“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
― Anaïs Nin

That day came from me some time during the summer of 2011. I had accomplished nearly everything that I had set out to do and I began feeling so unfulfilled with what I was doing. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the work that I was doing but there’s just something about not being challenged that gets to me. I like to solve problems. I like to meet things in the face and, though hard, do it anyway. I love a sense of accomplishment … I’ve always been that way.

I’m writing this because I know it’s the time of year when you start looking back on your life wondering what you did and lots of times you aren’t able to see all of the strides you’ve made because you’re too busy looking at others. So let’s do a fun exercise in rewarding ourselves at the end of this year. If you can check off some of these, you certainly had a great year, and if you haven’t, you are already set for a goal list for 2014.

1. You took a vacation.
Perhaps you got out of town for a graduation or for work but the fact remains, you GOT OUT. You saw something different, you met someone new, you took in a new experience. Maybe you checked into a hotel room or you went somewhere sunny for a weekend with friends. Remember that it doesn’t matter how big or small, escaping our daily environment and routine qualifies as a vacation in my book. Start small and keep scaling up!

2. You changed the way you thought about something.
Perhaps your parents had you believing something about life or maybe even you convinced yourself that something was true that absolutely wasn’t. Listen, it happens to the best of us. There’s nothing like realizing you were wrong about something and in your finding out what’s right, you let a bit more light shine into your life. Maybe you convinced yourself that you weren’t smart enough or cool enough only to be proven wrong. Making small plans for 2014? I suggest you think a bit bigger!

3. You quit!
You finally quit the nagging job and/or boyfriend or maybe you quit smoking. You stopped participating in something that was no good for you. While there is often discomfort in ending things, the future is always so much brighter.

4. You started!
Maybe you started reading more or working out more or doing something that you had been neglecting for sooooo long! Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t found consistency with it YET. Pat yourself on the back for making a move … A slow move is better than NO move. Remember that!

I hope you have an AWESOME holiday and I would love to know what risks you plan on taking in 2014!

Photo courtesy of photographer M. Knight. Check out his Flickr page. He’s @m_knight on Twitter!


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