I’m sitting at the kitchen table in the house I grew up in, spending the weekend in the mountains. In the last hour, I’ve been running back and forth between taking care of my two sick kids and trying to shake off the adrenaline of breaking up a legit dog fight that ended with one in emergency surgery (if only you could have seen my sister and I full-on tackle and pry the jaw open of the big one to save the little one, I’m sure it was quite the scene).
I learn about how to navigate it well more and more each year. While I have a second (fingers crossed) I am reflecting on the big lessons I took away from the last 12 months, and boy, there are some good ones.
Here’s what came up. . .
22 Lessons from 2022
- Train your mind as you train your body:
Your mind is capable of incredible things. The catch is, you choose how much you want to strengthen it. Imagine if you never worked out but you are shocked that you can’t do pullups and don’t have six-pack abs. . . Sounds silly, doesn’t it?
Well, that’s how I see people viewing their minds. They don’t intentionally exercise their mind every day (or ever) and they are doing activities daily that weaken it (information overstimulation) yet somehow they are shocked that they are dealing with mental health issues like the inability to focus, lack of motivation, anxiety, and depression.
You need to intentionally exercise your mind every day just as you exercise your body. You can sculpt your brain (literally through creating new neural pathways through self-directed attention) just like you can sculpt your body. How? By intentionally directing your attention for a certain amount of time each day aka meditation. Coming soon I will be sharing my 4-step meditation I do every single morning;), it’s a game-changer.
2. Turn your Smartphone into a dumbphone:
This has hands down been the best thing I have done for my mind, time, motivation, and creativity in 2022. I wrote a whole post about it here. In short, make everything unavailable on your phone in the morning and at night. Life. Changing.
3. The language you use influences how you experience a situation: Here are my favorite reframes I use daily:
Have to ? Get to. I can’t ? I’ll figure it out. I don’t like ? what do I need. Disappointed ? Delayed. Nervous ? excited. Sick ? cleansing. It’s scary how such a subtle shift in wording changes what I experience.
4. Moving more through the day is better than 1 hour of working out a day:
Walking will change your life. Your genes are designed to move continuously, and when you do, your body and mind feel it (in the best way). When you don’t, your body and mind feel it (in a terrible way). Getting in 10-14k steps a day has made a dramatic impact on me in ‘22.
5. Journey > Destination:
You’ll never make it if the view at the summit is the only thing motivating you to keep climbing. The hunt has to be just as exciting as the meal at the end. Prioritize process, not outcomes. Fall in love with the process and everything else falls into place (and makes life SO enjoyable).
6. Learn to enjoy failure & being wrong:
My husband is a master at this. When he loses, it motivates him. When he’s wrong, he doesn’t take it personally and gets better from it. Me on the other hand? I tend to quit when the going gets hard and being wrong mortifies me. Every day I remind myself to not take things so personally and embrace the fact that failure is a necessary and good part of success.
7. Never let the quest for MORE distract from the beauty of ENOUGH:
“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” – Socrates
I have been prioritizing simple days and simple things and because of that, I have never felt more content with where I’m at. Becoming a minimalist of the internet has changed everything for me. Because I am so limited at looking at what everybody else is doing, I don’t feel like I should be doing it too.
8. Figure out the root of your reactions:
A trigger happens any time a present moment brings up pain and emotions from the past. Instead of viewing my negative reactions with shame, I learned that triggers are revealers that I have unprocessed pain. Triggers are also symptoms of unmet needs. When I am triggered, I get curious and explore what the pain and needs are and resolve them so I no longer get triggered by that particular thing.
9. Sabbath leads to life:
Friday night to Saturday night is our intentional day of connecting with friends, family, and God while disconnecting from the internet, buying anything from anywhere, and doing any type of work. This took me a bit to get on board with, but now I can see how life-giving and necessary it is (not to mention it’s one of the 10 commandments). I’m not perfect, but this day is different and set apart from the rest, as it should be. We are 100% in on this. We don’t sometimes do it. It’s a non-negotiable part of our weekly rhythm and we are so much healthier as a family because of it.
10. Gratitude at meals:
Listening to kids explain what they are grateful for is on my list of top things that make my heart explode (right alongside siblings laughing and playing together). Before meals, we all go around and say what we are grateful for and it is the most beautiful ritual that I hope my kids will always remember.
11. Be Creative Before You are Reactive
You don’t know your mind’s true potential until you live an undistracted life. In order for the mind to hear clearly from God, come up with creative solutions to the problems in your life, or create something epic, it needs time every single day with no inputs. A huge lesson from ‘22 was for me to be CREATIVE BEFORE I AM REACTIVE. To me, that looks like prayer, Bible, and deep work first thing in the morning before I touch anything else (except my kids;), I have to be reactive to them). I don’t allow anything in my consciousness before I let whatever is in there come out first. And let me tell you, I am always surprised at what is in there when I give it a chance to come out without filling it with what other people are doing.
Find of the Week
I am a protein powder connoisseur. This has been my go-to for 6 years. I like that it is sprouted and fermented for easy digestion along with other gut-nourishing nutrients. (love the greens powder too) Tested for purity.
My favorite tinted moisturizer I have found to date. It’s good enough coverage for foundation and it’s the only thing I wear for any occasion. It’s not 100% pure, but this particular formulation isn’t terrible, and it makes your skin look so good!