Advance Your Goals by Owning Your Story and Celebrating Your Wins

By Mandy Johnson -Originally posted at Renegade Wellness

Generate the courage to walk into your story and own it. If we own our story, we get to write the ending and fist bump our past self as we hit those goals.

At my church, they have made 2022 “The Year to Advance,” I love the concept of devoting a year to advancing who you are now to who you can become. To advance means to move forward on purpose for a purpose, maybe not in the dictionary but go along with me here because it makes sense. 

Advance=Moving forward on purpose for a purpose

an image with a man's feet, jumped on
Photo by Redd on Unsplash

To Advance Define Your Values and Your Purpose

Understanding your purpose can be a daunting task. There are many things we do daily, just checking a box of shuttling ourselves or others from one place to another. If we don’t know why we are doing what we are, we might be busy without a purpose. 

If you have read any of my previous posts, it is no secrete I love Brene Brown and quote her often. In her book Dare to Lead, she notes that if you don’t have clear values, you won’t know why or when you should fight to work for a goal. If you don’t know where your north star is, you might sign up for a voyage you realize halfway through it was in the wrong direction because you didn’t have the right goal. I call those things that sound good but don’t feed into my purpose ‘the sparkly things’ because they distract, look pretty, and sound good. I believe that the first time I could understand my purpose was when I could define my values. 

This was very difficult for me as someone that hates to give ratings on a 0-10 scale. My husband would sometimes ask me what I wanted to do, and I would rate one activity a 3.4 and the other 3.47. It was a significant mental shift when I sat down and really tackled what it is that I value using Brene’s list and narrowed it down to just two. Make no mistake, it took significant quiet time to figure out my two values. 

My two central values are making a difference and giving back. It was a mental struggle not to circle faith or family but giving back and making a difference is how I show my love for my family. I chose to volunteer for activities at church and with my kids that are about giving back or making a difference. I don’t volunteer for the car line, but I volunteer to help supply the gym teachers with new equipment. I volunteer to host neighborhood and workplace gatherings so I can impact the lives of those I live with in my community and work with. I schedule time in the morning to write, do a devotional, and work out because I want to make a difference in my own life and not just for others. I want my kids to see my values, so I have to prioritize values and let those color what activities to prioritize with myself, the kids, and my spouse. 

To Advance Own Your Story

Now take a minute for yourself. Close your eyes. Imagine yourself in the future, and I want you to imagine yourself overflowing with love, peace, and joy and living with no guilt or shame. Imagine being free from anxiety and worry. Where are you at? Who are you with? It is possible you can’t do this on your own and might need help from a counselor to create your scene of success. However, if you take the time, Brene Brown discusses that owning your values helps generate the courage to walk into our story and own it. If we own our story, we get to write the ending. When we don’t own our story, failures, setbacks, and hurt own us

It is easier for us to remember who we have been and our failures than to imagine who we can be. You have to understand that the future image of yourself is going to come out of your imagination today. Your imagination will help to establish a vision of who you can become. Most of us only use our imagination to replay past events we can’t change instead of creating an original feature and owning our story. 

Owning your story is how you can make this your year to advance. Every day you lead the most important person in your life—yourself. You need to work on yourself regularly to make this a year to advance. You will understand how to work on yourself if you understand your values. Understanding your values will assist in knowing where you need to dedicate time while writing your story. 

To Advance Celebrate Your Wins

Now here is the last thing you need to do to make this a year to advance. Celebrate your wins. It is the part I am the worst at. Just this morning I was brushing my teeth with my six-year-old and thinking about an old memory where I told a neighbor something that really stretched the truth and caused them to feel bad. I was 12 or 13 at the time, so I had some growing to do. I was thinking about what I could never change. What I wasn’t doing was celebrating that I got up at 5:00 AM to write this post so I could live into the person that creates things weekly to help others. What I wasn’t doing was celebrating that I had a great time making dinner last night with my 7-year-old so I can live into the value making an impact on how she fuels her body. 

If you do not celebrate your small successes on your journey, you will probably never see the big changes that are possible. Celebration helps create momentum. It is momentum that takes you to your next celebration. There is a best-selling on leadership, The One Minute Manager, that discusses you need to catch people doing things right. It’s much more powerful than collecting wrong behaviors AND THAT INCLUDES FOR YOURSELF. You need to celebrate what you want to see more of. Cheer enthusiastically for yourself because if you don’t you will not think about doing it for others. If your default is to criticize yourself, your default is the criticize others.

DIG (Get Deliberate, Get Inspired, Get Going) Deep Action Steps: 

Get Deliberate: Check out the link above or here for the list of values from Brene Brown and schedule 1-2 hours with someone who will hold you accountable to figure out your two values. Maybe meet a friend for coffee and you can both figure it out for yourselves together.  

Get Inspired: Start celebrating now. Did you get to work without getting angry in the car while driving? Celebrate it. Did you do the dishes before bed? Celebrate it. Those little celebrations add up to make a bigger mental happy space. 80% of the time, when our mind wanders, we think about something more stressful than what we are doing right now. Don’t be like me. Take some of the mind-wandering time and use it to celebrate yourself. 

Get Going: After you have your values picked out, use them as a way to decide where your time is invested. Are you doing something because you feel obligated or because it plays into your story? 

This is a guest blog by Amanda (Mandy) Johnson of Renegade Wellness. Mandy empowers people to live their lives without physical limitations. This article was originally posted on her Substack.
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