It’s that time of the year again where hopefully the rush of family and work has slowed down a little. Enough to give us the chance to take a breath and reflect back on the year and where we are now in our life and in ourselves- taking stock of moments leading up to this point, reflecting upon what we’ve achieved, perhaps a little frustration with what didn’t get done.
There’s a lot to be gained by taking a few quiet moments at this time of the year and reflecting back on the year; coming to a minor conclusion about everything you moved through.
I write this feeling the most relaxed I’ve felt in a long time in myself. Where my life can best be described as chilled, peaceful and full. If there’s one thing I wished I’d done differently now that I look back over 2017, it’s that I’d stopped and looked around at where I am right now in my life more often during the year. Stopped and really appreciated, celebrated every little step. Appreciating me more throughout.
So here’s my wrap! What I’ve learnt during my 2017. I hope it inspires you to think over your own year.
This section should start with I am stronger, more resilient, more capable than I realised I ever was and this year should ensure that I don’t forget it! The silver lining in a year that saw me move house, live on my own as an adult for the first time, financially seperate, create my own life, divorce, date, travel to several different countries and enjoy a relationship with someone who was incredibly supportive, believed in me and helped to redefine how I expect to be treated by a man, was that everything turned out even better than I could have expected.
Ive learnt (relearnt again more to the point!) that to worry is a useless waste of my thought and energy. My energy is much better spent focusing on what I want, who I want in my life, where I want to be and what I want to be doing with the people in my life.
I’ve managed all of this with the amazing support of some friends and family throughout the year. Good people who lift you up and cherish you and your well being, who want to see you do well are everything to me.
After I finished writing A Single Heart in September I realised that I’d started 2017 feeling very much like my feet had been kicked out from under me because of some of the dynamics present during my marriage ending. I started the year really desiring to feel independent- travel on my own, experience on my own, do things for myself. That need is now out of my system and instead I find myself feeling the opposite, ready to let someone in, wanting to share my experiences, do things with another.
I now realise that everything I’ve done this year was to help me find and get back on my own two feet again. On my own. I feel like I’ve achieved that this year.
Despite such a busy personal year I ended the year health wise feeling pretty great – albeit a little tired. My love of pilates workouts from home with Pilates by Lisa continues, interspersed with interval sprint runs on the treadmill, the occasional heavy leg weight session, occasional yin yoga class and walking my dog.
The honest truth is I’ve burnt the candle at both ends this year. That shouldn’t be a surprise to hear from someone who wrote and self-published four books in a year I’m sure! I squeezed every moment out of my day with my children, socially with my friends and loved ones, professionally with my work here. I’ve been mostly very busy and as the Nonna who lives next door to me who observes all of my movements while she works on her roses in the front yard would say “you are in and out and hardly ever home”.
No matter my calendar I did the same things consistently ~ worked out 5 days a week, ate my greens, pulled back and had a little detox if social occasions saw eating habits start to slide.
What’s simple tends to work and tends to be repeated.
I talk about it in my book A Vibrant Hearthere, doing what’s sustainable and doing it consistently is the best thing you can do not only for your physical health but also your mental health. I’ve relearnt the importance of always making time for exercise and good food.
There was a lot of conflict at the beginning of the year around this area. While I won’t hide from a loud tête-à-tête if it’s needed I also don’t enjoy constant arguments in my world. It’s been a relief for this area to be resolved. As a result this was one of the major focuses in my year. Creating a financial plan that allowed me to stand on my own two feet as a single woman and that also allowed me to do the work that I loved.
We all need money to live and enjoy the lifestyle we want to have, but for me it has to be in balance with my children and what’s important.
Spending my money on things that match my values has been a big lesson for me. So has selling and moving on items that I don’t use anymore.
Setting up automatic weekly and monthly deductions out of my account into separate savings accounts, cryptocurrency, shares, the Barefoot Investor and his Blueprint program, Tony Robbin’s wealth mastery program have featured in my year.
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt when it comes to my money is having the right people and team around me. Individuals who believe in and support you. Books that give me practical advice. Programs that teach me new ways of doing or looking at things.
