Too often we don’t recognize or give ourselves credit for the progress we’ve made over time.

This morning, as I was reflecting on what this year will bring, I had an aha moment. I was thinking about how I see myself and the labels that go along with those thoughts. My focus (that’s my word for the year) went straight to the negative labels.  But it wasn’t all bad. You see, almost three years ago I did a similar exercise during which I identified labels which I felt defined me at that time. That exercise was deeply painful. It dredged up long buried places of pain, shame and rejection. But the exercise ended with a promise… the promise of the truth of who I am.

Today when I did a similar exercise I realized those old labels no longer defined me. They had no hold over me. They weren’t even a consideration as I reflected on what my story would be for the year 2017.  And I felt excited! Excited to know there had been growth, even in the midst of great challenges and self-sabotage.

And I felt hope for what this year will bring.

So do ourself a favor. Take time to stop long enough to reflect not just on the past year, but the years before. Open your eyes and heart to see the progress you’ve made, even if it wasn’t all you’d hoped it would be. Acknowledge and celebrate the good. Write it down. Savor the discovery. And prepare for a new year of growth, change and adventure.