I believe 2019 has been one of the most influential years in my life yet.
In previous years I have seen growth in myself, but never anything like I experienced in 2019.
I’d like to share with you the places where I saw the most growth in my life and how I handled such changes.
Below are the 5 things I learned in 2019 that I plan to take with me for the rest of my life.
How to have a human experience
I know what you’re thinking, a human experience? That’s an interesting way to put it. Here’s what I mean. We are humans, we came to earth to experience all that life has to offer, the good and the bad. We knew coming here that it wouldn’t be easy but it also didn’t have to be hard.
By understanding that pain and negative emotions are all part of the “human experience” it’s helped me to see that negative does not mean bad.
I believe there’s positives and negatives in all things and I’m over here trying to stay in the positive, which is fine… but if I want to know the positive well I need to know the negative. I need to experience hard things and emotions I try to avoid.
Because I now understand the “human experience” I can let go of the expectation that I need to be happy and positive all the time. It’s OK if you feel a negative emotion like frustration, anger, annoyance, or sadness because it’s all part of the experience of life.
I am no longer in search of happiness. I’m on the hunt to experience everything life has to offer.
How to step out of my comfort zone
Comfort zones are just that. It’s the area in our life where we feel comfortable, things seem easy, and we often don’t see a reason for change.
I liken it to mornings. I’ve just had a nice sleep and I wake up cozy under a big pile of blankets. The room is cold, but the pile I’m under is warm, and I initially feel no need to peel back those covers and experience the cold. Until, something within me longs for something outside of this comfortable space I have.
The first step of peeling back the blankets and plopping my feet on the cold, hard wood, floor is never comfortable. It is however, always worth it.
This year I did more than peel back the warm blankets, I left the house and stepped out into the busy world (metaphorically, obviously).
You may ask why it’s important to step out of your comfort zone? Because if you stay in bed, under the covers, you will never know all that is available to you, the love or heartbreak, beauty or pain, joy or disappointment. It’s worth it for experience.
The best way to step out of your comfort zone is just to dive into something. Don’t hold back. Pick something you never thought you’d do. Set a goal you never think you’ll reach. Then go all in! The growth will bring some discomfort, as it always does. But I promise you’ll walk away stronger and most likely even happier than you are staying where you’re comfortable.
How to plan a successful week
A lot of the growth I experienced in 2019 came from listening to a podcast called Better Than Happy and attending The Life Coach School. I learned the tool of planning a successful week from Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School.
Learning time management and the skill of scheduling has made me so much more productive than I’ve ever been. It’s honestly what’s helping me write this blog post that I’ve been putting off.
You see, when we don’t plan things out and we follow a to-do list there’s a high chance that everything on that list won’t be completed. On the other hand, if you schedule each thing on your to-do list and then you follow your schedule not only do you learn that you can trust yourself but you also accomplish so much.
If you take anything from this section of this post it’s that you need to try scheduling everything on your to-do list and then THROW THE LIST AWAY!
I promise you won’t regret it.
How to manage my anxiety
This part of 2019 took up some time. I continue to work on it today and everyday it gets a little bit easier.
The first important lesson I learned about anxiety is that it’s normal and it’s OK to feel anxious. This feels important to share because I think we often try to shove anxiety down and avoid it at all cost. That seems normal to me because anxiety can feel heavy; however, it’s not, it’s just a feeling that seems important.
I’ve learned to accept my anxiety and appreciate the fact that my brain wants to protect me. I no longer hide from it or try to avoid it, I embrace and allow it to hang out with me however long it chooses to stay.
Here’s the thing, if you know anxiety you know that the minute you stop avoiding it it’s going to come back 10 times worse than it was. So I have learned that if I just allow myself the discomfort of letting it be there and I stop trying to hide from it, the feeling usually goes away on it’s own over time.
If it doesn’t go away that’s OK, I can handle it! But it usually does.
How to strengthen my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ
This also took the entire year to learn but it was so worth it that I continue working on it today!
I began by studying my scriptures. Then that made me want to study books that would strengthen this relationship. Then that lead to me wanting self improvement and to be as much like Christ as I can.
I’ve found that true joy comes from the ability of being able to intentionally choose for ourselves how we want to live, act, and feel. If I can intentionally choose to love others regardless of how they treat me that makes me feel like I’m living a life more in line with Christ.
I decided to spend much of 2019 trying to understand what it means to be Christ-like and how I can live my life in line with his. I also want others to be able to feel love through me no matter who they are (this is a trait I can imagine Christ has). By striving to be more like Christ, understanding my decisions, intentionally choosing how I want to think instead of falling victim to my own brain, I found that my relationship with Christ has strengthened.
This will be a relationship that I’ll nourish and cultivate my entire life, but placing the stepping stones this past year was the best time spent. I love Jesus Christ, I’m grateful for him, and I know that through living an obedient life intentionally will bring the most joy possible.
Talk to you soon!