Goodbye 2013. Hello 2014.

posted by Aby Garvey on December 31, 2013 15 Comments

Every newsletter I write begins in the same way…with a blank piece of paper, wide open with possibilities. I begin with an idea…an intention for what the article will be about. And then onto that paper flows thoughts, ideas and words, which turn into sentences and paragraphs, and ultimately completed articles. Along the way there are additions, subtractions, and changes, as the article and I take each other where we need to go. 

As I was writing this morning, it occurred to me that the writing process is similar to setting goals or resolutions for the New Year. At the stroke of midnight, each of us is handed blank piece of paper, a New Year wide open with possibilities.

How do you want to fill your blank slate this year?

Is this a difficult question for you to answer? Maybe you’ve tried to be intentional about filling your year with positive changes in the past, but then there were additions (obligations you hadn’t counted on), subtractions (things you had counted on that ultimately weren’t there for you), and changes (things that didn’t go at all as you had planned). And so…you stopped. You thought Ah…this goal stuff doesn’t work for me. I must be doing something wrong.

New Year Goodbye + Hello Printable from simplify 101But wait just a minute. What if you could look at those additions, subtractions and changes as simply part of the process? No piece of writing, and no great life, is created without an editing process. You try something out, and decide it’s not quite right, so you try something new. You add new things that feel like they will work, and subtract out things that aren’t working. Things pop up that throw us off course. It’s all just part of the process. The key is to keep moving forward, trying new things, adding and subtracting, all while holding your intention at the forefront.
The first step is to decide how you want to fill your blank slate. Since this can be a difficult thing to do, this year I came up with a fresh approach—making a simple list of the things you want to say goodbye to as you wish the old year farewell, and all the things you want to say hello to in the New Year ahead.

Below is a goodbye / hello list…to get your creative juices flowing. Try this process or use one of your own. Just be sure to decide how you want to fill your blank slate in the months ahead. You can capture your goodbye and hello plans on this free printable.



Negative self-talk Encouraging words
Complaining  Gratitude 
Fast food / fried food  Fresh food
Hard Easy
Sitting  Walking or running
Worrying  Dreaming about possibilities 
Winging it and hoping for the best            Planning it and making it happen
Television  Books
Stress  Relaxation
Working hard Playing hard
Clutter  Clear spaces
Disorder Organization 
Complicated  Simple
Anger Forgiveness
Debt Prosperity
Fear Faith
Electronic devices  People 
Criticism  Praise
Darkness Light
Noise  Quiet
Sadness  Happiness
Conflict  Resolution
Talking  Listening


What would you like to say goodbye and hello to as we welcome in the New Year? Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the comments.

Happy New Year!


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and coaching program

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  • December 31, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Love your list!! Can I just adopt it as mine?? Thanks for sharing!

    December 31, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Of course, Marcia! This isn’t my personal list…just some ideas I brainstormed. You (and everyone else) is welcome to all or some of them! Happy New Year!

    • December 31, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Such a wonderful idea – many thanks !!

      December 31, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Thank you Maria!

      • December 31, 2013 at 6:19 pm

        For years, the Washington Post newspaper has done a similar list, mostly about trends in music, dress, etc. Funny, I never thought to do a similar one for myself until I saw yours. A great idea…and list. Thanks for the inspiration.

        Happy 2014!


        December 31, 2013 at 6:22 pm

        Thank you Honore. Happy 2014 to you!

        • January 1, 2014 at 9:43 am

          I love this idea! I am not a great goal setter and this idea works so much better for me. Thanks for the great list idea!

          January 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm

          Yay – I’m glad to hear you love this idea. Best wishes with your 2014 goals, Kathy!

          • January 1, 2014 at 11:53 am

            happy new year to you and your family
            and thank you for this list
            i will take it into my list for 2014
            all my best wishes

            January 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm

            Happy New Year Birgit!

            • January 1, 2014 at 4:57 pm

              I usually set goals but have completely forgotten them in just a few days. This is very discouraging year after year. Your list inspired me to set some realistic goals that maybe I could accomplish this time. I especially liked “planning it and making it happen.” I also added: laughing more and spending more time with friends. Thanks for everything!

              January 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm

              This is a great new way to look at goal setting (which I truly hate doing). This is a ‘friendly’ way to look at the upcoming new year and is doable for me! It’s more ‘what do I like and don’t want to change’ as opposed to ‘what do I want to change because I don’t like it the way it is’. It’s a simple similarity to regular goal setting, but for me it makes all the difference in actually doing this. So I thank you (again) Aby!!! Happy New Year!

              Thanks to Sandy for suggesting laughing more! Not a commonly seen ‘goal’ and yet is so valuable!!

              January 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm

              Thanks Sandy. Love your additions!

              • January 2, 2014 at 1:36 pm

                I’d like to also comment on the changes you are making to your courses…I love them! The classes are already excellent and full of information – these will give the delivery part of your system extra impetus and provide tools for those who are more visual, as well as additional support in the online community, to name a few. I look forward to the additions as you roll them out! Thanks for looking to continually improve your services for us!

                January 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm

                Thanks Bonnie! We really appreciate your feedback. We’re doing our best to get more classes available as soon as we can. We’ll keep you posted. :)