Navigating the New Year with Purpose

As I was scrolling through Facebook the other day, I stopped on a post that said, “January felt like a free trial month.” Although, funny, also very true! Did you feel this way? 

I got to reflecting on all that I had done this month, and of course, started thinking about everything I hadn’t done. I’m a checklist oriented individual, so much so, that I write completed tasks on my checklist that weren’t there to begin with, just to check them off … It’s probably a disorder of some sort, but nonetheless, I feel accomplished. Starting a small business is no easy feat, and it definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. Checklists are a necessity, and in kicking off the new year with a brand new set of goals and tasks for the business (and personally) (on a checklist, of course), I felt defeated by all that I hadn’t actually accomplished. But I was listening to a podcast the other morning from The Prairie Homestead that set the soap box for a very bold and potentially controversial statement that I personally resonated deeply with, have been dwelling on, and feel inspired to share with you, so you can also navigate this year with purpose, whether you use checklists or not. 

Are you ready? Here it is –

Our society is manifesting the idea that we are all victims of our own circumstances.

The Victim Mentality

The victim mentality is characterized by a belief that external forces have control over one’s life. It’s a mindset that views challenges as insurmountable obstacles imposed by fate, rather than opportunities for growth and self-discovery. Our society is manifesting this idea by building a culture of blame because it seems easier to point fingers and make excuses than take responsibility for our actions. The media also plays a significant role in perpetuating the victim mentality, focusing on the negative aspects of situations, and portraying individuals as helpless victims. This constant exposure can contribute to a collective mindset that emphasizes helplessness and reinforces the idea that our circumstances determine our destinies. Instead, we should be focusing on our ability to be resilient and overcome challenges. Life isn’t in short supply of them. 

My academic advisor in college rooted this idea of resiliency in me when I rushed to her office after getting my very first ‘F’ in macro-economics. A difficult class to say the least, but I had an opportunity to be resilient. I could have taken the short-term, easy path and dropped the class after getting an F. However, at some point, I would have had to take the class again, pay the cost again, and endure the difficulty … again. The choice was mine, and I chose to keep showing up, keep studying, and ask for help as needed. Because of my resiliency (and my academic advisor), I ended that class with a B, which is a lot better than an F! Point being, I wasn’t a victim of that circumstance but rather empowered by my choice to do better.

The Empowerment of Choice

For years, I have lived by the opportunistic mentality of choices. For the same reason, I rarely empathize with others excuses, complaints, and ‘Eeyore’ (woe is me) attitudes because we are always given choices. Harsh … I know, but, think about it – You don’t like your job? You chose it, and you have the choice to find a new one. You’re unhappy in your body? You have the choice to exercise and eat healthy. You don’t like where you are living? You have the choice to move. This applies to every circumstance, even the smallest of them. Growing up, if I didn’t like what was being served for dinner, I had the choice to eat it or make my own. PB & J it was. 

I know, I know, all of this is much easier said than done, but this is where the empowerment of choice factors in. Empowerment comes from acknowledging that we have the power to make our own choices, even in challenging situations. By taking responsibility for our decisions and actions, rather than becoming victims of our circumstances, we reclaim our lives. This shift in mindset opens the door to personal growth, resilience, and a greater sense of control. Even the Bible commands it.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I will jump off my soap box now, but collectively, we can and must change the narrative. We’ve got a year long subscription ahead of us that can’t be cancelled, so I would challenge you to approach it with resilience, and maybe a checklist! This is how I will be navigating the new year with purpose, how will you?