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This is the first year I’ve taken the time to reflect on my previous year for more than 15 – 20 minutes.  For me, it’s so important to understand where I’ve been so I can better shape where I’m going.

I also recognized that I had a lot of lessons learned, gratitude and opportunities for growth this year. And I really leaned into owning my role as a leader. It helped me to see how my lack of perfection helped shape me more this year than it has in all other years.

I also I said, “I’m Sorry” way more this year than I have in the past. And it felt really nice. This piece helped me to reduce my ego and be an example. If I wanted to teach my kids that saying sorry, when you TRULY mean it, I needed to do it first. And I wanted to show them it doesn’t make them weak.

I stopped interacting with passive aggressive behavior. and I’m doing my best to recognize when I’m the one being passive aggressive. That way I can fix it and keep on moving.

I’m really grateful that I evolved SO MUCH this year. I’m not perfect, nor do I want to be. And I want to teach my kids that mistakes are okay because you get to learn from them. And it makes you human. And humanness is what really matters. It is what connects us and helps the majority of us be kind humans.

I’m sharing some other lessons learned and gratitude from the last year in hopes it sparks reflections for you.

22 Lessons Learned In 2022 Sprinkled With Gratitude

Let’s jump in to my lessons learned, what I’m grateful for and a few things I’m bringing into 2023 with me.

My Life Is A Reflection Of Me

Everything in my life is a direct reflection of my own mindset, my action taking (or lack thereof) and my belief around what is possible.  I can’t blame anyone except me for where I’m at in my life and this is something I think about daily.

When I think about this, it always helps me. I am the person who is in charge of all things me. Yes, of course there are going to be things that happen to me that I cannot control. Every single one of us has that. But I am in control of how I respond and how I act with the cards that are dealt to me. Same for you sunshine.

My Kids Are Incredible Humans

Honestly, I don’t know why I got so lucky to be their mom. They both make me laugh daily and I love the little adults they are turning into.

On top of that, I love their similarities and their differences. I love that my daughter is super outgoing and ready to chat up anyone and cracks me up daily. I love that my son is quieter, so reflective and just drops wisdom bombs like there’s no tomorrow.

Don't mind this pic, we took this at Christmas and they were “too cool” to smile.

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If I’m Too Much That’s A-OK!

I’ve stopped trying to fit in with people who think I’m too much or not enough. Or they can't like me because my politics don’t fit theirs. I found friendships that are mutually appreciative and unconditional which is something my heart and soul has needed.

I’ve realized that I am a pretty cool person. And I’m not just saying that because I’m me LOL. There was a point where I didn’t like who I was and who I was trying to fit in with. And now, I appreciate my too muchness. I appreciate my political beliefs. I appreciate that 2 of my absolute best friends in the world have different political beliefs than me but are for 100% equality and I know they would have my kids (and my) back no matter what. Even in the too muchness, even in the difference… they still love me unconditionally and vice versa.

I’m Only As Strong As My Ability To Take Consistent Action

This was a hard one to grasp but in Q3 & Q4, it hit me like a ton of bricks. And I started walking and I kept 7lbs off this year. I went by my Dr’s weight and when I was at the Dr in January, I was 172 and I had a Dr’s appointment December 13rd and I was back down to 166. It may not seem like a lot, but I now know what I need to be doing and I increase that even more this year.

I’ll be adding in weight lifting again and continuing walking and doing my cardio dance classes. Consistency is 100% key.

And the fact that I am more aware of it now than ever really helps me. But it's not just with health, it's with business too. It's also with anything, honestly. My family, my marriage, my friendships that are reciprocal, etc. If you truly commit to consistent action in whatever goal you want to it, I can guarantee you'll see a difference.

I’ve Been More Me This Year Than Ever Before

This is the biggest lesson… being me is all I can be. This goes back to what I wrote above about me being too much. Not only have I come into who I am, I’ve trusted the process. I’ve trusted myself and it feels incredible.

