Personal Review

Self reflectionI have this new friend who just started working with the company a few months ago.  Super interesting guy with all these ideas of how to make a workplace as happy and effective as possible.  I sat down with him today to talk about what makes a good work environment, and things veered off into the world of psychology.   He showed me his blog, and talked about the things he does to ensure his own personal growth.  One of the things he does is a yearly review.

This is sort of like a review you would go through at work, only you’re looking at your life as a whole instead of your professional world.  I found it so interesting I decided to use his guide to do my first ever personal review.

Here are the categories he used; Love, Purpose, Community, Evolution, Inspiration, Health, Work, Finance, and My Drivers.  Basically you look at each one of those categories and figure out where you are.  So here goes!!

Love is the first one.  The ultimate question.  Do I have love in my life?  Now this isn’t all about a significant other, it’s about love everywhere.  I am not dating anyone right now, but I have love in my life.  My family loves me, my best friends love me, and what’s even more important, I love them back.  I’m confident in saying there’s all kinds of love floating around my world right now.  I just need to remember to appreciate it.

Community is about giving back.  Am I helping anyone?  Honestly, not really.  This whole year for me has been about self-reflection, and trying to get back to a place where I’m happy with myself.  I’ve come a long way and I’m proud of my success.  But maybe it’s time to start looking outside myself again, and to put the same effort into helping others.

Evolution.  Am I the same person I was this time last year?  Heck no!!  My personal journey has been massive this year!!  This time last year, I was just getting over my biggest breakup ever.  I was hitting the gym hard, trying to quickly get ready to move on and up.  I was living with my friend, who was basically taking care of me.  I had all these plans for a great future.  Now, I’m living on my own, I love my apartment, my health is steadily coming under control, and what’s most exciting, is I’m generally happy!!  This time last year I was all about hiding my pain, and convincing the world that I was fine.  Right now, I’m about living life to the fullest, and achieving the things I want.

Inspiration.  This one can look a few different ways.  Do I have inspiration in my life?  Is there anything that inspires me?  I have to say my own future inspires me.  I’m officially moving on to a new job, and with that comes so much hope.  I’m inspired by the person I’m becoming.  I’m inspired by the possibilities.  I’m inspired by my new boss, who loves what he does and talks constantly about how much fun we’re going to have. I’m inspired ever time I walk into my apartment and thing ‘damn, this place is amazing!  Look what I’ve accomplished!’.  But mostly, I’m just feeling inspired to do things.  There are people who inspire me as well.  My next blog post are going to be the people who really inspire me!

Health.  Holy hell this is a interesting one to go through.  When my relationship ended, my health was at its all time worst.  Not only was I a good 20 lbs overweight because of constant mood eating, but I was also on anxiety medication.  I was having panic attacks, I was dealing with my issues with unhealthy and fattening food.  Now, things are going really well.  There are still steps I want to take in my health, but I feel good about my progress.  I’m eating well, I’m feeling good, I’m not on medication and have almost zero bodily complaints.  What I need is more exercise.  I don’t get anywhere near enough.  In fact, I get almost none.  I’ve been stretching every night, but I go through phases of running, and I’m on an off phase right now.  If I was going to set a goal, it would be to finish this month of healthy eating, and then incorporate exercise a few times a week.

Work is also an interesting category.  If I had done this review a few weeks ago, work would have sucked royally!!  But today I’m all full of optimism.  I’ve quit my awful job, and I’m heading to my new job on February 1st.  I’m super excited, nervous, and simply can’t wait!!  I hope the review of work next year shows the same amount of excitement and optimism.

Finances are a pickle.  The other day, I sat down and wrote everything out.  My debt, my bills… everything.  Financially, I’m actually okay.  There’s so much I would like to do to aggressively pay off some debt, but I’m currently stable.  With my new job comes the chance of some real financial progress this next year, and the following few.  there’s no cap on how much I can make, there’s just going to be work involved in getting to where I want to be.  I’m predicting that fiances get more under control this next year, instead of less.  I just want to feel like I’m in control instead of constantly treading water.

My Drivers.  I didn’t understand this one at first.  It’s really about tracking the things that change you in a good way.  Because this is my first review, my patterns don’t show yet.  But knowing myself, I would say that in the last year, the things that have made the most difference are the times I took control of my own future.  Getting out of a toxic relationship was a big one. I made the decision to leave.  Doing the work to get my own place was the next big step.  It was scary, and I wasn’t sure I could do it.  I crunched the numbers, figured out my budget, saw fifty places, and eventually signed a lease.  And now, my  big new excitement comes with my new job.  Newly single, new home, new job.  It’s a brand new me!

So there it is, my current review.  I looked back mostly at the last year, because I think it’s a good starting point.  I would like to go one step farther and talk about the last ten years.  This year, I will be 29, one year away from 30.  I want to look at what I was like in my early twenties, even late teens, and compare the two people.  It was one of the sticking points in my relationship that I was changing, evolving, and he didn’t like it.  He wanted me to be the exact same person I was, and he was a few short steps away from being a curmudgeony old fart shouting ‘keep of my lawn’ to passing kids.

In my early twenties, I made no money.  I mean paying rent came down to pennies.  I liked to eat pop tarts and zoodles, and I found going to school a pain in the ass.  But mostly, I was negative.  I was always sarcastic and judgmental.  I’m happy to say that I am not that person anymore.  Positivity is my main outlook.  I believe in things now.  I’m financially worse off, school debt in all, but I’m moving forward instead of squandering.  I have ideas and drive, whereas before I was afraid of the future. Now, I’m excited about the future.  And what’s more, I’m taking my future and pushing forward.  The biggest change in the last ten years is that I’m learning to be confident and trust myself.  I used to hide.  Sometimes, I still do.  I used to spend so much time worrying about what others thought of me.  It’s a lie to say that’s gone away completely, but I do see the value in what I think of me more than what they think of me.  I’ve learned to dress so I’m more comfortable, and I’ve stopped trying to be something I’m not.  I absolutely loath peer pressure, and that’s mostly because I realize I allowed it to control so much of my life before.  Not anymore!

Take this template and do your own review.  There are a ton of ways to do this, and I urge you to make your own points.  I’m looking forward to doing this next year and seeing where I am and where I was.  I love growth.  I love when you can say ‘wow, I’m better than I was last year, which is crazy because last year I was pretty great!!’

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