There are things that contribute to living on purpose. And there are things that don’t.
If you want to create a life you love include more of the things that make you feel more fulfilled, free, confident. And purge your life of the things that don’t help you feel satisfied and at peace. When you do, you create space to bring in something new. Something that will keep you moving forward and not stuck in a rut, or feeling as though you are doing the same things over and over, and getting the same, unsatisfying results.
Every day you have an opportunity to let go of what weighs you down and stands in your way to happiness. It might be physical clutter in your home or busyness kind of clutter on your calendar that skews your perception of time.
In order to create your life, you have to be willing to edit it so you can best decide what serves a purpose, or what only serves to hold you back.
Saying goodbye to these four things will help you do that:
1. A reason to say no
I feel like I used to need a really good excuse to say no to someone, or something. I was afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, and worse, feeling like they wouldn’t like me if I turned them down. Now, I trust my own instincts. I know that saying no is a way to set a necessary boundary so that I can be true to myself, my needs, and what will help me be a better being in the world. Before I agree to something I look carefully at my calendar to see if it fits in terms of time. And I make sure it is something that serves my overall purpose and goal.
“No” is a powerful word to use for honoring your boundaries and using your time and energy most efficiently. You don’t need a reason to say no if saying no is what you need to live more deliberately and purposefully.
2. Old goals
Everything runs its course at some point and goals are no different. At the start of the year we make resolutions to focus on. The goals we set in January are a starting point and they should be revisited often through the year. Otherwise, there is a chance they will get stale, and turn into nothing more than unnecessary tasks that do not fulfill you. Every time you think about who you want to be or what you want to do you give yourself an opportunity to re-write the pages of your book. You give yourself the opportunity to change and grow even more.
Recycling old, tired, no-longer-applicable goals is a waste of time. Keep your finger on the pulse of what it is you want to do, and who you want to be. Check-in with yourself through a journal or talking to a friend, and consistently revisit your goals to make sure they, and your next steps, are fresh and relevant.
3. Bad habits
We all have had a bad habit or two that keeps us stuck instead of moving us forward. Instead of going for a walk, we check our phones or scroll through social media. Instead of drinking a tall glass of water, we grab a large mug of coffee. We stick to what we have always done and then beat ourselves up for not having done better. There is a way to change and to grow out of bad habits. The first step is by prioritizing it.
Get clear on the kind of person you want to be — organized, on time, fit, healthy. Then prioritize doing the kinds of things that a person who is organized, on time, fit, healthy, does. When you do this you will start to weed out the bad habits. Decide that it is time, now, to let go of the bad habits. And time to usher in a willingness to create better, more effective habits that will serve you better.
4. Someone else’s thoughts of you
This can be difficult to do. And when I am confronted with an opinion someone has of me I try to remember the second of The Four Agreements. It advocates the importance of having a strong sense of self. And not needing to rely on the opinions of others in order to be happy with your self-image. In other words, each person has their own views. Those views alter their own perception and their actions, opinions, beliefs, are a projection of their own reality. It has nothing to do with me. Making it about me pulls me into their worldview, and away from mine.
Author Anne Lamott says, “What someone else thinks of you is none of your business.” Respect yourself by leaving alone the opinions others have of you. It is far more important that you like yourself than anyone else liking you.
Be an active participant in the creation of your life. Let go of what holds you back so you can finally see and benefit from what will move you forward.