Life Changes: ‘A Year to Clear’

Starting fresh with a new action plan

Many of us are going through significant transitions.

There are decisions to be made with new, unchartered roads to take. Yet where does one begin?

Let’s take a look at this topic, and see if some ideas might resonate with you.

To help create a framework, I believe people can focus better by establishing personal mission statements and values statements to keep them on track. Equally important, this helps to determine what — and who — to filter out.

To illustrate examples, I will share mine.

My mission statement is: “To be an instrument of peace and empowerment.” Everything I do needs to be focused on that intention.

My values statement is: “To honor God, everyone and everything — including myself.”

The last part of that statement is where I believe myself and others can get pulled away; as if tethered to the belief that other people and priorities should always be more important than honoring ourselves.

Let’s begin to include ourselves, and consider “A Year to Clear” action plan.

Making an overall list of goals can be extremely helpful; with intentions of breaking them into smaller, doable steps that collectively make a tremendous impact.

If you are doing this with me, try not to get into analysis paralysis — or be hard on yourself for not already completing these goals. You are not competing with someone else. Look at your own expectations, and see if they still fit. Be kind to yourself in the process.

Ask focused questions, such as: “What do I need for better self-care right now?”

Considerations when planning can include: “to do something each day, that the ‘you of tomorrow’ will thank you for.” Choose things that will bring you a sense of peace, empowerment, accomplishment, awareness, security and safety.

I am actually working on my plan right now. As I’ve been making my priority list, I found it’s easiest to first note those areas that seem overwhelming on some level or need addressing.

Remember, you don’t have to wait until a full plan is visualized. You can begin goals as soon as you think of them. That’s what I am doing; as my goals are running on different timelines.

An option is to write down everything. And when ready, prioritize 5 top areas of interest (or however many feels right to you). Be very truthful with yourself. Know this will become more motivating than stressful.

As examples, a list might include: cleaning out a home to actually become a place that inspires you; making a better care plan of your health and vitality; making a new financial plan; creating better routines; dealing with loss; transitioning to a next stage; realizing your entrepreneurial goal; better awareness of negative and self-sabotaging thoughts and actions; continuing education; showing more kindness or philanthropy; making new friends as a sense of “family” — or whatever lightens your heart.

As you determine each goal, consider how you can create achievable steps for each one. Stay curious and open to unexpected possibilities. When I was trying to clear out a storage area last year, I felt overwhelmed as to where to begin. My brother suggested I go through one bag or box a day. By the end of a week, I became more motivated — and could visually see a measurable accomplishment.

“A Year to Clear” represents whatever you want it to mean. It’s about you and your life planning.

Some people have asked me where they would get the time or energy to do such a plan over a year. I can only say that when you are sick and tired, of being sick and tired with something — we become motivated to make a plan.

It doesn’t mean clarity of thought will come overnight. It simply becomes a great starting point.

Interested? Yet need some help?

I facilitate a free group called “Navigating Life Changes” at the Akasha Center for Holistic Medicine on the third Tuesday of each month. It is designed for people going through major transitions in their life; specifically dealing with loss and-or trauma.

On Sept. 18 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., we will be discussing “Intention” and “A Year to Clear.” If you would like to join us, please make certain to register by contacting me at There is no commitment to come every month.

Whether you decide to independently take “A Year to Clear” as an opportunity for personal goal setting, or join us for a sense of community as you begin, I wish you all successes with visualizing and creating the best life opportunities, including yourself as a priority.

If you’ve always taken care of others, it’s time to think about you too. Notice your blessings along the way. Your life journey is about to unfold in ways you never imagined. Truly believe in your special gifts and abilities.

Langley is the author of “Life Changes … “ Her column is published the first Sunday of every other month in the Lifestyle section.