Together we’ll process what you’ve been through this year, so that you can forgive the mistakes made, heal lingering wounds, reflect on the lessons learned and finish the year strong.
FINISH STRONG CHALLENGE
WHAT WERE YOUR HIGHLIGHTS THIS YEAR?
Bring up the special moments of this year... maybe they were tiny moments of pleasure, a delicious bite of something, the sweet sound of your child’s laughter or a gorgeous sunset you witnessed.
Maybe it was an achievement, a milestone, a piece of news you received or a fantastic experience you got to have.
It’s easy to think there weren’t special moments, but sometimes the most gratifying and meaningful times come in small packages! So small that we might completely skip over celebrating them or noting them - but that would be a sore oversight.
Take some time today to linger on moments of beauty, of satisfaction, joy, connection, delight, entertainment that came up this year... pick one or two to “capture."
As you let them flood your mind, ask yourself: how can I introduce more moments like these? How can I hold onto these feelings that are flooding me as I think about these special times? Notice the feeling in your body.
WHAT WERE YOUR LOWLIGHTS?
Rather than forgetting the lows of the year - they might need to be noticed, expressed and even respected as great learning opportunities.
There were, no doubt, challenges, disappointments, frustrations, loss, anger, sadness, shock... big or small - what were the low points that brought you down? Are you holding onto them? If so, today, take a moment to try to release them. Write them out in your Finish Strong Guide or in the comments over on Instagram or Facebook, and in doing so let go of the burden of carrying them with you.
Write them out in as much pain, anger, sassiness or sarcasm as you need in order to let them move through you and out of you... what lessons are there here? What are these memories “asking” for? Do they need to be acted on? Or simply noticed and released?
Forgive your low points for being... Name them to tame them and give them back to Mother Earth to carry for you.
HOW HAVE I CHANGED DRAMATICALLY SINCE LAST YEAR?
You know how when you haven’t seen a kid for a while - you suddenly notice how much taller they got? But when you’re with them every day you don’t quite notice as much...
We’re all growing and changing all the time - but because we’re “with ourselves” we might not take note.
Today, give yourself the gift of noticing and potentially celebrating the ways in which you’ve changed over the past year. I bet you’ve had some real growth spurts too - perhaps they were hard won!
If the “you” from this time last year met you right now - what would they be surprised to see in you?
How have you grown and adapted? How have your opinions changed? How has your character changed and evolved?
WHICH LESSONS DID I LEARN THIS YEAR THAT I WANT TO TAKE WITH ME?
Don’t let the teachings of this year fall by the wayside as you slip back into old habits and “autopilot” mode. Write down some lessons that you want to remember for the future.
Maybe you learned something new about your child, about yourself, an awesome recipe you were introduced to - or some important insights about your relationship patterns. What are you taking with you into the future?
Can you articulate some clear lessons - big or small - from this year? What have you learned?
WHAT EXPERIENCES NEED TO STAY IN THE PAST?
I’m sure there are some experiences from this year that are weighing heavy on your shoulders - can you lighten your load? What would it take to put them down?
To finish the year strong, we need to consciously become aware of the stories that are heavy on our hearts. If we don’t release them somehow - they can fester and grow into life long resentments. Chips on our shoulder can turn us bitter over time.
What do you need in order to let go of annoyances, grievances, disappointments of this year? How can you set them down?
SURPRISE! WHAT WAS IT?
Every year brings some twists and turns. What came out of left field this year? What was shocking? What was confusing and completely misaligned to your expectations?
Perhaps you were very surprised by world events. Or perhaps it was your own reactions, feelings and thoughts that surprised you. Maybe you had some very pleasant surprises - or others that were very uncomfortable shocks to the system.
When we’re caught off guard, that can create a “gap” in our story that can be hard to bridge. Reminding ourselves how we were surprised and telling the story can help us make sense of it and integrate it into our narrative in a more seamless way.
What were your surprises? Why were you surprised?
WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED?
Sometimes events unfold exactly as predicted. Sometimes people behave just as we expect. Sometimes our prophecies come true.
What were some things that other people were shocked by - but you were not. What were some things that seemingly might have been unpredictable - yet you saw them coming. How was life boring? What was same old, same old? What was repetitive and unsurprising?
WHICH RELATIONSHIPS FLOURISHED, GREW AND EXPANDED?
There were some people who you grew closer to this year. Intimacy that was taken to a new level. Mutual understanding, respect, love or compassion.
Maybe loved ones, maybe strangers on the Internet, maybe your own self... who did you get to know better and how? Who did you grow closer with and why?
