Blog Pieces & News

November seems to be the perfect time of year to take a moment and be thankful for many different things. It is also the ideal time of year to realize suddenly it's already November and the end of the year is right around the corner! Those goals or things you have meant to get to this year (and haven't started or accomplished yet) pop into your thoughts. If you're like many people, that list comes quickly and gets longer and longer. Instead of focusing on what you have not accomplished, start to make a list of all of your “wins” over the year.

So, how have you "won" this year? What goals did you accomplish, or what have you continued to maintain so far?

A lot can happen in a year. What was going on this time last year? Do you remember how you were feeling and what you found important? Are those things still important to you? How was your headspace or your life? Were there any issues or problems that were going on then, that now you can barely remember why it was an issue to begin with? It's easy to make a list of all of the things that you didn’t get to or that didn’t go the way that you wanted. Focusing on what you did well takes effort and taking a moment with compassion for yourself about how far you've come.

Time is an interesting thing; it keeps moving. We define our days by what we get done in the 24 hours we are given. We fill up the days with life. We hope to be productive and make the most of the hours and minutes. We want to spend that time on things that matter. We want to spend time doing things we are passionate about that genuinely matter to us. We hope we are making time for things we really want to do but then life happens, and we fall short. That’s when that list of everything we didn’t get to starts creeping in.

Give yourself some compassion rather than focusing on what you didn’t accomplish.

Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself as you do towards others. Whether you are doing well or having a difficult time, whether you succeed or fail. It does not mean you forget about all criticism or use failures to be motivated to do better. It just encourages you to have a balance - to
realize that you will at times be frustrated and make mistakes, fall short of your ideals, and losses will happen. We are all human.

Self-compassion opens your heart to this reality and tells you to ask yourself a few questions: “Would you say these things to a friend? Why are you saying them to yourself?” and “How can I take care of myself in this moment?”. Research consistently shows that when you practice a little self-compassion, your entire well-being improves. So again, at the start of this holiday season, take a moment, look back, and take an inventory of how you have won this year!

Published in the November issue of Healthy Cells-Bloomington/Normal.