It’s been a quiet month around here… well, on the outside at least!
On the outside, I’ve been cozying up in front of the fire and drinking as much tea as possible.
But inside, I’m feeling the stirrings of energy again.
I have new ideas – new thoughts and ways of thinking. New strength and new resolve.
Reflecting on the past year has played a big part of this. The further away I get from New Year’s Eve, the better my view gets of the year: what worked, what didn’t, and what can be done about it. The distance gives me permission to not be so involved emotionally. I can calmly assess what’s going on and what my next steps should be. I highly recommend this practice!
Reflecting on What Worked & Why
Cultivating My Habits
This year I’ve developed the habit of beginning each day thinking of 5 things I’m grateful for – before I even get out of bed! Then I brush my teeth and drink at least a quart of water as soon as I’m up. I’ve started saying “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” (“I don’t eat sugar” instead of “I can’t eat sugar.”). I’m meditating for 12 minutes each day – sometimes with a coloring book! These habits are small but oh-so-stabilizing to my day. They help me feel grounded and remind me who I am.
Stretching My Boundaries
This year was full of new experiences, both positive and not-so-much. In the summer, I fulfilled a life dream and hiked Hadrian’s wall in northern England. I faced my fear of heights and completed a ropes course with 10 ziplines – the last one was 70 feet long over a lake! I moved (and am moving) through grief when my mother passed away in August. Handling her estate and the sale of her home was definitely something I am giving myself a pat on the back for. These experiences didn’t always feel good at the time, but with reflection and some distance, I’m able to see the positive influence in my life.
Investing Money Wisely
The best money I spent this year (or maybe EVER) was to hire some help. My VEA (Virtual Executive Assistant) Debbie is more like a business partner than a secretary. She’s trustworthy, efficient, and knows just how to put a special sparkle into everything! Her whole focus is to take on the “busy work” so that I can spend my energy doing things nobody else can do. We call that my “cake.” J
Reflecting on What Didn’t Work – and What I Learned
Following Others’ Advice
This one may be controversial, but there you go. I repeatedly found myself in situations where I was running a project or living my life in a way that didn’t suit me. Fighting my natural style felt a bit like trying to straighten my hair – possible but a heck of a lot of work to maintain! Good advice doesn’t always mean it’s a good fit for me. I’m learning to tune into to my intuition and take actions that serve my core values best.
Ignoring My Needs
My self-care really falls by the wayside when I get wrapped up in a new project. Webinars, events, and programs are a BLAST for me and I love doing them, but the process of getting ready for them was draining all my energy. I’m learning to pace myself and filter (there’s that word again!) out the less-than-ideal opportunities so that I can be my best self in all areas of my life.
Letting My Ego Drive The Car
As a friend of mine says, “Letting your ego rule your life is like handing your car keys to a toddler.” When I found myself in the biggest messes, it was usually because I’d built up this massive identity around my ego. The problem with a mega identity is that you have to protect it at all costs! My “image” was keeping me from trying new things, and it certainly was keeping me from authenticity. I’m learning that gracious acceptance of who I am – and who you are – is what resonates the deepest.
Next Steps – How Are You, Really?
We still have a handful of days left in our slow start to 2016 – I encourage you to spend them reflecting on the past year. I used this list from Salty Souls Experience to get my wheels turning, but a quick Google search of “annual reflection questions” will give you a handful of good lists as well.
I can’t wait to see what beautiful insights shine through in your life!