I feel blessed to have been able to spend the holidays with my family—every day, I prayed for all of the military families who were apart this time of year.
I know military life is hard. Sometimes, when I’m writing about life and career coaching topics, I feel like I underemphasize what a HUGE accomplishment being a military spouse is. So, take a moment to remind yourself how awesome you are for continuing to support your spouse, family, and country.
I feel that a big part of being successful in the new year comes from these moments of appreciating what’s going well in our lives already. So, being a military spouse should be at the top of your list of “what went well in 2017”! You’re already so successful—we’re merely working to build on that foundation of excellence in the year to come.
Reflect on Your Blessings as a Military Spouse
When I meet with life coaching clients in January, I always start the session by asking them, “What went well in 2017?” My clients and I always laugh because we have such a hard time answering, and we often just want to talk about what we didn’t do well. As military spouses, we can be incredibly hard on ourselves! Sometimes, I literally have to stand up and make a “time out” symbol for them with my hands.
We laugh some more and work together to come up with a list of things that went well—how they were and continue to be successful in many ways. I then explain the benefits of celebrating even smaller successes and embracing changes that we have made. Often, these achievements come in the form of unplanned changes that weren’t on the New Year’s resolution or seasonal goal lists.
They’re often little things that yield positive and surprisingly meaningful results.
Whether it was finally decluttering your closet, avoiding office gossip, or even listening to podcasts on the way to work, any change that you’ve made to better your life is extremely significant. After all, it shows that you didn’t just plan but actually instituted changes in your life.
Change Your Lens
This kind of work to find what went well in the past year requires an external lens—we often do a great job noticing and acknowledging the good work our friends and loved ones do but forget to offer the same loving eye to ourselves. I call this concept working on your life versus living in your life.
We hear about this concept in business, but it can easily be applied to our military lives as well. Look at all you have accomplished like you were an outsider giving yourself full credit for cooking all those dinners, wrapping all those gifts, and holding it together before, during, and after deployment.
Military spouses rock and need to stop worrying about cleaning the closet and getting the perfect new job. This time of year, take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back for all the little things you do every day—they seriously do add up to a lot of hard work and silent service.
Mantras for the New Year
I have given up resolutions and decided to focus more on words to symbolize the things I want to bring into my life for the new year. It’s easier for me to wake up and say or think my mantra, “I am a trailblazer,” than to come up with a million action steps.
Coming up with a mantra or positive action phrase is almost like setting an intention for what I want and then choosing activities I love doing each day that bring me closer to those long-term goals. By following my intention, I can trust that I’m moving toward the life vision I want.
Happy 2018, everyone! Remember, you’re already doing great, and you have all the tools you need to continue being successful in the year to come.