1. Your daily routine is different than it was this time last year.
If your life is measured by what you do with your days, then the best way to determine how far you’ve come is how much your routine has changed (or, at least, how differently you feel while doing it).
2. You had to learn to think differently.
Whether how to calculate your income taxes for a freelance project, or how to stop feeling jealous, or how to love after loss, or why you take the political stance you do, you were challenged to change your inner narrative this year, and you did.
3. You bought yourself food for an entire year.
You worked and supported yourself for an entire year. You paid your electric bills for an entire year. You made your life happen – despite everything that made you feel as though you could not go on – for twelve months, 365 days, 8,760 hours. Your life kept moving, and you kept moving with it.
4. You stayed close with the same few people you truly love.
More than finding love or making friends, a more powerful measure of companionship is how many years you’ve been with those you already have. It is with each tallied year that you build your lifelong relationships.
5. You had to let go of dreams you were fighting for.
You learned that believing something does not necessarily mean that it’s true – and that often times, “giving up” is the most noble thing you can do. You had to surrender to your life. You had to learn to trust the unknown, and trust that you could respond to whatever comes.
6. You have a difficult time trying to remember who you were a year ago – you’ve evolved that much.
You can vaguely remember what you were doing at this time last year, but it’s nearly impossible to remember the person you were – you think and feel and perceive your life so differently that you can’t go back to where you were even if you tried.
6. You lost love.
You never actually lose love in your life, but it’s common to lose a person who you assume will bring you the feeling of love. This serves an incredible purpose – to show you that love is never gone, you had just misplaced its source. It always and only comes from you and what you think about the people and circumstances you experience. To “lose love” is just to dissolve yet another idea that it would come from anywhere but within.
7. You ran into roadblocks.
While it’s likely that the ways you think you “failed” this year stick out more drastically than the ways you hope you didn’t, the roadblocks you assume you ran into are just as important as the successes. They defined what you didn’t want so you’d know what you did. They showed you what doesn’t work for you so you can discover what does. Every “failure” inches you ever-closer to the life you really want to live.
8. You learned how to respond to your life in ways you never knew before.
The word “responsibility” breaks down to “able to respond,” if you think about it, and there’s a very important reason why we associate adulthood with it. The reality is that to live a happy and healthy and fulfilling life, you must be able to respond to it, and take action where need-be. It’s in our inaction that we suffer (even if “taking action” is just learning to let go!) In a truly successful year, you learned how to respond in ways you never had to before, and built your confidence and self-trust in seeing that you could, in fact, take care of yourself.