Last year I wrote a list of 8 things to start and stop doing in 2016 in order to try to find purpose in my personal growth. It’s now been almost a year later since that post and I thought it would be fun to look back to see how I measured up in my pursuit. Here’s my evaluation of my year, for the year 2016.
An Evaluation of my year for 2016, and the 8 things I set out to start and stop doing:
1. Start giving myself more grace.
Surprise, I’m still struggling with this one. But honestly, I think this is going to be an ongoing battle. I think that overall I’m less quick to judge myself, but the feeling hasn’t gone away completely.
2. Start accepting compliments.
I actually think I’ve been better with this one. I’ve learned to say “Thank you” and not try to compensate with an excuse why I didn’t deserve it. Instead, I’ve let the compliment sink in. It’s certainly not easy — it doesn’t feel exactly humble — but I’m doing it.
3. Stop the mommy guilty.
This one is still an issue but I have made progress. Recently my youngest was home sick with a fever and I decided that instead of working from home I was just going to take the day off so I could focus on him. In the past, I’ve tried to still get work done, but what happens is I end up feeling resentful towards my little that I can’t work, or while I’m focused on my child, that my work isn’t getting done. I was in place where work wasn’t going to suffer, and quite frankly my child needed me, and all of me. So I took the day of and nursed him back to health. I think I needed that day too.
4. Stop taking on too much and start saying no (and start delegating).
I have definitely been better about saying now, both in my work life and personal life. I used to feel this strong obligation to attend family gatherings even if I already had too much on my plate. I don’t anymore. It’s ok to have my own life, to have my own passions that I want to devote my free time to, and say no to extra curricular activities that don’t mix with my schedules or desires. I think we sometimes feel this obligation to do something because of x, y, and z and this adds up.
At work, I’ve spoken up to say, “my plate is full this week.” I’m also nicer to myself in setting deadlines. Working in a client services field, I’ve been under the impression I have to bend over backwards to service my clients. But really this is my own doing to myself. Now, I carefully evaluate my schedule and try to make more acceptable deadlines based on my workload the priority of the situation. I’m still not perfect at it, but I’m getting better.
5. Start taking care of myself.
I don’t know that we’ll ever get enough time for ourselves. I mean let’s be real, being a parent will typically mean putting our kids’ needs before our own. But over the last year, I’ve been able to continue on this journey of blogging and creating. This is my therapy. This is how I unwind at night. This is how I leave my creative mark on the world. Through that, I’m finding an outlet that is rejuvenating for me. This last year has been a path of great joy.
6. Start believing in my ability.
This is probably where I’ve had the great leaps this year. I finally understand and believe that I do great work, and through believing it, I feel that I have been my best self. At my day job I have produced great work and was promoted last Summer from a Project Manger to an Account Director. I now lead a client delivery team, which has brought a whole new level of challenges, which I am ready for.
7. Stop discounting my expertise.
I’m seeing myself as an expert and a leader for the first time, and in my role I have to believe it because I am leading an internal team, but also working with clients who need to be put at ease that they are in capable hands. It’s funny but the age old “fake it before you make it” is pretty true. And after a while, you start to believe it and live it.
8. Start speaking up more.
This is one area I am truly proud of myself in. Over the last year, I have not only spoken up more at work, but also at home. At work, I am putting my ideas out there for people to react to, even if it’s scary. What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t like or agree with the idea and we have a discussion about it. But what I have found is that more and more my ideas are accepted and with amazing coworkers made even stronger though healthy discussion. Through my speaking up, I then have an achievement to celebrate.
At home, I’m putting myself towards the front. I have stopped letting my feelings go to the back burner. In the past this has mainly been due to being scared to speak up. I feel like this past year of “soul searching” has allowed me to think and process and carefully consider my feelings and then act on them. I’m truly proud of my growth in this area.
What to look forward to in 2017?
I’m a little behind and have yet to make my list for 2017, but I’m thinking about it. I know I want to continue getting all of these right for 2017. While I’ve made progress, I think these will always be attributes I need to focus on.
Are there any things you want to focus on in 2017 for your own personal growth?