The last few days of the year are upon us, and it is time to look back and reflect.
Personally, 2021 was a year of changes and losses for our family. We celebrated when 2020 was gone and had hopes for greater things. We are grateful because great things did come to fruition. At the same time, some of what we got to partake in was not something we would have chosen but still have learned wonderful lessons from it.
In my quest for personal growth, I believe that I actually moved forward, even if not in a monumental way. These are three of the areas that I feel that I struggle with the most:
- I grew closer to God: Throughout the year, different events brought me to my knees. In the middle of pain and uncertainty, I am very grateful that I was still able to trust God with our future. I continued to have faith and when needed, seek healing. Towards the end of the year I had a better routine for prayer and meditation that also helped me grow in my faith.
- My eating habits improved: At the beginning of the year, I read a book about intuitive eating that helped me feel more freedom to eat, and also encouraged me to discover why I was making certain dish decisions. We were better at meal planning and I even discovered a few recipes that I really enjoyed making. I drank more water after getting a more practical water bottle and I continued to follow (even if loosely) intermittent fasting to help decrease the cravings.
- I became more selective when shopping: I took more time to think about purchasing things, reducing the amount of “bad buys.” I was able to discover more about my tastes and even pin point some stores I can rely on, also reducing “bad buys.” I learned about how my closet should reflect my current life and was able to purge multiple times to remove things that just didn’t fit my life or style anymore.
After sharing these improvements, I think that what caused the most change this past year was the sugar fast. It touched on the points I mentioned above and gave me freedom from getting some sort of fix to overcome pain. It highlighted how I had set myself up for failure by keeping items and tools accessible to lead me away from my goals. It slowed me down by encouraging me to take a pause and breathe, and not run to a band-aid as soon as I heard of a fire. Now that it is over, I have overindulged in sweets, but they are not as attractive as before and don’t show up in my plate as much as they did before.
My goal for 2021 was to read everyday, and I must say that I was able to comply for 99.5% of the year (assuming I don’t miss a day this coming week). Unfortunately I missed two days because I had been so busy that I forgot to read. I am so happy with that win! I didn’t dedicate enough time to reading each day, so I only read five books total (that I can remember; there might be one or two more). I do want to continue this habit and read even more each day. My goal is a book a month.
Thinking about 2022, one word keeps coming to mind, and it is the same word that followed me during this year: planning. I believe that we can only accomplish what we have planned for. I had hopes of picking up the habit of planning for tomorrow and reflecting on today, but I didn’t do that consistently. In the last few weeks I have felt sad, with a yearning of doing more with my time. The only way I can see my dreams materialize is if I take action on them. So for 2022, I plan on planning. Every day I will pick up my planner, write three things for the next day and one thing I learned or am grateful for today.
I hope this conversation encourages you to take a pause and reflect on 2021, and have hope for 2022. Set a goal that is to the point. attainable, and measurable. Simple does it, so you can simply accomplish it.