Reflections

Small Victories

I was straightening up my bedroom yesterday and going through a pile of old stuff when I came across a tiny notepad.

Now, I have a penchant for collecting small notepads and journals, so I expected this to be yet another blank one I had yet to use. But when I cracked it open, I was surprised to find there was already some writing inside.

I peered down in amusement at the pages of bulleted notes, and quickly I remember what I had used this notepad for.

At the beginning of 2018, I made a number of New Year’s resolutions. I kept them small and manageable; things like “do Duolingo lessons every day”, “read a little from a book every day”, “no electronics after 9 pm”.

And another resolution was to write down my accomplishments for the day, each night before I went to bed. They didn’t have to be big things. They didn’t have to be anything life-changing. They didn’t even have to be things that others would consider accomplishments. They just had to be the things that I was proud of.

There were big(ish) things like:

  • Did a long walk at Point Isabel.
  • Organized all of the jewelry, purses and accessories for my Out of the Closet donation.
  • I did a mortgage loan application and got pre-approved for more than I thought.

But there were also the small things:

  • I took the recycling out by myself.
  • I called my dad.
  • I put together a nice outfit.

Like many of my resolutions that year, the exercise didn’t last long. I don’t quite remember why. I probably just got busy. I perhaps forgot to do it one night and the habit was broken.

But I do remember that when I was documenting these small victories, I felt good about the day I had just gone through. It was a peaceful, positive way to end the day. And it’s got me thinking that it might be a good activity to resurrect.

There have been weeks during this sabbatical when I felt like I didn’t accomplish much. Like I haven’t made progress and I’m no closer to discovering the path that’s right for me. I mean, it’s not every week you work on a film shoot or launch a podcast.

People say it’s a good idea to write down the things that are worrying you or stressing you out, right before you go to bed (and yes, I should probably take up that practice, too). But I think there is also a benefit to reflecting the things I’ve accomplished that day – big or small.

These things won’t always be related to my sabbatical. In fact, there will likely be quite a few days when my accomplishments are solely centered around personal, family or creative goals that have nothing to do with my career exploration.

And yes, there might be days when I forget to do this exercise altogether. But I don’t want to let that derail me from taking more time to sit back, reflect, and appreciate the small victories.

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