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I’m hiring a coach – a GMAIG coach. I made up the acronym, so in case you can’t decipher it, I’ll spell it out for you. It is a Get-My-Ass-In-Gear coach.

2008 passed me by in somewhat of a fog. I was burned out, demotivated, unfocused, and just plain tired. It’s typically not how I like to go through life. I’m typically a highly passionate, strategically focused, highly connected, over-achiever. And while Facebook ensured I stayed connected (perhaps even over-connected), much of the rest fell by the way-side.

In 2008, I experienced a bit of an identity crisis. I was unsure of the path I am supposed to take. My success to date largely did not match the vision of I have of my future self.

It’s quite a quandary actually, and requires a lot of introspection and critical self-analysis to bridge the gap between where one has been and where one wants to go. Such self-analysis also requires an ability to recognize the clutter in your life – the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional clutter, and an ability to release it. We often recognize the quicksand that pulls us from living our happiest life, and yet we envelop ourselves in it like a lifeline. To de-clutter… to build a TO-STOP LIST – is much harder than building any To-Do List.

It was my GMAIG coach (strategic thinker, futurist, genius, and all-around nice guy Herb Rubenstein) that first suggested I build a To-Stop list. Herb (who I have known for 15 years) is also a lawyer who stopped practicing law full-time because he was tired of constantly living life by looking in the rear-view mirror, and getting sucked into the past by people who were consumed by what has already happened to them.

In our first phone consultation, Herb reminded me that I do in fact have skills! I do have value! I can make the world a better place. I’m not a useless, stale, has-been that is simply taking up space. But, he said, I need to de-clutter before I can clearly see the value I will continue to bring. The to-stop list should include anything – or anyone – that robs you of your time without a positive payoff (not necessarily monetarily), that asks you to compromise your core value system, that takes more from you than you give, or that generally just leaves you drained.

He also taught me that worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair: you can do it all day long, and it still won’t get you anywhere. We all have anxiety in our life. We worry about the health of our loved ones, we worry about our financial situations, we worry if we are making the best decisions for our family. We beat ourselves up for diets not kept, exercise sessions not attended, clothes that don’t fit, things that we said or didn’t say, roads taken, and roads not taken. And it’s all negative energy.

So for me, 2009 is the kick-off to a time defined by positive energy, positive people, genuine contributions, and is at least a step closer for me to living my authentic life. I’m re-evaluating, de-cluttering, re-focusing, and simply just getting my ass in gear.

Happy 2009, everyone. I wish you clarity and achievement for your best self.

Our guest blogger is Marissa Levin, CEO of Information Experts

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