What I’m Carrying With Me Into This New Year

Happy New Year!

These are the first days of 2017, a whole new year. Amazing, isn’t it?

We have a chance to make this New Year our best year yet — personally, professionally, and politically.

On December 31, I wrote down all of the things I want to bury, burn or just stop bitching about moving forward. I also made a list of all of the positive things in my life that I want to carry with me into 2017.

What I Want to Bury:

That critical voice in my head. I want to remove it once and for all. It’s so judgmental, so boring and so not accurate.

My fear. I want to grab my fear by the you know what. It’s got no place in my life in 2017. Time is running short and fear keeps me running in place. I’m burying it.

Comparisons. Even though I know that absolutely nothing good comes from making comparisons, I’ve still engaged in them. No more.

Control. I’m also letting this go. It doesn’t work anyway. I can’t control what people think, say or do, so I’m getting out of that ridiculous business.

What I Want to Carry With Me into the New Year: 

My gratitude practice. Every morning, I thank God for my faith, my family, my friends and my health. I want to keep doing that.

My meditation practice. I want to get better at this because it makes me better at life.

My mental and physical health. I want to really make them a priority and really set aside time for both. They go together and they both deserve a practice.

My mission. I want to be bolder with my mission in 2017. Two-thirds of all brains diagnosed with Alzheimer’s belong to women and no one knows why. That’s terrifying and unacceptable. I believe I can play a role in getting to the bottom of this, and in doing so, help millions of families. I know I need help doing this, so I’m going to bury my ego and keep reaching out to ask for help, even when I’m told to go away.

My voice. I also want to be bolder with my voice. I’m a journalist, but I’m also a citizen of this great country. I’m so over hearing about how smart Putin is. Like, so over it! I’m over hearing about what sore losers some people are. I want to hear more positive, uplifting messages that move us forward. Not just some of us. Not just women. Not just people of one color. All of us. I don’t care what party you belong to or don’t belong to. I don’t care who you voted for or whether you voted at all. Let’s leave all of that behind us. It was divisive, mean, and detrimental to humanity.

Let’s move forward. Let’s be positive. Let each of us think about how we can move humanity forward — one person and one idea at a time. We all have a role to play. We can all be of service. We can all be a part of elevating our dialogue, our responses and our behaviors.

At The Sunday Paper and MariaShriver.com, we believe that 2017 will be an extraordinary year. We want, as always, for this place to be a positive space. A place where we elevate the ideas and the voices of those who are trying to move humanity forward. That’s our mission and our purpose. We believe that individuals like you can have a positive and direct impact on our personal discourse, our professional discourse and on our political discourse.

This is a new year. It’s a new chance for all of us to use our voices for good. That’s what Architects of Change do — challenge what is, imagine what can be and move humanity forward.

That’s what I’m thinking about. What about you?

About the Author

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Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. Like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

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