Release and Focus. My two words for 2018.

What worked last year? What didn’t work?

I made a vow to myself to leave whatever didn’t work in the past year.

Although I look back and see what didn’t work, I also ask myself, “What did I learn from those experiences?”

When talking with people about their 2017, most people said that their year was challenging for them. Not that the whole year was for me but rather, it was sprinkled—and sometimes doused—with challenges. At times it felt as if those challenges permeated my life.

Reflecting on the last year

On New Year’s Day 2018, I took a closer look at what did work in the last year. And, most importantly, I released what no longer serves me into the ethers. A challenge that I pushed through and learned from did not need to come with me into this new year. Only the lessons from that experience are coming with me: my strength, my fortitude, my creativity, my intelligence, my humour, my ability to push through tough times. No need to stay with ‘the story’ of the experience. The story is in the past. The learning lessons can stay in the present.

Focus for the new year

For 2018 I am focusing on what does work, what will work, and what I want to work on and do in 2018. (Boy! That’s a lot of ‘work’ there…I need to be sure to also include ‘play’ in 2018!)

On New Year’s Day I participated in a laughter call with seven other women from around the world and we talked about what we would like in the coming year. What words resonate with us for the coming year? What would we like to focus on in the coming year?

One woman shared with the group that the number 18 in Hebrew means life.
And, so 2018 is the year of life.

I have released what no longer serves me. I hold on to the life that I have. I hold onto the life force that is driving my creativity, my resilience, and my desire to be the best that I can be.

I am focused on giving my best self in my interactions with people, in my writings, and in my coaching and speaking programs.

What you can do

What are you focusing on this year?

Have you released what needs to remain in the past?

Allow yourself to feel free and unburdened from the past. One way to do this is to write down everything that you want to leave in the past and then have a good-bye ceremony. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Typically releasing is done by burning the pieces of paper. If it isn’t safe to do that, shredding the pieces of paper works just as well. I love the sound of my electric shredder as it transforms my words into confetti! Either way, transform what no longer works into something else…whether it be ashes or confetti. Most importantly, allow them to be lessons then set them free.

I believe challenging experiences are a chance for us to learn and transform ourselves into our next best selves.

To life! To 2018!

About the author: To find out more about Julie Ostrow, please click here.


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