In December, I wrote about the importance of renewal and restoration, especially when a new year is beginning. I know this is far easier said than done, but the benefits of hitting the pause button are well worth it.
Author Alan Cohen said it well, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
I couldn’t agree more. Work and rest are vital to living a full life. Valuing one over the other will leave you unbalanced and unfulfilled.
Giving yourself the opportunity to reflect is key to learning from the past and setting goals for the future. Did you achieve your goals last year? Or make a few mistakes you can learn from? How can the takeaways from 2022 inform your decisions for 2023? What do you want to accomplish this year?
Exercises like these evoke joy and gratitude, as well as sorrow and regret. So, as we head into 2023, let’s pause to consider the past year.
My 2022 in review
This year brought some big firsts for me, including the release of the paperback version of my book, Bring Yourself, and the start of my monthly newsletter and blog.
The newsletter just about killed me.
Releasing regular content has been an intention of mine for a while. There was something holding me back, though. I always found a reason to wait until next month, next quarter, next year.
Writing with such frequency seemed like a big undertaking given all of my other commitments. When I thought about starting, I couldn’t help but feel like I would never be able to set aside enough time to write as often, or as effectively, as I felt like I needed to.
Every once in a while, I would make some (I thought) progress. I stayed up late and put work into moving forward with this goal. I eschewed the feelings of guilt I had about procrastinating on the project for so long and dove in.
But the next day, I felt tired and had little to show for my late-night work sessions. The desire to create the perfect product was holding me back. The writing was challenging, of course, but making decisions about the aesthetics and feel of the newsletter was daunting. Still, I wanted to create something that was an unapologetically accurate representation of me, my book, and my brand.
Delivering Bring Yourself to the masses included appearances, podcasts, and meet-and-greets. But all I had to do was show up. The newsletter was another matter entirely. I knew I needed to pursue every opportunity to raise the book’s awareness, and this was a huge part of that. But the effort required to create the newsletter I wanted held me back.
A goal realized
I decided 2022 was my year. Instead of punishing myself for always thinking about the totality of what I wanted to accomplish, I would instead look at completing actionable tasks.
Ultimately, I was much more focused.
Prioritizing this way doesn’t always come naturally for high achievers who pride themselves on their perceived ability to multi-task. We want to get so much done that we end up getting nothing done. For me, the turning point came when I decided to stop thinking about what I wanted to do, and instead turned my energy toward taking action.
With this perspective, I could clearly see opportunities. I could choose to not be overwhelmed by how much I had to do and actually make progress. John Burroughs said, “Leap and the net will appear.” Sometimes, you just need to jump.
And the result of that more focused and actionable mindset? Since the start of 2022, I’ve published 12 newsletters and 24 blog articles. In these pieces, I’ve explored everything from fearlessness, resilience, guilt and shame to perfection and control, purpose and happiness, and boundaries.
More than a newsletter
I write about these ideas not because I’ve mastered them or even figured them out myself. I explore these concepts because they’re difficult. I struggle with them, too.
I don’t preach from the perch of perfection. I’m simply someone who understands, cares, and wants you to be part of the Bring Yourself community, a place where we can tackle difficult ideas together.
If we don’t share the fruits of our experience and learn from the past, we’ll never have the courage to take on new challenges.
Looking to 2023
So, as you reflect on 2022 and plan for the year ahead, don’t stress over not knowing why a situation went wrong or being unsure of your goals for this year. Instead, give yourself the space to accomplish what you need at a pace you can manage.
Today, I encourage you to reminisce, learn, and celebrate—because life is too precious to waste time on regret. Together let’s step into 2023 with greater wisdom, clarity, and the excitement a new beginning brings.