WHO IS NO LONGER IN YOUR LIFE...?
Some people left your circle of closeness this year. Maybe by choice, maybe without any conscious awareness... relationships drifted apart.
It could be people who moved away, friendships that have lost touch, or big nasty blow outs with people. Perhaps you’ve “broken up” with parts of yourself.
Perhaps you’ve simply moved on or outgrown some relationships. Perhaps you’ve consciously decided to part ways with others.
WHAT MADE YOU PROUD OF BEING YOU?
There were moments this year when you showed up as your best self. You shined your light bright. You were in your power, creativity and integrity.
Perhaps small moments of spilled milk that you handled with grace. Perhaps a conversation that you aced. Or maybe you brought your best energy to a project that you got off the ground.
Take some time to brag to yourself in your Finish Strong Guide and celebrate the wins of being you. It will give you insight into the “you” that you want to be and when you are truly living your values.
WHAT MADE ME FEEL ASHAMED OF ME?
There were those moments you felt like a failure, like you had messed up or like you were in the wrong. Moments of self betrayal or just giving in to our bad habits and worst demons.
It’s unpleasant to face them - but also liberating. We all show up as our worst self sometimes and do or say things we’re ashamed of. We handle things poorly. We react immaturely. We let our sinister side get the better of us. We lie to ourselves or others. We disappointed ourselves.
Best to notice what those times were - and perhaps what led to them? Why were we running on empty? Why were we susceptible to self sabotage? What needs did we have that were not being met?
THIS YEAR I LOST...
The cycle of nature itself is a cycle of death and rebirth... so we all experience loss and rebirth all the time.
Sometimes our losses are palpable, tangible and tragic. Sometimes they are subtle, mundane and day-to-day...
Loss. What comes up for you when you reflect on that word? What have you lost? Perhaps loved ones.
Or perhaps more simple losses... opportunities. Ideas. Plans. Hopes. Dreams. Fantasies. Parts of your identity.
Giving ourselves the appropriate time to cry over the loss, to spell it out for ourselves - to go through the cycle of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Only though this cycle are we eventually able to move on.
What do you need to grieve - big or small - and how can you do so?
LIFE IS TOO SHORT NOT TO... CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES!
Our negativity bias means that we linger longer and stronger on the bad than the good. But you have things to celebrate Every. Single. Day.
Have you given yourself permission and space to do so? Go ahead and do that today. What was awesome? What was fantastic? What do you need to give thanks for? What was pretty darn cool?
WHAT FELT MEANINGFUL?
We all have an inner barometer of meaning. Things that make us feel a tingling sense that “this” is what life is all about.
Spiritual emotions such as awe, gratitude, reverence - come up for us whenever we stumble across something that feels meaningful to us. We sense that we are doing something important, something of value, something that makes life worth living.
Something that leaves a legacy for our children. Something that aligns well with our value and purpose.
These can be fleeting day-to-day moments - like overcoming a challenging conflict with our partner, or rising above the trigger, or taking proper care of our selves and our homes.
Or they can be more visible passion projects we take on. Either way - they are like guideposts to the “us” we want to be.
HUH. THAT WAS A WASTE OF MY PRECIOUS TIME.
Notice the times you might have spun your wheels for nothing. What did you invest in that ultimately felt silly or useless? What felt like a waste of energy?
It’s important for us to try to direct our precious resources away from endeavors and relationships that feel like a bottomless pit - something that will continuously suck our time and efforts, but never really get anywhere.
What were your energy sucks this year? Perhaps time spent on social media... time spent arguing with people who will never understand you... time spent on mundane distractions that aren’t really going to build into anything purposeful for you?
When was your time wasted on pointless endeavors? How can you drop those now and redirect your energy to meaningful ones?
You definitely mastered something this year. Or at least grew your skills in significant ways. Maybe it’s something obvious like growing vegetables. Or something personal like waking up with a smile. Fitness? Sleep? Money? Relationships? Hobbies? What skills were taken to the next level this year.
Every year we get better and better at something. Ideally we make it something we’re consciously choosing to evolve in. Otherwise we might get better and better at being a grumpy pants!
Give yourself some kudos for working on your craft, your communication style, your health, your time management, your ability to eat chocolate in the pantry without the kids catching you... or anything else.
ERM, YOU FORGETTING SOMETHING?
Whoa - you just totally gonna let that go? Yes, sometimes things we had once mastered fall by the wayside. Languages, music, dance, flexibility, cooking skills, money mindset, non-violent communication skills... what have you completely left to rust this year?
