2014, 6 lessons learned!
Where did the year go??? We were just celebrating the new 2014 and now we are at its end… Some of us are still at that year-end party wondering if the cocktail was a bit too strong for them to still be is a haze today. Indeed, the year went by fast, and now is a time of reflection for many of us. A time when we look back and ponder upon our experiences, and plan for the incoming year.
Just like you, I have thought over my year and want to share with you some very valuable lessons I have learned during the course of 2014. My hope is for you to take a look at those and think about ways you are able to benefit from them and maybe apply in your life. No, I will not share a list of 38 things you should do in 2015! I simply have a few points to bear in mind as you make your way through the year and in this post, I have a little something to help with the planning.
- Make no excuses for being you:
I know that it sounds very cliché, but follow me for a second. Too many times, we make excuses for who we are, we try to morph ourselves to be pleasant to everybody and do not credit ourselves as people who have gifts within ourselves. We try to “fit” and forget that we are supposed to bring something to the table: ourselves. The next point will present a caveat, but the nugget here is to remember that we ARE different, each of us, for a reason. If each piece of a puzzle was the same, it would not be a puzzle at all. You have to play your part by being who you are.
- Be open-minded about learning:
Although you have to stay true to yourself, be open to learning at all times. Life is all about learning and how to sharpen your skills to improve each day. I once learned that a person who stops learning is a dead person. I feel this statement has many truths attached to it. Throughout this year, some lessons were very hard to learn, and others were simply sweet. Boldly face the hard ones, because those are the ones that propel you to higher grounds.
- Spend time with loved ones:
This one comes up on every list on Earth at this time of the year. In 2014 I took a little more time to spend with loved ones and noticed that my life and theirs was richer. I know this sometimes mean we have to sacrifice the time to do the laundry, to cook, or whatever the chore might be; but it is worth it. Being with loved ones somehow renews your energy and stamina to face life and its challenges. A few hours with friends and family as often as possible, have the power to transform your days because of the physical and psychological effects this experience brings you. There is research on this stuff, people!
- Take time for yourself:
Ok, so we are going from cliché to cliché… People, I am here to say that although I have not at all yet arrived to the promised land of self-care, I am glad I am no longer where I was! Gradually I have come to understand the value of this particular practice. Of course, I have had the “Mommy Guilt” issue come up several time! But once the initial hour had passed and I could experience the benefits of having a little time to myself, it was easier to work on renewing my strength and “recharge my battery”. It does not have to be a lengthy or costly either, you will see the difference!
- Remember to give:
I am not sure why this has been one of the big lessons for me, but I realized this year how important giving is in our lives. We usually are told to be open to receiving, but we do not always talk about giving. I have learned how giving beyond the regular “overflow” is not only important, but rewarding. This is an ultimate high that takes you to a happy place! I am not talking about the regular “put a little something in the church basket” kinda giving… It’s the kind where you feel just a little more pinched but know that it is for a better cause. The type where you take a $20 from your secret monthly stash (to maybe do your nails or have a few cups of special coffee) and get a food gift card to a struggling single parent you know. It’s about carving a little more time in your week to volunteer at the church’s children’s ministry or take a carless friend run a few errands. Try it! It is worth it BIG TIME and you soon find out that the returns are not why you do it although they are exponentially bigger than your initial investment.
- Never, Ever, Do Not Give Up!!!
This one is the hard piece for me. So many times I have contemplated giving up on my dreams. I spent years running away from them, thinking they were too farfetched and often felt discouraged. Who among you have not felt overwhelmed at one moment or another?
Here are two of the many reasons why you simply cannot give up:
One – There are people around you placed there to help you get to your goals. They are either here to stay or temporary, but they are in your life to help you along your journey – You have to know to accept and be thankful for their help.
Two – No matter how bad it gets, push along! Put a plan in place in case you need to pull yourself out of the funk because “funk” always comes. Once you get out, there is no time to pity yourself. The magic is in getting back up! You somehow get stronger and wiser past the “episode.” Bottom line, DO NOT GIVE UP!
So, what are some things you will be working on in 2015 and what lessons have you learned in 2014? Do you have goals set yet? Do you have a plan on how you will reach them?
To help a bit, I have attached to this post a worksheet that has helped me A LOT in setting certain goals. You can download it here. This template can be manipulated to fit your needs. They are general questions for you to forge your own plan, to make you think, and to realistically set goals that are attainable. Remember that you can always alter your plans. The key is to push yourself just outside of your comfort zone to keep improving. If not, you will be stuck in the same spot year after year: no evolution there! Please share/pass along to others.
Finally, I want to wish you a wonderful New Year 2015! Thank you for your continuous support! I am so grateful you are on this journey with me! May it be filled with new adventures, lots of love, great people, and uplifting experiences. Next year, I will be asking you about the results of your worksheet, so Let’s Go! Make it an AMAZING YEAR!!!!