Tomorrow is my BIG day – birthday that is. I usually reflect back on every year because what human doesn’t? I think the biggest thing I realized was that this last year was my best.
I remember last year saying “that was my best year yet!” and in an effort to not seem so repetitive or thoughtless, I sat down to really think about what made it the best. During that process, I realized I was so fulfilled because I figured out how to live intentionally. I was conscious about the things I did, the choices I made…I guess you could say my sense of awareness was high alert for 365 days – ha! Ironically, I remember being 24 and 25 thinking “how do I get out of this self-awareness cycle?” because I was hated being so in tuned to my feelings and thoughts. Especially during a period of my life where I had no idea what I was doing or really wanted out myself.
I created this sense of intentionality through monthly intentions that I committed to practicing, focusing on my Word of the Year and making sure it was part of my decision making, and the biggest intention setting of all: creating and sticking to a routine. Which leads to my…
The 8 lessons I learned in my 28th year
- I’m a type B human when it comes to my blood type and personality type. I love unstructured time and am perfectly fine not filling it up with things to do. HOWEVER, I learned that with unstructured time and no routine, comes no results.
- Committing to the idea of a routine, creating one, and then committing to what I created has shown me how much more productive I can be and just how much better I feel when I follow it. And, I’ve now seen that I’m capable of bringing something to fruition, from beginning to end.
- Now I know that I enjoy working out regularly and prefer to workout in the mornings. I drink my morning elixir first thing in the morning and take all my vitamins at night. Little things like that have helped me grow lately, which is all I could ask for.
I can always do more
- I accepted a promotion at work that showed me how much more I’m capable of when given the opportunity and in the right role. I felt like I had more purpose and challenged myself to be better.
- And with that, I noticed other areas of my life where I could “do more,” ie: be more of team player in my relationship, put more into my friendships and be the one to initiate get togethers, push myself more during workouts, trust my body more, etc.
- There’s that saying “99% is hard – 100% is easy” and I realized I lived in the 99%. My self-doubt, fear, and criticism were the barriers because I didn’t think I could make it to 100%. But once I started cheering myself on and actually gave my all, 100% was achievable with no negative consequences. My body didn’t break and my mind didn’t fail, but my spirit lifted and my self-confidence grew! Now, tell me you don’t want to feel what that’s like…
I need community
- I feel most fulfilled now when I’m spending quality time with the good people in my community. Simple as that – friends make me feel better and more fulfilled.
- Seeing friends or being in my community are now regular parts of my self-care routine! This way I make sure that I’m regularly spending time with those who fill up my cup.
People value me and my work
- I learned and truly believed that I’m valuable and an asset this past year. Not just in my traditional work place, but in wellness line of work too!
- I’ve spoken at a handful of events over the year and each time someone, a stranger, has told me how thankful they are to have heard me speak. And I say that with the most humble intentions because it’s helped support my belief that I’m worthy and valuable.
Fitness is FUN
- I used to think that working out was something to do to get in shape or to keep from getting fat (I hate that word). I never had a good relationship with workouts until this past year when I paid attention to how it made me FEEL, not how I thought my body looked afterwards.
- The endorphins are real people! And once I rode those out, I started to re-build my relationship with fitness.
It’s okay to want to eat healthy
- With all the burgers, pizza, fried goodness, and desserts in this world, I felt a certain pressure to be able to eat them all and often. And when I did want a healthier option, I rarely voiced it because I thought most people wouldn’t want that.
- BUT I’m eating for others, I’m eating for me and I’ve learned to listen to my body. It still takes a lot of courage for me to say I want something healthier, but I’m learning.
- I’m also learning to cook at home so I’m in control of what’s going into my food and into my body. Recently I did some research on food and asthma because I had a recent asthma flare-up this allergy season. I’m intrigued by holistic nutrition and this notion that I can heal my body through food. More on that later (if anything comes out of it) but this is where my mind is around healthy eating!
Saving money is easier when you have a goal
- I’d always heard “save money” but could never quite save that much because I had to live my life – go out with friends, go out to eat, travel…just do all the things, really.
- I’m in the works of working towards a BIG goal that requires a significant amount of money and I’m motivated more than ever to make sure I fulfill that goal. And because of that, I realized that my finances are worth paying attention to because I can save more money than I thought I had.
- When I cut out recurring payments and excess spending, I noticed that I had way more money to set aside into my savings account! I’m happy to say that I’m on track to fulfill that savings goal 🙂
- For the first time in a long time I’m more confident than not. I notice it the most in my wit and the small conversations I have with myself and others. Like the ones where it’s easy to put yourself down for the sake of a joke. Now I stand up for myself or correct my own words if I notice those self-depricating words. Because the smallest adjustments are the ones that make the greatest impact in the long run, especially when it comes to mental health.
- If we want to make a long-lasting mental change, then we need to rewire our thoughts. The impact of one negative thought towards ourselves is much more dramatic than one positive thought. I remember hearing in one of my counseling classes that it takes hundreds of positive thoughts to undo one negative thought.
- Trust me when I say that’s true. I didn’t get to this point overnight; I’ve been actively working to improve my self-worth and increase my capacity for self-love for 4 years now. And it’s been the greatest lesson to myself, greater than previous seven if I had to say.
I know that’s a lot, but I hope it inspires you to take a look at what you’ve done from birthday to birthday and look beyond material or societal successes. See how you’ve grown from year to year and leave a comment with a life lesson you learned 🙂