* Stare fear in the face. So often fear stops us. Instead live fearless – knowing when to stop and when to move and when to be brave. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “do one thing every day that scares you.” Think about it – often on the other side of fear is adventure, change and opportunity.
* Invest in your friends. Good friends listen and show up. Do the same. Friendship is give and take and give and take. Friends are the ultimate gift. In fact, be the friend to others that you need for yourself.
* No excuses. You must take care of yourself: heart, body and soul. There is no excuse for forgetting you. Your family needs you to love you with the same tenacity that you love them.
* Guilt doesn’t need to dictate choices. Don’t let guilt stop you from taking care of yourself. Guilt keeps one stuck. Guilt is the baggage, often. If guilt creeps in ask, “is there something I should learn or change?” and if so – do that. And if not – let it go.
* Read real books again. Watch a mini-series. Start jogging. Do something that is not work, not chores, but simply that makes you happy. Think of it as permission to invest in yourself again. Fuel your heart.
* Love your body. Your aging body. Your not perfect body. Yes, that. And stop lamenting the wrinkles, but embrace them as another year lived. But in loving it, take care of it.
* Don’t short-change yourself. You are amazing. Try harder and longer than you think. Speak up. Don’t settle.
Listen more, judge less. Comparison is the death of contentment. Instead of judging, be happy for others.
* Slow down. Hold hands more. Say “yes” to one more book. Let them get the gum in the check out line. Just be present. So many beautiful moments are in the seconds in-between.
* Create margin in your life. That space in-between the busy and the crazy where you can just breathe again. Margin is a little extra in the bank account, time between appointments, that breath in response. It’s not reacting, but being proactive (my favorite from Stephen Covey).
* Don’t be afraid of “no” and trying. The worst that can happen is that you brush off and try again. In fact, trying is where joy and laughter and learning often happens. And you can say “no” and move on.
* Be proud of yourself. Like really nitty-gritty proud – of all the showing up and trying and giving and little things you do that matter so greatly.
* Give to others. Maybe it’s not money or time, but sometimes it can be grace extended. Giving back in kindness and patience is a great gift.
* Be straightforward with your words. Don’t beat around the bush. Say it like it is. Be brave and strong.
* Love well. Love without fear. Love unconditionally. Love others, yourself. Love deeply.
* Forgive. This. Over and over. Grudges destroy, forgiving brings freedom.
* Fall seven times, stand up eight. Don’t lament the falling – celebrate the standing. The Proverb never says “don’t fall” — it says “stand up.” So keep going. Nothing changes unless you do. In fact, words without action keep one stuck. So be willing to put in the action versus waiting until it’s perfect.
* Learn from your experiences and mistakes. They don’t need to define. Sometimes those spaces of experience make us real and in the real spaces, we forge connection. Share your real, share your ups and downs. There is no shame in trying.
* Take risks. The biggest risk in life is the risk of not trying. Can you imagine getting to the end of your life thinking, “thank goodness I played it safe?” I really believe our older self will appreciate the risks we take now and the adventures we live and the good we give.
* Mindset, mindset, mindset. What one thinks truly is what one believes, what one becomes. Spend time meditating, being still, understanding the mind.
May this be a year of fearless joy.
May this be a year of happiness.
May this be a year of wonder.
May this be a year of bravery.
May this be a year of adventure.
May this be a year of focus.