Rain was drizzling rather softly outside as my best friend and I sat to have coffee and desserts. The weather was perfect, just cold enough to indulge in hot beverages and desserts – and warm enough to sit cozily without an Eskimo jacket.
While we argued over my choice of dessert – a chocolate croissant (which, in her opinion, is a mockery of all serious sweet lovers) we started reminiscing over the highs and lows of 2018.
We noticed how we naturally tend to label our year as awful, long, difficult, or just plain annoying.
Then suddenly (after her sugar rush seemingly kicked in from her chocolate pie) she snapped and said: “You know we take too many good things for granted and nag a lot!”
She then went over things she is grateful for, before giving me a contrast of what a typical thing we might think and it’s opposite:
She then went on to inspire me to do some reassessment of what I’ve been thinking about my year:
You see, with every shortcoming we can pinpoint, there’s always something we can find to recognize, celebrate, and learn from. Do note that this is not blind optimism or being in denial of reality. The way I see it, this exercise expands our perspective and recognizes what is good with the bad.
I’m more motivated when I’m being kind to myself and to my life. I’m very well aware of the goals that I didn’t achieve and the awful things that showed up this year. But right now, instead of being harsh to myself and ruminating on the things that didn’t go well, I’m consciously choosing to acknowledge them and notice everything that DID go well.
More things that went well:
- I learned new lessons like: No matter how awful my situation, I think clearer and better when I soothe and extend kindness to myself. When I beat myself up, it does nothing at all; it only exacerbates my situation.
- I read more books that I actually finished – yay!
- I discovered audiobooks, and yes, I have been binging on Harry Potter.
- I conducted a workshop on women’s happiness day with my friend in a cozy setting with some lovely and driven women.
- I graduated as a Positive Psychology Practitioner.
- I actually wrote a book! (stay on the lookout for that).
- I am much calmer.
- I got to travel!
- I had more pasta this year than you can imagine.
- I said a resounding NO to several things that made me very uncomfortable and scared, but I would have hated myself for not defining such boundaries in my life.
- Looking back, as is the case with each year, I did make a lot of mistakes. Embarrassed myself a couple of times. Disappointed a few people, including myself. However, as I had mentioned in my last end of year post, there are no failures in life, only learnings.
And the list goes on.
On that note, I invite you to look back. Start with the mark points that you consider as failures and make a column of what else is true?
Then, make your wins list.
Here are some bonus prompts:
- What made you smile?
- What did you do well?
- What made this a good year?
- What are the three most important things that you learned?
- What simple pleasures have you particularly enjoyed?
- What did you change your mind about?
- What was the most fun thing you did?
- Who did you enjoy spending time with?
- What did you do right?
- What do you feel especially good about?
- What was your greatest contribution?
- How are you different this year than last year?
- What was an unexpected joy?
- Pick three words your best friend would use to describe your year—don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your best friend sees you.
Finally, it was a long year! Give yourself credit that despite all that you have been through, you are here now. You showed up and you did the best you could with the knowledge you had at that time!
Happy Holidays 🙂
note: Photo by Kasuma from Pexels