December 26, 2019

New Years Resolution: Change Things That No Longer Serve You

I need to connect with people and disconnect from my screens.

I want to keep this post simple. Life is complicated enough without a complicated post about how you can change your life.

I can let work and life distract me from really being present and fully enjoying the people and experiences in my life. I know I am not alone. I find times with friends often interrupted or diminished by regular phone checking.

For myself, I'm working on being more mindful and less distracted, which usually means having clear boundaries with the things that distract me, like my phone and computer. I find myself regularly trying to multitask. This desire to multitask comes from the nagging feeling that I can never get everything done. The reality, however, is that multitasking actually makes me less efficient, less present, more anxious, and less capable of enjoying my life and loved ones.

This New Years, I am going to focus on changing something that no longer serves me well--being on my phone and computer too much. It's hard to completely disconnect from my phone and computer. I need it for my practice and to communicate with family and friends. But the fact is that being so connected no longer serves me well.

What have you lost by holding onto things that no longer serve you?

I think of times my daughter was trying to get my attention, and I was distracted by an email or social media. I am not doing either thing well. I think of those times that I check email into the evening and then have trouble sleeping because I am trying to problem-solve things right before bed time.

I am making a commitment to powering down when possible, to putting my phone in the other room, to starting my day with some deep breathing, meditation, or scripture instead of checking email as soon as I get up. I am making a commitment to prioritize things that are of value. And I will start to consider which relationships no longer make sense in my life, hoping to make room for other new relationships. Change is hard, so these changes are largely aspirational, but you have to start somewhere.

Sometimes you have to let go of something to make room for the things of value. 

You may be working really hard at things that no longer work for your life. Be willing to let them go in pursuit of something else that makes more sense for you. Continuing to work hard at things you don't love and that no longer give you fulfillment will only keep making you frustrated, even if you happen to succeed.

By letting go of these things in your life, it may make room for something that will give you joy and fulfillment. It will make room for the things that are the best use of your time and talents.

We only have so much space in our hearts and minds. Human beings are creatures of habit and comfort. We keep doing what we have been doing because it is easier than changing. That is a big part of how we get stuck and stop growing and feeling interested in our lives. If you are feeling stuck, it's usually a sign that it's time for change. You have to have the courage to pursue change before things will get better.

How can you let go of things that no longer serve you?

This New Years, think about what is not working in your life. It may be a relationship that has not worked in a long time, a habit or addiction, a goal that is out of date with your values, a belief system that is keeping you stuck, or obligations that stress you out but provide no real value.

Stop and make a list of everything that you suspect may not serve you anymore. What is one of those things that you are willing to change, remove, or replace? Place a Post-It note or a reminder somewhere to help you remember the thing you want to change. Remind yourself why it is worth changing that thing. Imagine how your life will be improved with this change. Imagine how free you will be without this thing, habit or person.

Getting rid of that one thing may be the change you need.

If you are struggling to make changes in your life, we have Houston counselor who can help. Please call us at 713-591-3612 or email us at Nancy @ wilsoncounsleing . org.

This blog is not meant to replace professional counseling. 

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