After five years of marriage, our first little bundle of joy came along. Like many new moms I tried to document every moment and milestone. As number two and three came along, I’ve tried to keep up with all of it but of course it has become much harder. During that time I went from having a full time job with a few side jobs here and there to now being home with the kids, homeschooling, taking care of the ever increasing responsibilities of homelife, while also working from home, training, coaching, speaking, and writing as time allows. Can I just say aloud….sometimes I am NOT the best version of me?
I’m tough, could be short-tempered, loose my patience, and frankly sometimes life gets so busy that even with the best of intentions…I fail at being the wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend that I hope and strive to be. Yet, I’m a big believer in personal growth and made the decision to be intentional about it since I was fairly young. I think I’m not alone believing that it’s an important part of life but the words of James Allen in his book As a Man Thinketh are just as true today as they were when he first wrote them in 1903, “People are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.”
Having a place to reflect in order to bring order to my day, think deeply about changes I need to make, or simply dream about the future has always been meaningful on my personal growth journey. I have found that writing down what I’m thinking provides clarity and somehow silences some of the noise that is clouding my thoughts. Here is a recent reflection that resulted in my renewed commitment to my goals…
As a daughter I want to add value to those who’ve added value to me all my life and love them unconditionally.
As a wife I want to make sure that I constantly grow to be a better partner for life, adding value to my husband while never ceasing to love and laugh with him.
As a mother I want to impart wisdom wrapped in love and patience to my children – never leaving them to question my love for them.
As a sister I want to remain connected through the special bond I have with my brothers and live out my life with them side by side.
As a friend I want to be present, making sure I listen, strengthen, love and laugh.
In my work, I want to make sure I give the very best of myself, adding value to others from the grocery line to the classroom or stage.
This is why when I recently had the opportunity to hear Mark Cole speak, I felt deeply moved by a simple statement he made, “The next leg of your journey requires a better version of you.” That is what I have in the forefront of my mind each and every day as I wake up and get ready for my day. It is what I think about when I teach my children, work, play, learn, grow and push!
I don’t know what may be standing in your way of a better version of yourself, but know that it is a decision that will impact not only yourself but those around you. Your whys! Those that make getting up each morning worthwhile! Those your love and serve! What each of us do each day to make sure we are always working on a better version of ourselves can be deeply personal and as varied as our personalities. Here are a few things I do:
- Early morning time to meditate on God’s words and pray connecting first to my Source
- Coffee with hubby and a bit of chatting before he goes off to work- it helps us connect before everything gets busy for the day
- Daily reading in the areas I’m working to grow my capacity in – keeping my cup full to that I have something to share with others
- Writing daily on whatever my latest blog entry, journal, or future projects
- Daily Connecting: Some time to connect with someone that’s been on my mind
whether through text, call, or snail mail (one of my favs)
- Time with my children as we laugh, play, learn, and grow together – this is as much for them as it is for me…they fill my heart and keep me grounded.
- Physical activity at local gym, park, or home to stay healthy for myself and family
- Time for nutrition for my family and I through healthy meals
- Work on those things that contribute to the lives of others through service doing what I love
These are just a sampling of what I wrote and there is much more that I do throughout my day. A lot of unplanned things happen when you have little kids…and it also impacts what doesn’t get done. I’m ok with some things not getting done and the house not being ready for a Martha Stewart walkthrough! If you know what I mean. My time was spent reflecting on the areas that I’m making sure I don’t neglect. After writing these down, it helped me see what I’m doing, what has made a big difference, and what I want to make sure I don’t leave out of my day. Honestly, I realized, that often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
Growth Journal Ideas for Reflection:
Grab a cup of coffee (or tea), your favorite journal and pen (I’ll grab my favorite color Sharpie) and give it a go! Jot down those things you know will help you reveal a better version of yourself then fearlessly (or with plenty of fear)…try it. Put a date and time next to it. When will you be making the change? I usually take the plunge quickly knowing that even if it’s not done perfectly, each day I try will bring me closer to making it a daily habit that will help me on my personal growth journey. When I fail, I get up the next morning and try all over again. As the saying goes, “Winners are not those who never fail but those who never quit!” You won’t regret it!
Let your list reflect YOU and the things that are important to you!
As always, I would love to hear from you below or email me a email@example.com. When you share, it inspires us as much as you say we inspire you! Look for more upcoming Growth Journal Ideas for Reflection coming soon. Have a beautiful day!
All my best to you,