Looking back is good, unless you’re full of regret and want everything to be different, then you’re likely to trip and hate life even more. I want to love my life more, so I’m choosing to look back in the good way. 😉 I’d like to record insights about my year in a way that frames it in a certain way, in fact by pausing & holding mental space for 2019, I’m positive I’ll create more positivity. It’s sorta like taking a snapshot so I can refer back and recall these things as often as I need to. Evolving and growing are really important me — but I’ve learned that I need to take the time to allow for it; pondering and pontificating about the year we just ended is one way I use my time to make sure that happens. By the way…use this same template to write out your own 2019 in Review! You’ll be surprised what it does for your ability to move forward and create more confidence.
2019 was DEFINED BY
Friendship … This was actually my one, little word of the year for 2019, so it was something I thought a lot about. I learned I have a tendency to have a manual for friends. For instance, I may not consider someone a friend unless they do X, Y, and Z. X, Y, or Z might include things like returning my texts, inviting me to events, reciprocating after I’ve invited them out to lunch, giving me compliments, validating my feelings, or a whole host of other possibilities. 2019 was a real eye opener as I realized that I kinda had strict definitions of what a friend was. It alleviated a lot of stress to understand I can break that definition wide open by simply saying ‘a friend is someone I love that I’m not related to.’ Simple. Freeing. Liberating. This way I don’t need them to act a certain way or do certain things in order for me to determine if they are a friend or not. I freed up a lot of mental energy by letting go of the judgments and parameters. It feels like I have love for a lot more people now & I like that feeling.
It also really mattered to me to have close friends and spend time with people that I had things in common with. For this reason, I started a book club. I invited several people that I knew loved to read and we started meeting monthly. This has become the highlight of my month! I love the girls in our group and I love that we engage in quality, stimulating conversations about a wide variety of topics. We’ve chosen fiction and non-fiction books and I never leave without thinking about how grateful I am that I moved forward with the idea to start this club. If quality friendships is something you long for, consider starting a club of your own. It doesn’t have to be about books. It could be a craft night, movie night, dinner club, an exercise group, or a writing practice. The point is, don’t wait around for someone else to invite you — start one yourself!
Order … Back in May I hired a professional organizer and it has continued to be some of the best money I’ve ever spent! My pantry still looks just as perfect as the day she was here. She came one day to assess the needs and take measurements, then when she returned about a week later she came with a gazillion bins, baskets, and organizers. We worked together to get my pantry, spice cabinet, bathroom cupboard, and over-the-toilet shelves in shape! It took us both working from about 10 am to 5 pm, but we got it all done and it is still absolutely beautiful. Her ability to corral like-minded items and then know how to label them was the secret superpower that I’m no good at. I was also able to use my own script/brush writing skills to make all the labels. I love the personal touch!
Due to those efforts, the order bug started spilling into other areas of my house, too! I’ve organized my closet, other cabinets in my kitchen and my linen closet. I’ve seen first hand, because of what I invested in in 2019, how order enhances your life. My shopping is simpler, my mind is more freed up, and I smile every time I open my pantry. Win, win, win!
Jumping In … I owe some gratitude to my husband for this one. Sometime in July, I was expressing my desire to attend a certain retreat that I had had my eyes on for a long time. It’s hosted by Bob Goff, and if you’ve ever spent time with me you know that I LOVE Bob Goff. Like, bordering obsessed kind of love. During this conversation with my husband I also mentioned that I had my eyes on becoming certified as a life coach through the Life Coach School. He listened to me express these strong desires and then simply said, “just pick one and do it.” “Huh?” I questioned, “you’re serious?” “Yeah,” he said, “clearly you’ve wanted to do these things for a long time. Pick one and go for it.”
