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New Year’s Goals, Extremes and Being Medium

When we make New Year’s goals, we’re often inclined to lean towards one extreme:

Create a new life and leave the old one behind.

Express our “good” qualities, and repress our “bad” ones.

Make plans to create the perfect _____________, and symbolically, or literally burn up the past versions that didn’t work.

When after a few weeks, or months, our goals backfire, or lose momentum, perhaps it’s because we forgot to take into account life’s natural polarities that pull us back and forth, and often plop us for a long time in the transitional middle.

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In the last 24 hours, one of my friends gave birth to a baby girl while another lost her 80+ year-old dad.

So much joy and sadness all in one day.

Because that’s how life can be.

Full of polarities and the places in between.

The times before the birth and the death were much longer than these dramatic events, but the extremes are what we hope for, and what we dread.

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As you map out your Big Vision for 2018, make space for the polarities of life:

Incorporate structure and flow.

Expect success and failure.

Plan for flourishing and fallow times.

Embrace the power of your “good” and “bad” qualities.

And anticipate periods of transition, ambiguity, and medium-ness.

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When you take one of your Big Vision goals for 2018 out and hold it up to the light, notice if you are pushing a little too hard towards one extreme.

Think about what you will do when life naturally pushes you back in the other direction, or takes you to somewhere in the middle.

Adapt your plans to account for the natural bounce back and forth between polarities and for long periods of being medium.

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Photos by me.

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