For many of us, the beginning of a new year is when we start talking about how much we want to change, our resolutions, and the new habits we want to build. However, before we do that, we need to take a close look at all the amazing things that have already happened.
So this week, I’m sharing a year-in-review exercise I love doing at the end of a year. It’s very simple, but if you carve out the time to do it, I promise, you will be in awe of where you are right now and excited about everything you are about to accomplish by the end of this year.
Join me this week to learn my year-in-review process and the importance of focusing on all of your noteworthy accomplishments from 2022. You’ll hear how this will set you up with the right energy to get going in 2023, and I’m also offering a visualization exercise that will help you begin imagining all the amazing wins you’re going to experience this year.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 104, year in review plus visualization.
Welcome to the Overcome Pornography For Good podcast where we take a research-based, trauma informed and results focused approach to quitting porn. This approach has been revolutionary and changed thousands and thousands of lives. I’m your host, Sara Brewer.
Hey everyone, welcome to the podcast episode this week. You might hear my kids in the background, we'll do our best to edit them out. But, you know, it's just life. It's the first week of January, I'm so excited. I love the new year. I'm really excited to get back into a routine.
I read the funniest post that really resonated with me and my husband. We have two little kids, we have a four year old and a two year old and they're really cute and so fun, but a lot of work. And it said the week after Christmas is not for the faint of heart, either you stay home and engage in a sibling bloodbath, or you leave the house and contract some new respiratory virus.
And I was laughing so hard when I read that because that is exactly what this last week and a half has been for us over here. So sick, we went out once. Where did we go? Oh, I took them to the gym daycare. I should have known better, but I took them to the gym daycare. And then they were so, so sick. Like horribly, horribly sick. It's really sad and a bummer, and so much work. And then they're fighting with each other nonstop, bloodbath.
Anyways, I'm excited to get back into a routine. And that includes getting a little bit of a break from my kids who are so cute and fun, but a lot of work. So I hope you guys are enjoying the new year.
We had a lot of you come and join the program this last week. So welcome, welcome those of you who joined. If you didn't join maybe we'll see you in there sometime this year. If you want that extra help with quitting porn and want to come in and do the program work, we're here for you.
I want to start this podcast just by sharing a quick review that we got. Thank you so much for all of you who leave reviews, it really really helps me out. It helps my podcasts get out there, it helps other people find this stuff. It's a really great thing you can do to help support the podcast.
Okay, here it is. It says, “I've been buffering with pornography for the last 15 years. Sara's already gotten me talking about it differently.” They say in parentheses, buffering. It says, “Sara has completely changed the way I view my past and present struggles with pornography. Goodbye shame, goodbye self-loathing, goodbye fear of never succeeding.
For the first time in years I began to believe that I can eventually stop wanting pornography at all. I recommend this podcast to everyone I know who struggles with porn or knows someone who does. A 20 minute podcast session with Sara might just begin to change your life.” Yes, I love it. Thank you so much for sharing that. So good. And congratulations, really great start. Now let's keep going.
Okay, what I want to talk about today is this exercise that I love to do at the end of the year, it's a year in review. And so I'm going to explain the exercise, walk you through it. And then it'll probably be a little bit of a short episode because I want you to take the time that you would spend listening to a longer episode to actually sit down and do this work, okay?
If you're driving, that's fine, just listen and then do the exercise when you're not driving. If you aren't driving and if you want to sit down and do this exercise while I'm talking about it, that's great too. It's very simple, you just get out a piece of paper, write year in review, and you take time to think about everything you did this last year.
And you can look through social media. You can look through text messages. You can look through photos and write down everything that you did. All of your accomplishments and just all noteworthy events. What we're doing here is we're not just, you know, a lot of times at the beginning of the year what we want to do is just start talking about how much we want to change and all the things we want to do differently, and our resolutions, and our new habits we're going to create.
That's great, but before we do that let's make sure that we focus just as much, if not more, on all the amazing things that have already happened and that happened last year. There's that great book, focus on the gain, not the gap. I think it's Dan Sullivan, right? He talks about this principle, we're focusing on the gain, not the gap.
