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For the past four years, I've been in constant motion, fluttering from one goal to the next. With each accomplishment, it doesn't actually feel like I've done anything at all. In fact, every step up gives me more confidence to go bigger, work harder, do more.
I struggle to feel "successful" even though I've clearly been able to accomplish more than ever before.
It is only in the moments where I reflect on the pictures from my adventures or look at the long way that I've come (mostly through my Facebook memories) that I realize I've actually done something I should be proud of. I've become a better version of myself. Even though I'm still in progress... I've made progress.
Do you ever feel like you're always looking forward to the next goal? The next challenge? The next bit of excitement?
What if I could tell you that, like me, you already have all the excitement and success you've ever wanted? Sometimes it's right there in the past just waiting to be unearthed and recognized.
Each month, after you've set goals, worked towards them... right before you jump to your next set of goals, take a moment to remind yourself what you've done this past month. You might be surprised by what you see. In fact, you might be very proud of it, too.
Here are the 5 questions I ask myself at the end of every month to help me remember how freakin' awesome I am - and remind me that even though I have more journeys up ahead, I've already accomplished way more than I thought I ever could.
What did you try?
Maybe you tried to learn something new for work or took a class in something you thought you might like. Did you try working out in a different way this past month? Or try a new dish?
It's important to reflect on the new things you tried because it's a great reminder that you do have an adventurous side, that you are capable of learning, and that you are a big enough go-getter that you have the power and strength to try something new.
Routine is easy. By trying something, no matter how small creates growth.
What did you learn?
Life lessons go hand in hand with every trial and error you face. With writing down the things you tried (even if it was a total fail) you have to write down all of the things you learned from that experience.
This will help you tremendously in keeping track of the things you'll want to do differently when you try those things again.
Last month, I made a really bad lasagna (like... really really bad). This year, I decided I'd move beyond my simple dishes and sides and explore a few new ones that I've never tried before. A few dishes have been successful, but lasagna surely was not one of them. I ran out of meat, used the wrong sauce, didn't add the right ratio of cheeses. It was a complete disaster. But that list of things I did wrong will stay with me when I do retry that dish. I'll just have to convince my daughter to try it again.
What did you improve?
It's impossible to be good at everything, but over time as you continue to explore things you've never done before or dive deeper into the things you're learning, you'll start to get better at them.
Keep track of the things that you're improving. You definitely may not notice them now, but when you do look back you'll see the far way that you've come.
Three years ago, I couldn't update my resume without bursting out into tears because I could not identify any value that I added to any company anywhere. Even though I had a lot of good experience, I struggled with validation. I needed someone to tell me I was smart and made an impact because I didn't believe it (and I surely couldn't write it down on a resume).
Through the tiniest changes imaginable, I've stocked up a full arsenal of tools and resources and huge gains for others that I can re-write my resume in an hour, while watching Netflix. No more tears, no more struggling. That's a huge improvement.
What progress have you made?
Dream big, they tell you. Set a goal that seems impossible to reach.
Have you ever started to work towards a big goal and realized mid-way through that you were screwed. There was absolutely no way you were going to reach this goal?
I'm certainly starting to feel that way with my student loan debt payoff goals. I set a goal to pay off $32K in 12 months. I'm already behind schedule and it's only February. (What in the world was I thinking? Oh yeah, dream big. *cue eye roll*)
Through the pouting and the eye rolling, I've figured one key thing out: Even if I don't reach this goal, I've already paid off more student loan debt in the past three months than I ever thought imaginable.
Maybe it's not the 6000 I needed, but it's a solid 4500.
What did you accomplish?
Some of your goals will completely come to fruition and all of the late nights or early mornings will have come together to create something that you've only been planning for up until now.
Write those things down and congratulate yourself for a job well done.
What made you happy?
At the end of the day, there is exactly one measure for happiness.... Are you actually happy?
We all do have ups and downs, stressful moments and moments of smooth sailing. But if you look at on the 30(ish) days you experienced this month try to remember the things that made you happy.
I struggle with being chronically single (it's my gift and my curse) but every once in a while I do meet someone where the experience is absolutely phenomenal. While I could be sad that it was short lived, I much rather be happy that I experienced it at all. I was present for the great dates, wonderful conversation and flirtatious smiles. What's not to be happy about?
I bet your life is filled with beautiful things (passionate relationships, fun times with family, road trips you wish never ended) but we often hang on to those moments that are too stressful, annoying or confusing. We hang on to those and allow them to play over and over in our heads that we don't actually notice when we moved mountains, we accomplished the impossible and when we've been happy. Taking a moment to write these things down makes all the difference.
Celebrate Yo' Self!
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