Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Winter Quarter Goals: The importance of self-reflection

Every quarter (my college is on the quarter system rather than semester, I set goals for myself. I write them in my old-school, pen-and-paper journal, and I refer back to them to keep myself motivated throughout the quarter. Before I get into my self-over-analyzation, let's see how they turned out:
1. Get and Stay < 115 
 Yep, that's a weight goal. One that I didn't need. I am proud to say it was crossed off the list at the waaaay beginning of the quarter and forgotten. I haven't weighed myself in over 2 months, and I'm loving the freedom from the numbers.

2. Work out at least 3xs a week
Success. This one was in an effort to develop and workout routine that I could really keep up. I have done this and then some, and I have to say, I feel awesome. I can tell I'm getting stronger!

3. 4.0 GPA
Haha, yea right. Abstract Algebra has ruined this one for me. But, I'm still trying to get as high as possible for the quarter.

4. Write a new song and work on getting better at guitar.
 Sorry to say, this one fell by the wayside. But, I made a new friend who also plays, and we vowed to "jam" together next quarter.

5. Spend Money more responsibly
Yea, that's still a work in progress. I just love grocery shopping!

If you can read my handwriting about, you can figure that one out for yourself

7. Continue building important relationships
Done and done. I am closer with my core group of friends than ever before, and we are all heading to HHI for Spring Break next week. This one will, obviously, continue indefinitely in the future.

I think personal reflection is really important. In the last 7-or-so months that my world has turned upside down, and I have begun the process of figuring out who I am and what I like about myself, the time I spent thinking about myself has sky rocketed. I know, I sound like am uber-conceited person right now, but what I have come to realize is that self-reflection is crucial. For me, it keeps me grounded and focused on what is truly important - something I have always seriously struggled with.

I have made assertions recently that I am making a conscious effort to focus on doing things and making decisions that I feel are right for me. Instead of pleasing all of the people around me first, I am considering my needs and responding to them. My tendency to do the opposite of this leads me to let myself get absorbed in others' lives rather than concentrating on making mine exactly what I want it to be. Honestly, this is one of the major reasons that my last relationship failed. I gave all of my time and effort to making him happy, and he (being the really good guy that he is) realized that this wasn't fair to me and ended things. He said that I needed to figure out how to love myself and make myself happy before I could do the same for someone else.

Although it was hard for me to see at first, he was right. Damn, that kid is smart. As I began to pull myself out of the heartbreak, I realized the work I needed to do on myself and began the whole "figuring out what I love about myself process".

To my surprise, I was overcome with feelings of guilt. I felt like I was going from being a complete giver to someone whose daily focus was on themself. It was really weighing me down, so I opened up to my amazing Dad about it. He understands me on a level that no one else does. I have always been a Daddy's girl, but as I have gotten older, we have gotten even closer. He knows just what to say to me to cheer me up or, in this case, shed some light on something that I am struggling with.

During our heart to heart (which happened in the car this weekend- that's were all the best talks happen), he inspired me with this little nugget of wisdom:
"There's a difference between being self-centered and having a centered self"
He elaborated by opening my eyes to the difference between being only concerned with my own wants/needs and taking the time to make sure my self is balanced and fulfilled.

I should never apologize for taking the time and energy to work on centering myself and making sure that I feel fulfilled in all parts of my life. I also need to learn to ask for help when I am struggling. I hate putting my anxieties and fears on the backs of my loved ones, but no one can get through everything completely on their own.

Although it's hard, I am taking the time to really make myself happy, and I have never known myself better. As much as it hurt at the time, the heartbreak and subsequent rebuilding that I experienced this year has been a blessing. When I am finally ready to let someone back in again, I will be confident in who I am. I will love myself and make myself happy, and that alone, will make them happy.

Here's to allowing what I've learned lead me on the right step towards tomorrow.
~ Rach


  1. I love the idea of writing goals for shorter time periods (rather than year long resolutions that never seem to work...). I try to do this too, and I find they i am so much more likely to carry them out/complete them when I write them down and have a plan of attack!

    I also relate sooo much to having the need to please others... I, too, have recently come to the conclusion that you have to do what make YOU happy first (its like the gas mask scenerio in planes.... you can't help anyone else until you help yourself first). It can be so empowering to own what you want/need and just do it/go for it.

    Great post!

    1. Thank you! And, totally agreed :)