Thursday, March 23, 2023

12 “Notes to Self” You Should Memorize Before the New Year Begins

As 2020 winds down, I know many of us are yearning for a very small and selective range of life experiences—the happy holidays, the normal times, the settings and experiences that make us feel comfortable. And yet, the full range of our present reality is quite different. This year continues to give us an extensive array of experiences that evoke feelings ranging from sadness to struggle to pride to anger to love to loneliness… to happiness to hope and more. These feelings are all part of being a living, breathing human being, regardless of the season of our lives.

So, we can revolt against the unfairness of life—the unfairness of having to deal with pain, having to cope with uncertainty, having to feel lonely and uneasy and upset. Or we can embrace every experience life gives us, including all our highs and lows—all the blissful moments and painful ones and everything in between. Life is not just happy and comfortable 24/7. It’s well-rounded, it’s full-featured, and it’s real.

Embracing the full range of life’s experiences this holiday season means embracing every moment with our full presence, being open and vulnerable to reality, being gentle with ourselves when moments are tougher than we expected, and practicing sincere gratitude no matter what happens.

It means accepting life as it is, and accepting ourselves as we are.

It means not expecting the best to happen every step of the way, but instead accepting what happens with each step, and making the very best of it.

This isn’t easy of course, but it’s worth working on, together.

Making Progress into 2021

Yes, the New Year is rapidly approaching.

Let’s make a pact to enter it with a more open, accepting and resilient collective mindset.


By committing the right ideas and intentions to memory.

Over the past decade Angel and I have written various “notes to self” like the ones I’ve listed below (all of which are now excerpts from our books), and then we’ve read and re-read them until they became ingrained in our minds. These memorized “notes to self” help us stay on track, by empowering us to make the best and most effective use of the ever-changing reality in front of us.

We’ve passed these notes on to our course students and live seminar attendees over the years, and many of them have thanked us for doing so.  I hope YOU find value in them today, too.  And I challenge you to memorize at least a couple of them before the New Year. (Note: For the sake of not being tediously redundant, I only wrote “Note to Self” as a precursor on the first note below.)


Note to Self: Happiness is letting go of what you assume your life is supposed to be like right now, and sincerely appreciating it for everything that it is. So, RELAX. You are enough. You have enough. You do enough. Breathe deep... let go, and just live right now in the moment.


Learning to ignore certain people and things is one of the great paths to inner peace. Once you begin to value your inner peace over your need to react and be right, you will in fact experience more inner peace, and happiness.


When things aren't adding up in your life, begin subtracting. Life gets a lot simpler when you clear the clutter that makes it complicated. It’s all about focus. What you pay attention to grows. So focus on what matters and let go of what does not.


Do your best to take a deep breath, and another. Remind yourself that the strongest sign of your growth is knowing you're no longer stressed by the trivial things that once used to drain you.


You can’t control how other people behave. You can’t control everything that happens to you. What you can control is how you respond to it all. In your response is your power.


The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away all your days waiting for better ones ahead. Just appreciate where you are right now. You've come a long way, and you're still learning and growing. Be thankful for the lessons. Take them and make the very best of things today.


Forgive yourself for the bad decisions you made, for the times you lacked understanding, for the choices that hurt others & yourself. Forgive yourself, for being young & reckless. These are all vital lessons. And what matters most right now is your willingness to grow from them.


Everything gets a bit uncomfortable when it's time to change. That's just a part of the growth process. With effort, things will gradually get better. Be patient and remind yourself: Life never gets easier, you just get stronger.


If you don’t allow yourself to move past what happened, what was said, what was felt, you will look at your present & future through that same dirty lens, & nothing will be able to focus your foggy judgment. Realize this. What you do now matters more than what happened yesterday.


Impress yourself. Show yourself that you can grow and get better. It's never about competing with anyone else. In the end, it's just you vs. you.


You need to do hard things to be happy in life. Because the hard things ultimately build you up and change your life. They make the difference between existing and living, between knowing the path and walking it, between a lifetime of empty promises and one filled with progress.


If you wait until you feel 100% ready, you will be waiting the rest of your life. Realize this! Some people wait all day for 5pm, all week for Friday, all year for the holidays, all their lives for happiness. Don't be one of them.

Cheers to a New Beginning

Although none of the aforementioned “notes to self” immediately force you to do anything different, they represent a timely shift in perspective, and perspective is where peace and happiness begins. From there, you can change your posture from one of tension and resistance to one of acceptance and opportunity.

Ultimately, the goal isn’t to get rid of all your negative thoughts, feelings or life situations as you journey into 2021. The goal is to change your response to them.

The days, weeks and months ahead—both before and after the New Year—will be filled with incredible highs and stressful lows, for all of us. But in any case, we can train our minds to make the best of the present moment as it unfolds. Just take it one “note” at a time, and please know that if you’re struggling with any of this, you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and keep our lives on track. This is precisely why Angel and I wrote our books and built our course. These invaluable resources are filled with proven guidance on how to do just that. And believe it or not, Angel and I review a lot of our own material on a regular basis too, just to center our minds on these proven principles.

We sincerely hope you will join us as we prepare to begin anew in 2021.  🙂

Now, it’s your turn…

Before you go, let us know:

  • Which “note to self” above resonates with you the most right now and why?

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