208-376-1701 bryan@bryanyager.com

First a quote: “What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” – Vern McLellan

First published on January 7, 2019. Reprinted here with modifications and additions.

As I draft this week’s MMM missive, Becky, my wife, is in her office cleaning out our 2021 office files and setting up new files for 2022.  She does this every January for both our personal and professional records. During this process, Becky will do some important sorting. As she looks at each file from this past year, she will make critical decisions about file from a short list of options, including:

  • No longer needed, shred or toss
  • Important; keep, but file, scan, or store for future use or reference
  • Important; keep, readily available, for use in the coming year

Using this process, Becky will be able to move forward into 2022 with more focus, less clutter, and yet, have access to the vital information she and I might need in the future.

If you have ever moved or relocated, you have more than likely, performed a similar kind of sorting process. (Or, at least I hope you have.) During the packing process, you probably asked yourself questions like:

  • What should I get rid of? What will I no longer need in my new location?
  • What will I need and what do I want to carry with me into the future?
  • What should I make room for in my new life, in my new location?

“You can’t launch a new quest with old baggage.”

– Spencer Johnson, M.D.

While many of us might be pretty good at making those decisions about our physical possessions, I submit most of us are not as good about sorting through our mental beliefs, ideas, and clutter.

Unfortunately, many of us (myself included) rarely make conscious choices between the valuable psychological luggage we keep, and the emotional baggage which needs to be jettisoned as we “move ahead” effectively and intentionally into a new year, or perhaps a new job, or even a new relationship.

Using Becky’s “file purging process” as a metaphor, wouldn’t it be great if each of us would do the same thing with our thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences from this past year.  Some of the thoughts and experiences from last year provided us with valuable lessons which will be useful to us as we take on future challenges.

And yet, some of our thoughts and experiences will become nothing more than “emotional baggage.” This baggage then gets in our way and becomes a heavy burden; almost like an anchor that prevents a ship from exploring new shores.

How many people do you know who are still carrying around ill feelings, wrongs, hurts, and/or bitterness from past events in their lives? Like suitcases filled with toxins, they carry this baggage around with them everywhere they go; from an old home to a new home, from one job to the next, or from one relationship to another. Are you one of “those people?”

Spencer Johnson was correct when he said, “You can’t launch a new quest with old baggage.”  I’ve taken a small liberty with that wisdom, “You can’t (or shouldn’t) launch a new year lugging around last year’s mental or emotional baggage.”  

Maybe more of us should follow Becky’s lead. Maybe we should do a complete “mental house cleaning” before we begin the new year. Perhaps, while we clean out our closets, basements, garages, and storage units, we should also clean out our mental closets as well.

What “mental junk” from your past continues to undermine your current happiness, joy, and/or relationships? What thoughts and ideas might be limiting your success and future potential? Perhaps it is time to “file them away,” to leave them behind, and truly begin the new year with fresh and unburdened thinking.

How will you live, love, or lead differently, or better, in the coming year?

All the best in 2022!  Give your best. Do your best. Be your best and the best shall be returned to you in full.  I promise.

Happy New Year! 


Bryan Yager



“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”


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Bonus Quotes: (I wasn’t including “Bonus Quotes” in 2019, the following are new)

  • “The New Year is a painting not yet painted; a path not yet stepped on; a wing not yet taken off! Things haven’t happened as yet! Before the clock strikes twelve, remember that you are blessed with the ability to reshape your life!” – Mehmet Murat ildan
  • “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” – Brad Paisley
  • “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” – Thomas Jefferson
  • “Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.” – Germany Kent
  • “The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.” – Melody Beattie
  • “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
  • “Although no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” – Carl Bard