It’s New Years Day. Happy New Years! Did you make a list of resolutions? I didn’t. According to Forbes, less than 8% of people achieve their resolutions. I can attest to that fact. I’ve made a ton of resolutions and rarely achieved my goals. For a long time, I thought that meant I wasn’t a goal-oriented person. Hogwash!
I spent a portion of 2017 documenting what I achieved in my bullet journal. My bullet journal was an experiment. I wanted to record goals and accomplishments, desires, and what I learned each day. Turns out the lessons I learned in 2017 were many. I learned that I accomplished a lot of things. And I learned a few things I hope to use to make 2018 a better year. I’m sharing my lessons here in the hopes that you might use one or two of my lessons and also have a better year in 2018.
Healing happens in its own time.
This applies to healing from diabetic wounds, healing from grief, or even healing from a common cold. To say that it takes time is an understatement that is a disservice. Not because of the amount of time but because healing is not something that happens in a straight line.
Be patient with yourself or others going through a healing process.
Draw comfort from the sources that give you the most comfort. Practicing creativity, hobbies, or new interests can be therapeutic. Acknowledge the feelings you feel. There will be many. Some you won’t understand.
Give it time. There will be days when you think you’re done and days when you know you’re not. Get through the bad days. Live in the moment on the good days.
You can’t control everything.
My personal journey over the past two years has been an emotional yo-yo. I transitioned from life partner to supportive partner to full caretaker and then to a part-time caretaker. Life is also not linear. Coping with the ups, the downs, and the sideways twists is difficult but there are ways to cope.
Focus on what you can control—namely yourself. Your thoughts and actions are the only things over which you have control. Want to live a more positive life? Choose to think and act more positively.
Identify your fears. Our worst decisions are made from a place of fear.
Concentrate on your influence. What can you do that will make a difference? How can your actions influence others for good? Focus on what you can do.
Differentiate between problem cud-chewing and problem-solving. We all get caught in circular thought patterns. Break out of that pattern by problem-solving. Can’t see a solution? Focus on what you can control.
Sometimes it takes a Leap of Faith.
I retired a couple of weeks ago. Scary because I retired earlier than I’m really comfortable with. Scary because–change. Scary because I’ve committed to being a writer FULL TIME. Writing in the cracks of time has been my life up until now. Now I must learn to write daily, to produce regularly. Different skills entirely.
Listen to your inner voice. It actually knows more about what you need that your brain does.
Practice Daily Self Care. Get enough sleep. Good nutrition. Exercise. Especially be kind to yourself.
Change fear of the unknown to a desire for what’s next. It takes practice, kind of like affirmations. Say it out loud. Repeat until it’s a habit.
Allow yourself to be supported. This one is tough for me. I’m working on it.
Quit Comparisons. You know that’s right. When you find yourself making a comparison, step back, remind yourself you have your own journey. Easier said than done, but again, it takes practice.
Celebrate what you’ve manifested to date. Celebrate the small victories. Every. One. Record what you’ve accomplished. Reinforce that your leap of faith won.
Have the strength of your conviction. You have a lifetime of knowledge and skill, use it to bring your vision to life.
Is your decision fear-based or love-based? Love wins hands down.
Choose a date. Believe in yourself by making a choice and sticking to it.
Handle the naysayers—fear makes bad decisions,
Come in for the landing — crash, get up and do it again. Let’s face it, some leaps of faith won’t end the way you want them to. It’s okay if you crash this time. Learn from it. Dust off your knees and do it again with new knowledge and experiences to build on.
Growth takes patience.
Lots of it. Having a puppy for the first time in a dozen years has made me acutely aware of the patience required for growth. This reminder applies to growth as a writer, a blogger, a person, or . . . a puppy.
How do you develop patience?
Pay attention. When pain or irritation occurs pay attention. Is it uncomfortable or intolerable? Intolerable needs swift attention. Uncomfortable can wait. Training your brain to identify what the problem is and the severity of the problem will help you come up with a solution that will work.
Slow down. Take a few breaths, count to ten, do some isometrics, or sit and listen to an entire song on the radio. Think through what you want to rush (second helpings of dessert, a snappy comeback, a not-quite done project). What outcome do you want? What will happen if you wait?
Practice. Spend time practicing patience. Stop. Start small (fifteen minutes, half an hour, an hour) and build up to a full day of practice. Record your progress. You may surprise yourself.
These are lessons I needed. I’ve taken a leap of faith and will need to use each of these lessons in the coming year. So I made an infographic for when I need reminders.
Did you find any of this helpful? You can download a copy of the Lessons & Strategies infographic here.
(Edited 1/7/18 to correct link for download. It will work now. Sorry about the inconvenience.–LMB)
Would you care to share how you might use these lessons?
Did you learn a lesson in 2017 that you’re willing to share?