At the start of a new year is the opportunity to take stock of our lives and the world around us. Although 2020 was a year for the books – with the upheaval of a global pandemic and the uncertainty that followed – it is essential to our mental and emotional health to acknowledge the things that are going right in our lives. Even on those days, or years, that feel the most challenging, it’s important to celebrate the forward movement and successes that are happening. As Byron Katie says, “Everything happens for you, not to you,” and sometimes our greatest challenges are also our greatest gifts.
For many, the art of taking stock of what is going well in our lives takes practice.
Whenever you are in doubt or feel uncertain about what is going well for you, write it down. Take time to yourself, gather a notebook and a pen or a pencil, and let the world go still and silent. Think about your life. Focus on what you are grateful for – both the large and the small things. Create a list of all the ways you have helped others or contributed to good in the world.
Right now, take a moment and think back to one year ago today – where were you and what were you doing?
Your challenge is to think of at least one thing that has changed for the positive since that day. Include any acts of kindness you have done for yourself. Maybe you’ve been eating well, going to bed earlier, or reading more. Perhaps you’ve dropped an unhealthy relationship or repaired a broken friendship. Also, take stock of the acts of kindness you have done for others. Have you been there for a family member who is struggling? Have you listened and laughed with a friend who needed support? These are moments you should feel proud of.
No matter how challenging life might feel, the things that are going well deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated. You deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated. Celebrations, even small ones, have a positive effect on our self-esteem, they increase our self-confidence, make us feel happier, and motivate us to keep setting and reaching goals.
Taking stock of your life is also an opportunity to check in with yourself and ask yourself important questions.
Am I living the life I want to be living? Do I feel balanced between work, family, and play? Where do I want to be in a year? …two years? …five years? What changes do I need to make to get there? What habits am I holding onto that no longer serve me? And in what areas am I doing really well?
The answers to these questions are not opportunities to put yourself down, to feel poorly, or to shame yourself. Instead, they are opportunities to gain feedback and insight into your own life. The answers are the arrows of your inner compass, pointing you to a life that feels rich and bold and completely your own.
Right now, in the year 2021, it is more essential than ever to find the nuggets of gold hidden within each day. Use the techniques above to create lists of what is going well for you, to ask questions and write answers that only you will read, and to remind yourself that no matter what you are experiencing, there is an opportunity hidden within. The Relationship Place, in San Diego, Ca. is here to support you should you seek professional help. Contact us today to learn more.