When you look over the past twelve months, what is the first thing you feel? Joy or frustration? Accomplishment or disappointment? Excitement or dread? Or is it a combination of two or more of some opposing feelings?
Life is peaks and valleys, so it’s completely normal to look back on your past and have mixed emotions. Bad days, weeks or months eventually make way for the good times. Taking all of that into account results in a year recognized only in moments – major moments that changed your life for better or worse.
Whatever it is you are feeling now about the past, present and future, I want you to take a moment to do these three things: make peace with it, embrace it and plan to either grow or change it. If you look back on the previous twelve months and only see a succession of choices that resulted in negative outcomes, make peace with it.
Maybe you lost your job. Took a big risk that left you in the red. Went through a nasty divorce. Lost a loved one. Whatever happened, find a way to make peace with it. If you’re still struggling to get back up from bad experiences, don’t get too down on yourself. We all heal at different paces. Remember, life isn’t a race. Take the time you need to lick your wounds. Cry. Get angry. And when you’re ready, make peace.
And not just with yesterday, but with today. You wanted to drop the baby weight last year but it didn’t happen. That’s okay. Look in the mirror and remind yourself that you are just fine right now. You lost your job and you had to take a few steps back with your new one. That’s alright too. Maybe you need to be in this place, right now, in order to get to where you are truly destined to go.
There really is no better time than today to embrace yourself for exactly who you are at this moment. Waiting to like yourself, treat yourself well or do nice things for yourself until you reach a goal isn’t the way to go about self-improvement. If you really want to improve who you are, you must first love who are right now. Only then will whatever plans you make for the future be a lot more fun to attain.
I always encourage taking an inventory of your life, especially during times of year when it makes the most sense. So whatever your goals for the future may be, you’ve got to make a lifestyle change. Even if it’s small things every day, it’s better than doing nothing and just wishing things were different. No more shame, blame, judgment or guilt. This is why I stress embracing exactly who you are right now while also making peace with your past. If you aren’t in your own corner, who else will be?
Right now is the best time to plan for tomorrow, to make peace with yesterday and to bask in the beauty of today. Who you are today – this season, this week, this month, this moment – you won’t ever be again. Your happiness won’t look the same. Your struggles and your fears will shift. Your life will be different. With that in your mind, do you need a better reason to celebrate today?
And that’s what I want you to focus on. Celebrate the joys you’ve experienced this past year while also accepting the struggles you had to fight through. Be proud of yourself for making it this far in your personal, professional, spiritual and financial lives. But most importantly, embrace exactly where you are right now. It’s the best thing you can do for your past and the most advantageous thing you can do for your future.
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