Why You Should Sift Through the Unnecessary and Prepare Your Soil
Point to Ponder:
Overtime, what unnecessary habits, attitudes, thoughts, relationships and words have you formed that are not in alignment with your 2018 desires, and therefore are preventing you from being your best?
I love the New Year, but to be honest I get very overwhelmed by everything I want to change and accomplish. In my pre-children and idealistic twenties (and even early-thirties), I thought that in order to achieve my desires and goals, it was as simple as writing them down and creating a vision board. As you might expect, for several reasons most of the items never came true.
For starters, I set way too many goals that weren't S.M.A.R.T: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. My only plan was hard work. Also, I didn't show respect and celebrate the previous year's accomplishments and blessings (as encouraged in last week's Journal). Furthermore, I didn't tend to my life garden by pulling my weeds and making room for new growth and opportunity. Instead, I piled one year's goals on top of another, all the while never clearing out the old, unwanted, unhelpful and unnecessary so that I could make room for what I really needed and wanted.
As my good and wise friend Ivana Nedic shared about her own practice of sifting through the unnecessary of life, she said when she needs to refocus and reprioritize, she imagines putting her whole life in a flour sifter and then sifting out all of the unnecessary: the things that don't matter, do not serve us and our relationships, and are not in alignment with the life we truly desire. To go a step further, if you view you and your life to be as precious as gold (which you are and your life is, but infinitely more special and beautiful), the process is like panning for gold.
First, you begin with a pile of mud and rocks. Next, you have to make time to vigorously shake your pan so you can eliminate the unnecessary (the mud and rocks). Finally, after you have diligently and intentionally sifted, you are left with the gold in your life, which in proportion to the pile you started with, is minimal.
And so, in order to determine the gold in your life, shine like gold, and see 2018 grow into everything you want, hope and envision, you first have to eliminate your garden of overgrown weeds. Similar to prepping your garden from one season to the next, in order to create space for the new and healthy vegetation to grow and blossom, the old and dead must go. In addition, of course we would never plant anything new and beautiful on top of bed of weeds and unprepared soil, so why in the world we we set new goals, intentions and desires before pulling our weeds first? Mother Nature provides us with the perfect example. Darren Hardy of DarrenDaily (a daily motivational podcast), states, “A forest fire is a very powerful and important act of nature. This is how Mother Nature clears out the old to make room for the new. It removes it’s previously restricted limitations and helps reset the conditions so new life can form. While this process begins in difficulty, it gives the forest a fresh start. Soon new picturesque plant species are able to thrive since they no longer have to compete for the sun with the previously tall, dead trees that hoarded the sun. Glorious new trees are able to climb majestically to the sky because room has been made for expansion."
As you use January to prepare your 2018 garden, include celebrating, sifting and weeding, as well as writing down all of your physical, mental and emotional weeds, such as any negative habits, attitudes, words, thoughts and relationships you formed. In addition, list any regrets, disappointments, undelivered communications, unfinished business and unfulfilled expectations from 2017 that may be weighing you down. This can be goals you set out to accomplish but were unable to or have not achieved. From something as simple as still needing to organize your office, the act of placing any disappointments, regrets, unfulfilled expectations, undelivered communication and unfinished business on paper will give your mind and spirit the capacity to evaluate exactly what you want and don't want to move forward with, as well create new and fresh opportunities for yourself. 2018 is going to be a great year!
Consider and write down all of your physical, mental and emotional weeds, such as any unnecessary and negative habits, attitudes, words, thoughts and relationships you have formed and do not serve you and your best life. In addition, write down and let go of any regrets, disappointments, undelivered communication, unfinished business and unfulfilled expectations from 2017 that may be weighing you down.
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