The Blank Slate Syndrome

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a big fan of the New Year. The planning, the goal setting, the dreaming, the journaling... I get giddy just thinking about it.

But quickly on the heels of all that mind mapping and list making and goal stretching comes another feeling that I know all too well in the month of January - complete and utter overwhelm.

How am I going to get all of this done?

I didn't do even half of this stuff last year - what makes me think that this year is going to be any different?

This is totally realistic - as long as I do not sleep for the next six months.

Can I get an Amen?

The past couple years have been better because I'm approaching goals and 2017 dreams in a different manner. Instead of saying "this is what I want to do this year", I'm saying "This is how I want to feel this year." I'm choosing four core emotions that I want to be BFFs with this year and then asking "What can I do that will help me FEEL this way?"

This approach is courtesy of the Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and has been revolutionary to my every day life not to mention my goals and approach to where I want to be. Instead of saying "I will write that novel in 2017", I'm saying "I want to be playful this year. What can I do today to experience a feeling of playfulness? Will this add to that experience or detract from it?"

So, here's some notes from my own reflection on what I want out of 2017.

Principle: Playful

  • Laugh more, worry less
  • Be in the moment
  • Seek out adventure
  • Learn new things
  • Get outside and move
  • Play games
  • Don't take life so seriously
  • Find the fun
  • Connect with friends

Principle: Assured

  • Be physically comfortable
  • Do your homework
  • Let routines do the work
  • Ask for help
  • Communicate effectively
  • Focus on strengths
  • Ask the right questions
  • Be intentional

Principle: Structured

  • Schedule it, make it ingrained
  • Routines are rituals
  • Everything can use a system
  • Even when I don't feel like it
  • Be organized
  • When you're done, put it away

Principle: Energized

  • Nutrition in, energy out
  • More water, less sugar
  • Avoid the negatives, focus on the positives
  • Be intentional with the energy you have
  • The body craves exercise - show the body some love

The blank slate can be exciting - and overwhelming, depending on how you approach it. I'm a big believer in the principle that how you start something is indicative of how you'll finish something. I want the New Year to be inspiring, not daunting. It should be full of possibility, not problems. This method has been great for me to frame up the year with a positive and realistic mindset.

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