It’s that time of year…
The time that we set resolutions and the time that we either say 2018 was amazing, meh or a dumpster fire of a year. I get it. I’ve had all of those three at various year ends.
What I want to talk to you about today is how to look forward while acknowledging the lessons learned in 2018. For those of you in the dumpster-fire of a year category, I totally understand the impulse to just pretend it never happened and take a match to the last year of experiences.
But… that would be a mistake.
In every bad thing that has happened to you, there is a lesson to be learned. I’m not saying that all things happen for a reason – death, diseases, heartbreak, economic downturns, the climate… there are things for which there is no rhyme or reason why we should have to suffer the way we do. They suck.
And yet… and yet we can still take something away from it, no matter how small.
For the sake of language, whatever horrible things have happened to you this year, let’s call them a wound. In order to move forward, that wound needs to heal. Imagine you break your leg then you never tend to it or get physical therapy. You think you’re going to be running a marathon next year on that bum leg? No way.
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The mind and the experiences that you have are the same. You need to find some moment of healing, again doesn’t matter how small, in order to make room for good things in your life.
So, we’re going to dive deep today, end of the year, so that you can start 2019 with REAL renewed energy.
First things first, ask yourself what is it that you really want? I’m not talking to lose 20lbs or to run a marathon. I mean in your core, what is it that you really want that relates to whatever wound has affected your year.
Your want could be as simple (yet as complicated) as “I want that person to apologize to me,” or, “I want to feel like I’m enough,” or, “I want to be less lonely.”
These are the kind of wants related to your wounds that I’m talking about.
Step two in healing this wound is to forgive. This might be forgiving someone else. This might be forgiving yourself. LET ME BE CLEAR, forgiveness does NOT make the other person is right. I speak to so many women who have traumas from how they’ve been treated by their colleagues, a boss, their partners, family members, even total strangers. I don’t know what you, listening, your particular trauma or wound from this year is, but forgiveness doesn’t mean that person is in the right.
Hear me loud and clear, forgiveness means liberation for YOU. And if you want 2019 to be a year where you embrace less stress, more calm, then you need to liberate yourself by forgiving.
This step can be hard, but it makes all the difference. One way to embrace forgiveness, is to figure out if there could be a positive intention from a wound.
I’ll use myself as an example here. When I do this full exercise, the tension that I feel from 2018 is pressure, self-induced pressure. Pressure to do more, to reach the finish line, to be a better mom, to be a better wife. I don’t think I’m alone in this.
The positive intention is that I have ambitions and dreams and goals and I’m slowly making progress on them through this pressure. So it’s not all for naught, but when I see the positive intention, then I can forgive. I can forgive myself and give myself some serious grace for the mother I am, for the aspiring entrepreneur that I am, for the coach that I am.
And this leads us to the third step, which is gratitude. Say you want to burn 2018 to the ground… what 10 good things did happen in 2018? What things can you be grateful for? What lessons did you learn?
Here’s what I’ve got:
- I have a healthy baby girl
- I’m enjoying the crazy things that my son says and the smiles that he (usually) has for me
- A dear friend and I have committed to a girls trip the first weekend of February (we haven’t seen each other in over 5 years!)
- I got to travel with my Mom again and take the kids to the ocean
- My in-laws finally came to Canada and got to spend some quality time with their grandkids
- I’ve made peace with a formerly toxic relationship
- I have a business plan!
- Another relationship that I was worried was in trouble is back on track
- I’m grateful for all the one-on-one moments with my husband where we can reconnect as a couple instead of as hurried parents
- I am in a state of financial calm
Don’t mistake this list to mean I’ve had the perfect year. I’ve had my turmoils the same as you, I’m human, I read the same news stories that you do and live in the same economic downturn. But when you reflect, even on the hard times, there is something to be grateful for.
Embrace these three steps and you’ll be able to move forward.
What does forward look like for you in 2019? You could set a goal to lose weight, get fit or write that book… or you could set the goal to stress less in 2019. Not achieve less… stress less.
What if in 2019 you actually had the mental space and time for the things that mattered most to you? What if by December 31, 2019 you felt more calm and joyful? To me, that’s a pretty big deal, and so I hope you join me on my mission to #stressless2019
Regardless, I’ve made this great downloadable journal exercise to help you reflect on how 2018 went for you, and what it is you truly want in 2019, as well as the steps to achieving it. To download it, head here.