Not everyone takes me seriously when I say I’m a life coach and 35 years old. That I’ve written four books or when I have approached them with a professional enquiry. At the start of the year I took the condescending surprised looks at me because “you’re too young, barely lived to write such books”, “you had a business before but it’s a little different to you having one on your own Hun,” “there’s more to you than your pretty smile isn’t there?” and made it about my lack of ability. Their perceptions of me made me feel hesitant and unsure of myself.
I’ve learnt I can have a “pretty smile”, a dopey sense of humour and still embrace being smart, still be determined, still be financially independent, still make as smart a decision as possible for myself.
I’ve learnt to be comfortable surprising and disarming people, in fact I’m learning to relish it in a way- “yes I have four books, yes I’m 35, yes they won an amazing industry award and I plan to win another one!” And I’m learning to unapologetically move on those professionals that treat me in anyway condescendingly and answer my questions like I don’t know what I’m doing, like I’m out of my depth and replace them with ones who are willing to support me. When I ask the question it’s because I need the information. I don’t also need their perception of me or my ability to run through their response.
I wrote about how I started to find my financial feet as a single woman here.
When your year features a divorce it’s a given that you are going to learn something about relationships and yourself during that time. It’s why I wrote my latest book A Single Heart here.
This year I leant that you can only meet people where they’re at in themselves. To not make it about me. To not take personally any behaviour that’s not my own. Reading into other people’s behaviour, putting meaning onto their behaviour is to assume and to assume is pointless. I’ve learnt to also be kind with myself and where I’m at in myself too- sometimes I have been the “problem” not them.
This year I learnt how it feels to be in a relationship where I was treated exactly how I deserved. Where I was loved and supported for exactly who I was whether I was having an amazing day let’s celebrate, or an average day where I just needed a hug. I could just be me. As well as being many other things, it was for me incredibly healing.
I’m currently not in that relationship but I’m so grateful to him. I needed him when he showed up in my life.
I’ve learnt that life brings you who need when you need it in this area of life. Having the first handful of months in 2017 to myself forced me to do the one thing I was avoiding to do. Stand on my own two feet in my own house. Without using someone as an emotional crook throughout it all.
Personal growth comes mostly from doing what you don’t want to do.
I’ve realised that everything that happened as it did relationship wise gave me the chance to do that. Grow up fast. On my own. I couldn’t skip that part and be who I am today. As much as I didn’t want that time, the truth now I look back is that I needed that time.
Leaps and bounds explains this area of my life for the year. Yes I wrote and self-published four books in 2017. A huge achievement considering everything else going on in my world. And there’s a big piece of me and my heart in everyone of those books which makes me feel incredibly proud of them.
But what I really settled into was being comfortable and confident to put what I learnt personally into my books and work here professionally. And to comfortably own it. Despite my age, or peoples surprise at what I do.
At the start of 2017 I told very few people in real life about my books. I was shy and reluctant to promote them and hid behind my website, my social media. I’ve grown comfortable with disarming people with a smile when I say I’ve written four books. And the more comfortable I’ve grown with that, no surprises, the more books I’ve sold.
I’ve learnt to no longer question my professional journey. When I wrote my first book A Confident Heart I never could have expected that I’d have written my fourth and that it would be called A Single Heart. I started where I was, had goals, followed the next step and interest as it presented itself. I’ll keep continuing to do that and see where it takes me in 2018.
My professional year ended on a high with my books as a series, The Living With Heart series, being nominated as one of the top 5 Life coaching products of 2017-2018. The winner to be announced in March 2018. A cherry on top moment for me undoubtedly.
What I see now looking back over my year…how all the dots have connected to make perfect sense. To make the right journey for me.
If I had to sum up my 2017 in a handful of words it would be:
wonderful, raw, real, full
The year ends with me feeling far from where I started it. Feeling lighter, with a new energy, fresh goals and feeling like a real rounded version of myself. Far from perfect, far from knowing it all, some goals not yet ticked off but comfortable with those parts of my life anyway. I couldn’t ask for anymore than that.
And if I had to sum up how 2018 feels to me in one word, with all my heart it would have to be: