2017 things to trade for better in 2018

This is a time of year many people are contemplating change, reflecting on their successes, perceived failures, friends and family lost and gained, opportunities taken, missed, and squandered, the “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve” moments, the “what if’s” and the “why’s”. Reflecting on how they got where they are and what they love about it thus far. Some memories more fond than others, and some things we could stand to trade for better in 2018.

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We’re sore from bumping our heads making less-than-great decisions, we’re wiser from the lessons learned.  We’re motivated to make some adjustments, and we’re excited about the great things we’ve done and the great things we are fortunate enough to still enjoy… Not all are regrets, some were necessary lessons… but many decisions or situations could have been handled differently, or prevented completed this year… here’s to 2017 things to trade for better in 2018 … keep those knots from forming on your head again, or those roadblocks from popping up in 2018… and live a little better each day…

1. Self-doubt & Physical Insecurities

“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.”  ~Honore de Balzac

Reasonably speaking, you can do anything you put your mind to and effort into. It may not be easy, swift, or of perfect quality…. but it can be done. If you haven’t yet it doesn’t mean you can’t – just that you wouldn’t (thus-far). It will likely take sacrifice, getting out of your comfort zone, perhaps separating yourself from people or things, and your whole world may change in the process – but sometimes that’s required.

So who best to believe in you – but you?! Not one person on this earth is capable of knowing you better than you know yourself. You can gather insight and enlightenment from others, but applying it and experiencing the process of belief and the byproduct of success, failure, etc is dependent upon your will to act – and believe in your ability to do so. So nix that self-doubt, it is not helping you – it is hurting you. Hindering you from becoming where, who, what you could be.

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Also, stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone’s path is different and your differences don’t make you inept. From the outside looking in, it may upset you because we’re wired differently. We all are unique in that way, but beyond that slight frustration you have to accept your own path – because that is the only path you can control. Stop subconsciously body shaming or reducing yourself based upon the image of others. Now if there is something unhealthy (a practice, a habit, a status, a behavior, etc) you’d like to change about yourself, you have the capability to do so. Trade in your self-doubt for self-confidence in 2018.

  • Take note of your successes this year (even small accomplishments are meaningful)
  • List the things you’re afraid of and at least 1 step you can take to overcome it
  • Get out of your head
  • Take a break – disconnect and recenter yourself
  • Remember your foundation & value yourself
  • Make yourself feel worthy
  • Believe that you are

2. Living in the past

You will not fully enjoy your future if you are living in your past. As much as you need to move forward, that doesn’t mean to forget your past. Remember where you came from, and what you went through to become who you are, and who played a part – positively or negatively.

Remember who was and maybe still is around and why… remember who has invested in you as much as you remember those who betrayed you, and for all the unfortunate things that you may have experienced, remember the good. Use it to make you better, stronger, smarter, keener, more aware, etc. You don’t know if you’re fireproof until you’ve been burned. Move forward better for it.

Let go of grudges. Forgive people – not for them, but for you. Forgiveness doesn’t remove the pain, or the damage, and it doesn’t mean whatever happened is excused or accepted, but it does allow you to begin to heal and for them to make steps toward restoration if they choose. Residual anger or animosity only distracts and drains you. Release it. Don’t mistake “forgiveness” with “letting people take advantage of, mistreat, abuse, devalue, disrespect, or force things upon you”. Even with loved ones – love them from afar if you have to. Learn from the lesson and if you can manage not to lose the person but maybe place them in a different capacity in your life – one that does not leave you exposed, one that they’ve earned and are actively upholding, and one that aligns with their willing to change their harmful ways – so be it. Start anew. And if starting anew means without them – so be it then.

Living in the past also means letting go of former realities. As your resources change, so shall your lifestyle. Stop living beyond your means. Stop going through the world as if it’s the same as it was 20 years ago. Be mindful of the socioeconomic, political, cultural etc changes around you. Get informed if you haven’t been. Adjust accordingly to continue your stability and continue to maintain a balance in your quality of life.

Instead of living in the past, be present and pay attention to the now, focus on today and actively align your words, actions, and surroundings with the future you want.

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  • Remove what reminds you of negative past experience (people, memorabilia, phone numbers, facebook pages, IG followers, SnapChat followers, Twitter accounts, photographs, social groups)
  • Take time to be still, be quiet and heal
  • Take an objective look at where you now are and where you want to be in your future and start removing now what you don’t intend to be in your life in the future – purge
  • Soak in as much of today as possible

3. People who are fine making only withdrawals and no deposits in your life

This should go without saying, but it doesn’t. Toxic people, toxic relationships, frenemies, people who draw energy from you and don’t replace it with anything productive are people you need to rid yourself of. No matter how much you may romanticize about your idea or impression of them, who they could be if they just (fill in the blank), they are who they are and its their choice to remain that way. Stop causing your own unbalanced relationships.

People will always take your energy if you are willing to give it. Along with that comes your thoughts, your priorities, resources, and time and energy you could be investing elsewhere. If there is no value added, or an appropriate level of reciprocity – let it go. If the impact of continuing your involvement in their life means a depletion of your happiness or development, or keeps you from the future you want – let it go.

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  • Identify what the people in your life add and subtract (doesn’t have to be tangible)
  • Evaluate what you provide them (the most valuable add is sometimes intangible)
  • Ask yourself what all is required of you or involved in being “in their life” and what impact that has on your life or path toward your goals
  • Ask yourself if the juice is worth the squeeze, and if the value is balanced (are they adding to your weight/stress or relief/development)
  • Ask yourself how long they’ve been in your life and how many times you’ve had to doubt their loyalty, question their trustworthiness, ponder their intent, etc – do they even deserve the role they’re occupying?
  • Ask yourself, “Is your life better or worse with them than it is without them, or is it unchanged”?
  • Grab the scissors
  • Get to cutting – ties
  • Distance yourself, remove any/all attachments, tell them if you wish but block/delete, etc.
  • Trade those individuals for the opportunity to welcome better in 2018, and for peace of mind.  Be whole again. Keep your tank full.

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4. Decisions of the heart that overrule the mind

Those not-so-great decisions…. yep. Most of them are in this category. One word, one tremendously dangerous, most commonly used excuse for these decisions… “potential”. We all have it, but it means nothing without passion and actions.

  • Simply put, When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.
  • Make decisions today that will STILL be sound tomorrow when you think of your life and how you want it to be

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5. The words “I can’t” and the analogy between a “mistake” and an intentional (and maybe poor) decision

“Can’t”: Heavily used excuse… and most common term used to convince oneself of an untruth. In most cases, people use this term in describing their perceived inability to perform an action or emotionally driven decision. And in those cases, it is denial. It’s not that we “can’t”…. it’s that we WON’T. There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between the two.

Can’t – incapable, and somehow prevented due to factors outside of one’s control, with no alternative means within one’s control by which to perform said action. 

Won’t – capable yet chooses not to perform said action, regardless of reason/justification, factors are within one’s control, and performing said action yield risks or impact emotionally, financially, professionally or otherwise discomforting that the individual is not willing to experience. 

“Mistake”: Heavily used term to lessen the perceived intent of a poor choice. In most cases, spoken only when the poor choice has been identified and an uncomfortable consequence is being experienced. Also qualifies as denial but moreso as deceit. Choices that result in uncomfortable consequences are only mistakes when the error of the choice was unknown, unforeseen, and the action was unintentional in itself. Avoid making decisions that leave you or others unbalanced.

