Cheers to the beginning of another year! 2023 might have been your best year yet, or maybe you consider it your worst. Since life is always both/and, I am guessing most of us look back with a degree of fondness, and also some amount of “don’t let the door hit you on the ass” energy. 

Like many of you, I allow myself a slower pace in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I love to use some of my extra time to reflect on the year that just passed, and some planning for the upcoming one as well. And while I don’t think that turn of the calendar page to January 1st indicates a need to become a “new you,” I do appreciate incorporating the structure of the year into my life and goal-setting rhythm. 

As I mention often, I try to reflect daily as part of my grounding and gratitude practice. In a recent moment, as I started to catalog all of the things I have learned about myself this year, I realized that it has been a massive one for self awareness and understanding. It has been painfully eye opening at times, but overall I feel encouraged and content. So, I thought I would do a little recap today. Then, I will elaborate on the concepts through relevant tips and research, in order to give some value back to all of you. 

In no particular order, here are some things that I learned in 2023 (and in a sprint of both/and— some are conflicting and some are connected…): 

I am capable of handling a lot of change, all at once. Also, a lot of change all at once is hard, and I sometimes suck at navigating it. But, I believe I am overall better at staying calm and grounded. I have learned that like my training, intentional daily practice is necessary for consistent awareness, fully feeling, and overall thoughtful navigation of life (not control— see below ;)). 

I love all kinds of adventure, and want to plan more of it for 2024. 

I am absolutely blessed to be surrounded by so many amazingly fabulous people. The bigness of this reality really hit me this year.

I feel a deep desire to connect with other humans, and I am better at loving than I thought.

I still struggle with insecurities around how I will be perceived locally and online as an athlete, coach, and person. But, I have gathered a solid toolbox to be able to self correct when I find myself down a path of focusing on them. 

I can be really good at disassociating. I don’t want to default to this anymore. 

I also believe that I lean into “over-understanding.” 

Although I put a very high value on honesty, I still occasionally tell little lies to myself and others! They tend to be the silliest, most inconsequential, pretty much always unnecessary white lies. Don’t be quick to judge– take some time with your own thoughts and words and you might be surprised…

When fear drives me I want to control everything. I keep peeling back layers in the dysfunction in my thoughts and actions, to see that control is still at the center.

In order to live authentically, I need to share about my faith more as the foundation that I stand on; my source of peace, accountability, joy, contentment, growth, and love; and where I surrender my control.  

I am grateful. And, I want people to know that. Thank you for reading this today, and always. 

I am sure there is more, but I thought this was a solid start. I urge you to make your list. Some of your may even align with mine. Over the next several weeks I will tackle some of these topics with the hope that we can all focus on the path to living as we were made to be. On January 1, 2024 and beyond.