Be at War with your Vices, at Peace with your Neighbors, and let every New-Year find you a better Man. ~Benjamin Franklin 1755
Estimates vary, but generally more than 600,000 businesses are started each year in the United States. Yet for every American who actually starts a business, there are likely millions more who begin each year saying “OK, this is the year I am going to act on that idea and make it into a business” only to have another December roll around without taking any real action.
Everyone has his or her own roadblock, something that prevents them from taking that crucial first step. Most people are afraid to start; they may fear the unknown or failure, or even success. Others find starting something new simply overwhelming, they have the mistaken belief they have to start completely from scratch. They think they have to come up with something that no one has ever done before– a totally new invention. In other words, they think they have to reinvent the wheel – when in reality they don’t.
Well another New Year is upon us, the time of year when many of us conduct annual rituals that may include everything from strategic planning sessions for business to making personal New Year’s resolutions or setting Bold Goals for 2013 and beyond. I have found that any such process to be much harder to do when I haven’t completed or let go of the past.
I believe it’s very difficult, (nearly impossible), to really move forward a start something new when we are carting the past along with us. The process of letting go can include changing your attitude and perceptions about what the 2012 economy did to you, to digging very deep and letting go of some of the childhood stuff that has shaped your life for years.
On the fun end of the spectrum, here is a very practical thing you can do- put flip chart paper all over the walls when you have a New Year’s Eve party with a simple question on each sheet, like “What did I start and not complete?” or “What did I accomplish?” or “What did I screw up that I didn’t get blamed for?” Have your guests write on the charts all evening with colored markers – some will get even more creative with a touch of artistic display. You then take them all down at midnight and symbolically burn them! (It feels great).
I realize that for many folks the New Year can include a lot of upset; ranging from anxiety around gift giving and hectic schedules to painful remembrances of lost loved ones or unhappy childhood experiences related to the holidays. All of these emotions can block us from accomplishing our goals.
One of my friends that has participated in the “wall chart” exercise summed up the experience – “transition/transformation is a lot of work!” If you are intending to be powerful in 2013, have big goals, and produce great results, I highly recommend you spend the next couple of days completing and letting go of 2012, in order to create fertile ground for your 2013 vision to come alive.
Wishing you a happy ending to your 2012 and a fabulous 2013!