So, I know it's February and a post reflecting on 2018, once again, seems already too late in the year to publish, but as I find myself extremely motivated and geared up for my goals lately, I think a little self-analysis of what habits worked and didn't work, can help steer both you and I in a better direction. And if you missed my Closing Letter to 2018, you can read it through that link!
I've become a big goal setter and go-getter since the start of the new year. I have a planner that maps out how I want to feel each day and what I will do to achieve those emotions. Every Sunday or Monday I reflect on the past week and I journal about how well I paired productive action with the intentions I set. I ask myself:
How did I show up for myself this past week?
What actions felt really good and got me closer to my goals?
How much time did I dedicate to becoming the person I want to be?
Did I dream BIG and BELIEVE that I can get what I want?
What habits weren't serving me?
What can I do better this next week?
This practice of setting intentions and pairing those intentions with ACTION, as well as reflecting on what's working and not working, is quite honestly, a game changer. It not only pushes you to new growth and positive change, but it asks you to reflect on how you felt in relation to the changes you're making. Which brings me to the first thing I didn't do too well in 2018.
Buying a million planners and not actually planning anything.
Have you done this too? You're a planner hoarder and love purchasing new, shiny notebooks to map out all your dreams and goals in, because if you purchase a planner, that is of course, going to make you do what you need to do. You bring it home, put your name on the "This Planner Belongs To..." page, maybe jot down a few birthdays, anniversaries and special dates in the calendar, throw three things on a To-Do list, and before you know it, weeks go by and you haven't touched the thing.
Yup. That's me. Major fail on my part!
And of course not only do I get stressed out that I didn't actually do anything, I get annoyed that I didn't fill in any of the pages. It's in those moments that I feel like I need to go back and write down some activities I did on previous days so it looks like the planner is full and that it wasn't a waste of a purchase. And well, that's just a complete waste of time and not going to get me any closer to achieving my real goals.
Lesson: Planners don't provide the key to getting things done, you need to make the time and motivate yourself to get the work done. They can certainly help, but don't use them as a crutch to appear that you have your life organized when you don't actually intend to get organized. You need to find the drive within yourself to push you to the next level of DOING - something I didn't really have in 2018, at least for the one goal I've always wanted to work on.
One thing I did really well was setting a date to accomplish something and putting it out on social media to share with others so that I actually did what I said I would.
I've found this to be extremely helpful because I'm someone who likes to keep my word; if I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it. This act of publishing a date to achieve something keeps me accountable for my own deadlines and forces me to do the work ahead of time.
That being said, another thing I could have worked on a bit more was not running around like a maniac trying to accomplish a million things and then beating myself up for not getting everything done.
We live in a world where there are SO many opportunities at our fingertips. There's an app for everything today and a chance to connect with everyone, which is a beautiful thing, but it can also make us feel like we're not doing enough. I've found that even before I step out of my apartment, I'm running through my To-Do lists in my mind like a tornado spinning at full speed and destroying everything in sight.
Not the best way to start my day.
As much power as there is in DOING, there is equal power in REST. The "hustle" only works best when we've taken care of ourselves. We can't work at our full potential if we haven't slept enough, if we don't eat well, if we drink too much alcohol, if we let anxiety get the best of our days, etc. First comes the rest, then comes the do. Then repeat.
To end on a positive note, another thing that I'm proud of doing in 2018 is putting my feelings first before anything else. I was really big on manifesting what I wanted in my life last year, so my big focus was creating the feelings and thoughts that were in alignment with my heart's desires. I focused on being more patient, less judgmental, more accepting, more receptive, becoming a better listener, saying only positive things about myself and others, focusing on all of the good rather than the bad, believing in myself, encouraging others, having fun - the list goes on and on.
I also asked myself how I make others feel and if I'm showing up 100% for myself and for the many people in my life. I always tried to give 100% to everything I was doing and everyone I was with. This made me feel like I was trying my best in all areas of my life, which is rewarding and feels good.
Goals and dreams all start with how you want to feel when you achieve them. We believe we'll be happier, stronger, healthier, kinder, richer - whatever - when we accomplish our goal. All of that is great, but those feelings don't have to be a future destination, you can begin feeling them right now.
The biggest lesson I take away from 2018 is just that: you are in control of how you want to feel.
You are not your feelings. You have a choice in how you will react to what is going on around you. You get to choose what you want to do and how you want to do it so you can feel the way you want to feel. You are in control of the inner world you reside in. It just takes some practice to feel like you're the one holding the reigns.
When you can wrap your head around the power that dwells within you, the world begins to feel like a really magical place.
And who doesn't want to live in a magical world? :)
PS: Hey! If you like what you read in these newsletters or through the posts I publish on Struck Inside Out, Instagram or Facebook, please feel free to spread the love! If you have a friend or family member or just about anyone in your life that you think can benefit from hearing some of my stories and thoughts on life, tell them about Struck Inside Out! I always love adding and welcoming new people into our tribe!