In 2012, I Will Not….

Well, a New Year is upon us. And, this time, I want to do something different that I’ve never done: Instead of creating a list of resolutions, I am creating a “Stop doing things to please other people and please myself” list. Because it’s always been easy for me to please others and do what’s “expected”; it’s difficult for me to do what *I* truly want. 2012 will be the “All About Sam” year. And guess what? There’s nothing wrong with being selfish sometimes, especially when you have lived very self-LESSly, and especially because it places the focus on YOU. So…(raising my glass) here’s to all of you in 2012 (toasts your glass)…HAPPY NEW YEAR! On to the list, followed by some credits and “feel good” words from yours truly:

1. I will stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

2. I will stop running from problems (I don’t really do this, but it’s here in case it may help someone else). – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

3. I will stop lying to myself. (Another one I don’t really do- I hope it helps someone.) – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled .

4. I will stop putting my own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

5. I will stop being someone I’m not. (Again, I don’t do this, but hope it helps someone.)– One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

6. I will stop being scared to make a mistake (Guilty!). – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

7. I will stop berating myself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come. So true. Sometimes we have to go through some ugly times alone, and sometimes with other people to see worth and value.

8. I will stop exclusively looking to others for happiness (totally NOT guilty of this- I’m a happy bee! But, again, maybe this will help someone). – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness .

9. I will stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company (sometimes it’s not that the company is bad, sometimes it’s the wrong TIME for that company!). There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

10. I will stop taking people for granted. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

11. I will stop complaining and feeling sorry for myself (not guilty!). – Life’s curve-balls are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curve-balls thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

12. I will stop holding grudges. Whew – this one is tough, but doable! – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time. In 2011, I really learned how to let go and LET GOD.

13.I will stop wasting time explaining myself to others (I am SO guilty of this!). – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway (say word!). Just do what you know in your heart is right. I can’t tell you how liberating it is to follow your heart – and, yes, sometimes over your mind..sometimes the heart just KNOWS.

14. I will stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

15. I will stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you. Think about the great memories you have that are just small moments that NO ONE can take away from you….

16. I will stop trying to make things perfect.(Not guilty, but I sure have some friends who are perfectionists – not saying any names!) – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done .

17. I will stop following the path of least resistance. –Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary. Good things and good people are worth fighting for – learned that from my dad.

18. I will stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. (I am SO guilty of doing this and it’s so unhealthy – it can actually lead to melt-downs).– It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

19. I will stop blaming others for my troubles (hmmm – not guilty). – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

20. I will stop trying to be everything to everyone. (raising my hand slowly) Oh, SO GUILTY! –Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

21. I will stop focusing on what I don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right. I can personally say that focusing on what you don’t want to happen can actually make what you DON’T want to happen- happen! I’ve learned the hard way to focus on the good – to be optimistic instead of pessimistic (I’m a pretty optimistic person generally, but there are one or two things that I can be very pessimistic about – and I will admit right here that one of them is trusting MEN. But that was pre-2012! Smiling)

22. I will stop being ungrateful. I don’t do this much, but when I do, it can be very violin-ish. I have learned to thank God everyday for what I do have in my life that is good.

I altered this list of 29 down to 22 (from my friend Keb via Jeff H.) and kept the ones that really spoke to me. As I mentioned in the Christmas post, I hope you all are spending time with the people who truly matter to you in your life, and if you aren’t, it’s not too late to let them know what they mean to you – make THAT a resolution; it’s a very good one! I wish you all a Happy New Year filled with prosperity and career-growth, happiness, success in all that you do, passion, pleasure, good times, lots of FUN!!! And, lastly, I wish you real, true, never failing….
…. that “I KNOW who you are” kind of HONEST love in 2012.

I am,
Selfish Sam for 2012!


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