This year instead of making outrageous New Year’s resolutions that seem to fall by the wayside faster than butter melts off steaming hotcakes, I’m simply declaring that this will be an ACCEPTIONAL year.

Don’t get me wrong. Last year was great. I accomplished many things and grew in ways I’ve never grown. Like from religion to spirituality. PC to Apple. MLB to NBA. Regular yogurt to Greek. I successfully kept several areas of my home clear of clutter, which has always been a challenge. I even traveled abroad. Okay – only to Victoria, BC, but it was across foreign water so I’m counting it. Yes, last year was great.

And exceptional.

I’ve admitted I’m a recovering perfectionist – almost perfectly recovered. Yet, after years of rehabbing with self-help tools and taking large doses of my own coaching medicine, I found myself re-walking the “I’m not good enough” path in 2011. No matter how many awesome things I’d do, or want to do, see, or have, I often fell victim to following them up with “except-shun-all” thoughts, like:

• I made a fun video, except the music track was off (so it’s obviously not good enough to watch).

• I have a million things to write about, except nobody’s going to read it.

• I’m creative and talented in many areas, except I often don’t finish things so my creativity doesn’t count for anything.

• I’d love to keep working on this, except I can’t be late for that.

• I want to get involved in this, except I’d have to know how to do it before I start.

Byron Katie calls these “limiting thoughts and beliefs” and “fighting with reality”. The reality is, every part of these thoughts that follow the word “except” are just bald-faced lies. Stories I make up that allow me to shun all that I really am and give up before I get started. (Which begs me to question myself, ”with all these stories, how can you possibly ever have writer’s block!?”)

Whatever you want to call these thoughts, they can kill a good joy buzz faster than a texting teenager in a tailwind.

Being a true proponent and preservationist of a good joy buzz, I decided I needed to make an easy but uber-affective change, so my New Year’s declaration seemed not only necessary, but inevitable.

I declare that 2012 will not be exceptional. I declare that 2012 will be an ACCEPTional year!

No more fighting with reality.

No more “except shuns”.

This year, I will practice the art of self-acceptance. I will practice accepting reality. I will practice dropping my stories. I will entertain truer, much more satisfying thoughts, like:

• I made a fun video, AND the music track was off. (That’s the reality about the video, not me.)

• I have a million things to write about. (That’s reality; people will read if they want to.)

• I’m creative and talented in many areas, AND I often don’t finish things. (So what? The Sistine Chapel was unfinished, and everybody still loved Michelangelo!)

• I’d love to keep working on this, AND I can be late for that. (My choice, my consequences.)

• I want to get involved in this, AND I can start without knowing how to do it. (Really – how else will I learn?!)

Have you been practicing the art of exception? Are you ready to get a good joy buzz on? I invite you to join me for an ACCEPTional 2012. Make your declaration today. Better late than never (I love and accept that about you!). You have nothing to lose, except maybe a bunch of stories and bald-faced lies.


  1. Rose on January 6, 2012 at 8:50 am

    You are a clever lady! I enjoyed this. Thank you!

  2. Jessica on January 6, 2012 at 9:17 am


    I love this so much!!! It instantly brought our late night long chats at the Align retreat to mind. I adore you lady and so admire you. Smiling with such a big heart right now. And, making my own declaration to have and ACCEPTional 2012.

    Thank you for this, my friend!!

    • Sheila Whittington on January 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Thanks so much Jessica! You just gave me a big heart smile, too! The adoration and admiration is mutual!!! Miss you, girl! Happy New Year!

  3. Lori Race on January 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Gorgeous Sheila, OMG!!! how I love this post!! I cannot wait to see the juicy goodness you are going to be creating during this “ACCEPTIONAL” year!!!! Big love to you.

    • Sheila Whittington on January 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks so much, Lori! Your comment just came through!! I’m loving the juicy goodness that you’ve been dishing out. Keep it up girl!!! And big love right back atcha!!!

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