Sometimes we all need a reminder that to truly grow we need reflections, forgiveness and a positive mindset.

By Kerry Slavens

experienced a wake-up call the other day while reviewing my goals (not resolutions!) for the new year. As I scrolled down my perfectly colour-coded list in my fancy-schmancy new notebook, I began to notice how often I used the word “less.” Less carbs, less TV, less staying up late, less splurging on clothes, less self-criticism, less video games. And so on and so on.

If almost every item on my list was about less, what did that say about my outlook on life? Even though I had always perceived myself as someone who liked to push past barriers, this year I had somehow unknowingly tripped into a mindset of limitations.

“That’s just not me,” I thought, even though it most certainly reflected the mood I was in when I wrote it.

So I did what the approaching new year invites us all to do — I reflected over many cups of Winter Warrior tea and a couple glasses of malbec, then I ripped out the page and started fresh. Fueled by a blend of tea, wine and inspiration, I created a list that reflected the abundance I wanted in my life. More healthy plant-based foods, more reading and more music, more money for travel, more compassion for myself, more time for creative writing.

It all felt pretty good. Certainly the idea of inviting more into my life was a vision I could totally embrace for 2022.

There was just one nagging problem — every time I looked at my very hopeful new list, I felt irritated at how ripping a page out of my brand new notebook had left a jagged edge and loosened the spine. It felt slightly obsessive. It was obsessive!

That’s when I realized my lesson for the new year (because there always is one) had nothing to do with making lists; it had to do with embracing change, even when that meant ripping out a page and starting again. Even when it meant destroying the illusion of perfection that holds us back from creating new possibilities. 

In my experience, whenever I refuse to change, or get lazy about it, the universe eventually gives me a bruising kick in the right direction. For the new year, it gave me an imperfect notebook and a new outlook, so I consider myself fortunate. Lesson learned — happy 2022!