Project 20|20 – Week 2: Gratitude

2020 Pulse

Project 20|20 – Week 2: Gratitude

Last week, I suggested a self-reflection exercise to identify what types of goals we want to achieve in 2020. Without knowing where we want to be, it is impossible to get there. By writing down the list of goals, we increase the chances we will follow through.

If you had not had a chance to work on that, do it this week. Imagine how you will feel when you succeed, picture what clothes you will wear to celebrate, and with whom you will share it. Set a reward that will make you happier and give you an incentive to pursue new accomplishments. 

This week, I would like to reflect on gratitude. Being grateful has been an important exercise for me. It gets hard to be thankful when I am in pain, or my dreams and desires are being chopped because of things I have no control of.

When you think about the word gratitude, what comes to your mind? People, things, places? The past, the present, the future, your life? I will list a few areas that we may use to explore, acknowledge, and experience gratitude this week. 

1- People

We all have been influenced by the people around us. Some of them were good teachers, others showed us how not to behave and treat others. The social experience is rich in opportunities not only to define who we are but also to learn from other people’s mistakes. Life is better when we are blessed by having family members and friends who love us and appreciate us. That is not the rule, though.

This week, spend time to remember three people who made a positive impact on your life. A school teacher, a friend, a family member, a doctor, or a neighbor. Think about what they did or continue to do and how it makes you feel. Can you find an opportunity to do the same for others and pay it forward? Are you able to tell them how important they were to you, if so, why not?

2- Things

We usually pay more attention to the things we lack and want than the stuff we have today. Why? 

For me, I have yet to learn to appreciate my own successes instead of focusing on them.

In the next few days, find at least three important and positive things that were or still are part of your life today. Something that not everybody has, and maybe taken for granted. It can be the school you attended, your health, family, a job (even if it’s not your dream job), places you went or can, food, shelter, your ability to write and read, have access to the internet, or clean water. We all have been surrounded by infinity things we should be grateful for; nevertheless, we may take them for granted.

3- Last Year’s Lessons 

We are still in the first week of the new year. The past twelve months were filled with experiences and learnings. Can you write down at least three critical teachings you took from last year? How did they make you feel? What did you do with these teachings? Would you be able to apply to your life this year?

Earlier this week, I was reading a Harvard Medical School paper about Gratitude ( Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier ) and learned how it is connected to greater happiness. So, wouldn’t it be fabulous to become a more grateful person this year, meaning more content?

The paper explains how gratitude can make us feel positive emotions, get healthier, improve our ability to deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

As we look into this new year, let’s build together a hopeful and positive mindset. That is one of my goals with this website and this blog. 

I plan to come back on this gratitude theme a few times this year, as it is the powerful reminder and antidote to sadness, frustration, and anger, as well as a great trigger to more happiness.

I want to uplift my mindset and the way I look at life today and tomorrow. It will surely help me be healthier and happier. 

Check the template I created below, hopefully, it will help you. I am grateful for having you join me on this challenge. 

2020 Project Gratitude

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

Project 20|20 – Week 1: Self-Reflection

2020 Pulse

In the United States, when we go to an optometrist to check our eyesight, the goal is to have a 20|20 vision. This is a term used to represent sharpness of vision, measured at a distance of 20 feet.

When someone has a 20|20 vision, it means one can clearly see at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance.

I wanted to use this term as a metaphor and create a 52-week mindfulness program. As the year 20|20 starts, I want to extend this 20|20 ability to my mindset. I want to be able to see and appreciate the present moment, without getting tangled on it, while being hopeful to all the future holds.

Week 1: Self-Reflection

So, you decided to jump in, kick start your first week, and begin a journey of a new you. An important area to look at: what do you love in your life? What do you enjoy doing?

In my case, it took years to include ‘myself’ on that list. Only after lupus’ diagnose, I started to understand the importance of loving myself and putting my physical and emotional health first. Without including ourselves in that list, it will be harder to succeed.

I want this initial week to hold a self-reflection. Understand where we want to be, so we can re-engineer our thoughts and identify what we need to do to get there. I will list 3 questions that will hopefully help us.

1- Do You Know Exactly Why?

Why, is such an important question to ask ourselves. I suggest you ask why at least three times.

