This December I made my own advent calendar in hopes of spreading positivity during this holiday season.
What I did for my advent calendar was, I asked my good friend Sai to write 25 positive notes that will help me get through the holidays. I then printed and cut out each of them, put them into the ornaments from last year’s Starbucks advent calendar, and placed the ornaments on my little tree. Then, each day leading up to Christmas, I opened the corresponding ornament, read the note, and reflected on what the note means to me.
Here are all the notes and my reflections:
1. “Today, you are perfect.”
It’s easy to point out our own imperfections, forgetting that those things do not define us. Too many times we get consumed in the things we’re not, instead of celebrating the things we are.
Even if just for today, look beyond your imperfections.
2. “My time is limited and I will not allow the noise of others’ opinions drown out my own inner voice. I will have the courage to follow my heart and intuition.”
We waste too much time letting others’ opinions affect our own thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with asking for advice, but remember that ultimately, you are the one who has to live with your decisions.
Learn to trust yourself.
Write the story that YOU want to write.
3. “I choose to LIVE.”
Each day we’re faced with so many reasons to quit, to leave everything we’ve worked for because the weight of our burdens become unbearable.
But there is ALWAYS something to live for.
Find your “why” that motivates you to keep going.
If you stop, you’ll miss the miracle.
4. “Sometimes on the way to a dream, you get lost and find a better one.”
Dream big! If your dream changes somewhere along the line, that’s okay.
Not everything we plan is meant to be. We may not understand or like the changes that happen, but that doesn’t stop life from moving forward.
We live in a world where the only constant is change, so when change happens, embrace it.
5. “Fear nothing — especially not your talents and strengths. Be brave enough to show them off. Be grateful enough to use them.”
Everyone has different talents, use them! Just because you feel like someone does something better than you doesn’t mean you should stop using your talents.
You are unique, don’t be discouraged by comparing yourself to others.
Use the talents you have been gifted.
6. “I am everything He created me to be.”
We get so caught up in the labels that the world gives us that most times we forget who our creator is. We weren’t made to follow the ways of the world, but instead to be set apart and answer God’s calling for us.
Just as Ephesians 2:10 says:
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
7. “My life is special. I live my truth. I nurture my spirit. I celebrate me.”
It’s easy to celebrate others, to be there for them, help them when times get rough, to tell them that they are unique and they hold a special place in your heart. Yet most times, we don’t do those things for ourselves.
You’re just as special as those who are special to you.
Don’t forget that you, too, deserve to be celebrated.
8. “Sail away from the safe harbor.”
A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
We tend to stay in places where we’re comfortable, where things are easy and routine because it’s what we’ve become accustomed to. But in those places, there is no growth. It’s when we’re out of our comfort zones that we’re able to learn and grow.
Stop doing what’s easy.
Put yourself out there and show the world what you’re capable of.
9. “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”
Too many times we define our worth by how others see us. When we notice that others start to take us for granted, we think that it’s connected to our value.
Just because others may not value you as you would like them to, does NOT mean that you are worthless.
10. “I am enough.”
We always want more, even though we may not need it. Sometimes, that’s how we look at ourselves, too. We see everything we want to be and when we realize we’re no where near that, we become discouraged.
You are loved.
You are worthy.
You are enough.
11. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
Sometimes we feel like we need to rush to where we want to be. When unexpected issues arise, we become frustrated because those issues delay us from getting our destination.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get to your destination, you need to keep moving forward no matter what life throws at you.
12. “I’m going to make you so proud — Note to self”
We try so hard to make our loved ones proud, but how often do we make ourselves proud?
You will always have people who doubt you, but in the end, you are your own worst critic. We think about all the things that can go wrong instead of being proud of what we’ve accomplished.
Keep striving to do better and be better.
Prove others wrong, but more importantly, prove yourself wrong.
13. “I can & I will.”
Sometimes we become so afraid of failure that we stop ourselves from doing what we really want. Our mindset is always on “What if I fail?” but we need to shift that to “What if I succeed?”
Believe you can, and you will.
14. “The temptation to quit will be the greatest just before you are about to succeed. Never give up!”
No retreat, no surrender.
Remember why you started and continue to push through.
15. “If you know you can do better, then do better.”
There is always room for improvement. Stop settling at the limits you or others have created.
Real growth happens outside of your comfort zone.
16. “When the day is over, let it go. Don’t dwell on what you could’ve or should’ve done. Tomorrow is another day & another chance. ”
We carry the weight of all our burdens throughout the day and sometimes we’re not able to unpack them before the day ends.
When the sun sets and the day ends, let go.
What’s done is done, as much as you want to go back and change things or do things differently, you can’t.
Hope for a better tomorrow.
17. “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”
Life is never perfect. There will always be something wrong, something that you wish was different. Just because things aren’t ‘perfect’ doesn’t mean you can’t make the best out of it.
Be thankful for the life you live.
18. “I will smile and impact someone’s day positively.”
Kindness goes a long way. A simple smile has the power to turn someone’s day around.
No matter what kind of day you’re having, smile!
19. “Don’t forget to love her. The little girl you used to be. Perhaps she lies within you. Unlocked. Sleeping peacefully.”
Yes, we all need to grow up sooner or later, but your inner child will always be there.
Take a break, enjoy the little things and embrace your inner child.
20. “All I need is within me.”
Too often we look everywhere for inspiration, confirmation, or comfort, instead of looking within ourselves.
Look within yourself instead of seeking elsewhere. You may be surprised at what you’re made of.
21. “I hope you live a life you are proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over again.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
Life is about creating yourself. If somewhere along the line you realize you aren’t creating the life you love, don’t be afraid to start over.
Be sure to live your best life.
22. “It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.”
Being scared doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Never let your fear stop you from going for what you want. Let it be the reason you surpass your goals.
Take the leap!
23. “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
There’s something beautiful about the start of every morning. Each sunrise marks a new day, a new chance to live a beautiful life.
Everyday is a blessing, don’t waste it.
24. “Sometimes, the most perfect place to be is exactly where you are. Accept it. Often the most precious moment is the one you are currently experiencing. Embrace it. Always, the best person to become is the ultimate version of yourself. Love it.”
-Dr. Jeff Mullan
Stop wishing you were somewhere or someone else. Change what you can, accept what you can’t, and always embrace what’s happening.
Take charge of your life.
25. “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”
Not everything has a perfect ending. If it did, how would we grow?
Keep your head up and heart strong. Have faith. Trust your struggle.
You got this.
It’s been a great journey with this advent calendar. I’m excited to continue spreading positivity into the new year.