>> As this year comes to a close I’m reflecting back…
Late December is always a time for me to look back on the past 12 months, take stock of what I’m proud of, what I’m grateful for and begin to make new plans for the coming year. Although I know for most, 2020 has been a tough year.
I certainly never could have predicted what the last 9 months has thrown at us, not only here in the United States - but in the world as a whole. Even though it’s been a year filled with a lot of uncertainty, turmoil and change - it’s also shown me how resilient we all can be when faced with new challenges, and for that I’m filled with hope for 2021.
This was the year that I decided to fully step into my coaching business after 3 ½ years of only doing coaching on the side. I planned for the transition and boldly left my regular job to pursue my passion. It was scary and exciting all at the same time. Many would think that a year like this would crush my enthusiasm - but honestly, I’ve never felt happier or more in alignment with what I truly value in life than right now...and for that I am so grateful.
I believe the reason why I’ve been able to make it through this year with such optimism and resolve is because I’m doing so many things I’ve never done before that stretch and challenge me:
- I’m working for myself (and yes, I’m the coolest person I’ve ever worked for)
- I’m focusing all my energy, creativity and experience on helping others
- I love what I do!
- I’m working from home which means I can work in my pajamas and get to be with my kitties all day! #catsrule
- Each day I’m learning something new about how to run my business (hello technology!)
- I make my own schedule so I have the freedom to do what I want with my time
- I’m building community with my Facebook Group (The Confident Women’s Community) so I’m able to serve more people
I could go on and on because it’s all new - but I share this because there’s power in doing things you’ve never done before, especially if you believe they are “hard” or out of your reach. To go after what you want for yourself, your body, your relationship, your career - or even to allow yourself to discover or develop a new skill / hobby - it gives you a new spring in your step, and it puts you in the mindset of possibility, instead of limitation.
It’s because I’ve been stretching myself for 12 months to try new things, to learn, and to grow into “more” of what I can be that I’ve felt incredibly alive all year long. And it’s made 2020 has been the most epic year of my life.
>> Pretty crazy huh? You may be thinking, “Really Julie? 2020 has been the most epic year of your life?” <<
But, I have to say yes, it absolutely has been.
And because it was, I have so many things to be proud of and grateful for having physically and emotionally survived the year!
Now, if you’ve made it through physically and emotionally in almost one piece, you’re amazing! But even if you haven’t, that’s okay too. If you have - like me - had a good year, despite the obvious, then I want you to celebrate this without guilt. It’s important to acknowledge the good so you can attract more of it to you in the coming year.
So, however 2020 has gone and especially if things didn’t go to plan, I recommend this end of year practice to close out the year.
>> You have the power to completely change your experience in 2021.
I know that when the clock ticks over to Jan. 1st, nothing really magical happens. It’s just a day like any other. But - I don’t know about you but, it really feels for me like a chance to begin again and completely shift things.
I love the energy of a new year and this year more than ever, I’m longing for peace, calm, health, wealth and happiness for all. So, let’s end the year with this simple but powerful end of year practice. This is a twist on a practice I teach my clients, but I believe doing it in this new way will make it even more impactful...and it’s an easy one to do (You can do it on New Year’s Day or you can do it over the next two weeks!).
The exercise is to make a list of everything you’re proud of or whatever you consider a WIN, over the last year. These are also things you’re grateful for… but I want to shift the focus to what you’re proud of or consider a win for you - so it keeps the focus on you. Now this may sound easy, but it can be trickier than it sounds.
First – do this with a partner.
This is absolutely key, so you’ll:
2) don’t chicken out and get all like “I don’t know. I guess I did some… stuff..?”
It’s best to do this with someone who gets you and really “sees” you, recognizes your accomplishments and who will coax more out of you.
Take turns asking each other what wins you’ve had and/or what you’re proud of.
Start with “I’m proud of…” and list out things like:
>> Learning to live during lockdown…
>> Keeping yourself healthy even though your gym shut down…
>> Not killing your partner…
>> Staying connected with your family…
>> Learning to work from home…
>> Mastering Zoom…
>> Patiently homeschooling your children...
>> Going for regular walks…
Consider other business accomplishments.
Explore challenging or sticky situations that you dealt with.
Remind yourself of boundaries you enforced.
Recall a few small goals you hit.
Personal accomplishments however big or small - they all count!
Anything that you want to acknowledge yourself for. Don’t be shy or modest. It’s your time to really shine a light on everything you’ve done. And seriously – it’s kind of hard to remember everything. So, consider going back to the first quarter of the year, then revisit Spring, then Summer, then Fall… see if connecting with the months / seasons shakes loose any other ideas. Then when you’ve run out of ideas, here’s how to take it to the next level.
Have your partner ask you;
And then silence. No prompting. No jumping in for their turn. No rescuing each other from an uncomfortable silence, this is a safe place - just breathe and wait. Just ask the question “What else?” and wait. Keep asking until you have at LEAST 30-50 things you’re proud of, that you consider to be wins for you.
There will be lots of pauses, you’ll want to think about the negatives and at some point you’ll think you’re done but then you’ll say, “Oh yeah! I forgot about this one!” Just keep asking, “What else?” Trust me, even after a not so wonderful 2020, you’ll be excited and buzzing at the end of this exercise, so don’t give up, it’s so worth it!
The list, of course, is important but the question “What else?” is even more important. You’ll probably find yourself getting stuck at about five things you’re proud of, because you don’t want to sound full of yourself or like you’re bragging, so you’ll likely discount your accomplishments or you’ve just forgotten them.
Think about it with an open mind… Did 2020 really really suck?
I did this with a friend a while back who thought she had a terrible year until we did this exercise together. It took us nearly an hour and she ended up with like 47 things she was proud of, but it took a fair amount of digging. That’s why the question is so important. Keep asking and don’t give up.
>> Recognizing everything you’ve achieved in the face
of such adversity is SO GOOD for you. <<
It’s awesome to remember everything, it’s great for manifesting to acknowledge all your wins, big and small so you can attract more and more abundance into the new year. Work on a mix of business and personal, as long as you get at least 30-50 good things.
If you do it by yourself, I know eventually you’ll run out of steam and move on to something else, it's easy to do. For the best results, you need a partner to hold the space, listen and to gently ask, “What else?” As soon as you run out of wins… what else?
When you think you haven’t done anything good… what else?
As soon as you think there’s nothing else to celebrate... what else?
If you tell yourself it was the worst year... what else?
When you think you’ve already written down everything... what else?
Remember, you can do this anytime, you don’t just have to do this at the end of year… you could do it monthly or quarterly (which I highly recommend!).
I’d love you to share yours with me. Go for at least 10! You can do this!!