe the real secret is to scale back, simplify and settle down. Cheers to having much more with less this year.
Jill Simonian was born and raised in Fresno and graduated from Sanger High School. Founder of the TheFabMom.com, she is a parenting lifestyle expert for CBS Los Angeles. Her first book, “The FAB Mom’s Guide” will be available in April and is being presold on Amazon. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @jillsimonian.