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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Make 2012 Your Best Year - February Refresh

It's amazing what a difference a month can make in one's outlook and perspective.  As part of my determination this year to make changes that don't fade away right after the New Year (first discussed here), I will check in monthly with a "Make 2012 Your Best Year" series to make sure I am aligned with my goals.  I will call this my "monthly refresh".  In order to be worthwhile, the refresh should be viewed as an opportunity to organize your thoughts and refine your practices in a positive way, not to be negative or overly critical.  And the fact that this has taken the whole first week of this short month is okay.  It doesn't need to fit a rigid schedule, just so that it happens regularly and monthly is (I think) the right interval for me.

Be Thankful

January was a particularly crazy month around here, mainly because I got in a car accident a couple of weeks ago.  Of the MANY things to be thankful for, my two small daughters and I were completely unharmed physically aside from a small bump on the side of my head.  I am also thankful that there were no other cars involved.  The car did not fare so well, so we are having to deal with that.  But it is just a car.  Our financial situation went from "teetering on the edge of comfortable" to "we'll get through it somehow".  But it's only money.  Talk about a refreshed perspective!

I find often upon reflection that stress and anxiety are a matter of my perspective.  After the accident, all of the worries and stresses of life were stripped away and I was just thankful to be okay.  And even more so that my kids were okay.  I ignored life for a full day to just appreciate this feeling, and allow myself to feel the protective motherly instinct to cocoon my kids away from harm.  I took a few more days to ease back into reality, and by now we're finally back to a "normal" routine.  And all the worries and stress are back, but I am able to keep them contained to a healthy level of pressure because I am aware that they are put there by me, and I have the power to take them away again if needed. 
Just like the intentions of the New Year, I hope that my appreciation for my life and control over stress don't fade too much with time.  So I will revisit these concept as part of each monthly refresh.

Take Care of Me

One of my big goals for this year was to Take Care of Me.  As part of the monthly refresh, I will add at least one concept every month, without abandoning the previous ones.  I will still check in with all of my previous goals, to renew my resolve and refine the tasks that address each goal.  

Less Self-Deprecation

During a recent yoga class, the instructor complimented another student in the class, and the student responded in a way that slighted herself and downplayed the compliment.  The instructor pointed out that unfortunately we have all learned to do this, and it is true.  I do this all the time!  And even though it is like a reflex, I wish I didn't do it.  And I certainly would like to avoid teaching this to my girls. 

This isn't a completely new concept to me.  As my older daughter began to understand what the adults around her were talking about a little, I decided that self-deprecating remarks should be filtered out, just the same as my potty mouth.  The difficulty comes with actually doing it.  Especially because I hardly recognize that I have done it.  Somehow I've made a natural transition in the potty-mouth department.  So much so, that is almost feels weird to cuss anymore when the kids aren't around, where I used to have quite the vocabulary.  So how did I even do this?

Practice.  It doesn't seem like it took much practice to filter the potty mouth.  It seems like it was a mothering instinct or something and it just happened.  But can I decide what is appropriate for these instincts?  Or did I really practice not cussing in the first months to a year in which my daughter was there but not quite aware of exactly what we were saying?  Probably the second.  So I need to learn to recognize that I've made a self-deprecating remark, and then re-program myself to filter the comment before it comes out.  Re-programming can only come with practice - first in being aware and then in filtering.   So I will practice.

Adjust Goals to Be Realistic

One of my goals for this year was to blog more often, increasing my number of monthly posts compared with the months in 2011.  I haven't posted in what feels like forever, and although the reasons for this gap will hopefully not recur, I have also determined that my schedule just doesn't allow for me to post more than once or twice a week.  So I have decided to accept the reality rather than always be disappointed that I am not doing more. 

On a very positive note, I had also set a goal of the number of page views I'd like to have for the whole year (for a significant increase over last year in the blog's infancy) and I am so pleased to say that I am already hopeful that I will double my goal.  This is thanks to some awesome link parties in which I've been participating, and it is so exciting!  Thank you so much for reading this, and I hope you'll become a follower and leave me a comment on how you like my blog!!!

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