Ever felt disheartened by your progress? Ready to rewrite your story and shift your narrative from struggle to success? Let's celebrate the journey with this powerful narrative journaling exercise.
Progress may feel so slow at times (and perhaps it is slow, or slower than we expected). At times it feels like you’re not really getting anywhere. Tiredness sets in. Then discouragement. That’s when you know it’s time to take a peek into the past; to glance into the rear-view mirror to see just how far you’ve come — one tiny, slow step at a time.
Twelve months ago, my husband John and I took on a renovation project in a new country. The first ten days were exciting. We embarked on a new adventure, creating something amazing for our future. Progress started rapidly, and I recall saying, “Who said renovating was hard? This is so much fun.”
Weeks turned into months, and the pace began to slacken. By six months, instead of seeing the beautiful sea view before me, I only saw bare dirt patches, unpainted pillars, and unfinished rooms. Guests were due to arrive, and the place looked like a building zone.
I moaned to myself, “Will we ever get this finished?”
That’s when I decided to revisit photographs from just a few months earlier. I was amazed by the transformation we had achieved, the pillars that had been painted, and the blossoming garden we had cultivated. Those before-and-after images served as a powerful reminder that, even though our project was far from completion, we had accomplished so much we could be proud of.
As the sun set that evening, we quietly celebrated our achievements. Our renovation project was not just about transforming a house; we’d been transforming our life. We were reminded that joy isn’t only to be found in final accomplishments, rather, we resolved to find joy in each and every step of the project.
Celebrate Your Journey – Narrative Journaling Exercise
As we approach the end of the year, you might find yourself pondering unmet goals or feeling dissatisfied with your progress. Here's an exercise to reshape your narrative and celebrate the progress you've made - no matter how small it may seem. By acknowledging your journey, you can find encouragement to continue with a positive and joyful heart.
1. Find Your Inspired Space
Begin by finding a quiet and inspirational space. If possible, go outside and immerse yourself in nature, away from the walls and ceiling of your home or office. Whether it's daytime or nighttime, take a moment to connect with the vastness of the universe around you. Breathe deeply and recognise your place as a part of this intricate web of existence.
2. Reflect on Your Journey
Open your pen and journal, use these headings, and write free-flowing onto the page …
Look Where I’ve Come From …
Think about the starting point of the year, or when you set your goal or intention. What small and significant steps have you taken? What have you been grateful for? Have there been stand-out moments of joy? What learnings can you add to your own life book of wisdom? Have there been unexpected areas in your life where you have grown?
The Challenges I’ve Overcome …
Consider the challenges and obstacles that have crossed your path. Next to each challenge, write about the inner strength and abilities you summoned to confront them. Think about how you can use those learnings, strengths, and abilities to keep moving forward.
3. Celebrate and Pledge to Keep Moving Forward …
Create a moment of celebration for your achievements, however minor they may seem. Craft your own celebration ritual, create a celebration jar, indulge in self-care, create a vision board, compose a heartfelt letter to yourself in appreciation for your efforts.
Make a pledge to continue your journey with determination and joy. This celebration and commitment will rejuvenate you, reinforcing the idea that your journey is a beautiful chapter in your life story.
Remember, progress is not always about the destination; it's also about the steps you take along the way. Embrace your journey, cherish each moment, and find the inspiration to keep moving forward.