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Create Your Vision for the New Year, Part II

Last week I wrote about making a list of your accomplishments for the year. Today we are going to focus on writing out what we are ready to let go of. This is a powerful exercise and should not be taken lightly. In order to start fresh and manifest our dreams in the coming months we have to get clear on what is no longer serving us and become willing to release it.

Writing out what isn’t working in our lives isn’t about beating ourselves up or having a pity party. It’s about taking an honest inventory of what is holding us back. When I shift my perspective and see it as an opportunity to grow beyond my fears and faulty beliefs things start to open up in unexpected ways. We must face even the not-so-pretty parts of ourselves— this is how we learn who we are and what steps we need to take in the future.

It’s important to remember this is the first step in this process of letting go. Setting aside the time to write out our list helps us gain clarity. From our list we can hone in on a couple of areas that we are going to work on in the coming year. I like this practice of writing because I start to see my patterns and from my patterns I can pick out the themes and areas of my life that I want to devote the most attention to.

We must be transparent with ourselves in order to make our dreams real. If we are stuck in negative beliefs about who we are, self-sabatoging our plans, or allowing distraction to take hold over and over, we will not thrive. It is important to know that just because we write our list of what we want to let go of doesn’t mean it will magically happen. Some things will gradually fall away on their own. Others we will have to diligently take action on and that is okay. Sometimes the work is as simple as taking a few centered breaths and reminding ourselves that we have everything we need and that we can get through whatever presents itself.

I’m going to share part of my list with you so you can get an idea of what it can look like.  Anything can be written down. Nothing is too big or too small. Try to keep your list as specific as possible and make sure each item is something you connect to on a gut level. I don’t recommend going all out here, keep your list to 20 items or less. When we do much more than that it is easy to get in a negative spiral ;)

  • Devaluing remarks, devaluing myself through my speech.
  • Beliefs that don’t reflect who I truly am or what I am capable of.
  • Comparing myself to people on the Internet.
  • Beliefs and thoughts that keep me small (not being ______ enough).
  • Fear of dreaming really fucking big.
  • Checking out with Hulu.

We are all busy and have many obligations. Carve out one hour for yourself to do this writing. Take out your calendar now and schedule it. Make the promise to yourself and stick to it.

Create Your Vision for the New Year, part 3.


Photo: Lani Trock



  • Thanks for sharing! These are great goals, some of those really could be mine as well. ;-) I never was thinking of making a list on how to behave before, I only made lists of practical things like starting a blog or focus on goals related to work or do yoga on a regular base (or sports at all). So I guess I am going to write down some things by the end of this year that are inspired by your thoughts. Happy holidays to you! :-)

    • ashley

      Of course! I am so glad this resonated with you! Taking the time to create a direction for yourself in the coming year is such a good exercise. You will see how your goals can guide the actions you take and be surprised at what you can accomplish. Keep me posted on how things go and thanks for checking in.

  • So I am a bit late to the party, & after reading your latest newsletter, read this series of posts. I’m still pretty wired after spending my NYE doing vinyasa yoga, meditation & kirtan…so I am making my lists! Thank you for these posts. There is so much I want to let go of & accomplish in the new year. 2013 was a bit of a tough & transitional year & it was difficult to write a list of accomplishments I was proud of…but with some thought & reflection I was able to come up with a few. Now it’s on to my list of letting go…ugh. I will try to keep it under 20! I am looking forward to your post about comparing oneself to people on the internet. Guilty as charged. And wasting too much time on hulu, or netflix, uuumm hmmm. I got rid of cable to break the TV habit. Then found myself watching the entire series of Breaking Bad in less than 2 months! Happy New Year!

    • ashley

      You’re not late at all! Sounds like such a great way to spend New Years. I love all of those things too. I’m so happy to hear that you are getting something out of these posts and these exercises are useful to you. I totally hear you about this year being transitional, that was 2011 for me, a lot of major transitions going on all year and I found it challenging to be proud of my life…but like you I stuck with the exercise and was grateful that I did. That post will be up next week, re: internet comparison, it’s a huge deal for pretty much everyone I know. Have a great rest of the week and keep me posted on everything! I’m heading over to your blog now ;)

  • Meg

    Wow – so much of what you write resonates so deep and clear with me. I have been savoring all of your posts & blog, as am taking a break right now from clients and work and the day in, day out stuff. It feels really good to connect and focus on the here and now.

    Comparisons in general one of the things I am working through and processing right now and am anxious to hear your thoughts on comparing yourself with other people online. I find myself doing this more and more of late, and am exploring where this fear arises (definitely 2nd chakra level stuff) and where my self worth is wavering.

    …Embracing my fears as adventures and thank you for being on this ride with me!

    Truly, one of the very best things in 2013 was connecting here with you and your words. Thank you.

    • ashley

      Hey Meg!
      Happy New Year! I totally hear you on connecting with the here and now. I’m actually reading The Power of Now, don’t ask how come I am just now getting around to it…! But I guess like all things we read the books when we’re ready, when the time is right. Have you read it?

      Comparisons are so challenging and I am working on that post for late next week. It’s been coming up in my life and my clients lives a lot recently and it’s time to dig a little deeper and create some conversation around it.
      I love that you are living in such an engaged way and are willing to explore your fears in this area – that is no small feat and it’s inspiring.

      Yes! We are in this together for sure and I am thankful to have met another kindred spirit on this journey. The internet really can be a powerful tool for connection.

      Thank you for showing up and chiming in and sharing. It means the world to me and I am deeply grateful.

      Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

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