Angie Alt is wife, mother, world traveler & blogger. She’s also a warrior in the autoimmunity war. Angie confronts three autoimmune disorders each day, including Celiac Disease, with powerful management techniques like AIPaleo & the Paleolithic lifestyle. She blogs regularly about the emotional side of tackling autoimmunity, adopting Paleo, and how it impacts her, her family, & their way of life. You can read more by Angela Alt at her blog and connect with her on Facebook.
Here it is. The year end. 2013 is over. It is time to take stock of the year. How do you feel about 2013? Was it a good year, a bad year, a so-so year? Did you accomplish all your goals?
I did not accomplish even half my goals. I outright failed in the pursuit of a few of them. Isn’t an entire year long enough to get a couple things done? Apparently not. When I sat down to write this blog for The Paleo Mom I intended to figure out how to put a positive spin on that and hopefully encourage you, her audience, to reflect positively on any of your missed goals from this year too. I even found this great quote that got me all fired up. Michel de Montaigne, a French Renaissance writer said, “There are defeats more triumphant than victories.” Right on, Michel de Montaigne, right on! I totally believe that too.
Here’s the thing though, I’m kinda’ tired of the “positive spin” crap. Don’t misunderstand me. I think striving for a positive outlook and examining your defeats in order to recognize the triumphs is super important stuff. For those of us out here trying to put our health at the top of a long, long list of to-dos, optimism and recognition of the small steps is the key to consistency. Frankly, I couldn’t get up every morning to battle autoimmunity and strive toward Paleo ideals if I let the negative thoughts and failures rule the roost.
What I mean when I say I’m tired of the “positive spin” is, why don’t I just focus on all the good stuff that absolutely did happen? Why the heck am I using the end of the year to reflect on what I did not accomplish and look for the silver lining, when I could just be grateful. Gratitude is so, so powerful in the cultivation of a less stressed, happy life. Isn’t that an important Paleo ideal . . . less stress? Why not just make that list instead of the other “missed goals” one. Geez!
I know a huge portion of The Paleo Mom’s fans are struggling with autoimmune disorders, just like me. If you have been sick or in pain or both for a long time, it can be very, very hard to focus on all that is good in your life. If you are working like crazy to use a Paleo Approach to heal your body, it can be so, so tough to find time to focus on what went well this year. I can definitely relate, so I am going to help you do it. We don’t need to put a “positive spin” on anything, we can start 2014 with our hearts full of gratitude and energized for the next steps.
1) Schedule five uninterrupted minutes for yourself between now and New Year’s Day. No excuses, I know you all have five in there somewhere. I’m scheduling my five minutes for the day after Christmas.
2) Sit down with a pen and paper. You don’t need to purchase any fancy equipment or expensive recipe ingredients for this activity. One pen. One piece of paper. A writing surface.
3) Start with the very most basic, small thing that was good in your life this year. Do you want to know where I’ll be starting? I’ll be starting with breath. Every day this year I woke up still breathing. There are no guarantees in this life, so that makes my breath an incredible gift. What is the most basic thing that was good for you this year?
4) Let your gratitude grow with each item you jot down. There are a lot of very tiny things to be grateful for between breath and guest blogging for The Paleo Mom, but one of the “bigger” items on my list will be the awesome opportunity I’ve had to continue writing for Sarah this year. As your list grows, what will the “big” things be for you? Did you pay off a car loan, reconnect with an old friend, clean the hall closet finally?
5) Don’t worry anymore about all that did not get done. Tuck your list away and take it out when you start to beat yourself up about what went wrong in 2013. What matters is what is on that list, anything extra would have been icing . . . and icing isn’t very Paleo anyway.
Happy New Year!