The last week of the year we typically review our year. We take our lessons learned from goals and experiences and we look forward. Except I started the Year-in-Review process before Thanksgiving. Here’s what I found:
Earlier this year I shared two of my goals: 1) reading a book a month and 2) moving away from struggle to success. I also wanted to take back my yard. Let me be honest about this one: I failed. Flat out. Upon consideration, I’m ok with that. Some things got done, like a fence around the squash garden, and other things didn’t, like sprucing up the curbside mailbox. (The mailbox is dreadful.) Here’s what I learned from this: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is no joke. When things got crazy and time became precious – grocery shopping, cooking, and sleeping took priority over the yard. I’m good with that choice.
I did do quite a bit of reading this year, and I still am! What I discovered is my short-term interests dictated my reading. I selected twelve books I wanted to read but I only got to two or three of those. Instead I picked up books on topics I needed to read like self care, marketing and the role of your environment. More on this last one in a minute.
My biggest ambition for 2018 was to release struggle and embrace success. At the end of last year, I declared I was done with struggle. I thought I was. In hindsight, I wasn’t. I tried several times to let struggle go, I made some big – even radical – changes, but to no avail. I had not internalized my lessons about struggle, but I didn’t know it.
Have you ever worked on a puzzle and been utterly frustrated? Knowing that everything you needed was right there, within your grasp, and still you couldn’t make it fit together. Spinning your wheels, trying piece after piece, but with no real progress. Then you get up for a snack and when you sit back down you turn on the light and take the chair on the opposite side of the table. You adjust your environment and suddenly something changes and things begin to come together.
Wouldn’t you know it., that is what happened to me in November. I realized I couldn’t release struggle because it had become a habit. I also discovered I really needed to understand the things that led to forming those habits in the first place. Why did I embrace struggle? What was so daunting about success?
So my journey began not when or how or where I expected it to when I set the goal in January. Plus now, in November, I was a different person and my circumstances where drastically different. My struggle puzzle wasn’t done but it also wasn’t just ‘the edges’ anymore. Some sections had started to fill in. But with a personal journey that doesn’t matter, you begin from wherever you are when you take your first step. Simply take the step.
Immersing myself in all the different pieces and conditions of struggle became liberating and it made struggle very recognizable. It also gave me a rough roadmap for the work that needed to happen to live in a place of success. About this time a friend recommended a book (not on my reading list) but she was so excited about it I decided to give it look. Then I dove in.
Yup, it is that good. When your journey reaches the point where change is necessary, then Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy is worth the read. The environment we create for ourselves is a big factor in achieving our goals. I’m still working in this book and its aligning many of the things I already knew (and said to other people) but could not seem to act upon for myself.
No surprise, my focus is now on success, remember what you bring your attention to is where you go. Given that, waiting until January to be successful seemed silly. My Success Journey began in early December. With a quick look back I have already noticed my ideas, willingness to alter things and mindset about success have all changed for the better. I’m pretty sure we call that personal growth.
We are all evolving, gaining wisdom and hopefully insight. Yes, your journey is going to take work, but it is worth it. Take comfort in the people around you, working, experiencing and internalizing their own journeys. We can all go forward together. 2019 is just around the corner, so come on, Let’s Grow!