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  • Writer's pictureSteph

Starting the year fresh - what to keep and release

Updated: Jun 7

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A fresh new 2022

Is there anything better than a brand-new year? Um how about a new turn of the calendar after two years in a pandemic. We've more than earned the joy of a clean slate, empty canvas, and wide-open sky in front of us.

Let's make the most of it!

As with any new journey, you'll want to pack strategically. We bring some things with us and determine what to release, leave behind, and just don't need weighing us down.

Pack it!


You're so awesome. Do you know that? Quick: think of 3 things you've learned about yourself, your values, or the broader world of work. Our personal growth is enormous, and it will enrich the year ahead.

"I used to think (or be)... and now I am..."

"The biggest thing I've learned about myself recently is..."

"This is what work means to me now..."

"Part of my mission in this world involves..."

"I envision this for my future..."

"I dream of using my talents in this way..."


If you can channel positivity and optimism, that's great. Hold onto that, share it with others, and infuse it into your winning job search. For others who have faced challenges like extended unemployment, difficult job situations, or life circumstances, there's another way to develop a productive mindset: cultivate inspiration. You can release the burden of 'being' positive and, instead, look for the moments, people, and glimmers of a future that inspire you. Notice when you're feeling hopeful or in admiration of something in the world around you. Before we see the gorgeous oak trees, we plant seeds.


One of my grandest wishes for the future of job searching is to make it more community-driven and less solitary. In our society, even in a global pandemic, to be job searching remains stigmatized. Some discretion is necessary, for example, searching while employed. Overall, I wish we celebrated the courage, fortitude, and vision of those who acknowledge a new dream, desire more growth, and want an improved quality of life.

For now, build your own dream team with great people who believe in you and will support your goals like a job search coach, mentors, encouraging friends and loved ones, plus any professional resources who lift you up. Every championship athlete, impactful leader, and gifted artist surround themselves with support, coaches, and anyone who will help them reach their potential.

Release it!


It's easy to spot what's wrong, criticize, and complain. Some of this is extremely warranted; there are social injustices, legitimate barriers, and too many parts of life out of our control including a flawed job searching process. Our frustration can be motivation for long-overdue change and innovation.

By contrast, the negativity that takes the form of self-doubt, negative self-talk, and being too hard on ourselves keeps us from moving forward towards the life we want.

This year, reclaim your voice:

  • Become involved with advocacy and community-building for causes that align with a better world; be of service, lift while you climb, and help others.

  • Devote time for enjoyable creativity and self-expression. Cherish your natural gifts and talents.

  • Practice self-compassion and kindness. Support your own efforts and surround yourself with people who are encouraging.

  • Vocalize your dreams. Share your intentions with trusted coaches, friends, loved ones, and mentors.

  • Commit to positive self-talk. The inner monologue is like a muscle that gets stronger (kinder!) with repetition.

Limiting self-beliefs

What story are you telling yourself about yourself?

What do you believe about yourself, your work vision, and your ability to achieve it?

I will admit, this can be tough to alter and it is one of the most worthwhile things we can do.

Start fresh:

"This year, I will (or I believe I can)..."

"I'm really great at..."

"People always compliment me about..."

"I love doing..."

"I feel good about myself when..."

You can borrow some of my favorite job search mantras and add your own.


As the saying goes, compare and despair. This is never truer than when it comes to social media. Even as an adult, I have to remind myself that I'm only seeing a highlight reel. Each of us has a different path, and some have it way harder than others.

Instead of comparing myself to others, I wish everyone well and remind myself to think in terms of abundance. I focus on growth, service, and lifting up others. A mentor of mine used to tell our team, 'We all have different work to do'. I like this because it captures our uniqueness and removes the concept of competition or even envy.

That said, it's hard not to get swept into feeling less-than. This is where I channel my athletic training and aim for a personal best.

"Where have I grown in the past year?"

"What compliments did others give me, that made me feel amazing?"

"In any aspect of my life last year, when did I attain my personal best? How did that feel?"

"When was I tenacious or felt strong?"

"What am I better at now than before?"

"What skills have I gained or improved?"

"How am I kinder, more patient, more motivated, and more coachable?"

New beginnings

You will find a great job.

Whatever your work vision, this is a time to truly start fresh. Take some time to recognize how far you've come and chart where you'd like to go next.

Invest in yourself, your prosperity, your dreams, and most of all, your happiness.

© 2022 WORK DOT DOT. All rights reserved.


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