I am so happy to be back with you all again, recording this first podcast for 2022 after a brief sabbatical in January. In this week’s episode, we talk about six ways to make 2022 better than 2021, with a little reflection from me about what I’ve learned over the last month.
We can take simple actions to make this year better than last year
I am so happy to be back after taking January off. It didn’t go the way I thought it would though — I got sick, so I spent a lot of time recovering and I had to postpone physical therapy for knee surgery and some other things had to be postponed as well. But I still spent a lot of time thinking about the year, reading, resting, and feeding my mind.
Ways we can make this year better than last year
1. Read more–fiction and non-fiction
Reading inspires me, feeds my mind, gives me ideas for things to do with my time, life, etc.
2. Schedule time for what feeds you
What this means will depend on your personality. For example, if you’re an introvert, you’re likely energized by time alone, while extroverts like to get together with friends. There are lots of options here–try a visit to an art gallery; walk in a beautiful outdoor setting; work on a creative project such as painting, photography, needlepoint, or scrapbooking; play the piano or another instrument.
Whatever it is for you, make time on purpose to renew your joy for life.
3. Curate your world more intentionally–inputs (what you see, hear, and speak), people, activities, the stuff that’s in your space.
This goes to the idea of what I want my life to be like; how I want to feel on a day-to-day basis (at peace, positive, joyful). When you know that for yourself, you can be intentional about what you allow into your life.
4. Speak and act more kindly to others and yourself
I feel like the world has become a very harsh, confrontational, judgmental place, and that’s not how I want to be in the world.
I believe it’s possible to live peacefully and with kindness even with people whose ideas and beliefs are different from mine.
5. Pay attention–to surroundings, feelings, experiences.
This will require me to be more present and aware
6. Be yourself
Stop trying to be like someone else or who you think you should be. Noticing discontent or feelings like “I don’t measure up because I’m not going nonstop morning to night every day” when you see others seeming to accomplish so much more than you do.
I’ve had time recently to think deeply about the question of is the life I want, and I’ve realized my way isn’t necessarily wrong just because it’s different from what other people are choosing. One quote I heard from this Heart Breathings video rea: “Try for a year to stop beating yourself up over who you’re not and just embrace who you are.”
I’ve been thinking about all of this for a while, but particularly in January. I was inspired by a blog post titled “What If All I Want is a Mediocre Life?” on the “A Life In Progress” blog that was so impactful for me I share it in its entirety on the episode. I encourage you to click on the link in the previous sentence and read her post. As you read it, keep in mind that I’m not suggesting that you should not pursue excellence in any and every area of your life that matters to you. I’m not saying I think the desire to set big goals and crush them is wrong. What I’m saying is each of us gets to choose for herself what her life should look like.
What do you think?
What are you doing so far this year to make this a good year? Share your suggestions in the comments section below or in The Productive Woman Community Facebook group, or email me.
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In our last episode of 2021, we talked about goals and about the importance of periodic review–especially setting aside to review goals, plans, schedule, progress, etc. As I mentioned in that episode, I’ll host up to 4 women at my home in north Texas for a quarterly weekend planning retreat. There will be a small charge to cover food and supplies and you’ll be responsible for your transportation costs. The first one will be the last week of March (March 25-27). If you’re interested, email me.
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