How was your Christmas? Was it filled with lots of good moments, your favorite foods, and your most beloved people?
Mine was! I actually cooked a traditional American Christmas dinner:
The BIG turkey with the homemade cranberry sauce… The pumpkin pie and all the trimmings, it was very exciting because we don't usually do that in Australia.
We don't have turkeys and we don’t really eat pumpkin pie.
Normally at Christmas in Australia, we’re barbecuing, we're putting shrimp on the “barbie”, and, we're outside because it's so hot during that time of year.
So hosting an all-American Christmas feast for my Aussie friends was a great experience.
Now, I’m not big on New Year's resolutions… But I am all for making positive changes in my life.
As we step into a new year, it's the perfect time to reflect on our lives, on the most valuable lessons, and let go of things that no longer serve us.
Whether it's outdated habits or toxic relationships -
We all have things we should consider leaving behind this year to pave the way for personal growth and a brighter 2023.
Here are 8 of them that I’m leaving behind and I hope it inspires you to do the same:
1. Not putting myself first
Whether it's being a sponge for someone else's negative thoughts, or even just dragging yourself to a party when you're just too tired - do you often find yourself fighting for other people's happiness, growth, or dreams, at the expense of your own?
Remember to always be mindful that the best way to serve others is to first show up as the best version of yourself. Your kids, spouse, friends, family, and co-workers will all benefit far more in the long run if you're giving yourself the love and care you need to be a happy and effective human being.
Learning to say no, respecting your personal boundaries, and being in touch with your priorities are all great ways to start putting yourself first more often.
2. People that don’t align with my values
You know, one of the most valuable lessons I learned in life was if you're getting into a relationship or a business with someone, you have to be aware of what your values are and make sure that their values align with yours.
And every year, I make a commitment to myself to only surround myself with people who share the same values as I do. By doing this I make space for healthier, more supportive connections.
As a personal growth coach, and lifelong learner, one of the most common habits I see people struggling to overcome is Procrastination.
The thing is, procrastination is often disguised as perfectionism, self-doubt, or endless planning, so it can be tricky to spot!
This year, I encourage you to commit to leave it behind by following these 3 steps:
Identifying Triggers: Ask yourself, what situations or thoughts trigger your rumination? Recognize the patterns that lead you into this cycle.
Question the Purpose: Ask yourself why you engage in rumination. What need does it fulfill? Is it protecting you from something, or does it provide a false sense of control?
Challenge Negative Thoughts: When negative thoughts arise, question their validity. Are they based on facts or assumptions? Replace them with positive and empowering affirmations.
Remember… REAL productivity is not about consuming motivational content for hours without taking action; it's about channeling that inspiration into tangible steps that produce real results.
4. Letting fear dictate my life
Have you ever said no to an amazing career opportunity, because you were afraid it wouldn't work out? Or how about pulling the brakes on an adventure or romance of a lifetime, before even exploring it fully?
Fear of uncertainty and danger are all natural ways our well-meaning brains try to protect us from harm. But often, at the cost of some of the best experiences of our lives.
Every time you feel yourself crippled by fear, use personal growth tools like meditation and affirmations to erase it and even reframe it into excitement.
5. Denying my personal power
If you're like most people, you rarely give yourself enough credit. You are far more resilient, intelligent, creative, and resourceful than you think!
And yet perhaps due to unaddressed limiting beliefs or even a misguided sense of humility you've been taught to have since childhood, you choose to play a smaller game than what you're really capable of - both in your work and in your personal life.
Each time you notice yourself thinking or saying something disempowering, write it down - and then write down an empowering affirmation to override it.
For instance, if you notice yourself thinking you're not good enough to get a raise at work, write down that you are a valuable team member who contributes immensely to your organization.
This simple exercise will help you rewire your subconscious mind, so you can finally start lifting yourself instead of dragging yourself down.
6. Unhealthy habits & addictions
Late-night snacking, procrastination, skipping a gym session… one thing almost all unhealthy habits and addictions have in common is they can make you feel good in the moment - but awful in the long run!
The biggest danger about unhealthy habits is that they quickly become autopilot behaviors you have no control over. If you don't pay attention, you might not even notice you're doing them!
So next time you catch yourself in this vicious cycle, ask yourself what triggers your bad habits: is it boredom? Stress? Fear?
Once you've written down those bad habits and their triggers, try replacing them with new positive habits that can also address the triggers.
For instance, if you used to reach for a cigarette when you were stressed at work, try taking a quick walk around the block instead.
7. Seeing myself as a victim
Life can be unfair, and it's inevitable that people and circumstances will sometimes let you down. When this happens, it can be dangerously comforting to see yourself as a victim in an unjust world.
The problem is that even when it's fully justified, this kind of thinking can also be incredibly disempowering.
It robs you of your agency, makes you feel helpless, and stops you from taking control of your life, instead of just letting life happen to you.
Shifting your focus from blame to gratitude can work wonders (neuroscientists have found that an attitude of gratitude can boost a person's happiness by up to 25%).
At the start of every day, try writing down 10 things you're grateful for.
You'll be glad to find that it's virtually impossible to feel like a victim when you're focused on being thankful.
8. Suppressing my emotions
"Emotional people are weak" is a damaging mantra that has robbed me and countless people of an authentic, fulfilling, and happy life.
Because yes, while it's typically wise to act with a balance of emotion and logic, it's not okay to completely ignore how you feel in favor of what's "right" or what "makes sense".
So next time you feel a strong emotional reaction to something, take a moment to acknowledge it - even if it's a negative emotion like anger, fear, or jealousy.
In this moment, remind yourself that emotions are a normal and necessary part of life.
And if you're frequently unhappy with your emotions, remember that emotions are a subconscious reaction to your thoughts, beliefs, and circumstances: so try modifying those as well, wherever possible.
When you do the inner work, you may be surprised at how quickly (and easily) you can overcome self-defeating thought patterns and behaviors that have pinned you down all year or all of your life!
Now, if you'd like to go deeper, and gain even more powerful techniques for a transformative 2024, then join Mary Morrissey and me in our upcoming masterclass: How To Eliminate Your Limiting Beliefs Masterclass now.
Together we’ll show you how to overcome the limiting beliefs that have been affecting every area of your life.
The thing is, to make space for transformation, you’ve also got to let go of any resistance you might have.
Resistance often comes from fear or attachment to what's familiar, but it's a roadblock to our progress, holding us back from reaching our full potential.
So if you're feeling that resistance and you're not quite sure where it's coming from or what to do about it, I highly encourage you to join us at the FREE masterclass ASAP!