Taking stock of your year can be a daunting experience, especially if you feel you haven’t accomplish any of the things you wanted or haven’t “lived enough”. I’ve been there. It is not fun to look at yourself honestly & to admit that you didn’t do anything because YOU didn’t do anything. But, realizing you are what is standing in your own way is the first step to getting out of your own way.
A few years ago I realized that the goals I was setting for myself were directly contributing to my feeling of failure, inadequacy & dissatisfaction. So I changed how I approached my yearly goals, because I finally recognized I had gotten things wrong. I thought that once I HAD my perfect body, my perfect job or my perfect husband, that I would be living a happy & fulfilling life. Without those things I wouldn’t be.
I still struggled with the whole living a fulfilling & meaningful life thing. I tried not making any goals & just living the life I had. This didn’t turn out as well as you would think. I need goals. I need a ladder to climb. Competitiveness is in my DNA, I need to accomplish goals to feel happy.
It was in the early weeks of January 2016 that I realized that the only goals I needed to accomplish to live a meaningful & fulfilling life were:
- Get out of my comfort zone.
- Get over my fears & not let them stop me.
So simple, yet these were the two things that had always held me back.
Do you know what the great thing about these goals are? I can never truly meet them! They are things I constantly have to work on. Which means I can set myself a series of smaller (attainable) goals to complete such as, “go to a party where you do not know anyone all by yourself” (which I did) , rather than “lose 20 pounds” (which I also did once but it didn’t make me happier as I had to lose 5 more pounds).
In a way I “failed” in 2016, according to certain societal metrics of success, because I didn’t get a full-time 9-5 corporate job, lose 15 pounds, get engaged or buy my own house. I had to go through the notebooks I kept throughout the last year to realize that in reality I freed myself from things that were holding me back & that I accomplished quite a lot last year.
- I ran my first 5km marathon.
- I taught myself Photoshop.
- I took an HTML class.
- I started volunteering with Cycle Toronto.
- I did a lot of things solo & had an amazing time doing them.
- I dated without any expectations.
- I took the first step in starting my own business.
It is funny how easily we forget the small positive & happy things that happen in our lives.
Recognizing that I did kick some ass in 2016 has made me excited about what I can accomplish in 2017.
Am I anxious ?
A bit scared ?
Absolutely, but I know I can do it. I can travel solo to places I’ve never been. I can write stories people want to read. I can create a business that makes me happy & pays my bills. I can live the way I want.