Weekly Wins: Sunsets, A New Class and Monthly Goals

I love to end my week with a simple habit: focusing on my weekly wins. All that’s required is a brief pause to remember, reflect on, and write down three wins from the previous week.

I practice this habit every week to:

  • reverse my mental tendency to focus on the negative (i.e., ruminating over the details of everything that didn’t go as planned, blew up in my face, and/or wasn’t perfectly executed) and
  • intentionally close my week with positive energy and gratitude.

Posting my weekly wins here is my way of holding myself accountable to the habit and encouraging others to consider trying it.

Win #1: New Year, New Class!

It took a little while, but I finally found a multi-week course at a local cooking school. There are plenty of culinary schools in my area for people who want to become professional chefs. But there are hardly any cooking schools designed for home-cooks. I’m a high-spirited disaster in the kitchen! All I want is to gain confidence in the basics and improve my ability to cook healthy meals at home. I’m so happy I found this cooking school and I started Cooking 101 this week!

I swear, classrooms are like cathedrals of joy for me. It doesn’t matter if I’m the teacher or the student. It doesn’t even matter what I’m learning. There’s just something special about gathering with others who want to learn, getting fully engaged in the learning process, and walking out with new skills that lights up my brain and my spirit.

Win #2: Appreciating Beauty Around Me

This week, my husband and I have been trying to notice what time the sun sets each night and taking a few moments to stop and appreciate the beauty of the southern California sunsets. Whether that’s taking a walk on the beach or heading up to our roof to catch the vibrant colors in the sky, we’re tying to slow down and savor the spectacular natural beauty around us.

I consider this an important weekly win because I’m still learning how to slow down, notice the beauty around me, and appreciate my blessings. But the more I practice, the easier it is.

Win #3: Meeting Monthly Goals

Even though I’m retired, it’s important for me to set goals and work towards achieving them. The big difference is that post-retirement, my goals are designed to support the vision of how I want to life my life (instead of dominated by my work goals). I consider it a double-win that I felt excited reviewing my January goals and that I met almost all of them!

  • Move household to Venice beach for the winter: DONE!
  • Attend Board Meeting: DONE!
  • Start Cooking Class: DONE!
  • Start Writing Class: DONE!
  • Read 4 books: DONE! [The Power of Meaning, Inheritance, The Art of Ritual, and Team of Vipers]
  • Start drafting AP guide: DONE!
  • Hire trainer in LA: DONE!
  • 30 #DailyJoy Posts: CLOSE! (27 posts)
  • Start weekday mornings with a home-made green smoothie: CLOSE! (20 out of 23 week days)
  • Have 4 romantic date nights: DONE! [San Morello, Sunset beach walk, Sushi Enya and an evening of cocktails/conversation on our roof]
  • Write 4 blog posts: DONE!

I love seeing all the ways I moved forward this month. And I don’t need to beat myself up for the two goals I didn’t meet. I came close and can now see that I set the bar at perfection. Next month, I can gracefully lower the bar to provide some breathing room.

AAAhhhhhh……. That feels great!

It’s so quick and easy to wrap up this week with gratitude for my wins and it feels infinitely better than a round of beating myself up!

Staying Flexible

I’m also giving myself permission for this joy habit not to be perfectly executed! Ideally, I write my weekly wins on Friday afternoon. But yesterday, I suddenly realized it was the first Friday of the month. And that means it’s “food truck Friday” in Venice! All the best food trucks in LA line up on Abbott Kinney and you can wander through the most delicious smells, see the latest food trends, and chat with the food truck owners.

It’s okay to allow flexibility in our habits. I chose to drop everything and run out to the food trucks. That meant bumping my weekly wrap-up from Friday to Saturday. And guess what? I eat well last night, I got to reflect on a rainy Saturday afternoon, and it’s all good.

I hope you had a great week, lots of wins, and can release any grip perfectionism may have on your sense of joy!

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