What a year it has been! Looking back at this time last year, I was burned out, worn down, overextended and completely exhausted. I was busy trying to find balance as a working mom and struggling to find my identity as a 20-something with big dreams. I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually spent, and I was ready for a fresh start.
As I made my 2015 resolutions, I had no idea what the New Year would bring and could not have planned for the journey of self-discovery I was about to embark on.
After a lot of positive self-talk, several heart-to-heart conversations and a pretty big career change, I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot about myself and where I want to be in life. Was it a smooth ride? No. Do I have all of the answers? No. But, I am a few steps closer to where I want to be and am continuing down the path of balance, fulfillment and peace.
Perhaps you’re sitting in the same place I was one year ago. If you feel like you’re stuck on the fast track to nowhere and craving change, take courage girlfriend. This is your year to take back control of your life!
As I look back at my transformation over the last year, there are four key lessons I learned that can help you get a head start on your own journey of self-discovery in 2016.
Make Self-Care Your Number One Priority
Stop putting yourself last. Don’t do it! It’s time to start putting your needs first.
“But what about the kids? Who will pack their lunches? And, what about the pile of laundry that’s taking over the bedroom? It’s not going to wash itself.”
I hear you! We have a lot of responsibilities we juggle every day. Trust me, I know what it’s like to put in a 60 hour work week and take care of business at home. With all the demands competing for our attention, it’s not easy to find time for ourselves. Hell, we’re lucky to find five minutes to eat our dinner in peace.
The truth is, we’re never going to find time for ourselves. We have to make time for ourselves. The only way to do that is to start putting our needs first. I realize this is counter intuitive to our maternal instincts, but if we’re going to be the best we can be for our family, we need to take care of ourselves first. When mom isn’t happy, nobody is happy!
Focus on Strengthening Relationships
Aside from our health, our relationships are the most valuable thing we possess in life. Never take your relationships for granted.
When I was at my lowest point, I knew there were people in my life that I could lean on for support. But, there were also some relationships in my life that needed a little TLC.
What relationships do you want to strengthen? Whether you want a better working relationship with a co-worker, want to make peace with your in-laws, strengthen your bond with your significant other or spend more time with your children, it all starts with you!
Make deposits into your relationships daily and make an effort to stay in touch with people whom you don’t regularly have the chance to connect with. When you’re on the road to self-discovery, you’re going to need people to lean on and you’ll probably meet some new connections along the way who may be able to help you get to where you want to be.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have Uncomfortable Conversations
As someone who doesn’t like to ruffle any feathers and avoids confrontation at all costs, this is one lesson that took me quite some time to learn. The funny part is, it kept manifesting itself in different ways along my journey of self-discovery. I guess God was testing me, and I wasn’t grasping the one lesson he wanted me to learn.
I can’t count how many times I was presented with opportunities to have crucial conversations that needed to be addressed, but cowered at the thought of engaging in any sort of “confrontation.”
I was afraid the conversations would have exposed my weaknesses or damaged the relationships I had with certain individuals. When in reality, those conversations would have actually opened the doors for healthy dialogue and strengthened my relationships.
It goes to show that you should confront your fears head on, because if you don’t they will always follow you until you overcome them. The fear of having uncomfortable conversations is often worse than the actual conversations themselves.
So, whether you want to talk to your boss about fostering a better work-life balance, need more support from your spouse in or need to establish better boundaries regarding your child’s behavior, all it takes is the courage to have a simple conversation.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t conquer your resolutions overnight. Be patient with yourself and have faith that everything will work out. The most important thing to realize is that with each passing day, you’re growing into the person you’re meant to be. Remember, it’s not about the destination, but what we learn about ourselves along the way!
So, what do you say? Are you ready to take the pledge and embark on your own journey of self-discovery this year? What are some of your New Year’s resolutions, and how do you plan to accomplish them?