I think most of us are familiar with the idea of New Year’s resolutions.  Those hateful little buggers really come back to haunt us at the end of each year.  We all start off with the best of intentions, but somehow life manages to get in the way and our resolutions wane.  A friend of mine did an interesting thing earlier today and I’m totally going to jack the idea. Instead of saying what her New Year’s Resolutions are she listed the things she’s learned this year.  So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to build on lessons learned.

In 2018 I learned:

  • Follow through matters. I had created some really bad habits that were holding me back.  The biggest one of those was that I didn’t finish what I started (a big reason why New Year’s Resolutions never worked out for me). I told myself I would do one big thing in 2018- FINISH MY BOOK. By the end of January my determination was faltering, but Adam kept at me to finish the thing.  I had to leave my family for 3 days to do it, but I did! The funny thing is that after this one minor success came many others. By mid year I was really on a roll and managed to meet many other personal goal markers after being stalled out for years! I want to be the kind of person who finishes what she starts.
  • I am the most important person to keep promises to.  I am a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a teacher, a leader, a writer to name a few.  I am a lot of things to a lot of people. They depend on me and it means a lot to me to be able to be there, to be dependable, to do what I say I’m going to do.  I hate letting people down. But, I realized I couldn’t depend on myself. I gave to everyone else first. I broke promises to myself all the time and and justified it by telling myself my only job was to serve others.  No wonder I got so down on that girl. I couldn’t trust her! It ties back in with follow through, but it’s also that I can’t believe in someone I don’t trust. And I really can’t do for others at a level that they deserve if I can’t do the same for myself.  
  • Say YES! I’ve spent so many years trying to figure out how to set healthy boundaries that I’ve conditioned myself to be too safe.  Sometimes you just have to jump. I can’t grow without taking some risks. I’m so blessed to have so many people who lovingly push me towards my best.  
  • Empathy first.  Y’all. I still need to work on this, but that’s the point of this exercise, to build next year’s intentions on last year’s lessons.  Before I react I need to take a beat and put other people’s actions through the empathy filter. This eliminates so many problems. It helps me to not take things too personally.  It helps me to not judge people so harshly. It helps me to better understand where people are coming from. It helps me to better see where OR IF I can help them. It helps me better see WHY I may have had a strong reaction in the first place.  I’ve learned so much by trying to put this into practice. This is the true hack to personal and relational growth.
  • The size of your tank inhibits growth.  This is turtle wisdom.  If you put a tiny turtle in a tiny tank the turtle with only grow to the limits of that tank.  If you put a tiny turtle in a giant tank that tiny turtle will grow to be a giant turtle. The same is true for our brains and our capacity.  My environment was limiting me. It was the same things, the same people, the same crap- different day. I love that environment and those people. I’m not TRADING them.  I’m expanding my horizon, pushing the boundaries, absorbing ideas, thoughts, and perspectives from the outside. Those experiences then lead to the next burst of growth in my own life.  
  • Old dogs can learn new tricks.  Ok, I’m not THAT old, but I’d really resigned myself to those bad habits I talked about earlier.  They were my reality and I came very close to accepting them as my fate. As one small success gave way to another I started to not only trust, but believe in this ole girl again.  If we want real growth and progression in our lives we have to be OPEN and WILLING to change!

It’s really been a life-changing year and I’ve learned so many other things.  I won’t regale you with any more, but I feel so blessed and excited to step into the New Year with so many new skills in my back pocket.  To that end, I’d like to thank those of you who have shown so much interest in my book, my blog, and my posts. It’s that support and encouragement that has given me the strength and courage to step into the next BIG thing.  So, I’m excited to announce here and now that I will be doing all of my social media differently going forward. I will keep everyone up to date on all the changes and additions when everything is set up and I can’t WAIT for the big reveal! I feel very confident that I can handle everything this year can throw at me so WATCH OUT 2019!  I’m coming for you!

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