3 Lessons I Learned From The First Week of 2018
Happy New Year! I started 2018 off with a sink full of dishes and an overflowing laundry basket. I slept through my 6AM alarm every single morning. I lost my keys, $400, checkbook, and journal. Cried daily. I paid my rent 4 days late (don't worry, they didn't evict me). Ate more cookies than any person should. To be honest, I felt like a complete failure last week. I had spent so much time planning and preparing to have the best start to 2018 possible, but instead "life happened".
In order to pull myself out of my self pity and despair, I had to take a moment to pause and reflect, because I am a firm believer that everything in our life serves a purpose and can teach us a lesson. Here is what I came up with from my first week of 2018:
- Let go of the need for Perfection: I will be the first to admit that I feel the pressure to be perfect, but the reality is that no one else is putting that pressure on me...but ME! As a human being, perfection is impossible to achieve and striving towards it requires a lot energy that can directed into being the best you can be for that day or moment. Instead of focusing on being perfect, each day give yourself a little bit of grace and forgiveness for the things that you didn't go quite right. Also, take time to celebrate any wins, whether big or small, because that is also important as you let go of your need to be perfect. What is one thing that you are proud of today? What is one thing that you can let go of that didn't go as planned today?
- Let go of the generic definitions of Success & Happiness: We are always bombarded with images of what happiness and success look like, especially if you spend any time on social media. People like to show only the beautiful, fun, amazing parts of their lives, but very rarely are vulnerable and honest. This can lead to us comparing our own lives with the lives of others and that is exhausting! Instead, we should focus on striving towards our own definitions of success and happiness. There is power in clarity and I have found that most people, myself included, aren't really sure of what happiness or success really looks like to them. I challenge you to take some time and free write. On one page write "This is what success looks like to me:" and on another page write down "This is what happiness looks like to me:" and just start to write whatever comes to mind. From this exercise, you will identify things that you value and things that you should prioritize in order to feel happy and successful.
- Let go of the Habits of Fear & Worry: One thing that I've learned about fear and worry is that I play a big part into how much of it affects my life. Many times it's because I have grown accustomed to being fearful and worrisome, that my habits and behaviors are fueled by both - fear and worry. Instead, I am now creating new habits and behaviors to combat it. One habit has been practicing Gratitude - I ask myself "What am I grateful for right now?" This helps in a few ways, it first detaches me from whatever I am worried about. Second it helps me to be present, instead of being stuck in the past or focused on the future. Third, being grateful elicits feelings of happiness, security, and optimism, which are the anti-thesis of worry and fear. What is one thing that you can do to help create a new habit that speaks against worry and fear?
The key is that we have to take the pressure off ourselves during this first month of the year...instead focus on being the best you that you can be each day and know that tomorrow is a brand new day!