Lessons Learned in 2016 (PART 1)

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2016 certainly had its memorable moments, both good and bad.  With each passing year, I try to sit back  and reflect on the lessons that life is teaching me.

Here are the first few that stuck out:

PROGRESS happens in PHASES

Growth is a gradual process. I tend to be a person who seeks immediate results (please tell me I’m not the only one?!). But, progress isn’t always a one and done thing. It takes time and patience.

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These are a few things that I’ve learned about making progress, especially when I’m in a rut:

  • Start small. Aim for little victories, day by day. 
  • Section out tasks so the finish line doesn’t seem so distant and overwhelming.
  • Prioritize your goals. Focus on one at a time so it receives all of your energy and attention.
  • Celebrate once you attain a goal.  Reward yourself for the effort and discipline it required. 
  • Stretch yourself.  Take risks, even if it means you might fail (we all do!).      

Remember, sometimes progress is not a visible change that happens right away.  It might be in the form of physical transformation, but can also be an attitude shift or newly acquired state of mind!

GET rid of GUILT

Guilt suffocates, sabotages, disillusions, hovers over us, and taints our views.  It is garbage to our soul and makes us believe the following:

  • It says we need to be everything to everyone.  
  • It impacts our ability to reason and crowds out logic.  It tells us to strive for all the wrong things.
  • It convinces us that taking care of ourselves is last priority, resulting in feelings of discontentment and never being enough.  It holds us hostage and amplifies shame.
  • It heightens our insecurities, diminishes our confidence, and leaves you feeling isolated.
  • It emphasizes the lie: one person can do it all and only the weak ask for help. 

ASPIRE and ADMIRE

Many of these things require little time and effort.  It can come in the form of a text, handwritten note, email, conversation, or phone call.  The end result is monumental, having the potential to make a big impact.

ASPIRE…

  • to be better than you were yesterday.  Progress over perfection.  
  • to live authentically, even when it means to take the unpaved path.
  • to become transparent and vulnerable.  Allow people to see the messy and ordinary parts of you, your house, your life.  Stop pretending that “you have it all figured out”.  None of us do. 
  • to wear a “work in progress” badge, instead of donning the “I have it all together” crown.
  • to be a giver….of good vibes and an honest heart.

ADMIRE

  • your spouse and tell him/her what you respect and appreciate about them.  
  • your coworker for the strengths they bring to the table, instead of honing in on what they lack.
  • the world around you and the beauty that surrounds us.  We take it for granted.
  • God’s grace and the fact that we don’t have to do a single thing to earn it. 

What are some lessons you’ve learned the past year?  

I would love to hear one of them!

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