Are you a rebel at heart who yearns to break free of the status quo and cultural expectations, but still find yourself struggling to extract from pressure to do things the “right” way? Here is the permission you seek to make your own rules.
My Year-End Review Process
I typically spend most of the last 2 weeks of December reflecting, recharging and considering my vision and theme for the coming year. I begin this process by reviewing the prior year: the magic moments, the achievements and the disappointments, and the lessons learned.
My year-end process mirrors a similar daily ritual. It helps me tie together my year and set a framework from which I can begin to envision the year ahead.
My Year-Planning Process
After I complete my annual review, I turn to my visioning process. This is the process in which I choose my theme for the year and select the 3 words that will guide me through the year.
My goal is to announce my 3 words on January 1.
Things Don’t Always Go According to the Plan
This year, I had an unexpectedly busy December in my real estate business. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been immersed in negotiating a deal and completing a huge co-op board package.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining. December deals lead to first quarter income. More important to me, this one is for a dear friend who came into New York to see one apartment and decided to make an offer on the spot. I honor quick, decisive action, even if that means meeting the demand to turn around a board package in record time.
But that late-December surge left me with little of the quality time and space I like to dedicate to my year-end rituals.
I started my process, and I have some preliminary sparks, but I’m not there yet. I am still engaging in my process of selecting my 3 words.
Learning to Embrace the Imperfect
In past years, not having it all “locked in place” on January 1 would have led me to a spiral of stress and anxiety.
I spent most of 2016 digging deep: cultivating greater awareness of the energetic cycles of nature and how they impact my own rhythms. I’ve slowly embraced the concept of releasing myself from the shackles of cultural pressure to be and do things a certain way.
And yet I notice the tension between the part of me that wants to honor the natural rhythms of my nature and mother nature and the part of me that is still locked in the cultural structures that seek to tie me to the Gregorian calendar.
I also notice that I am able to hold space for it without falling into the vortex of self-judgment and criticism.
So… some progress.
Your Way vs The “Right” Way
I often find myself caught in the tension between “my” way and the “right” way. I was raised in a rigorous environment with exacting standards. Elite private schools that paved the road to Ivy League university and an Ivy League law school. I was aware of what I had to do to meet the requirements, and I met them.
And yet I always felt trapped by the requirements. I tried to rebel against them.
My life today is no different, except that I have more autonomy than sometimes I allow myself to believe.
Many of my clients, both in my real estate practice and my coaching practice, are like me: rebels at heart who yearn to break free of the status quo and cultural expectations. We want to do it our way, but we struggle to extract from the grip of the “right” way.
I have found that in those moments where we are banging our heads against the wall of expectations, there is only one thing we really desire: permission.
Today I am giving myself permission to hold space for myself. To indulge in reflection and introspection, to contemplate and envision. To get CLEAR before I move forward.
Some people don’t need permission to take that time for themselves. But I have discovered that many of us find it helpful.
So, today, instead of sharing my 3 words for the year, I come to you with a different offering for New Year’s Day: Permission.
It’s OK if you don’t have it all figured out yet. The year is long, and racing out of the starting gate means little if you’re headed in the wrong direction.
It’s OK to make time for yourself. And, in the time and space that you create for yourself, you have permission to do whatever you want. It’s YOUR time and your space. Plan, reflect, contemplate. Or don’t. Sit and read a magazine. Binge watch Law and Order. Take out your coloring books and color. Or, dare I say it… do nothing at all.
Put your phone on Do Not Disturb. Trust me, the people you love, and the people you serve will survive. You will survive.
Breathe. Listen to the silence. In the silence, you will begin to hear the voice of your truth.