Mistake – said action was unintentional, yielded consequences that could not have been foreseen or expected, error of the action was unknown (Ex. Accidentally rolling over someone’s toe with a grocery cart)

Intentional (poor) Decision – said action was intentional, consequences were known and disregarded, options existed to not follow-through with said action, conscious decision made with factors within one’s control and alternatives ignored, performing said action yielded risks or impact emotionally, financially, professionally or otherwise discomforting for them and/or other that the individual accepted yet hoped would not be realized

  • Take responsibility for your decisions
  • Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences or rewards that come
  • Understand and accept that every action has a reaction and sets a chain of events into play
  • Understand and accept that only you have control over what you choose, do, or say or decide not to choose, do, or say
  • Stop blaming others for your choices and getting upset with the consequences
  • Trade “I can’t” for accountability and either decide you “will” or you “won’t”, and accept what comes next.
  • Be apologetic for the mistakes made and more aware and accountable as to not repeat them
  • Accept that an apology is two-fold – it is words AND actions. There is no apology without both. Genuinely speak the words and permanently change actions to align
  • Think & place value in the consequences of your choices. Avoid making poor decisions or being in situations filled that opportunity.

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6. Bigotry, misogyny, racism, homophobia, (body)shaming, hate, prejudices

It is a sad reality that these still exist, an even sadder reality that they are ignored and sometimes masked in plain sight. There is absolutely no value added in continuing these practices. It breeds hate, division, and oppression.

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  • just STOP!
  • Stop breathing life into it by perpetuating the practice
  • Bring awareness to its presence and DO SOMETHING constructive to disarm it Social Causes – Volunteering Opportunities <–Link Here
  • Practice peace and teach others to do so
  • Make your mark somehow

7. Procrastination on major goals

How are you going to get anywhere, if you’re running in place? Procrastination is a dream killer and time waits for no one. It also goes hand in hand with stagnation. So seize the opportunity to create the future you want, build the skills you need, and become the person you desire by taking steps toward your goals. Whether it is a talent, a hobby or a career choice:

  • Focus on what you want
  • Evaluate options on how to achieve it Free Online Courses <–Link Here
  • Research and Reach Out for Resources Meetup – Likeminded Groups <–Link Here
  • DO IT!
  • Expect setbacks, practice patience, enjoy the successes and appreciate the failures
  • Don’t give up
  • Embrace the life changes (How will you yield a different result if you’re doing the same things?)

8. Lassie-faire attitudes about finance and your country’s state of affairs

If you can’t help yourself, how can you help anyone else? Pay attention to what is going on in the world. Head out of the sand please….Less time double-tapping IG selfies and more time listening to the news, reading a book, and being aware of the economy. Take control of your finances. Make sound decisions. Get help if you need it. You might find a profitable niche.

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9. Unhealthy habits

Whether its smoking, excessive alcohol, chronic couch-sitting, pessimism, fear, accepting less than adequate treatment, telling alternative facts, poor diet, or living in denial, ease off the trend. Create a healthier lifestyle and mindset.

Something as simple as incorporating healthier foods in your diet. An apple a day. How about adopting the habit of hush. Before responding to people – be quiet. Take a breath, take a moment, and think before you speak. Figure out what ails you, what’s been a commonality when you feel less than great. Are you getting enough exercise? Try walking once a day, or reading 1 book a month. Small changes are easier to implement and to sustain than sudden life-changing shocks to your system.

  • Be honest with yourself and others
  • If changes involve physical exertion or health risks – consult your physician first
  • Take inventory of traits to trade
  • Be a better version of you and share your light with others
  • Find tradeoffs that bring positivity (Ex. find comedic events, vacation, enjoy your talents, workout, sing, write, swim, etc)
  • Stop accepting less than you should
  • Balance yourself

10. Relinquishing control of your life

“It is what it is” – but it’s not. It is what what you make it. Your life is what you make of it. You are who you choose to be. You are within the group of peers your selected. You are exposed to the influences you choose. Your obligations and commitments are the ones you accept. Thus, your time and energy is given to the people, places, and things you choose. Stop relinquishing control of your life, and take charge. Create balance. Rids yourself of dead weight. Make better choices, and enjoy the life you’re given – don’t let it pass you by.  See 1-9 for advice… and trade those traits for healthier and happier things in 2018.

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Plant a seed and watch it grow – feed & expose it properly

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