The question of what to bring with us into the New Year - the future, the next great segment of our lives – and what to leave behind is not a frivolous one. Nor are the answers necessarily obvious or all that easy.

The problem is that I have a tendency to bring just about everything with me wherever I go “in case it turns out I need it.” Okay, not everything, but all sorts of “contingency items:” a “back-up” dress, an extra pair of shoes that will be all right if it rains, or snows…my jewelry box, in case I decide to substitute the simple earrings I’m wearing for something dangly – or whatever, a raincoat and umbrella along with rollers for my hair in case I get stuck in the rain (or snow) and have to “re-do” my “hair-do,” (even ‘tho the weather report says “fair,”my sneakers and some workout clothes in case I have time for a quick run, and well, you get the picture. And that’s only for a two-day trip!

I’ve finally come to realize that this “Oh, bring it, just in case!” attitude is not only stupid but not good for my posture. I’m usually bent over when I lug all this stuff through the airport…

And it’s also the kind of thinking that creates what I call “the debris of indecisions” – a kind of paralysis that comes over many of us when we look into a closet, shop at our local supermarket, pack for a vacation - or peek through the keyhole of the door to the future.

It’s possible that the real trick in life is nothing more – or less – than having the chutzpah to stop dithering and decide. To realize that the only way to actually move forward, to get what we really want, what thrills us…is todecide. And to act on that decision.

We’ve actually got to say “No, I’m not” and “Yes, I am.” It’s called “taking control of our lives”…and there’s no better time to do it than right this minute before the clock strikes midnight.

For me the best place to start is always with the mental and emotional stuff because that’s the “debris” that does the worst damage. So let’s take a crack at deciding what old “thinking habits” we need to leave behind…and what new ones we need to replace them with. I call the process “Doing the “from/to’s.” (I know, it sounds like a dance. It sort of is.)

Here’s my list. See what you think and add your own.



-  From: Fearing the worst To: Assuming the best

-  From: That’s just the way it is To: There’s no way it is, there’s only the way I say it is….

-  From: Why does it have to be so hard? To: If it weren’t hard, somebody would already have done it…

-  From: What if this is the time I mess up? To: This’ll be the time I hit it out of the park.

-  From: I’ll never have enough. To: I’ll have exactly what I need.

-  From: Being right about how wrong it is To: Buying into a larger commitment.

-  From: I can’t find the answer To: The answer will find me.

-  From: The Universe has already made its mind up about me To: The Universe only knows what I show it today..

-  From: It’s too late. To: This is my moment.

-  From: How bad could it get?! To: How good could I make it? (My favorite…)

So look, the next time you pack to go somewhere, take your life in your hands and just “decide,” okay?  Maybe what you leave behind will say even more about you than what you bring with you…. And like all truly defining moments in life, you’ll say to yourself (or maybe out loud like I do), “Hey, if I could do that, what else could I do?” And the answer will come back clear as a bell: “Whatever you decide…”

Like deciding this is going to be a really good year.

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