We recently launched a new year-long experience, Have a Plum Year, where you receive quarterly care packages in the mail customized to suit supporting your goals and dreams.
The program was inspired by the idea of turning over a new leaf… and being tea people, we know a lil’ something about leaves! (This turn of phrase is an old English term that referred to flipping a blank page in a book — a page used to be called a leaf.)
Given that it’s that time of year, I want to talk about a handful of ways you can think about turning over a new leaf. For the most part, they’re rather simple yet powerful.
1. Do the Opposite
This comes from my friend Melody Biringer, who mentions this idea in her book, Craving Success. Whenever you find yourself in a rut or just not making progress on something, consider doing something drastic — the opposite. For example, if you’re trying to build your side business and your new product isn’t working, make it in the opposite color, sell it on a totally different website, raise the price, or make only available in bundles of three. Just do something completely different.
Here’s the rub: Doing the opposite might not work, but what will happen is that you’ll get not only feedback on your revised direction, but you will also get a fresh perspective, which sometimes might be exactly what you need.
2. Just Stop
When it comes to turning the page, I always like to tell people that what you stop doing is much more useful than what actions you do take. If something isn’t working and you are finding a lot of stress in the situation, just stop and take a break. Losing weight is a great example: if what you are doing isn’t helping, then just stop. Take a break. See what insight you can find in the pause. In fact, this is a great reminder to sit down and create yourself a “stop doing list.” What are you doing right now that you don’t really need to be doing anymore? (Because, let’s face it — you have got plenty to do.)
3. Write It Down
There’s something about writing things down on paper — especially when you are talking about leaves (of paper). I think journaling can really help with turning the page. We had a great podcast episode on journaling, but here are some specific journal prompts for turning over a new leaf:
- How am I benefiting from keeping this situation the same?
- What do I really want with turning over this leaf?
- The craziest thing I could do to change this situation…. (make as long a list as you can)
4. Walk Away
Physical activity is a powerful way to activate the mind-body connection and help you see your situation in a new light. We all know that going on a walk or hitting the gym can clear your head and give you an epiphany or insight, but when we are frustrated by trying to implement personal change, it can be hard to step back. Honestly, the bigger your challenge, the farther away you might need to get from it. Working on a small life tweak? Go to a spinning class or take a painting class — something that will keep your hands and mind busy. Trying to revamp an important part of your life? Try a weekend getaway in the woods or take a quick vacation in Mexico. As long as you frame it as getting some space — not running away, which would imply that you aren’t coming back (please! come back!) — take as much space as you need.
5. Pour Tea for Two and Talk It Out
Everybody needs one of those friends who will tell you what you need to hear, even if it’s not pretty. If you don’t have someone like that in your life, find one! Then sit yourselves down for tea (a cup of strawberry earl grey might be good for this particular conversation) and talk it out. Examine your dreams, goals, and situation from multiple angles. Ask your friend what they can see that you aren’t seeing. And then sit on your hands and listen to what they have to say (and perhaps remind yourself, don’t shoot the messenger.)