"You can always reinvent yourself. Each passing minute is the perfect occasion to start becoming your vision." ~ Janine Rudder
I love starting over. I’ve always been attracted to fresh starts and for years have engaged in elaborate, introspective rituals just before the start of a new year. I would carve out time to reflect on the past year in a meticulously chosen place with a tranquil mood and cozy ambiance. I sat for hours drinking tea and detailing my most prominent lessons learned in the last twelve months and my highest ambitions for the next in a lengthy entry in a brightly colored journal.
The process has evolved over the years, but it’s still an event. The transition from one year to another is a purposeful inflection point in my life. It’s the way I honor, bless, and conclude one chapter while welcoming and setting intentions for the next.
Although I respect the significance of the ritual, I’m now grasping that we don’t have to wait until the start of the year to start over. We can empower ourselves to make those changes when we know they are necessary.
Set Priorities Based on what Brightens Your Life
My enchantment with reinvention and dreaming a new dream for the future is about feeling alive. The decision to pick a new direction is a beautiful illustration of the continuity of life, the permanence of change, and our power to reposition ourselves to remain in flow with it. In years past I’ve set goals for the year ahead and started to craft a plan for achieving them. This year, I’ve shifted my approach to setting priorities based on things that brighten my life and designing my days around those things. Using the former model, I found myself adding activities and strategies to my daily life. In the latter, I plan to reconfigure my life altogether, alleviating that which is not a priority and nurturing the things that matter most.
As Paula Pant, host of the Afford Anything Podcast, often says, “You can afford anything, but not everything. Every decision that you make is a trade off against something else and that’s true not just for your money, but also your time.”
I had to test my commitment to this principle just last month in December. When faced with substantial time and energy constraints, I decided to step down as a board member of an amazing organization doing life-changing work. I’ve volunteered for and championed this work for over a year, so it was an incredibly difficult decision to make. However, when I was really honest with myself, I knew that the significance of what was pulling me away outweighed the guilt that would have kept me in the role.
I can’t overemphasize the value of creating space in your life for the things that will transform your life into what you want it to be.
Intentionally take inventory of your life at various points throughout the year to help make critical changes along the way. Freeing yourself from the things that no longer serve you while amplifying that which brings joy helps to prepare you to dream a new dream.
Declare Your Priorities
This new year, I’m still choosing to indulge my fascination with new beginnings. The rituals I’ve chosen to bid adieu to 2018 and receive 2019 with open arms include movement, fun, sister circles, and of course, contemplation and focused intention setting (life visioning).
I’ve divided my priorities over the next year into three straightforward categories:
The personal priority I’m expending most of my time and energy on in 2019 is creating and nurturing community. This looks like making new connections to outstanding people and deepening my existing bonds with cherished loved ones. To me, relationships are what make life worth living; strengthening them heightens one’s life experience.
Professionally, I plan to continue to work on becoming a masterful coach, immersing myself in literature, conversations with other coaches and developing new coaching relationships. My own Pilates practice has dwindled this past year. I’m committing to taking at least one class per week and observing more classes taught by instructors I admire. I will write at least five days per week and consistently share my lessons, and insights through my writing. Lastly, devote two hours per week to creating new business possibilities with my husband.
I’ve already developed a financial plan for the next two years. My priority is to execute with fidelity. This looks like saving at least 50% of my take home pay from my primary income stream. I also plan to take the leap into index fund investing by January 31.
My next steps are to love myself by honoring these priorities and to remain open to the next dream life brings across my path.
Janine Rudder is a coach and Co-Owner at Manifestara LLC - https://manifestara.com/