Take note of the parts of yourself you are not developing - and remember to “use it or lose it”. Are you OK with this skill regressing? If so that’s fine! If not - how about you #FinishStrongWithTPJ by reintroducing it into your life a little? Can you pick up the clarinet for a little whirl? Can you get into downward dog - even if those hamstrings are super tight?
Remember: 1 Minute is better than No Minutes. Whip out that Finish Strong Guide or tell us over on Instagram or Facebook - What skills are gathering dust in the dark closet? Can you take them out for a Finish Strong whirl?
WHAT DID I TAKE GOOD CARE OF THIS YEAR?
You’re a nurturing person, I’m sure. What did you nurture and nourish? What did you care for with patience and attention and love?
Sometimes we can get hard on ourselves because there are always more things to take care of - but today I want you to take note of the many things you’re taking care of so well already.
There’s a lot on your plate and you are taking good care of many of them. It’s worth noting what’s going well! What are you directing your attention to? What is feeling under control? Which areas do you feel fully equipped, capable and in fact very successful at meeting your own standards of care?
Got your Finish Strong Guide? Fill out your journal prompt or share with us on Instagram or Facebook - which areas of your life were well cared for this year? What did you nurture, nourish and lavish attention on?
WHICH AREAS OF YOUR LIFE WANTED MORE?
With everything you’ve got going on, you couldn’t possibly care for everything perfectly. So some areas suffered from a lack of attention. What were they?
This might feel like a unique “failure” of yours - but we all experience the sense that we’re neglecting important areas of our life: Perhaps it’s our health, our time management, our finances, our child’s developmental, educational or social needs, our housework, our health goals...
Simply notice, without judgment, the areas of your life that you feel could use a little more of your energy. Where could some of that energy come from? As you look to #FinishStrongWithTPJ how can you redirect some loving attention to these parts of your life?
To Finish Strong, answer the journal prompt in your Finish Strong Guide or in the comments over on Instagram or Facebook. Which parts of your life need a little bit more from you? Where will that energy come from?
WHAT WERE THE SENSATIONS OF THIS YEAR?
Switch up the “thinking” mode and step into the “sensing” mode - if you turn to your senses of touch, smell, sight, sound, taste... what does this year bring up? Paint yourself a sensory picture.
Weird, I know. But sometimes we can access information about how we’re processing things through our senses, rather than our thoughts or even feelings. Our senses will flash images, textures, colors, sounds, smells and tastes - all of which can help us to “self diagnose” what came up for us during this year.
Notice what goes on in your body - where do you tense up and why? Where do you relax and why? What do these things mean to you? No right or wrong answers here.
Take note of the bodily interpretations of this past year and jot them down in your Finish Strong Guide or share them in the comments over on Instagram or Facebook. How might they provide a clue to your internal state?
HA! HA! HA!
There was laughter this year... surely. Something must have cracked you up. Whether it’s stand-up comedy, an awkward moment or even some really bad news that got you into a nervous laugh... what made you crack up?
Laughter is contagious and it’s medicine. What makes you laugh? Do you laugh enough? How can you get some more laughs into your life each day?
To #FinishStrongWithTPJ grab your Finish Strong Guide and set yourself a challenge of finding the humor and laughing more freely, more easily and more often. Please share in the comments over on Instagram or Facebook.
What made you laugh and what could make you laugh more?
DID YA CRY? WAS IT GOOD?
Crying can be incredibly healing too. Crying is a physical release of our emotions - after a “good cry” many of us feel lighter and more relaxed and are better able to cope or come to terms with certain realities.
Maybe you experienced full blown panic attacks this year. Maybe slow, hot tears rolling down your cheeks. Maybe big, gasping sobs. Maybe you need to cry right now.
Like laughing, crying is something some of us can access easily and others of us hardly ever shed a tear.
Think back to your tears this year - what were they induced by? How did it feel to let them out? Who were you with? Why then?
What made you cry? Do you still need a good sob-fest?
YES. WE DID IT.
You got some *ish done this year. I bet you did. In your family, whether you’ve noticed it or not:
There were milestones met.
There were plans that worked out well.
There were some dreams that came true.
Hard to bring them to mind? Consider things you’ve successfully manifested on a day-to-day basis. Consider things you’ve got done. Think of those plans you made that you somehow actually pulled off!
You’ve hit some important milestones and made some dreams come true - even if they’re tiny weeny invisible-to-the-naked eye dreams. What were they?
It might feel like you got nothing done... but you really and truly did. What was it? Why is that significant?