And people have noticed too! I had a friend tell me that she appreciates my gentle honesty and my ability to disagree without arguing. And my ability to turn any situation into a fun, smart-ass event where we are laughing.

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If You Think Something Nice About Someone, Tell Them

The world is full of people who want to see others fail. In a world full of assholes, be a gem. I’ve started giving more compliments and also telling people who I love that I appreciate them.

People will always remember how you made them feel. And I’ve started (and stopped) hanging out with people because of that.

Be kind.

And along the same line, as most everyone's mama used to say, “If you don't have anything nice to say, DON'T SAY IT.”

There are enough people who don't care about others out there and are always only out for themselves. Choose to be different.

Always Follow My Gut

My intuition has NEVER been wrong when I’ve listened. This is a great reminder for now and for always. Trust your gut. I promise you it’s there for a reason.

As a side note: Trust your gut with people too. This year, I realized people who I thought I could truly 100% trust, just wasn't true. I think the people who are so nice to your face but then chooses to talk about you or exclude you, purposely, are hurt people. It also shows their character. I think it also shows the character of who they hang out with who don't speak up too.

It has closed me up because I refuse to get hurt or feel less than by people who claim to care. I'm pulling myself up out of it more, but it really is about trusting your gut around people.

All of to say when your gut/intuition speaks… listen.

I’ve Stopped Apologizing All The Time

I’ve stopped apologizing for everything and I’ve told people who do the same to knock that shit off.

Of course, apologize when you’ve screwed up. But I would be standing there and someone would bump into me, while I’m completely STANDING STILL. And I would apologize to them for them not watching where they are going….

Yeah, so essentially I’ve just stopped being sorry for my existence. I’m a freaken delight (and so are you!). You’re welcome. LOL.

Not Everyone Will Like Me And That’s Ok

I’d rather have 2 REAL friends than 10 acquaintances who will talk crap about me behind my back.

This year this was one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned. And FULL DISCLOSURE – I’m not perfect. I’ve been that person who HAS talked crap about people and looking back, I 100% regret it. It’s not who I am at my core. I am the person who wants to root for everyone to succeed.

My friend Dominique said, “Shay, you’re the most uplifting person I know. You always want to talk about being better and doing better.”

And I want to go back to that. Anddddd… I want to hang out with people who are similar.

Taking Care Of Me Is CRUCIAL

With health scares to end this year, I’ve learned that moving forward, no matter how much money I make, if I’m not taking care of myself, I won’t be here to enjoy it and share it with others. This is one of my biggest lessons learned.

The end of this year has been huge for me with taking care of myself.

Some things that have really helped me:

  • Oura Ring – This has been one of the best investments I've made. I get to see my activity level throughout the day. The details on it are WAY BETTER than my fitbit. But I love my fitbit for the games/challenges I get to play.
  • HigherDose Sauna Blanket – This has been a game changer for me! I use this multiple times a week and I notice a HUGE difference with my skin when I use this. At the time of writing this, it's the night of Christmas that I'm finishing editing this. I've not used my Sauna Blanket this week because it's been crazy. I feel my skin breaking out and I've not sweat as much either. And I attribute this to why I look so young too.
  • Vitamin D3/K2 Drops – This has been a game changer. One of my test results came back and said I had REALLY low Vitamin D and this has helped me with my energy too.
  • Daily Walking – I'll touch on this below.
  • Daily Meditation – This has helped me quiet my ADHD brain so much and I absolutely love it. I would highly recommend guided meditation if you have a hard time shutting your brain off.
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This is me inside the sauna blanket. I use it when I'm watching a movie or one of my classes that I've bought to learn more.

It Will Always Get Better

Even on the darkest days (and there were a LOT this year), it will get better. I will always be okay. You will always be okay. It might not be easy, but I promise, you will be okay. And you are loved.

I Can Change My Beliefs & My Mind

It doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can change your mind and it doesn’t make you (or me) a bad person.

