Three Steps Back | Goals After the New Years Buzz Dies Down

Are you wondering what’s next, now that the new year has kinda settled in and that 2019 buzz is fading? I was.

I don’t know if you noticed, but I’ve taken three steps WAY back since December of 2018. I spent so much of December looking at my long-term goals and the direction I was taking my coaching business and my writing, and honestly my whole life.

2018 was a challenging year for me.

It was full of mental and emotional hurdles. It was almost an entire year of pushing myself harder than I ever have, asking for and using help more than I ever have, and also giving up harder than I ever have. I felt so focused on that abundance mindset and “manifesting my dreams” that I forgot to breathe, and I stopped trusting who I was. I was so focused on embracing who I was… that I actually stopped doing it. I literally transitioned from actually embracing myself to just “trying” to embrace myself. My focus was so off, and it became my sucky reality for a while there.

Coming into 2019, I made the decision to change.

I wanted to be truly happy in myself again.

Not that I was miserable before… I just felt like something was off and missing all the time. I shared more about this in my last blog post, so if you’re curious or feeling the same way definitely check that out for some gentle, mind-blowing insight.

Here’s what happened to my goals once I made that big decision…

They puttered out in, like, 3 weeks. Not even kidding. Like I mentioned, my last blog post goes into detail but basically I was already feeling hopeless toward the end of January!! I took so many steps back and I was beating myself up for falling right back into that downer old mindset and self-criticism pattern.

And then… I actually decided to allow myself to take those steps back and just own them.

I decided I was okay with who I was and where I was. I was still going to focus on the positive and pay attention to gratitude and what was going right. But I was going to allow myself to not be where I wanted to be yet as a human, as an author, as a coach… just everywhere. I felt behind on my own plans for life and I decided that I was going to let it be okay…

And, I kid you not, the clouds freakin’ parted! Just like that.

Almost the instant I decided to allow it, all the resistance crumbled away. I think in the hype of a new year and the excitement of possibility and starting fresh, we expect so much from ourselves- and we also have a tendency to focus on that greener grass on the other side of the fence (and we forget about how beautiful the garden we’ve already been growing is)!

In opening up to where I was and allowing the big steps “in the wrong direction,” I actually woke up to how far I’ve come and found so much love for myself and my journey.

I had this thought about enlightened yogis, gurus, and enlightened people…

I thought about how, when reading books like The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and Perfectly Imperfect by Baron Baptiste… I make the assumption that they scoff at their younger selves- and at the ways I assume I must appear to people so enlightened and high above me (yes, rolling my eyes as I say it too, but I know you know what I mean!).

Then I realized… without ever playing the part of the fool- getting cocky and making mistakes and going all out and having adventures and trials and mood swings and going on ridiculous tangents that lead to nothing… we never become the enlightened versions of ourselves.

Being the fool is a key part of the journey to enlightenment and inner peace!

I get in a hurry sometimes to stop seeming silly and foolish and childish.. and to just be peaceful and mature, finally. But that’s totally me go talking. Honestly, I think the most enlightened and peaceful people in the world are the ones who don’t take themselves too seriously. Who love soooooo deeply, and also know how to play. Who can embrace the fool in themselves and love themselves anyway, and honor who they are in every aspect of what it means to be a human.

And once we learn to accept ourselves like that, it becomes second nature to embrace those same qualities in others.

We learn to love others exactly as they are by first learning to love ourselves where we are. It doesn’t mean that we can’t love without first loving ourselves… It just becomes easier and, I believe, a more pure love that isn’t driven by expectations or desired outcomes.

So, when the new years buzz dies down and your goals don’t feel as exciting… and you’re down on yourself…

I want to invite you to join me in taking a big deep breath and appreciate where you are and who you are. You can be as unhappy about where you are as you like- and I invite you to allow that unhappiness. It’s perfectly valid, and you’re not “doing it wrong” if you’re unhappy with it. Embracing where you are never has to mean loving everything about it. Can you be okay with where you are, just for right now in this moment?

You don’t have to commit to forever with this concept.

Literally just let it in for this one single moment… Does it make you curious? What do you think about enlightenment and foolishness? Do they come hand-in-hand, or is foolishness useless in your book?

Jessica PenaComment