Welcome to Day 2 of this 7-part series. If you’re just joining me, I’ve committed the last week of this year to reflect on 2012 and plan for 2013. It’s not too late to jump in! Here’s what we’ve covered so far …
:: Day 1
Yesterday you reflected on how you spent your time, which areas of your life were working, and where you might improve on those topics. In conclusion, you identified a word for 2013 that would represent your focus (mine was homecoming).
Today we’re going to take your reflection a little deeper, and study the results you’ve created over the last twelve months.
Meet Your Best Self
I added a new question to this section of the review series after reading Getting to Know Your Better Self via Monthly Experiments. In that article, John wrote about his better self in the third person, and I absolutely loved that idea. I think you will, too.
Please start your session by answering this question in the third person:
- Who is your best self?
Follow-up on that question with this list of prompts:
- In the past year, how did you contribute to that version of yourself?
- What has set you back from being your best self?
- What has propelled you forward?
- What are you most proud of?
- And, how might you create more of the same?
The final questions to sit with are:
- Where are you trying to force change?
- What can you let go of?
To be honest, on first glance of these questions I didn’t think I’d have too much to write up. Two hours and a massive hand cramp later, I had filled several pages in my journal. I hope this prompt offers as much clarity for you as it did for me.
Here are my results for 2012:
Who is my best self?
She’s light-hearted and quick-to-laugh, and careful with other people’s feelings. She is focused, driven, and reliable. She’s loyal, and people are proud to have her in their corner. She’s dedicated and well-recieved, and she confidently invests in herself.
How did I contribute to my best self?
I’ve climbed a lot of trees and gone out on a lot of limbs. I spent this year building my belief in myself, and then I backed that belief with real time and money.
I recently came across the question, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” I liked that question, and I thought to myself, Let me make a point to try some new things. But within an hour of having that thought, it hit me! Holy cow! I try new things all the time, almost constantly!
In fact, the last two years of my life have been so full of trying new things that I’ve almost forgotten what comfort zones feel like.
Shop Fundamentals was also a huge contribution to the person I want to be. It’s done now, but as I was doing it, I had no idea how to finish and launch an e-program. There were so many layers to it, everything was new to me, and it felt like I was running through mud for the last 60% of the project. It was a true act of labor, and I loved it!
What has set me back?
One thing I’m struggling with right now is a heavy, worrisome weight I carry around. I really want to make a significant contribution to my household income. I put a lot of hours into my creative career, and I want to be able to count on it to provide for me. I am ready to trust it and be grateful for what it adds back into my Life. This is a self-created pressure that I would love to release.
Another of my struggles is creating a comfortable production schedule and pace. I don’t mind pushing through a project that needs to get finished, but I feel that level of frenzy more often than I’d like.
What has propelled me forward?
Without question, the most significant leaps in my career have come from investing in the right professionals and services.
I also continued to learn about myself, which helped me to identify the best working and living conditions for my spirit. For example, I embraced the fact that I’m an introvert and stopped making excuses for it. In doing so, I learned to share my boundaries openly from the start.
Honest talk with other business owners about back-end issues and professional struggles has also been a great advantage. Even reading a post by Bonnie from Going Home to Roost titled, Things I’m Afraid to Tell You made me feel infinitely better about my own insecurities. Working-from-home alone gets lonely! Finding like-minded creative business owners to read and relate to has helped a ton.
What am I most proud of? How might I create more of that?
Here again, setting my boundaries is the answer that falls right off-the-top. I will continue to honor my introverted ways and only pursue relationships and interactions that feel real and genuine.
Where am I trying to force change? What can I let go of?
This is just a summary of my actual journal entry! By this point in the session, my pen hand was so cramped I could barely go on … 😀
There are a lot of things I’m trying to force. I’m trying to force Marketing Creativity into an overnight success, but that’s just because I love it so much. I want it to be worth all the time and energy I spend on it. I try to force a lot of different things into each short and precious day. I’m trying to force my way out of New Zealand because I miss the United States so damn hard! I try to force the next project without finishing the first.
I can release self-imposed pressure, and just make good art. I can play, create, and finish what I start. (Who knew I was a poet? :))
I know this is a particularly long session, but you won’t believe what falls onto the page. These prompts contain significant insight that will help you make the most of the New Year. I love how this is coming together so far!
Ready to continue on with the series?
:: Day 3