How’s your year going? Sure, we’re not too far into it yet, but there’s something a little magical about beginnings, isn’t there? Of course a rocky start doesn’t mean 365 days of obstacles, and a strong one doesn’t mean you’re in the clear, but there’s an energy right now that we all want to harness.
Maybe you think New Year’s resolutions are silly and didn’t make any. Maybe you love them and have been keeping a color-coded record in your bullet journal (hello, last year’s resolution). Maybe January snuck up on you, like a chilly finger tapping your shoulder on that first post-holiday commute, and you hastily threw together a laundry list of good intentions to pave the road in front of you. Whatever the case, it feels a little less impossible, this time of year, to keep all the promises we make to ourselves.
Sometimes in the flurry of deciding what we want to add to our lives and what we want to get rid of, though, we forget about all the good things that we should just…keep. Under the high-contrast filter of motivation, we only see the things we can’t stand about ourselves and the things we desperately want to do and be. But what about the progress we’ve already made? What about everything we’re already doing right? This January, we invite you to balance resolve with reflection…to build upward from an already strong base instead of knocking yourself down and starting over.
What are you doing right RIGHT NOW?
This is a question you should ask yourself often, and take the time to answer honestly and thoroughly. Our culture’s emphasis on “performing under pressure” and “staying hungry” has tough-loved us right out of the habit of celebrating our successes, but studies (like this one published in the Harvard Business Review) have long shown that acknowledging accomplishments is GOOD for productivity, not the opposite.
• Maybe you’re really disciplined about following your monthly budget, but all you can think about is the fact that you can’t seem to stick to a personal fitness plan.
• Maybe you’re crushing your fitness goals, but you’re concerned that all those hours spent at the gym are distracting you from your career.
• Maybe you just got the big promotion you were working for, but you have a sinking feeling that your bucket list of best travel destinations isn’t going to get many checkmarks in the near future.
• Maybe you just booked a dream vacation for your family, but you can’t stop wondering if you should have been looking for affordable life insurance instead of luxurious hotels.
We know we can’t have it all…but it doesn’t stop us from trying, and it definitely doesn’t stop us from being discouraged when we fail. But what if, instead of lamenting the missing pieces of the puzzle, you could focus on the ones that are already in place? And then—this is where most of us really have to rewire our brains—what if you could see the beauty and benefit of leaving some empty space?
Empty space. We declutter our closets and defragment our hard drives because we crave it, but then once it’s there, we immediately start looking for ways to fill it back up. In the urgency of it all, we try to fit square pegs in round holes and big projects into tiny windows of time. And we get discouraged. Of course we do.
So this year, try leaving yourself a little more room to move. A little more room to think, and prioritize, and weigh your options. Start with the big things first, like protecting your family and making time to take care of yourself. Then, from that strong foundation, you go upward at a reasonable pace, taking the time to check each brick for flaws before you trust it to be part of what you’re building.
We’d love to help you check off those first important boxes, so when you’re ready to shop for life insurance coverage, we’re here to make it easier. Because we know it’s not the only thing on your list.