They say that social media gives us the highlight reel, and they’re right. My coach friends laugh because ‘nobody’s struggling on the internet,’ which is a total lie. It’s all a perfectly posed highlight reel. Some thoughts on that: I value positivity, almost above all else and I know that having a positive outlook doesn’t happen (for me) by accident. It happens by consciously choosing how I see and think about things and how I decide to react. Truthfully, it’s a struggle sometimes and it’s not all perfect. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on this past year, the things that have gone really well for me (there are lots of them!) and the areas that I’d like to learn and grow next year. I will always share the highlights and celebrations because they’re important. As I reflect on 2017, I wanted to share some of the challenges too, because in order to level up and grow we need to be clear about where we are right now.
Maintaining a marriage and learning to talk: This year has not felt like a romance novel for me and Ace. Truthfully, it’s been a tough year, our 9th year of marriage. As any parent with young kids knows, the role of parent easily takes over as our dominant identity. We’ve worked hard this year on finding our individual identities and our identity as a couple. We’ve often felt like roommates, spending most of our time managing schedules and logistics, and struggled to find ease or time for fun. I know for sure that there have been times that each of us has questioned the longevity of our marriage. Between mental health struggles and some difficult decisions, we’ve learned to communicate our needs and expectations. We’ve relied on therapists separately and together to help us navigate this. While it’s still feels like work, we’re walking away from 2017 feeling like we understand each other and we’re back on the same team.
Setting boundaries: In the past, I spent a lot of time doing things that other people wanted me to do even though I didn’t necessarily want to do them. I struggled with guilt over wanting to protect my time and my own needs because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I’ve often felt that ‘doing the right thing’ wasn’t always the right thing for ME and this led to me feeling resentful. I’ve worked on my boundaries this year, and have become more willing to draw some lines in the sand to make space for myself, even when those don’t line up with what other people need from me. I love this quote from Erin Brown: “Boundaries are kind. They allow us to be open to what we are willing to give and honest about what we are not. Boundaries are love without lies.” I’ve begun to live by this, and it feels true for me. I want to give what I want to give of myself, not what I don’t. Sharing my love on my own terms is the only way I know to be authentic and true to myself.
Being in the moment: I would call this my number one struggle of 2017 because its led to a lot of feelings of inadequacy for me. I struggle to stay fully engaged and present without thinking about what else I need to be doing. Many days, I feel like a shitty mom because I’m thinking about work when I’m with my kids. I consider myself lucky because I get to pick the kiddos up from school everyday, but sometimes the guilt is torturous when I’m unable to be present mentally and emotionally. On the other hand, sometimes I feel unproductive in my work because I’m thinking about home and family responsibilities when I could or should be getting work done. I’m working hard on being in the moment, by structuring my work time and family time without trying to multi-task them. I’m also taking my own advice, and letting good enough be good enough – something I coach my nutrition clients towards all the time.
I share all of this with you because I don’t consider this to be weakness or failing. I share it because I believe in order to move forward and level up, getting clear with ourselves is one of the most helpful things we can do. This applies whether we’re talking about communication, fitness, nutrition, mindset or any of the struggles we face. So know this: we all struggle, but even when we struggle and we feel like we aren’t winning (yet) we’re still learning. While the social media highlight reel totally serves a purpose, know that when you feel the struggle, you’re not alone.
Are you ready to get super clear and honest with yourself about where you want to level up in 2018? Download my free 24-point health and wellness self-audit.
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