Every year people make big plans to commit to behaviors which will benefit them in the coming year.
Research shows only 8% will actually achieve their goals. My suggestion for 2017 is to focus on less.
Take a quick glance into your closet.
I recently looked into my own closet and took stock of the amount of clothing I no longer wear. Last year, I wrote a blog about cleaning out my scarf drawer, and this year I’m doing a closet overhaul. I plan to create several job interview outfits, from head to toe, and donate them to a charity dedicated to training and empowering women. I recommend allowing someone else to benefit from your excess.
Look for the expiration date.
My pantry is filled with items I plan to use “some day.” I have lofty goals of making incredible recipes with unique ingredients which require hours of my attention. In the meantime, my pantry continues to house many items approaching their expiration date. It’s time to sift through and inventory their value.
Are there items in your life nearing an expiration date? It could be food, work or people. Use this as an opportunity to inventory and make some important decisions to invest time, put forth energy or let it go before it spoils.
Less strife, less drama and less judgment.
We all tend to tolerate at least one person in our lives who seems to thrive on chaos. It’s torture to spend any length of time with them but history and guilt override good judgment. Energy is contagious and exposing yourself to someone who is toxic will not promote your best or highest self.
Quit wasting time on inconsequential tasks.
How much value does constantly checking your social media bring you? For some, it may mean big business but for most there is very little immediate gain. Choose wisely where (and with whom) you spend your precious time. You may be missing an opportunity by looking down.
Stop trying to fix things which are forever broken.
I have a watch which I don’t wear because it’s always running slow. It’s been repaired multiple times; yet it never seems to work properly. I have owned it for years and have grown attached because of its value – monetary and emotional. But the bottom line is this; it’s damaged and adds no significance to my life. Until now, I have been focusing on repair, hope and a little prayer. There are times when you must respectfully let something go.
Get off repeat mode.
Instead of reading the same things, researching the same topic, or following the same experts on their blog or social media, branch out and spend some time learning something on a subject you know nothing about. Find new resources to challenge your current way of thinking. The world is your oyster – get excited about figuring out what may spark an interest. It could take several attempts (and failures) but eventually you will discover a new passion. Don’t hesitate – go for it.
Eliminate things you have outgrown.
I am big on traditions, but there are a few ceremonies and routines which have become tired and worn. What started out as an enthusiastic gesture has now become an obligation I no longer look forward to maintaining. I often hear from readers who feel guilty for wanting to change gears. Less guilt, replaced with thoughtful new ideas, may be the ticket to emotional and professional growth.
Reduce anger and increase grace.
A friend called me in the middle of writing this blog. He was upset because he had missed another friend’s birthday and she had become offended at the oversight. He wanted to make things right and was looking for some advice. He was truly and sincerely upset.
I reminded him of the year I had forgotten his birthday and how he had responded to me when I called to apologize. Two words immediately came to mind – forgiveness and grace.
The fact of the matter is, we are only human. We have shortcomings and all make mistakes – some bigger than others.
Grace and forgiveness go hand in hand. It is my hope the friend understood the unintentional oversight and showed him the same respect he exhibited toward me. That’s what the meaning of true friendship is all about. In the end, what counts is how you handle the difficult times – less conflict is often best.
It is my hope you use the New Year to benefit yourself and others by doing less.
For more of Diane’s etiquette tips, you may also like Take a Moment to Make Your World Better. Read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on The Huffington Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.