It’s how you evolve and grow. When you learn new things and experience travel and other cultures, it changes you. And that’s a good thing 😉

Laughing Is The Best Medicine

100%. I don’t even need extra words for this, but here ya go – laugh more.

Travel Is Necessary

It is for me, in this season of my life. Living in our small town, I realize in order for our kids to be cultured, they need to see the world and people. Especially those from all walks of life.

Slow Down

I’ve learned to slow down and take in the experiences more. I’ve learned to slow down and appreciate the smaller moments. The ones where my whole family is on the couch together watching a movie. The one where my daughter says something hilarious and I am having a full blown belly laugh. The one where I’m savoring a favorite food that I get to eat.

Those are the moments you won’t get back and you’ll wish you would have slowed down for.

Regret Is WAY More Painful Than Failure

I’m more disappointed in the actions that I didn’t take than the things I tried and didn’t succeed at.

Life is way too short for me to want to do something and not do it because I’m afraid. I want to be a better example of doing things that scare me (in a good way). I don’t want my kids to take after me in this regard.

Say I Love You

I’ve learned to say “I Love You” more. My mother hasn’t told me she loves me in years (because of religion) and I never want anyone to feel that sort of pain.

I want you to know that you matter. And if you have kids, they want to know that they matter – remind them that you love them.

Stop Fighting/Arguing With People

It’s pointless to fight with someone who HAS to be right because of their ego. I don’t need to be right, I need to be happy. So in arguments, I just say, “Ok.”

Emotions Are Temporary

I’ve stopped making emotional decisions because those are the decisions I end up regretting the most. Emotions aren’t the rulers of our lives. We get to choose our emotions and the beauty of it is that we can change them too.

This is another HUGE lesson I’ve learned. Managing this has been a godsend.

If you’re looking for books that can help you with this, here are a few:

Walk More

Yes, even on the treadmill in December LOL – has changed my mindset, physiology and the joy I show up in. I find that when I’m working out and taking care of my body, that it is much easier for me to manage my emotions.

Habits Are So Important

My habits are what will create the success in my life that I want to achieve. When I share my goals with you, I’ll share some of the new habits I’ll be implementing. And I’ll share with you some of the habits I’m bringing with me into the new year.

Happiness & Joy Are A Choice

Happiness and joy are a choice. Even when life is hard, I get to choose how I show up. I’m responsible for my feelings. No one else is.

Even if I get annoyed, I can still choose happiness. Being angry, annoyed, or whatever doesn’t get me closer to my goals or showing my kids how I want them to show up in the world. So what’s the point of it?

Dance It Out

And finally – yes, I know this is 24 LOL – When all else fails, dance it out! There’s been so many times where I’ve just had Alexa start playing music and it has really changed my mood for the better.

I’ve actually had way more lessons than this and reflecting really helped me to see things differently. For me, this gets me thinking about how I want to show up this upcoming year! I’m going to really think about it and share with you.

My Husband’s Lessons Learned, Gratitude & Intentions

And… I asked my husband what he learned this year, but I know he’s not as openly thoughtful as I am. He’s really an old soul, so I know he is super thoughtful, he’s just quiet. And a man of few words.

These are his learnings and gratitude:

  1. Taking care of himself is going to be imperative moving forward. Health first.
  2. He loves that we’ve been able to take so many trips and our kids come back different people after traveling, so wants to add more of that in.
  3. Miller Lite.
  4. Thankful for the flexibility of his job and being able to attend almost every one of our kids activities.
  5. After so much death and sadness in the last 3 years, life is short. It’s not guaranteed and appreciation for each moment will be at the forefront.

Alrighty – these are our lessons learned in 2022. My intent is to take these lessons learned and use them as a guide for 2023 in how I show up and how I treat others.

I’d love to hear what a big takeaway for you this year was? Share your lessons learned below!

22 Lessons Learned
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