Every year about this time, most of us take stock of our physical well-being, or lack thereof. Right after Christmas and New Year celebrations, I feel extra motivation to shed a bit of bulge. But every January for the past few years, as I ponder the extent of the physical fitness reformation I’m willing to undertake, I get a glimpse of other things I’d really like to lose, too. As you cross the starting line for the New year, let this be the lap when you do some major letting go.
Here are the Top 10 Things I think we could all stand to lose in 2015:
10. The phrase “Just sayin’”
I feel certain it has run its course. If you have already stated your opinion (usually a snarky one), then there’s no need to try to soften the blow by adding “just sayin’” to the end of it. Let’s all agree to release that phrase to years gone by, huh? You could always make yourself feel better by announcing “Epic fail!” several times an hour if you start going through withdrawals.
9. American cheese
Let’s be honest: it’s not real cheese. Ditch it. Let me introduce you to aged cheddar, Emmentaler and Brie. And Havarti, and Gouda, and feta. You’re welcome.
8. Lumberjack beards
Yeah, they’re probably not going anywhere anytime soon, but I thought I’d throw it in here for good measure. A little scruff can be a good thing, but the Led Zeppelin-warmed-over look is not the best thing we have generated as a society. Just sayin’. (EPIC FAIL! EPIC FAIL! EPIC FAIL!)
7. The should-haves
Everyone looks back at some point and wishes they had seized an opportunity that has since passed by. So, carpe diem in 2015! Let go of your “should have” statements and make them “I will” statements instead. I WILL take time off this year! I WILL go on more dates this year! I WILL take that trip, meet that person, write that book, enroll in that class, take that leap and so on. Lose your shoulda-coulda-woulda’s and jump out there for some adventure!
6. All-or-nothing mentality
Maybe this is the year you can let your guard down a bit. Maybe this year you can let people in just a little more and share life on a deeper level. When we give off the “all or nothing” vibe, people are intimidated and tend to shut down; but when we open up and decide to meet people where they are, worlds of possibility emerge. You can be friends with someone on many different levels—levels where they are open to you. When you are understanding and don’t demand all their attention, all their time or all their energy, people can respond to you in grace and freedom. Every well-trained toddler knows, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”
5. Micromanager tendencies
If you have people who work for you, then let them work for you. Don’t hover and try to direct every. single. step. of. the. project. Give people room and grace and the chance to get the job done. They might surprise you with the level of quality they bring to your team. Course correction along the way is normal, but if you never allow your people to take the bull by the horns, you’ll never get anywhere. Team, meet Bull. May the odds be ever in your favor.
4. Debbie Downer-isms
Perhaps you call yourself the “voice of reason” and attempt to bring a dose of reality to those around you … but if you find you are constantly raining on people’s parades, stop it. Sure, there are a billion reasons to be negative. But it takes focus, determination and a hope-filled heart to accentuate the positive. When someone is excited, be excited with them! When a friend has good news, share their joy! Save your downer comments and just embrace the happy moments, will ya?
3. Your “bubble”
We’re all grown-ups here. It’s time to reach out beyond what is safe and comfortable and bring people into your sphere who are not like you: people from other religious backgrounds, of other nationalities, of other persuasions—people you don’t agree with on every subject. It’s time to let go of the fears that keep you “protected” amongst your own kind. Search out some people who are different from you and introduce yourself. Find ways to make them smile. Bring them a little gift now and then. Ask about their families. I guarantee it will be one of the most rewarding risks you ever take.
2. The cold shoulder
Being jilted by people close to you is inevitable—it will happen. People will disappoint you and hurt you, a lot of times without even realizing it. Giving people “the cold shoulder” when they have hurt you only makes the situation worse. Sure, take some time to recover. Take your hurts to your Heavenly Father and ask Him to help you, to heal you. And after you do that, ask Him to flow His love and grace through you to that person. When you feel like shutting someone out is the very time you should draw them close. Don’t close off your heart—keep it open and tender and your relationships will grow.
1. The social media high horse
It’s time to turn old Bessie out to pasture, gang. We’ve all had more than our fill of social media ranting, preaching and vitriol. This just isn’t an effective platform for debates and disagreements; there is no good way to win someone over by arguing via Facebook posts. You may now let your high horse go. I promise it will be okay if your Facebook friends and Twitter followers say things that you don’t agree with. I promise that the scales of injustice can be handled without a hashtag. Use your influence for good instead of venting! Positive outcomes rarely, if ever, proceed from negative thoughts and emotions.
And now, as if we needed any more prompting to group-sing the soundtrack from Frozen, let’s all join in a rousing chorus of “Let It Go,” and let’s lose some of this junk for 2015. There’s a great year ahead!