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Karen S. Exkorn

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Out with the Old... In With the New You!

Posted: 01/02/2013 9:48 am

"Screw it, just do it!"

That's what my friend Lesley said as we were sipping coffee at Art Café, our favorite local Nyack hangout. You see, we'd decided to get rid of our New Year's Resolution Lists and replace them with our F**ket Lists. For those of you who don't know, unlike the Bucket List, the F**ket List is that list of things that you really, truly want to do and you want to make happen now, (as opposed to waiting until you're way too old).

We came up with some pretty creative items: Making naked snow angels, getting my play produced and her book published, and wearing colored contact lenses (even though neither of us needs glasses). It was fun making our lists together, until Lesley came to the realization that...

"We're adding on a lot of stuff."

And while this was fun "stuff," it was an addition to all of the other stuff we were doing in our lives -- working, mothering and more. So that's when we decided that if we were going to continue adding, we'd have to start subtracting.

"It's like when you go shopping and buy three new dresses. You're supposed to go home and get rid of three old ones," Lesley said.
"That makes sense," I replied. "To give you balance."
"Yep."
"Only I don't do that. Do you?"
"Nope."
"Screw it. Let's do it!"

So instead of going shopping for dresses, we decided to revisit that other list. That Invisible List. That list of all of the people and things in our lives that were not serving us anymore. We needed to subtract them in order to find the right balance. By saying, "Screw it!" to those people or things, we'd be allowing ourselves more time to engage in the things that fed our souls and gave us joy in the New Year!

Three Tips for Creating a New You

1. Give 'Em the Boot!
I'm not talking about your Jimmy Choos. In order to start out your New Year's on the right foot, there are some people you might want to give the boot. Look around you at the people you choose to surround yourself with. Are they truly supportive and loving? Are they enhancing your life? Or are they sucking you dry?

Some women maintain friendships past their expiration dates. They outgrow friends but feel guilty about dropping them. So, look around you and choose who should be in your life. And boot the rest. Need some tips on how to do this? Check out Susan Shapiro Barash's book, Toxic Friends: The Antidote for Women Stuck in Complicated Friendships.

2. Look Under Your Shirt
Seriously. Take a peek. Do you see a big "S" emblazoned on your chest? Probably not. You're not Superwoman! So please stop trying to act like her. Chances are, you've taken on way too many responsibilities, which can lead to undue stress and resentment. In the stress management seminars I conduct, I've found that women tend to "Yes" themselves to stress. I encourage them to say "No!" You don't have to do everything or agree to everything! Sometimes, you just need to let go of things in your life. These things can be as small as letting go of "making all the beds" every day to as big as "leaving a job." Ask yourself: What's one thing that I can give up doing that is not serving me right now?

3. Don't Engage in Hoover Action
Based on my latest novel, you might get the wrong idea about this tip. But please, read on. You see, once you've removed the people or things from your life that no longer serve you, you might feel a sense of emptiness. And you might be tempted to fill in that void with the same (or similar) people or things that were clogging you up in the first place. It's like you have an internal Hoover vacuum that will go on autopilot to fill in the void once it's created. But just be patient. No need to turn on that vacuum so quickly. Trust that the universe will take care of you. The universe doesn't like a void, and will fill it with something else -- something even better.

Here's to a New You in 2013!

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