This is a time when many of us begin reflecting on the past year. Like most of you, 2012 has come with some ups and downs for me. The ups included meeting some incredible people and amazing opportunities for business and personal growth (watch for my highlight reel next week). The downs included losing 4 pregnancies and having surgery (more about that here). There were also the various ups and downs that go with parenting a toddler (first words and sentences, hugs and funny things she does were all ups, gastrointestinal bugs, croup, ‘terrible twos’ were some of the downs). Overall though, I look back on 2012 as one pretty fantastic year.
So what have I learned this year?
- Be Patient: Patience in all things you cannot change. If there is something you can do to change a situation, and then go do it. But if you are faced with a situation you cannot change then patience will help you stay sane. Patience with others, patience with the situation, and most importantly patience with yourself. I have learned to practice patience with my daughter (who at 2 does not move at adult speed most of the time!), patience with the recovery process from surgery, and patience with myself as I go through the process of change and growth. Being impatient and trying to hurry change along will do nothing except leave you feeling frustrated and angry. Focus on the end result and trust in the process!
- If something isn’t working, change it! We tend to spend a lot of time banging our heads on the wall (usually more figuratively than literally), because what we are trying to accomplish and the results we are getting don’t match up. Have you ever made a resolution or plan that you couldn’t stick with, and then beat yourself up for it? Yes? Then you know what I’m talking about. I have learned to change my approach for handling my daughter’s ‘terrible twos’ on a regular basis – when one thing stops working, I try something else. I have also learned to do this in business and with my personal goals. It can be hard to leave your comfort zone of what you are accustomed to doing but taking a step back and evaluating the situation can make it easier to see what needs to change.
- Look at the positive in the situation. I have learned to become very resilient, especially with the losses my family has experienced. I have found that it is much easier (and more pleasant!) to look at the positive side of the situation rather than dwell on the negative. For example, as much as I want another baby, I am celebrating the fact that (as a non-pregnant woman) I can drink some wine over the holidays, that I have more energy and that I am not feeling nauseated all the time. From a business and personal perspective, when I create a goal that I don’t reach (which happens to all of us at times), I look at it from a learning point of view – instead of considering it a failure, I learn from it and ask myself what I can do differently next time. When you look at things this way, you will come away from each experience a little wiser.
- Believe that things will get better, keep focused on the end result, and take steps to make it happen. I have taken this to heart in several areas in my life this year. I believe that there is a healthy baby in my future, focusing on this has helped me through my losses, and I have begun working with a naturopath who specializes in fertility to make sure that I am doing what I can to make that happen. On the business side of things, I have become clearer on my purpose and goals and am working with a coach and taking daily action to reach those goals. Some of the tools that I’ve learned to use to help with this are creating a clear vision and using vision boards, vision statements, affirmations, and written plans to remind myself daily. You create your reality!
- Celebrate Your Successes! Most women have a hard time with this because they don’t want to ‘show off’ (it is easy to brag about our kids, but not so easy to brag about ourselves). I am learning to do this better and have begun sharing a celebration in most of my yoga classes as well as writing out a success list each Friday. I’ll also be celebrating some of my successes in my blog and newsletter next week. When you take time to reflect upon and celebrate your successes, you build your confidence and self-esteem, while creating positive momentum for more success to come!
Now it is your turn: What have you learned this year? What are you celebrating from 2012?