What you can learn from looking back (instead of always forward)…Plus, my most influential reads of 2014

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

1 43 | What You Can Learn From Looking Back (Instead Of Always Forward)...Plus, My Most Influential Reads Of 2014






So how are your “new year” goals going?


If you are like many about this time, one week in, you are already contemplating if the goals you set are what you really want anyways.


After all, life happens. It gets busy. Things get in the way. And sometimes, the last thing you want to think about is changing up your routine: Spending an extra 30 meal prepping for the day ahead, waking up an hour earlier than usual to fit in a workout or get a jumpstart on the day, OR going to bed an hour earlier in order to get a good night’s rest (always a continual goal), etc.


Totally get it.


Today, I was reminded though to not lose heart—in whatever it is we want in life, or whatever goals or aspirations we set for ourselves.


As insignificant as it may sound, I came across an old note called ‘Goals’ on my iPhone, dated January 11, 2013.





Opening it up, I was reminded of where I was nearly two years ago—and how far I have come. My goals were primarily aimed specifically at certain lifts and movements in the gym, including:


“I want to…

-“Finish school strong and move back to Austin for my final residency year.”

“Deadlift 200 lbs.” (at the time, I could move 175 lbs.)


-“Clean 95 lbs.” (up from 85 lbs.) and squat 135 lbs.” (up from 125 lbs)”


-“Do 20 pullups in a row” (up from 3-4)


-“Get my double unders and be able to kick up into a handstand on the wall”


-“Push press and do a thruster with 65 lbs.” (up from my usual 55 lbs. at the time)



Long story short, I had completely forgotten about all of these being my goals at the time.


I’ll be honest, I’ve never been one to consistently write down my goals and keep them posted in front of my face where I can see them everyday. I am a highly goal-centric person, but I never have really put a ton of pressure on myself to reach those goals—viewing life as a journey or marathon, not a destination or sprint.


Nevertheless, I was pretty stunned to realize that I had actually not only accomplished all these goals over that year, but actually superseded them (unbeknownst to myself).


While it may seem like a small feat to many, I realized the feats I have accomplished for myself in this past year were something to humbly celebrate:




School (and graduation) are in the rearview mirror, and I am absolutely loving life in Austin


I can deadlift 205 lbs.


Clean 110 lbs.


Squat 185 lbs.


Do 50 pullups in a row.


Jump double unders all day and finally “kip” into a handstand pushup.


Push press and thrust up a bar with 85 lbs. on it consistently.


Geez Louise…if only we took the time to CELEBRATE and acknowledge the present moment, reflecting on how far we’ve come—in whatever area of our lives—instead of constantly looking for the ‘next thing’ to satisfy or being hard on ourselves for not “being there yet.”


I, for one, am often my own worst critic, and am typically the first one to get down on myself for ‘ ‘having so far to go’ or wanting something to be different in my life, and wondering if it will ever happen.


Take a moment to reflect for yourself on areas of your life or things in your life that you have accomplished, overcome or worked hard to achieve. It can be easy to forget the past (especially if we don’t write it down).


While I mentioned that I am not typically a ‘writer-downer’ of goals, coming across this old note log in my iPhone reminded me of the POWER OF THE WRITTEN WORD. Where the mind is (and the pen is), the body, the heart and our actions will follow.




Try it for yourself.


Today I am making a note for myself in my iPhone again of what my goals are for 2015. They are pretty simple. To name the one most on my mind right now:


“I will write my first book in 2015.”


I can’t wait to see what I discover happened, come 2016.


On a side note, speaking of books, this past year, I have been impacted by a tremendous amount of amazing books for my own personal growth and development in the business, entrepreneurship and health and wellness realms.


I wanted to share my THRIVE list of Notable Books from 2014:




The $100 Startup– Chris Guillebeau


The Art of the Start-Guy Kawasaki


It Starts With Food– Melissa & Dallas Hartwig


The Millionaire Messenger: Making a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice– Brendon Burchard


The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business– Eric Ries


How to Win Friends & Influence People– Dale Carnegie


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen Covey


Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World– Gary Vaynerchuk


-Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion- Gary Vaynerchuk


The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich-Timothy Ferriss


The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level– Gay Hendricks


Meals Made Simple- Danielle Walker (my new fav cookbook)


Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome- James Wilson


That’s just to name a few (Amazon Prime loves me!). Never stop learning and growing.



If you have any book suggestions, I am all ears.



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