endings for beginnings – thoughts for another new year

29 12 2012

I’ve never found new year’s resolutions particularly helpful, and this is the time of year that many people are thinking through what resolutions they want to make for 2013, another new year that is only days away. This is not to say that I do not set goals…my life revolves around goals and lists of things to do 🙂 What I find challenging, and think most of us do not do well, is to intentionally think through things that we need to END, in conjunction with things that we want to BEGIN.

beginnings_endings

One reason I think people struggle with new year’s resolutions is that they are often additions to an already full life. (I am not saying this is true of every resolution, but quite a few!) So after a few weeks, or maybe even months, the new goal is squeezed out by the patterns & behaviors that are already entrenched in our lives. The last one in…the first one out! It seems that in order to have new goals (or resolutions), we need to intentionally end some old goals, patterns, or behaviors. In the language of a horticulturist:

Pruning is a process of proactive endings…
1. Healthy buds or branches that are not the best ones,
2. Sick branches that are not going to get well, and
3. Dead branches that are taking up space needed for the healthy ones to thrive.

(Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud, pg 15)

This has been a challenging thought bouncing around my mind lately. See, there are probably many good things that are part of my life, but if they are not the best things, then they are draining time and energy and resources. Wow! I hadn’t really thought about this with such intentionality before! Here is a little more food for thought:

When we fail to end things well, we are destined to repeat the mistakes that keep us from moving on. We choose the same kind of dysfunctional person or demoralizing job again. Not learning our lessons and proactively dealing with them, we make the same business or personal mistakes over and over.

(Necessary Endings, Henry Cloud, pg 12)

A challenging thought for me as I stare down the few remaining days of 2012!

So what do you need to prune for 2013…a necessary ending for a new beginning?

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