WHAT DIDN’T WORK OUT?
Some stuff didn’t go as planned. Some dreams had to be postponed. Some milestones have been missed...
Maybe there’s still room to retrieve some of the hopes we had for this year and manifest them to #FinishStrongWithTPJ this year! Maybe some can be rescheduled for a later date. And yet others may never happen at all...
Take the time today to journal in your Finish Strong Guide and notice: did I plan over ambitiously? Were my expectations unrealistic? Or perhaps did life just throw a completely unforeseen series of events and circumstances my way?
Missed events and messed up plans are an invitation to step into the energy of surrender and creativity. Plot twists teach us agility, flexibility and adaptability. What did you need to adapt to this year?
ENERGY & EMOTION
Get woo woo with me for a moment here. If you had to describe your “energy” this year - what’s the vibe? What was your frequency like? What were you emitting into the world?
What emotions were the overriding emotions of the year? Was your energy stable and strong? Was it like a volatile roller-coaster? Was it easily influenced by others and external events? Was it protected or vulnerable?
Were you at the mercy of other people energies? Were you spiraling in particular emotional spirals? Would you classify them as negative or positive or neutral?
As you look to #FinishStrongWithTPJ - What can you do to increase your energy levels right now? How can you raise your frequency and step into your highest vibrations? What would feel good?
WHAT WAS MISSING?
Have you had emotional episodes in the past that didn’t visit this year (for better or worse)? Or energetic vibrations that just weren’t around this year? What was missing?
Perhaps you used to feel big bouts of sadness and that didn’t happen this year. Or you used to experience super high vibes of energetic presence - oneness with the universe and all that - but this year you were disconnected from those feelings.
What was absent and why? Did you miss it? Did you crave it? Did you even notice it was gone?
What energies and emotions didn’t show up - even though you might have had them in the past - and why? Jot down some of your noticings in your Finish Strong Guide or in the comments over on Instagram or Facebook.
FORGIVENESS IS FOR YOU...
My guess is you have your stories on how you’ve failed this year... failed yourself, failed others. Maybe you’re being a little hard on yourself? Is this how you would speak to a good friend? Is this how you would want your child to talk to themselves?
What would it take for you to look yourself in the mirror and forgive your human flaws? Let go a little bit of any lingering (or crippling) perfectionism? What would it take to see your mistakes as learning opportunities and your failures as just an attempt that didn’t go according to plan? What mantra would help you let go of that right now?
To #FinishStrongWithTPJ we need to be kind to ourselves, believe in ourselves and let go of all our messy middle mess ups...
Finish this sentence: I need to forgive myself for...
OTHERS ARE HUMAN AND THEY MESS UP TOO...
Sometimes they mess up big time. That can truly suck.
The problem with holding onto those hurts is that it ends up weighing us down. Forgiveness is for you too, not just for them. Because resentment is like a parasite inside us - it eats us up from the inside out - leaving our relationships hollow. Other people will no doubt have disappointed you in myriad ways... are you ready to let that go?
Are you ready to move on and move past? What would need to happen? What do you need to reframe? What boundary might you need to set or conversation might you need to have?
#FinishStrongWithTPJ and do it for you.
THE UNIVERSE DOESN’T ALWAYS SEEM TO MARCH TO OUR RHYTHM.
Do you sometimes look out at the world and feel helpless, powerless, angry or upset at how things are unfolding? What can you do to allow things to be, imperfect as they might seem?
What perspective would help you to make friends with the universe right now? What type of attitude would you need to adopt to step into a more trusting and surrendered space? Into a more creative and empowered energy? Into the feeling that things are as they are meant to be? What would help with that?
The Universe is as it is. What does that sentence bring up for you right now? Can you forgive and surrender to it? Process your thoughts in your Finish Strong Guide or in the comments over on Instagram or Facebook.
GRATITUDE. WHAT FOR?
Take a deep breath with me now. Are you able to view this past year through the lens of gratitude? Yes, there were no doubt highs and lows. No, it wasn’t all unicorns and fairy dust. Still - are there gifts you can experience gratitude for?
Clichéd as it may be, gratitude is a practice, habit and emotion that contributes to our mental wellness. If you summoned the spirit of sadness, complaints, entitlement, depression, worry... you could potentially finish the year with those being your driving feelings.
Equally, you have the power to summon a sense of gratitude into your body, heart and brain - which would leave you feeling much lighter, happier and more positively focused (which, in turn, contributes to your physical and mental health, your immune system, your productivity and so on).