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New year. Fresh Perspectives.

New year.  Fresh Perspectives.
Conversations are powerful vehicles for change when our hearts are open, and a recent one with my buddy has resonated within my soul so much this week.  The conversation revolved around trying to repeat the successes of the previous year and how much pressure there is to continue to impel ourselves forward–either inside or outside pressures.  But it sort of struck me these last few days that life is not always well-lived in the repeating of successes or even the constant push.  Life is not a repeat or a 3-peat or whatever-peat year to year.  And, it’s beyond the goals and the recognition; it’s in the intention–the choice of what we want our year to look like and what and how we choose depends on where we are in that moment.  Each year can look so completely different from the previous one. Sometimes we need to just breathe. For a week or a month or for an entire year.  But that choice to just breathe can be so freeing because it’s making the conscious choice to bring our life back to center.  And some years provide the strength and courage and opportunities to push farther and harder and with more strength than the previous year.  We are ready.  But, each of these choices is gifts and provide everything that we need in that moment….success, achievement, strength, passion….or just breath.
We can never doubt our own ability to bring it back to center.  We can never doubt our ability to achieve. New can never doubt our ability to love fully. We can never doubt what it feels like to say no for our hearts or for our family. We can never doubt what it feels like when that grace we give reaches the hurting inside.  And we can never doubt what it feels like to always stand our ground where hope can be found.
So as I am standing in the doorway of 2015, I am ready for what lies ahead of me.  I have turned the page.  2014 has been written, and I am proud of my year.  I am proud of what was created and harnessed and achieved and loved and nurtured. I am proud of the lessons learned and the grace I received. But most of all, I am proud that I never doubted my ability to bring it back to center.  So as the calendar flips to a new year, I challenge you to create your year for you….a year chock full of goals and successes, or a year to simply breathe in the simplicity and to leave the challenges behind for a little while.
And as we close 2014 and open our hearts to the possibilities that 2015 holds, I leave you with what one of my favorite yoga instructors says to close his classes…. peace and victorious you. Namaste. 
the art of setting goals

the art of setting goals seems to have no art at all.  i have read countless articles, blogs, and books and have come to the conclusion that there is no perfect way or one better way to keep yourself on track.  you have to do what will work for you.  keeping this in mind, i have several things that i do to keep myself on track every day and that really work for me.  it’s hard to balance all that life throws at you, while purposefully trying to pay attention to a few of the small moments each day so that you don’t fall into that trap of wishing your life away or trying too hard to do it all, perfectly, and be everyone’s everything. and while organization helps a lot, feeling accomplished by not over-committing yourself to more than you can handle, while preparing for the unexpected helps tremendously.   the OCD control freak in me struggles with trying to control life, yet knowing that i can’t and must let life run its course….and simply learning to just let go.  not to try to perfect everything.  and learn that failing is part of learning.  and it’s okay to rely on others and allow them to be there for you, just as you are for them.

yearly. three words.  

these words define what i want my year to be.  they are kind of overall themes for my life that create a direction and keep me focused on more of a purpose-filled life.  my words this year are connect.  grace.  and purpose.

connect.  for some people, connections come rather easily.  i have had to work at it.  painfully shy in my early years, it was hard to forge those relationships, especially in large crowds.  and, while the struggle still happens on a daily basis, i find myself more mindful of it each day as i try to show my love for life.  in business and in my personal life, true connections are those that show weakness and strength.

connect.
family.  friends.  life.  customers.  stronger.  body.  mind
spirit.  earth.  love.  emotion.  reconnect.  learning.  

grace.  one of my favorite quotes is ‘with all of your heart, ask for grace and let go.’  this speaks to me on so many different levels and applies to so many different areas of my life.  and grace is such an amazing word in and of itself and can speak volumes with just 5 little letters.  i aspire to grace, ask for grace, and try to show grace.

grace.
give.  trust.  pure.  humble.  elegance.  moral strength.  

let go.  laugh.  freely given.   show, act, give believe. 

purpose. when we find ourselves without passion or purpose, or alone without a project to occupy us, we can become nervous and self-critical about what we should be doing and feeling.  finding purpose and allowing ourselves the space to be as we are gives us the passion for life we all look for on a daily basis.  while some jobs in and of themselves, exude a purpose every day (soldier=defender of our freedoms, doctor=saving lives, bringing new life), the life a property manager is not so…. glamorous? so my third goal is to find purpose every day.  even in the mundane.  what did i do today that made a difference?  what was my purpose today at work, home?  and, while my job somewhat defines who i am (although not completely), it’s not what gives me purpose every day.  and despite my job, or in spite of it, i look for my daily purpose to be outside of what i do for a living.  rather focusing on the job intertwined with who i connected with today, or ensuring that i connected with someone specific (family, friends etc.), or if i did my best.
purpose. 
home.  work.  family.  friends.  

daily. 

yearly.  three large goals + 10 steps.  personal and professional. 

each year, i come up with three main goals in each category, personal and professional, that i would like to accomplish.  this could be something I want accomplished within a year, or over several.  and from those overall goals, i make 10 steps to reach that goal, in order, and begin working on those much smaller goals, scratching off each one as they are accomplished.  i have found over the years that, while we all try and establish goals, with the determined intent of reaching them, if we don’t have steps to get there, we will never make it.  it either becomes so overwhelming that we give up, we forget where we are, or stray off track.  we all have the ‘ooh, new, shiny!’ syndrome.  and, i have found that doing it this way keeps my on track.  and really, i am a total list person.  there is nothing more satisfying than scratching something off of a list to create a sense of accomplishment.  and Lord knows we all need to feel that sense of accomplishment every day!

monthly.  simple goals by category.  

i recently read a post over here and was inspired to try these simple, easy purposeful goals, set monthly.  i love the fact that, even though they might not be achieved every single day, the overall goal is to create better habits and keep life from taking over each day, creating an environment where we feel like life is passing us by.  brilliant!
ashlee proffitt design

so my challenge to you is, despite the fact that it is the middle of march already….go set some goals.  challenge yourself.  big or small.  whatever works for you.  today is the day to go down the road to reaffirming your goals, personal growth, or reinventing a better you.

and to be simply.amazing!