On the tail of last week’s interview with Cait Flanders, I have a short, but important question for you today. What are you opting out of this year? In 2021, what are you deciding NOT to do. What path are you not going to go down?
As Cait and I discussed last week, opting out can look different for everyone. You might be opting out of meat, a friend might opt out of social media, your parents might opt out of their marriage. It can be opting out a way of thinking, a way of treating yourself, or having a boundary-free life.
I find it especially poignant at the beginning of the year (yes, we’re still in January and it’s the beginning of the year), because a new year is a time people often opt into a new challenge. They add more to their plate. They take up a new hobby. They put more pressure on themselves. And there’s nothing wrong with that if it works for you.
But I think for most people, particularly people who are feeling overwhelmed, or overworked, we need less not more. We need fewer distractions, less pressure, less negative self-talk. We need to create some mental space, and one of the ways to do that is to opt out of something that isn’t serving you.
It’s funny, I often, like many people, come up with a word for the year. That word is going to be my anchor. In the past it’s been consistency or strength. This year, my word is settle. Now, let me explain. I’m sure a few of you are like, “settle?” Why would someone want to settle? Let me be clear. I’m not settling for less. I’m wanting to settle in. I’ve had so much change in the past year. New province, new job, a global pandemic, my kids always seem to be around, we just bought a house. It’s a lot. I want to settle in. I want to get comfortable. I want to find my stride. I want less, not more, for this year. Not for life, I want a lot of incredible things in my life, but for me, what would make 2021 incredible is to settle in. I don’t want to be on hamster on a wheel this year, because I’m freaking tired, y’all.
I’m opting out of the hamster wheel. I’m opting out of feeling like my business has to be wildly successful (THIS YEAR). I’m opting out of feeling guilty about how I parent in a freaking pandemic. I’m opting into more calm, less busy, less pressure.
An opt out can be temporary. It can be an experiment. Nothing in life is permanent, right? Our situations change, and when our situations change it often means our values change. When your values shift, you’re only in alignment if your actions reflect those values. So my value this year is a little more peace and calm. Settling in.
So, this isn’t a terribly long episode today, but I want to know, what are you opting out of? I’d love it you’d share it with me over on Instagram. Let me know what you’re opting out of and tag me @stresslessladies and hey tag Cait Flanders as well. She’s @caitflanders
My last little takeaway here – an opt out is about giving yourself permission to be and live the way you want to. Not by anyone else’s standards or expectations. It can be liberating, but you have to give yourself the permission to do so. Nobody else will do it for you.
All the best and I look forward to talking with you next week.