I’m a bit late with this post considering it’s now nearly mid-August but I wanted to share this with you, however late, because I think it’s important to reflect on your month- kind of like setting goals for yourself, reflections help you not only learn from your mistakes but also improve your future, and gives you perspective and ideas. For me, it brings positivity and gratitude but also helps me learn where I can improve. If you haven’t started a daily, [weekly, or monthly] journal, I highly recommend it. I will admit, I’m not the greatest with following through on my daily journaling but I do my best to write in it at least once a week. This time I’m looking back at it throughout the month of July- some days were good and some were bad. Here are a few questions to ask yourself on reflecting within your month:
1. What brought me ease this month and how can I feel ease in August?
For me, I felt most at ease when I was reading my personal growth books. One of my favorite things in the world is laying out in the sun- I know it sounds a bit odd like, “Really? Laying outside, suntanning is one of your favorite things?” But it’s true, sometimes the simplest things in life give you the most joy. Put it this way, if your happiness depends on something you can lose, you’ll spend your whole life afraid of losing it. Find joys in the little everyday moments in your life.
2. What challenged me and how can I care for myself in August?
My own negative thoughts are often what challenge me the most. It starts from a simple thought and then spirals out of control sometimes. Taking control of your subconscious is one thing I’ve been practicing every day. It’s hard work and a constant struggle. Like meditation, daily practice is what helps me, it’s a slow start but each day gets a little bit easier when you’re constantly aware. I’ll tell myself in those moments to focus solely on the present moment. Happiness often lies in the present, I mean, we are only truly alive in the present moment so I say, don’t think about the future or the past- simply focus your thoughts on this exact moment.
3. How have I supported/ nourished myself in July?
I’ll admit, I wasn’t the greatest at keeping up with my gym routine/ eating right in July. I was super “on it” in June and felt amazing during and right after my workouts. This is something I will focus more on for the month of August. Plus, it’s always a bit easier to focus on eating right/ gym-going when you’ve got a trip to look forward to! We’re off on our Italian honeymoon in September!!! [We’ve been planning this for roughly 6-8 months- I’m so excited!]
4. What have I released/ what have I held onto?
For me, one of the hardest things in the world is letting go of situations beyond your control or difficult situations from your past. It has been over a year now and I’m still finding myself holding onto my past mistakes, letting go is very difficult sometimes. But one of the things I find that helps is reading positive quotes. Each morning I wake up I have a note beside my bed and it’s the first thing I see every morning: “Your mistakes do not define you. It’s what you do today that makes you who you are. It’s never too late to change.”
5. How can I infuse more compassion into next month?
Originally, this was to read “self-compassion” but I changed it to compassion because compassion is something I, personally, need to work on. I’m hard on myself but I’m also hard on others. I know when I’m to blame but I also find ways to blame others. One particular lesson I have been implementing is challenging myself to view others I don’t particularly hold in high regard in a more compassionate way. I think something along the lines of, “I don’t know their story. They might be the way they are for a difficult reason and it’s not fair of me to judge them for their actions.” It’s not the easiest feat, and, I’ll admit, not always effective, but it helps me see said person in a more empathetic way rather than my usual to-go of anger. I plan on practicing this thought process each time my patience is tested with others. Another way of practicing compassion is helping others. In fact, recent psychology studies state that, “If you want to increase your happiness levels, then be altruistic. Help other people.” The other day I gave a homeless man money and I instantly felt happier for helping out someone in need. Just small gestures but effective nonetheless.
What reflections will you review this month?