And I talk about this often with pornography, but it applies to every area of your life, right? If we are only focusing on what's missing and the gap, we're not going to have a lot of momentum and we're going to be pretty miserable throughout our lives. I've spent too many years doing that.
What we want to do is we want to focus on the gain. And then from that energy and from that place, then we can talk about how we want to change and what we want to do different. So write down everything, all noteworthy events, all accomplishments. Maybe you hit a goal. Maybe you started a new project. Maybe you finished a project. Trips you went on, work stuff that you did, maybe your kids first soccer tournament.
Any healing or big epiphanies that you've had, less anxious, on a great medication that you love. Hikes you went on, friends you met, relationships you fostered. Breakups you've been through that you've made it out of. Volunteer positions that you've engaged in. Events that you've planned. Hard conversations that you had with people.
New certifications that you've done. That's what I'll put on mine, are some new certifications I finished this last year. I’ll also put like 100 podcast episodes that I finished.
All these things, really spend time writing every single thing down that is noteworthy, that is an accomplishment. And look back at this year in review with awe, and gratitude and joy, okay? This is important. I also want you to put like your porn wins, right? So I understand this, I'm not bingeing as much. I'm a lot kinder to myself. I'm not viewing as much as I was. I'm not viewing every time that I feel stressed. Whatever that is, put those. But also put everything that's not porn related.
And it's really important that we do this because I hear this often with clients is they'll come in and they'll say like, I'm just not someone who follows through, and I just don't do what I say I'm going to do. And I'm like, why? And they're like, oh, because with porn, like I say I'm not going to view but then I do view. I’m like, okay, but what about all these other areas of your life.
And often what they'll find is they're taking on this identity, and I've talked about this on the podcast before, but they're taking on this identity that's only relating to one small aspect of their life. But when they look at their life broader and as a whole, like all the other areas, it doesn't necessarily apply to all these other areas.
And so we want to make sure that we're not taking on an identity that might be true for one part of your life and making it mean something about your whole life and your whole identity, okay? Do you understand what I'm saying? You are so much more than your porn use. And that's what we want to celebrate here too.
So we do want to focus on the wins around porn. And we want to focus on all the other wins that you're having in your life because you're so much more than this porn habit.
Okay, so after you've done that, after you've written all of that out, taken time to really think and really celebrate, and the goal here is we're getting in this energy of gratitude, celebration, and joy. And from this place of deep gratitude and joy in your growth and in your life, we want to visualize yourself quitting porn this year in 2023 and what that would look like, okay?
So from this same energy, we're not coming into it with anxious energy. We're not coming into it with I'm not enough energy. We're not coming into it with I have to hurry and fix everything so I can be good enough energy. We're dropping that, if you need help with that, come and get coached, those of you who are in the program, we’ll help you with that. But we’re dropping that energy.
And from this place of deep gratitude, joy, and like awe of your life, we're going to get out another piece of paper and we're just going to visualize what it's going to be like to quit porn this year. I want you to imagine it being easy and imagine yourself knowing exactly what to do. And write whatever comes up in your mind from this place.
What would your life look like? What are you going to do differently? What do you need to incorporate a little bit more? What do you need to learn? Imagine yourself knowing exactly what to do. Imagine yourself having all the support you need.
And imagine yourself adding lots of great goodness into your life, okay? Focus on adding good, not just taking away porn. This is something I'm going to do a whole other podcast episode on some time. But just to put this idea here in your head we don't just want to focus on what we're taking away, okay? Now I'm not having porn, now I'm not getting this stimulation, now I'm not getting the sexual stimulation that's so fun, okay?
We're going to focus, like yes, we're going to take that away and we're going to have to go through a little bit of river of misery here, you're going to have to be disciplined. But what are we adding to your life? This is really what I want you to focus this part of this visualization around. What are we adding to your life? Who are you becoming? What is different?
What do you love about this new person who is porn free? What are they spending their time doing? What are they creating? Are they painting? Are they woodworking? Are they creating a business? Are they doing innovative stuff? Are they coding? What are they doing with all this time and desire and energy? What do their relationships look like? What does their confidence look like?