The goal is to understand the value of our effort. Picture the rewards. By doing that, we increase the chance to succeed.

We just started a new year, so an excellent place to start is to think about what you want to let go and be different in 2020. If you want some food for thought, take a moment to read my blog, “What Can You Let Go?” 

For example:

You may want to be healthier. You want to pay more attention to your health because by doing so, you will be able to enjoy things in life that are not possible today. Why? because you have been spending more time at doctors than with your family … and so forth.

Or maybe, you would like to do something different professionally, because you are not happy with the daily job you have. Why? You may not be satisfied with your regular role, because you prefer working with people, instead of computers … and so forth.

No matter what the reason is driving the change, envision yourself in the position that you want to be, and start working on it.

2- Do You Know What Needs To Be Done To Be Able To Achieve Your Goal?

The next step I suggest is to identify what you must do to accomplish your goal. For example, to have better health, you may need to rethink your diet, or find a consistent exercise routine that fits your schedule, and/or change doctors. Now, be very descriptive in terms of what you will do, where, and how often. Including days and time. The more detail you have in your plan, the more likely you will be able to accomplish it. Be realistic, set goals that are reasonable for you today, and push yourself as you go.

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” – Arthur Asher

3- What Are Your Superpowers?

We all have powerful skills that have allowed us to get where we are. Understanding our desires, strengths, and qualities is a powerful combination. Write ten qualities, talents, and skills you have. Now, describe yourself in three words. 

Tip: If you need help with that, ask people who know you well to give their 2 cents!

Download the templates:

Week 1 – Goal Ideas

20|20 Project – WEEK 1

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.” – Vern McLellan

The Time Is Now

closed-door and end of the year of fighting lupus
closed-door and end of the year of fighting lupus

The Time Is Now

I can’t believe it’s over — another year of living with lupus, another life chapter with learnings and milestones.

Just one year ago, I decided to start this blog. It feels like a short journey, but we have been together for 52 weeks.

This past year this blog took me on a trip to the unknown, of self-discovery, finding my way back to healing, rising myself from my cocoon of shame to take care of my health, and build the strength to continue to move forward as I am.

Putting my face out, confronting my fears, insecurities, and sculpturing a brand-new identity has helped me overcome the emotional and physical pain I thought I could not bear.

This Is Us

People who live with the challenges of a complex disease get a lot of deep scars. The disregard and misunderstanding of our community, government authorities, employers, the health care system, can make us feel unworthy of attention. We need to change that.

This past year, on my Instagram and FB pages, I saw many of you rising from the ashes, checking out of hospitals, much stronger than you checked in. I saw beautiful smiles with red lipsticks, charming long eyelashes to help disguise the inner pain.

That’s who we are. We are fighters. We lose a battle but never give up the big fight. We stood up tall, brought our families together, looked for the better side, and fought for the cure. Each of you has inspired me differently and given me the sense that I am not alone.

I am very grateful to have you. Thank you.

I learned the power of my mind in my wellbeing, how meditation and positive thinking worked as an antidote to depression, insomnia, and body pain. How real friends are essential to help heal my wounds, and love is a small 4-letter word that makes miracles. Spirituality helped me put things under perspective and pulled me to the next chapter. Praying gave me special powers and strength to overcome what I thought was impossible.

We can win this battle, and together we will achieve our goals faster.

As we close in 2019, I wish you upcoming days of pleasant beginnings. That all your regrets may rest in peace as this year ends. That your joy for life grows as time passes, and you find your way to cure your soul and heal your body.

2020

I believe 2020 holds something special. It is an opportunity to see things differently. Create the perfect vision of who we are, what we are capable of, and what is ahead of us.

For the upcoming year, I decided to create a 52-week program for myself, and I will share it with each one of you, every week. I believe if we do this together, we can be more successful by learning with each other.

I am going to call it 2020 Project: Eyes on Me. I will share more information next week, including templates and ideas on how to set achievable goals for a better us. Hopefully, that will inspire you to live a better life and start the new year with your hopes high and your hearts open.

Let’s remember that together we build a better tomorrow, no matter how hard yesterday was.

Happy 2020 – may you keep your eyes on you.

Yours truly,

Hope