Mindful Midyear Check-in

How to appreciate and feel empowered from your midyear journey

As we are midway through the year, I notice a settled sense of urgency or a mild form of anxiety within me when I find myself asking where I am at and how I am doing with my goals and things I want to accomplish for the year. Interestingly, my answers to these questions were all about how much more I need to do and how far I still am to get to the goals that I set at the beginning of the year. 

After a few days of mindfully monitoring these recurring thoughts of how much more work to do and how can I get to my goals faster, I suddenly realized that all my thoughts were on the future and things I haven’t achieved yet. None of the thoughts were about how much I have done so far and how wonderful my life is right now.

Then I asked myself why haven’t I looked at how far I’ve come as opposed to just only thinking about how far  I have to go. During the last five months, I’ve had many accomplishments, wonderful experiences, met lovely people, and learned many amazing subjects (especially on trauma and regulation) yet I find myself thinking I need to do more or go at a faster rate. No wonder I felt anxious and restless. 

In this fast-paced world, most of us find ourselves always moving towards something. We are always on the go both physically and mentally. Sometimes we even forget where and why we are going but going nonetheless. And sadly, we consciously or unconsciously judge ourselves that we are not moving fast enough. 

We rarely pause and reflect on the journey that got us this far. I believe appreciating and looking back on beautiful and empowering moments helps us recharge and gives us the fuel and power to continue moving with the full of energy, grace, joy, creativity, and compassion. 

When I think about pausing and appreciating, I hear the phrase “stop and smell the roses.” Although I understand the meaning of this phrase, I was having some difficulties with how to actually “Stop” and what are the metaphorical “Roses” I am trying to appreciate…

So I created an empowering process to  “stop and smell the roses.” This process can be used at any time you feel the need for empowerment or you notice restlessness in yourself especially when you think about your personal and professional goals. 

the exercise

The first step is to define what it means to “stop.” My definition of “stop” is giving myself a specific amount of dedicated time to pause, be present, contemplate, and reflect on my journey.

The next step is to create categories for the metaphorical roses. My beautiful, lush, and fragrant metaphorical roses are the celebrations (big and small), growth, compassion for myself and others, courageous moments, people in my life, and my level of consciousness or mindfulness. 

Remember, these categories are just for you to see so you can add anything you want to appreciate and celebrate without worrying about what people would say. For example, one of my big celebrations is becoming a volunteer certified crisis counselor to serve the victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking. And one of the small and fun celebrations is doing 12 squads every time I’m waiting for my coffee, warm water in the microwave, and when I am making the afternoon matcha tea. Everyone has their own categories for their roses. You can create your own that empowers you. The key is not to be too concerned about what other people say and think about them. 

I then gave myself 20 minutes each day for a week to list each of my categories and simply appreciate and reflect on them. Some of the categories may have subcategories.  For example, for the category of people in my life, I created three subcategories: 1) people whose lives were enriched by my guidance, love, and support 2) people who uplifted me with their kindness, love, and support 3) people who helped me to be more compassionate and forgiving for their behaviors. I then wrote down the names of the people who fit under each of these subcategories. Surprisingly, some names showed up on all three! 


I was flooded with positive emotions such as joy and gratitude as well as the feeling of empowerment after doing this “stop and smell the roses” exercise. I was amazed and so proud of all the celebrations both big and small. I felt so much gratitude for all experiences and people in my life even the ones whose behavior has taught me to be more forgiving. Because these people gave me the opportunity to grow and deepen my compassion and empathy. I also experienced a great amount of empowerment while listing and appreciating courageous moments, especially the moments when I kindly and firmly set the emotional boundaries. I realized that I’ve achieved and grown a lot during the last five months. This realization has made me feel like I am on the right path and I Can achieve my goals. Most importantly, I realized that the pace I’m going is perfectly ok!  I noticed that I no longer have anxious thoughts and unsettling feelings and I am ready to continue toward my goals with full force.

why you should try this exercise

According to Psychology Today, cultivating the feeling of gratitude can be beneficial to both physical and mental health such as a healthier immune system, less stress, meaningful relationships, and better academic and professional performance. I hope this midyear check-in process of “stop and smell the roses” brings you a feeling of gratitude, wellbeing, and empowerment to continue on your journey. 

You want to create your own unique plan to feel a sense of well-being and empowerment?Schedule a free 30-minute introductory zoom meeting with your life empowerment coach here: https://calendly.com/empowerment-coaching-serives/introductory-meeting

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