Cue the eye roll. I know, I know, but hear me out; it’s going to be different this time. I’ll explain and hold myself accountable.
I’ve been pretty open about my self-improvement journey, and this declaration follows the same path.
We all get stuck in ruts and patterns that no longer serve our highest good, but it takes more than good intentions to effect change in our lives — it requires purposeful action.
Last year I spent a lot of time and energy examining the areas of my life that needed an overhaul, and one of those areas was how I approached my professional life. Of course, being creative isn’t always conducive to orderly thinking, but it’s not enough to admit you have a problem; you have to take steps to change the thing that’s not working.
Educating myself about my ADD/ADHD was the first step in understanding how my brain worked and how I could leverage my neurodivergence to my benefit.
Second, finding tools that help mitigate the challenges presented by my ADD/ADHD was essential to long-term success.
And third, being willing to trash my ego and admit that just because I’ve been doing something for a long time doesn’t mean I was ever doing it efficiently, and there are better ways if I’m willing to learn.
To that end, I immersed myself in finding ways to better my life. I took charge of my physical health in a meaningful way. I audited my professional endeavors, carefully choosing where I spent my energy instead of leaping at the first thing that promised a dopamine rush. With the help of my sister, I created a publishing schedule on an actual calendar and stuck to it. I invested in workshops to hone my craft and skill. I started networking again. I determined where the toxicity in my life was contaminating my energy and cut it out, protecting that which made me special and unique.
I embraced a love for myself by incorporating daily affirmations, manifestation mantras, and meditation.
I took hypnosis classes.
I listened to self-help podcasts.
I took an honest and authentic look at myself in all ways – even the shadowy and dusty corners that I’ve been too afraid to examine — and lovingly allowed myself to feel whatever I needed to feel. Sadness, rage, disappointment, joy, gratitude, insecurity, acceptance, love — it’s all in there, and it’s beautiful.
Along this healing journey, something else happened, too.
I saw situations as they were — not as I would like them to be.
I saw people for who they were — not as their potential.
I saw myself in my entirety — no longer afraid of the darkness or the light.
My journey to raise my vibration created new pathways that I’m excited to travel. I don’t have time or energy for anything that drags me down spiritually, emotionally, mentally, or physically. Today, I protect my energy, whereas, in the past, I recklessly spent it on people and situations that only took and never gave in return.
So when I say, “New Year, New Me,” trust that this is not lip service, not some trite meme about resolutions and whatnot that inevitably fades in memory and action. I’ve become ruthless in my pursuit of personal and professional improvement. I also accept this kind of journey is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be stumbles and restarts, but there will be zero quit — of that, I can promise.
If you have what it takes to make that level of change, lace up, I will run beside you, cheer you on, and support your dream.
Otherwise, step aside and let the movers and shakers do their thing.
Make the choice, and a true “New You” is around the corner.
Let’s do this.
Kim Van Meter is a former full-time reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News; she continues to provide occasional columns.