Last week I wrote about how to be imperfect. It was the product of a week or two of farcical fails and I was looking for a way to drag myself out of the self criticism mind-set. This week, I want to continue on that path, focusing on practicing gratitude and celebrating small victories. It has been just over a year since I started blogging and I have been spending some time recently thinking about all that I have achieved.
Throughout August, I am having a little instagram retrospective of all the crochet designs I have released over the past year, and the responses of people who are seeing them for the first time have been so heartwarming and given me a real glow in my belly and a grin on my face.
I know they say that pride comes before a fall, but for the first time I look at where I was this time last year and realise how far I’ve come. Whether it is in terms of my design skills, my editing and writing experience, the way I have pushed my comfort zone, my attitude towards life and, probably most importantly, the amazing people I have met and community I finally feel like I am becoming a part of, it has been a huge shift.
Though I know it may seem like small fry to outsiders and I have a long way to go, I am going to say it. I actually feel a bit proud of my efforts.
It’s lovely to have this moment to reflect and celebrate, but over the year I’ve also realised that it’s important to take time regularly to celebrate the small things too. Ultimately life is made up of some amazing and awful moments with most of the time being spent somewhere in the mundane middle. So how about making that mundane a little more of a celebration of the mini wins? I’m not talking about climbing Everest or having triplets or scoring the dream job. I’m talking about the little hurdles we get over on a random tuesday afternoon. Let’s appreciate that good stuff instead of letting it pass by.
In January, I started making lists of goals for my crochet business and at the end of each month (though I confess I haven’t done it for July yet!) I write a list of what I have achieved that month and update my list of what I want to achieve the following month. It’s actually a very rewarding and uplifting process. Even when I haven’t met some goals, it’s normally because I learned something else. I find this a really powerful motivator, either to keep going or to up my game. I write in a journal every day too and often use this as a micro version of my monthly process.
Getting into this mind set has helped me apply the same principles to all areas of my life. The more I do it, the more I want to do it and I’m getting better at taking notice of and relishing those little fist-pump moments.
To give you an idea, so you can identify your own wins, here are a few examples (non business related) from the past few months which come to mind:
- Sewing myself a dress
- Getting into a headstand from a straddle in yoga for the first time (quite unexpectedly as it turned out) and not stacking it in front of 30 people
- Dropping my eldest nephew off at his first ever job (more a proud aunty moment than a personal win)
- Buying a record player to play all the old vinyl I inherited from my Dad, because I realised I’ve never owned a record player
- Cleaning all the limescale off the shower screen (I told you it’s the small victories!)
- Being brave enough to go to a creative meet-up (with the beautiful In Colourful Company gang)
- Not killing any house plants for 6 months
- Turning 40 without having a mental breakdown
None of those are particularly glamorous or exciting to anyone but me. But that’s the point. We all get a buzz out of different things, thank goodness, and what I find exciting someone else may find utterly irrelevant. Gratitude is a very individual perspective but it is also universal in that we are all richer for practicing it. Since I have begun to adjust my mindset to focus on all the positive people, experiences and things in my life, I have got so much better at not overthinking the negative and trusting that for every crappy thing that happens (and there will always be crappy things), I can always find more happy things, if I just look hard enough!
There is ALWAYS a silver lining!
So here’s your homework, especially if you’re feeling a bit under par.
Find a small win to celebrate today. No matter now small it may be, find something to be grateful for which you can build on.
Go find that gratitude attitude.