In 2018, journaling was a key practice to a year of introspection like I’ve never done before. Detailing what I was doing last year, I can see how I developed the processes I follow and can answer questions of what my mindset was that lead to the changes in my behavior. This time last year I was writing to myself that I wanted to start a blog but had no idea what to write about. The first goal I set for my annual goals list. Reviewing entries from 2018 to begin this year, it’s amazing to see the transformation from idea, to the realization of how the “lightbulb” turned on for me. I’d heard of going into nature when you get stumped on an idea and riding my bicycle in the south Florida sun, I had my eureka moment, knowing what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.
Being so close to the big picture last year, I didn’t really see how far I moved within my journey until I started this review process. The small victories were accumulating, and I was indeed preparing for an incredible year. In fact, many entries to start the rough January that I experienced often had the phrases, “one step at a time” and “everyday just do one thing to move myself closer to what I want.” A method that I encourage anyone to follow as we begin 2019.
I think it’s important to take a look at where you were last year and think about what was working for you. More importantly, what didn’t work for you? I had two relationships end in a year and a close friend reveal true character that wasn’t conducive to my personal development. Again, all well documented in journals. I wasn’t happy about any of it and my journals helped me begin the process to peel back the layers of what was going on and why. Podcasts I’d begun listening to in 2016 often spoke of events they were hosting like the “Best Year Ever Blueprint” and “Date With Destiny”, and I set a goal for 2018 to go to one of them. When I heard about something coming to town called the “National Achievers Congress”, I felt this would be my opportunity to dip my toes in the water of such an event. I was still terrified that it would be a total waste of time and money. But I told myself, it will either be what I wanted or something to learn from and not do again. It was on my goals list to go, so I was going to try. I’m glad I did. At that event I really started to open up and begin to trust myself in pursuing what I was interested in and attended three additional events. I decided to really put the work in to understand the negative stories I had been telling myself for too long and I realized that holding on to the pain of past experiences was not serving me moving forward. Those journal entries are inspiring to read now.
Maybe it’ll be helpful to truthfully ask yourself what you are not happy about from 2018 and set a goal to address the issue? Take one small step forward and trust yourself that you are working in the interest of becoming your best self. Be done with repeating the mistakes of your past. I found a community, and a new family that helped me learn the necessary lessons of my pain and left the stories behind that no longer do any good to repeat.
In one of my first blog posts last year, I wrote about nine areas I wanted to focus on and for the second consecutive year, detailed my progress on my calendar. I began calling it my No Extra Time Action Plan. It started as a 30-day challenge for myself to maximize productivity with my free time and brought results such as increasing my running frequency from 15 times in 2017 to 63 in 2018 and improving my meditation practice from 173 times in 2017 to 476 in 2018. Everything I set to focus on that I believed would have positive affect on my life in that blog post, I did. And increased proficiency significantly. What could your life be like if you set an intention and dedicated 20 minutes a day to it? How much better could you feel if exercise was more present in your weekly routine? How much more peace could you carry within you if you spend more time in meditation? I strongly encourage you to try it out in whatever area that works for you. I believe we know what would make the difference for our lives but lack the consistency in practice to bring about what we want. As least, that’s where I was.
Going into 2019 I want to improve on my daily consistency with my N.E.T. Action Plan and celebrate my victories more than I allowed myself to before. Asking myself, “what can I do today to position myself to be more successful?” was a great way to manage my incremental steps forward in 2018 and I know I can do better. I also want to share that positive energy with more people. I’m so glad I became a student of my results because I learned it doesn’t have to all be done at once. What works, like journaling my progress, I will most definitely continue. What doesn’t, I’ll ready, fire, and aim again.
Enjoy this year and enjoy the process. Of all the crap I had to deal with in 2018, I now see how far removed I am from being that man and how I’m living much more of a fulfilled life now. Bring others along with you too if you can. The view from the top is definitely worth sharing. I look forward to sharing our journeys together and celebrating with each other. Good luck this year.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you.