Think about all these beautiful things that we are adding to your life. What does their sex life look like? How are they bettering their sex life with their partner? Like really think about how you can add and create, add to these relationships, spend more time there. Spend more loving, beautiful energy in these parts we want to add. What are we adding to your life?
We're not just focusing on what we're losing out on, but we're focusing on what we're adding. This has helped me so much, especially so one of my things this year that I'm doing is I'm going to do a little bit of macro counting. I'm in a great gym routine that I love. And now I want to start doing a little bit of macros and make sure that I'm eating enough protein so that the muscles are really building in my body.
But I was really hesitant to jump into it because I was like, I don't want to be in the scarcity mindset. I don't want to do it from a place of like I don't like myself, because I do. I love myself, I love how I look. I don't want to do it from this place of like I want to change my body.
And so I’ve really sat with this and journaled on this lot. And what has helped me so much is, one, recognizing that I am not going into this with a scarcity mindset where now I'm not getting all the treats I like and I'm not getting all this food I like and the cheesy things I like. I'm going into this with adding.
And I found so many resources where I can still add this really delicious food to my diet, a lot of yummy chocolate cake, and I'm just adding protein to it and adding other things. And it's fitting within my macro count. I'm adding workouts, I'm adding steps, and it's not overwhelming. It all feels very exciting to me because I'm not living in that scarcity mindset anymore with food.
I've done that in the past, I don't like it. It's not fun and it doesn't work long term for me. And so I'm moving into this other phase of just adding goodness. I'm adding, I'm eating what my body wants and I'm doing it in a way that's healthy and helping me hit my goals.
And so I'm eating the mac and cheese and I'm adding chicken to it, right? And I'm finding if something isn't really fitting in, I'm finding some alternatives that feel very similar and tastes very similar. And there's so many resources out there where I can do this.
And then the other, the second big thing that's helped me with this is really getting into this identity of an athlete. And this has been kind of a step for me because I haven't seen myself this way. But I'm like if I am an athlete, what do athletes do? They really do watch their protein intake and try to add lots of good things into their body, they really do.
It's not a bad thing to track the food. Whereas before it was kind of like a bad thing. But if I'm thinking from an athlete mindset, it's not a bad thing to track the food. It's actually a really good thing and we can do it in a way that's sustainable and works into my life.
Also, what else? If I'm an athlete, if I'm taking on this identity as an athlete, what else do they do? Well, they do carve out time at the gym, and they do carve out time for working and it becomes a part of their regular day. And so even me doing that in the middle of the day, I've had to take out a few work hours. But if I want that identity as an athlete, I have to start adding that in.
Anyways that's kind of just a little rant. I don't know if you can hear my kids crying in the background, but they're having a hard time and they're still sick. So that's the exercise I want you to take some time doing. We're doing this year in review, writing down all these accomplishments and noteworthy events. Getting into this energy of deep gratitude and joy and awe of your life.
And from that place we're visualizing quitting porn this next year. Imagining it being easy, imagining yourself knowing exactly what to do. And asking yourself what can I add to my life? How is this adding to my life? What is quitting porn going to add into my life? Oh, such a good question. Really take some time, journal on that, think on that. Get into that state.
Let your intuition, let the Spirit, let God, whatever it is you believe spiritually, let your intuition guide you here to teach you what it is you're going to be adding to your life by quitting porn and let it teach you how to make it so much easier to.
Okay, all right, have a great week. We'll talk to you next week. Bye bye.
I want to invite you to come and listen to my free class, How To Overcome Pornography For Good Without Using Willpower. We talk about how to stop giving into urges without pure willpower or relying on phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography.
We talk about how to stop giving up after a few weeks or months. And spoiler alert, the answer isn't have more willpower. And then lastly, we talk about how to make a life without porn easily sustainable and permanent.
If you're trying to quit porn, this class is a game changer. So you can go and sign up at Sarabrewer.com/masterclass and it is totally free.