Weekly Wins

One of my joy habits is to end every week celebrating what went right instead of dwelling on all the things that went wrong. To that end, I’ll keep posting my weekly wins here on my blog as both a form of accountability for myself and a continual drip of encouragement for readers to try this simple exercise themselves to see what kind of joy it produces.

I’m on the road with limited time and internet access, so I’ll be brief in describing my three biggest wins this week:

Win #1. I made it to Bangkok with my husband in a spirit of ease. While I’m thankful to have arrived in Bangkok safely, I’m calling it a win because I intentionally chose to travel in a different spirit on this trip. Typically, I get anxious (especially when traveling internationally). So this time around, I challenged myself to shift my mindset from focusing on the vast array of things that might go wrong to focusing on the things that were going well. And every time things went off the rails, I just told myself: “everything is working for my highest good”. It felt weird at first, but I have travelled enough to know that everything really does work out and I always get where I’m intending to go. I can’t exactly describe it, but choosing a different mindset made the trip quite enjoyable.

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Win #2. Speaking of mindset shifts, I’m counting it as a win that I was able to go with the flow in Bangkok. Typically, I over-plan our agenda. But on this trip, I experimented with being open to exploring the city without every minute of the day being pre-planned and structured. It resulted in a beautiful balance of spontaneous adventures and planned activities.

Win #3. We met up with a travel group on Thursday to explore Bhutan and I’m considering it a win that I chose to show up differently than how I usually show up in groups. I’m what’s known as “slow to warm up” in a new group of people. That means I usually hang back, observe, and when/if I feel comfortable, I start to engage with people. It often leads people to think that I’m “stand-offish” or “unfriendly” which makes it harder to interact with them when I’m ready. This time I decided to be open, engaged, and 100% myself from Day 1. Life is to short to slowly warm up and the best thing about early retirement is you no longer have to play the games of impression-management. It felt great to jump in with both feet in my travel group. And guess what? That openness resulted in an invitation to extend our trip with a few of our fellow travelers to a place I’ve always wanted to go: Tibet!

As you can probably tell, my wins this week all revolve around making different choices in how I choose to show up and interpret new situations. I’m continuing to try new ways of being and these three experiments were well worth trying!

As always, that feels great! But don’t believe me, try it yourself! It only takes a few minutes to write down your own 3 biggest wins of the past week. I promise it will leave you feeling a powerful sense of gratitude, joy and positive energy.

 

Weekly Wins

flying to bangkokI like to pause at the end of every week to intentionally remember and write down my three biggest wins. I call routine practices like these my “joy habits” because they are : 1) repeated behaviors, 2) built into my weekly schedule and 3) they are guaranteed to produce joy.

During my transition into retirement, joy habits like these were critically important as they provide a structure during times when you loose the structure of a workplace. They provide a way to recognize and acknowledge yourself for the new types of (unpaid) work you are engaged in. And they get positive energy consistently flowing during a transitional period where it’s normal to experience self-doubt, confusion, and uncertainty.

This week, my three biggest wins were:

  1. I completed and submitted a short piece of writing for publication. For me, it’s important to keep learning, creating, and supporting others in retirement because I didn’t retire from any of those things! Writing is an important way for me to keep doing all three. And as a bonus, the piece I submitted was an advice column so hopefully it will be helpful to those who read it.
  2. A year ago I was invited to be on the board of an education company. I had never served on a board before, but thought it would be a great learning experience for me, an opportunity to expand my network and a concrete way to support a young CEO. This week we had a successful meeting, I was able to contribute in a meaningful way and it’s deeply satisfying to see the company growing.
  3. We left Friday for a trip to Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal (that’s what delayed me in posting my weekly wins!). I’m considering this a win for many reasons but the biggest one is that being retired means we can travel when we want to instead of having to squeeze our travel in when work schedules allow it. Sitting on the plane today was one of those moments that reminded me how grateful I am to my younger self that I picked up Your Money or Your Life and followed those steps!

The whole point of Friday Wins is to remind myself that no matter what went wrong this week (a lot), I choose how to end it. And choosing to celebrate the wins always generates positive energy and a spirit of gratitude.

But don’t believe me, give it a try and see what happens!