How to Wipe Your Slate Clean for the New Year

Most people ring in the new year with cautious optimism, especially if the previous year did not live up to their expectations. We all set goals throughout the year but this time of the year marks a time of reflection and reassessing what we want to focus on in the new year.


Many people who set goals in the beginning of the year have gone off the rails by early or mid February. There are many reasons for this but in order to ensure that we will be able to stick with what we seek to achieve, there are a few prerequisites that are necessary. One of the most important of these is saying ‘no!’ What do I mean by this?


One of the reasons why people are not able to follow through on their desires and ambitions is because there is too much competing for their attention at any given time. These can be divided up into personal obligations and professional responsibilities. Personal obligations include our families, our activities of daily living and all of those things we do to maintain our households and our finances. Professional responsibilities are all those goals and deadlines we have to meet  in our jobs.


The problem becomes that we often have so much on our plate that we have no bandwidth to engage what we truly seek to accomplish, especially at this time of the year. This is why we must learn to say ‘no!’ This is one of the most powerful words in any language and is vitally important to engage in if we are to achieve our highest ambitions.


You see, we only have a limited amount of time in any given day to give attention to what truly matters to us. Goal setting is one thing but in order to work towards and accomplish that goal, requires time and commitment and this is impossible if there are too many things vying for our attention. This is why you must learn to say ‘no’ to anything that does not truly matter to you or requires your attention.


I am not saying that you should neglect your family, your personal relationships, not fulfill your household duties and ignore your professional responsibilities. However, you must take stock of how you spend your day and let go of anything that sucks up your bandwidth and does not allow you to follow the path you have set out for yourself.


This will be different for each of us but it could involve letting go of activities that waste your time, such as going to the bar once a week for happy hour, letting go of people in your life who do not support your higher vision, or delegating some of your professional responsibilities to others who can fulfill them and are not pulling their weight.


The way to do this is to journal about everything that demands your time and attention in a typical day and putting it into two columns. In the first column you list activities that are absolutely necessary, which could include spending quality time with your significant other daily, doing the groceries and exercising. In the second column you list those things that are not necessary such as spending time with people whose company you no longer enjoy, watching that Netflix series that sucks up so much of your time or work meetings that are a waste of time because they accomplish nothing.


From the second column, start crossing off everything that no longer inspires you or that you can delegate to somebody else. You can easily say no to people in your life who are no longer in alignment with the direction your life journey is taking. There may be professional responsibilities that you can delegate to other people at work, such as attending useless meetings.


Do this exercise right now as the year begins before you create an action plan for the goals you have set for yourself and you will find yourself creating more time in your life for the things that truly matter. This way you will create the circumstances that will make it more likely that you achieve what you truly desire as the new year unfolds.


We are living in very uncertain times and if you want to attend a free live webinar on the power of uncertainty and how to embrace the unknown then sign up at the following link.



Dr. Nauman Naeem



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