Well, What Went Well?
A lot of people use the New Year to reflect on the things that went wrong the previous year and use that as fuel to jumpstart their year ahead. While there is certainly nothing wrong with reflection, self-improvement, or setting goals, the previously mentioned way of doing things fails to acknowledge one important thing…WHAT WENT WELL?
We are so damn hard on ourselves.
I had a list of so-called “resolutions” I wanted to share with you, a list of goals and achievements that I want to accomplish. Things from being kinder to myself when I look in the mirror (ageing is no joke, y’all) to some pretty high career goals. But sharing any of that is not going to make me feel good, why? Because it implies that I am not already “enough”. That there is some better version of myself out there if only I would just “get my act together already”. But that’s not fair. It diminishes all the self-work I do every day.
And I work very hard.
Though I don’t operate heavy machinery or mine copper for a living, my mind is always working. I even have a hard time watching drivel on Netflix because I feel guilty, like I should be expanding my mind, or learning something valuable instead. When I carve out time to read it’s almost always something non-fiction for the same exact reason, I have an insatiable quest for knowledge. Not only do I juggle the projects of several clients, I’m also building my own projects in the background. I also make sure to carve out time for exercise, meditation, socializing, romancing, and traveling. So, then why am I so hard on myself? Why do I insist on pointing out the 15 things that went wrong instead of 3 things that went amazingly? Because we are victims of the if this, then that trap. Media, society, our loved ones all do a pretty good job at convincing us that we need this ______ in order to feel _______.
The self-help industry tries to convince us that we need this this mantra, affirmation, yoga pose combo in order to feel healthy.
Instagram influencers try to convince us that we need this slimming tea in order to feel sexy.
Politicians try to convince us that we need more guns, higher walls, and less immigrants in order to feel safe.
The media tries to convince us that we need the perfect ratio of curves in order to feel beautiful.
But the truth is, you don’t need any thing to make you feel any which way. If you know the feeling you want to feel, you are already capable of feeling that way — with or without the side of fear, bling, or insecurity. One easy way to get out of the “new year, new me” trap is by reflecting on some things that went very well last year, things where maybe you surprised yourself or the others around you. Maybe you stepped out of your comfort zone and took your very first singing lesson. Perhaps you joined a dating site or volunteered at a local shelter. Whatever it is, write it down. Reflect on how you felt afterward.
Here is my “Went Well” list:
Budget savvy travel remained high on my list of priorities. This year I managed to go to Milan, Rome, New York, Sedona, Phoenix, Tucson, Philadelphia, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, The Dead Sea, London, Basel, The Swiss Alps, and Munich.
I was published in a few different places including my first print magazines: a local Tucson magazine and an english newspaper in Berlin
I started my own series of self-empowerment workshops for women including a Yoga Workshop for Period Pain, Website Building Workshop for Women Entrepreneurs, A Budgeting Workshop and a Storytelling Workshop. More to come!
I read one of my personal essays in front of an audience at an event hosted by Clue,my favorite period tracking app.
I made meditation a part of my night time ritual.
I moved into my own apartment. I’ve got big girl bills now, but the peace of mind is worth all of it.
I paid off my student loans…1 year early.
I wrote meditations for a meditation app and currently have a client in the addiction treatment field. Something I’d been wanting for a while were clients that not only aligned with my values but also my interests :)
I took my very first drum lesson!
I started a “no screen” policy for myself 1-2 hours before I go to bed. I use the time to read, take a bath, write, or meditate.
I joined a book club.
Now it’s YOUR turn! What are the things that went well for you last year? What are some things you accomplished or overcame? If you are having a hard time coming up with stuff, scroll through the pictures on your phone. It’s likely you took pictures of the things you were most proud of.
Oh and if you feel like this exercise is “tooting your own horn” — it most certainly is. But guess what? If you don’t toot it, who else will?! TOOT TOOT!