Apparently New Year’s resolutions don’t work for Meghan Markle. Looks like she’s doing OK. Has a pretty good life, starred in one of the most popular TV shows of the decade and has married her prince.

I’m with Meghan. At this time of year social media is bursting with advice about how to live our best life, awash with numerous strategies for goal setting, vision creating and dream following.

We can read endless articles about the seven things we should be doing in 2019, the five mistakes we must not make, the three sure-fire ways to find happiness and fulfilment.

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in the raging torrent of webinars, seminars, workshops and masterclasses that promise to unlock the power within and deliver that six-figure salary we so deserve. Urging us to sign up now before it’s too late. Don’t miss out. Only 2 places left.

It can be overwhelming. My brain can’t process this barrage of advice. Who to trust? How to extract the meaningful and the measured from the misleading and manipulative?

Sometimes less is more.

Last year a dear friend sent me a piece by Paul Coelho as a new January dawned. I’ve just read it again. It was a timely reminder, a perfect refresher and just what I needed to read at just the right time. You may well be familiar with it. Here are three extracts that resonated strongly with me:

  • Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.
  • Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.
  • Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were and change into who you are.

I particularly like the part about our emotional television. I’m trying to resist the temptation I sometimes get to turn it back on, even briefly. Sometimes I have a sneak peek, I get sucked into some old and tired plot line that fascinates nonetheless. It never does me any good.

At the dawn of this new year, I offer you a short poem from my book, Transformation, inspired by Paul Coelho’s piece, as well as the Elbow song One Day like this, and The Call’s Let the day begin.  Originally called Spring Clean, I’ve changed the title, given the time of year. We don’t need to wait for Spring to arrive to clear and declutter, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually.

New Year’s Revelation

Clear out the pantry, shake off the dust

Polish the silver and scrape off the rust

Throw away what you don’t need, take clutter to the tip

Empty out the dustbin, put rubbish in the skip

Throw the heavy curtains wide, allow the sunlight in

Open all the windows and let the day begin

At the start of 2013 I was in a very dark place. By reaching out for help, and with persistence, determination, and the support of friends and family, I found my way back to the light. You can read the full story of my journey through anxiety and depression in Changing Lightbulbs and you can email [email protected] to book me for a speaking event in 2019.