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Episode 24: Starting the New Year with a New Perspective

Transcript:


[00:00:01] Happy 2021 people, I mean, really, this has been a YEAR, has it not? I think it's interesting because I'm not a "New Year's resolution" person. I don't ever set them. And I like the idea of choosing a word to represent your new year and everything, but I've never done it before.

[00:00:29] I think in part this is because I just felt like it's not as if anything magically starts over January 1st. Never has that been more apparent than this year. When the clock struck midnight on December 31st, it's not as if the virus suddenly went away and we were all able to come out of our holes and rejoice in a circle of kumbayah with our friends and family. It wasn't like, "yay, we can go back to school!" as if it didn't happen. And in some ways, it's probably going to get worse before it gets better, which is a depressing thought . . . And yet it's reality.

[00:01:17] That being said, I've never planned out a year the way that I have planned out this year. I really sat down and evaluated my whole life and my whole business. I did this because I wanted to go into 2021 with a fresh perspective. And that's not so much about wanting to leave behind the horrors of 2020, which will hopefully go down as one of the worst years in history. It certainly wasn't about my feeling like 2021 would be "my year." And if you've seen the meme that's running around lately, that's like, "just walk quietly. Nobody say 2021 is your year. Like, just be careful." You know, that's kind of how I'm feeling. I have a girlfriend who sends me a card every year and every year would say, "this is our year." She didn't say that this year.

[00:02:23] For me, I realized that there's no year that's going to be "your year," but there are moments and lessons in each year that you can take, and progress that you can make each year. And there's something about taking the time to sit back and say, "OK, I know that January 1st isn't really different from December 31st. But if I can take that last week of December or that first week of January to really evaluate where I'm at and where I want to go, then I have a lot higher of a chance of getting where I want to go than if I was just like fumbling through and doing nothing."

[00:03:12] And it's kind of funny, actually, that I'm talking about goal setting and planning, because I've been in the place where I haven't wanted to plan things. If I'm being real and being honest, that's because cancer traumatized me from planning. My big, big thing that I said when I was diagnosed was, "no, no, I don't have cancer. That is not part of my plan." And the radiologist was like, "It's not part of anybody's plan." But I really took it to heart thinking, "what's the point in planning anything?" I had all these plans to blend our family together, and then instead I was in the middle of chemo. What's the point?

[00:04:03] So I think I had some residual trauma left over from cancer that was preventing me from planning things. But ALSO . . . I needed to plan things *my* way. And what that has looked like for me is really envisioning what I want my life to look like. As far as how many hours a week I want to be working. What impact I want to make with my work. How much time I want to spend with my kids. What do I want our life to look like? And then working backwards from there. How can I make that happen in a way that feels relaxing to me, and calming, and not stressful and not like needing to *work so hard* in order to do it? So for me, just being able to take that time and look forward in a way that doesn't feel so much pressure has been really freeing for me.

[00:05:11] When I worked for startups, so much of forward planning felt very stressful. It was like, "OK you're now in charge of the social media for this company. And right now we're reaching ten people every month. But by the end of the year, we want you to reach eight million people. And it's your job to figure out how you're going to do that." That was very stressful to me. That kind of energy of meeting an impossible goal was really stressful and made me feel like there was no point in even *trying* for some of those things.

[00:06:00] Versus sitting and envisioning what I wanted my life to feel like felt much more empowering. It's easier for me to accomplish, and also knowing what it would feel like. I really allowed myself to feel how I would feel if I made a certain amount of money and I didn't need to worry about health insurance because it was taken care of. How I would feel if I didn't need to worry about the fact that I'm pretty sure I have a cavity, but I don't have dental insurance right now. How would it feel if I *did* have dental insurance and I knew that I wouldn't need to pay for it? And then, how do I get to a point where I *have* dental coverage? Like that feels like such a wonderful frigging feeling to me, and it makes me want to work in order to make that happen for myself.

[00:07:01] And that happens in our family, too. You know, if I want to feel like I don't have to clean up after everybody all the time . .. What would it feel like if they all took care of their own dishes and put them in the dishwasher? That would feel really great. I would feel so free. So how do we make that happen?

[00:07:29] And then, you know, pacing myself. Because looking at my board where I've written out every month and all of the goals that I have for each month, it's like, "oh, I could do this part of that right now!" But I have to pace myself and realize that part of the life I *want* is not overworking myself. And so I have to set boundaries with *myself."

[00:07:52] So I don't know if that's helped you at all. But for me, just taking that time and really envisioning what I want my life to look like in 2021, even if the virus doesn't go away, even if we're still stuck inside. I can still make things happen for myself and make things happen for other people. So I hope this helps you. And I would love to hear if you have goals for yourself, what they are.

Sara Olsher

Sara Olsher

Sara Olsher is the Founder + CEO of Mighty + Bright. She's a young cancer survivor, mom, and former single mom.

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