January – it’s time for reflection

Feeling the pressure of 2019?

It’s been over a month since I last posted. I find the first couple of weeks in January pretty hard and use the time for reflection. There’s pressure to have big goals planned for the year. To have looked back at your achievements in 2018, gave yourself a big high 5 and a ‘you got this girl’ pep talk. It can feel really overwhelming. All you really want to do is get through those weeks back at work, try to stop eating all the leftover Christmas chocolate and get some good night’s sleep thanks to your body clock being all over the shop after those lie ins and late nights. And so that’s what I did… I switched off from thinking about the year ahead, I took time for reflection, the work I need to do to build my business and from Kirsty Thinks. I stopped writing, I came off Kirsty Thinks social and I basically didn’t even think about what I want to get done this year. It might not be great for those social algorithms, but fuck it.

Everyone needs a break, especially at the end and beginning of the year. And that’s okay. You don’t need to be on it straight away and if you are, then that’s more than okay too. It’s time to reset, relax and slowly ease yourself in to the new year. I now feel energised, back to myself and in to a routine. And that does take a couple of weeks. I can now say to myself with conviction and a big pang of excitement – you got this girl! You and I have got this and we’re going to grab 2019 by the BALLS!

Now, I should say I’m a big believer in setting yourself goals throughout the year.  You don’t need to wait for the clocks to strike midnight on the 1st January to start making small or big changes to your life, you can do this at any time. For some it works though and I get that – a fresh start and the desire to make your 2019 goals the best yet. I hear ya!

Why it’s good to take time for reflection 

But first, before we even think about what’s to come…it’s time for reflection. I LOVE reflecting to help spur me on, build up my confidence when I’m feeling a bit insecure about a project and to keep learning about what works or what doesn’t work for me and how I can move forward.

So 2018 –  you made it through! One of the best ways to get ready for what’s ahead and to motivate you for the future, is to look back at how you got to January 2019 in the first place. How you overcame some battles last year. You fell down, dusted yourself off and kept going. You smashed some big projects. You left a few big ideas gathering dust. Giving yourself time for  reflection on the big or small things you accomplished stops that nagging feeling of regret that you might have for not achieving something you wanted to, or felt you should have (although we don’t like using the word should!). So…what do you class as achievements for 2018? A couple of mine are below to get you thinking…

  • Actually managed to do my own version of dry January (allowing one day a week for wine!)
  • Left my job after four years to start a new role that really pushed me out of my comfort zone – that shit was scary!
  • Started my Kirsty Thinks blog after nearly a year of fear and procrastination
  • Ate an oyster and enjoyed it (I know how to live…)
  • Deadlifted more than my bodyweight – she may be small, but she is mighty
  • Started incorporating more seeds into my diet (I did say big AND small accomplishments!)

It took me a while to jot down a big list, this is just the starter. It’s hard to sometimes remember those small things that made you feel good about yourself. To recount everything that’s happened over the past year, but they’ll spring up in your mind as your look back.

Turning the negative into a positive…

Now, when you take time for reflection it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Let’s be honest. There are things you and I definitely didn’t enjoy last year. There were some tough times that challenged us, that definitely weren’t enjoyable. BUT, no matter what was thrown your way or didn’t go exactly as you’d hoped – you’ve learnt something from that. Either about yourself or to use in the future when other challenges rear their head. Everything that comes our way can be used as a life lesson. The negative can be turned into a positive, if we choose to make a conscious effort to do so. Sounds tough, but it’s really not. So now, what can you list down from 2018 that was difficult, a struggle or didn’t go the way you planned…?

A couple of mine for you…

  • The new job I started wasn’t what I had expected and, after four months, I handed my notice in without another job to go to
  • Writing blogs for Kirsty Thinks was harder than I expected, took a lot of time out of my weekends and actually caused me some anxiety

There were definite big highs and big lows for me in 2018, which I’m sure there were for you. But when I go through my list of not so good, I can now reflect on how they have helped me in some way. So, going in to a big new job was scary, it pushed me out of my comfort zone and, when I knew it wasn’t right for me I persevered until I had the courage to hold my hands up and say it was time to quit. Had I not have taken on that role I might never have started building my life coaching side hustle. I wouldn’t have found the joy in writing features and opinion pieces for PR clients again. I wouldn’t have felt brave for admitting something hadn’t worked, dusting myself and moving on. It was a hard few months, but an opportunity I am grateful for.

Feeling anxious when starting to write a new blog post each time, or wondering how it would be received, was nothing compared to the feeling I got from hearing Kirsty Thinks was helping people. It made the nerves totally worth it and that’s why I still continue, to help others and to use it as a cathartic release for myself.

Task for the week

Hopefully you’ve already started thinking about this if you’ve got to this point in the blog post… Reflect – list your accomplishments for 2018, big, small and those in between. Perhaps you nailed a recipe from that cook book you bought 5 years ago. Or, you finally started those driving lessons you’ve put off forever. Look what you did in one whole year, while juggling everything that life was throwing your way. Now, list those things that were a struggle or didn’t go as planned. The things that, at the time, seemed awful or made you feel a bit shitty, regretful or annoyed. What did you learn or what positive came out of those? I’m sure there’s something you can take from those moments to move you forward.

I want you to keep these lists. Either pop them in your bag/wallet so you can read them when you want to reflect again, or pin them up in your room so you see them every morning while getting ready. Imagine what that list could have on it at the end of this year…

Until next time.

Kirsty x