Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Accentuate the Positive

I was talking to my mom about goals for the next year and how we planned to achieve our goals in the upcoming year. Then my mom pointed out that while she was thinking of things to do she realized how much she had actually gotten done last year without realizing it.

 It made me wonder, what did I accomplish last year that I should celebrate?

It's really easy for me to see everything I didn't do right, things I failed to finish and goals I just flat out ignored. It's not always easy to focus on the small successes. Here are three things I accomplished in 2016:

1. Our family took a vacation to Disneyland. We paid for the entire trip in cash. No debt. This was HUGE for us. We used a budget and made a few sacrifices in terms of staying at a different hotel than we wanted, but we had a guilt-free great time.

2. I went on a week-long trip with my mom to California. I had never been away from my girls for more than 2 nights (they're 8 and 10)... also I had to fly. The kids survived. The husband survived and I had so much fun spending one-on-one time with my mom. (Added bonus: we learned a ton at the conference we attended and even managed to accidentally get a tour of the 'Gangland' neighborhoods on our way to grab groceries -- Thank you Uber driver for that delightful information.)

3. I made somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 from my writing business last year. That's almost twice what I made last year. I also learned to say hell-to-the-no to cheap-skate clients and I picked up on a few warning signs to help me avoid getting hosed again in the future (thank you life lessons 101).

When I look at those three things, they're actually kind of a big deal, but I didn't realize it while I was plugging along. It's so easy to get caught up focusing on everything that sucks. It's so easy to keep a record of all our failings, missteps and mistakes.

It is important that we recognize our mistakes, but it's just as important to celebrate our successes. If you keep moving from one point to the next without stopping and recognizing the good things in your life, you'll miss out on all the joy! If life is a road trip, your small successes are the giant balls of yarn and Grand Canyons on your way to the final destination.

Two things I'm taking away this year:

1. Small things matter. Really. Small, simple changes make a huge difference over time.
2. Be okay with success. Recognize it and celebrate it. These small successes make it easier to keep pushing towards the bigger successes.

What did you get done in 2016?  Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!