In that moment, I realized it was only me that could hold me back. Up to that point, it had been really easy to blame my husband, or the amount in our bank account, or to say it wasn’t the right time. But, no more. I had a clear ‘GO’ initiative & all I needed to do was jump in. It actually took me several hours, but really late, before going to bed, I signed up for the certification program through the Life Coach School! I jumped in, I did it! I’m nearly a third through that training at this point and no regrets!! Jump in, my friend. Whatever it is that you’re desiring, just do it! And P.S. I will get to the retreat with Bob Goff one day! In 2019 I did get to see him on stage, & it was a highlight of my life, but that’s a story for another day.
In 2019 I LEARNED
To Love the Process … In previous years, I’ve learned that there is no finish line & growth is not a destination, but this past year it really became evident that falling in love with that process serves me much better. This means when I mess up and snap at my kids, I am grateful for the chance to say sorry and I love that we can connect again after a rip in our relationship. It also means I love the process of coming to realize I want to apologize and love my mind’s ability to observe what has happened without making it mean anything negative. Truly, I see the growth that comes from that & I love growth. It’s about progress, not perfection, and loving that process feels a lot easier than whining about it and inviting shame into the process.
Loving people is so much easier than trying to control them … Oh man, I could write a dissertation about this one! The control thing shows up so much more than you think. When your mother-in-law (or sister, or neighbor, or boss) says something that offends you and you share it with your friends and stay hurt? This is trying to control someone because you think that if they acted a certain way, or did a certain thing, or said something differently, then you could feel better. You know what feels better? Loving people just as they are. You don’t have to make it mean anything about you! In fact, when you do, that’s what creates the pain. You don’t need them to change. Choosing love will always feel good. It’s easier, too. It’s freeing and the world needs more of it! Mr. Rogers was the OG teacher in this regard. I love this quote from him,
- “When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong along with the fearful, the true mixed in with the façade, and of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way.”
I don’t need to respond to urges … Wow! Big insight here as I learned this lesson. I had an issue with checking social media too much (maybe some of you can relate?) I had tried and failed with a variety of other methods, and it wasn’t until I learned about urges that I really gained some traction with this. I also gained a whole lot of my time back! What I did is started a list on paper of every time I had an urge to check social media & didn’t give in to the urge. I briefly wrote down why I felt like getting on and very quickly ascertained that it was usually an emotion I was trying to escape from. Things like boredom, stress, frustration, and incompetence were showing up and I didn’t like those feelings so I would scroll and they would dissipate. They wouldn’t go away for good, though, so it became a cat and mouse game of seeking a false pleasure that never completely satisfied me. Now I know how to feel the urge, allow it, and then address what the urge is seeking relief from. It helps me stay much more productive and create more confidence in my ability to feel any emotion. I haven’t completely left social media, I just plan it into my day, and use it more intentionally now. Life is better because I learned this lesson!
In 2019 I LEFT BEHIND
My belief that I’m not a Morning Person … True story. I honestly thought this would never happen. But, I’ve been getting up consistently at 5:30 am to workout for about 2 months now. I’m happy about it & I like what it’s doing for my mind and body. If a similar belief is holding you back, consider that you, too, can leave it behind. You’re free to believe whatever you want about yourself.
Blame … Taking ownership of how I act, what I believe, my results, my energy, my moods, my schedule, my time, all of it has been life changing in every way! You don’t need excuses, you need power. Blaming only gives away your power. For anyone, in any situation, blame is a good thing to leave behind.
Shame About Having Questions … I have always been a questioner, I was that little kid that asked a million questions — but for the most part, people didn’t hear them because I kept them to myself. Perhaps somewhere along the line I gained a sense of shame for having questions? Particularly in a religious context, I kept very quiet about my questions for fear that others would construe them as doubts and label me a certain way. No more shame! My questions are a gift. My God created me this way & He wants me to question. I think I’m getting closer to balancing the questions with seeking the right sources to find answers and a faith that tells me not all questions will get answered in this life and that’s okay!
That’s a wrap, 2019. You were everything I needed & it all happened just as it should have!