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Happy Birthday! Or Taking Stock of All I Have
By Kate Harper

"I've learned that we cannot forget or throw away our past, But we must not allow our past to control us either. We must learn and grow from our past failures, Disappointments, pains and experiences. Reset our goals and priorities... and move forward."
Ty Howard

I don't know about you, but my own birthday leads me to look back, not only over the previous year, but even further back to assess what differences there are, if any, between now and then. This can be a fairly subduing experience, but on this First Birthday of Do Something! (my newsletter, and also of my mother - Happy Birthday, Mum!) with the sun shining brightly outside, I am looking back with different eyes. Often we get distracted by the things that didn't go to plan, by the dramas that may have occurred, or even by those periods of deadly dull-dom! We zone in on the negative and can sometimes overlook those things that have led us to where we are now which were more positive, even if they were actions taken as a result of something unexpected, and possibly unwelcome, happening. I have said this before, and it is a well-known phrase - "Stuff happens!" What is important is how we chose to deal with that stuff and what we learn from the experience!

How do you look back? Are you taking stock of all you have and all you've achieved, or are you letting yourself be distracted by the events and thoughts that were unhelpful or not what you wanted? Don't dwell in the past. Don't get anchored in what might have been, but use all that you have gone through as a way of taking you forward. You are here and now and you are what you are because of all that you've experienced. Take stock and move on, using the lessons you've learned to face your future with the confidence that you can and will handle anything.

Many of us have things that we need to deal with dragging us down. Stop putting it off and filling yourself with wasted guilt or other emotions and get it done! Leave it where it should be - completed and behind you. What can you learn from how you handled the experiences you have been through? What can you glean from those times and move yourself forward? Even if it is to say, "I won't do that again!" Celebrate your achievements! What can you do for yourself this week to acknowledge how well have you done? Get it in your diary and do it!

We can all make improvements to our activity levels. Looking back over the past year, you can assess what activities you have been involved in. Use this to plan your future activities. Were there activities that you tried but didn't enjoy? Which did you enjoy the most? How can you add more of these in? What made the difference? This can help you to choose those that suit you the most.

Did you spend time doing things that you didn't want to do? What brought this about? How much control did you have over the situation? Are you still doing things you don't want to do? What can you do to change this? Whose help do you need to make this happen? Do you need to make some tough decisions?

What new things did you experience? What would you like to do? Take that step and get started! Ever since I heard about Salsa dancing, (nearly 20 years ago!) I have wanted to try it. Circumstances were against me - until last month. I am now going to classes which have started in the village - and I LOVE it! Look back and remember what you yearned to do. Then make it happen.

Creative expression, whether it be by writing, art, music or any other means is so important for each and every one of us. What did you do? What would you like to do? And how would you like to do it? Go on! Express yourself!

How did you help others? How can you do more? This doesn't have to involve cash. Time and effort is usually all that is required. When we take stock of all we have and compare it to others, surely we have at least a little something to give.

Kate Harper is a Motivation Coach based in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. Check out her website

She works with people from all over the world who are seeking change in their lives. If that is you, please take a look at Kate's website. Her special interests are the promotion of Wellbeing and Self Confidence through her coaching.