Nothing like starting a blog with a year end review! haha, I realized that I have been terrible with blogging but I really wanted to do an annual review because I have been reading a few and am seeing the value of recapping what I’ve accomplished (or haven’t), and also as a way of really seeing how much I am grateful for this year. I also wanted to share some lessons learned as well as some commitments for the new year.
2019 was one of the most challenging years I have had in a while. Balancing work, the business, the home and family through most of the year were some of the toughest months I’ve ever had and it really tested my commitment to this work. But I also had some of the most rewarding experiences in the year. I experienced HUGE personal growth which has helped me find more clarity in my work and given me the opportunity to create more impact and be in a position where I can support others to create the big change that we need in this world.
2019 started off very hectic. In fact, I would say much of the past year and a half has been defined by a new chaos in which I’m trying to figure out my flow and order of. And here’s what I’ve learned:
Being Committed Means Managing Your Thoughts and Having a Hard Why
Okay this seems obvious, mindset is a big part of what determines how we feel, and how committed we stay to our goals and our dreams. Throughout 2019 I felt like I was being tested mentally around my commitment to this business.
The end of 2018 was hectic and stressful to say the least and it just kept on rolling like that well into 2019. The last 4 months of 2018 were filled with buying a house, renovating the existing house, packing, putting things in storage, listing the house, showings, then moving unpacking and hosting Christmas at our new house as well as some travel. In addition I was working full-time and growing this business. Then in 2019 we ran into issues with our new tenants which resulted in the city intervening, and a whole slew of other renos that we hadn’t budgeted for, plus loss of our rental units which we had been counting on to help with the mortgage. This, plus we were still holding the mortgage as well on our other home since it hadn’t sold yet. Basically most of this year we were pretty challenged financially. Thankfully that part of the home front is now a lot smoother and we have some passive income set up.
With all the distractions throughout the year I definitely felt the ups and downs of committing to this work and what I’m here to be in service of. It could’ve been so easy for me to give up, decide I didn’t really have the time for anything and to just quit, but I knew that being committed meant not just thinking it and wanting it, but really doing the work to manage my thoughts and the negative or distracting ideas that could derail my work. It also meant revisiting and even revising my why to make sure that it was a definite hard why. Because if it’s not a hard why for you, you will know, you will find some excuse to get off the train or change course or give up. If you want to really make change, you need to be fully committed to your mission and you need to have a hard why that feels meaningful, fulfilling and excites you to work hard for.
Grief Can be an Empowering Thing
Halfway through the year I was hit by a massive existential crisis, I was overwhelmed by climate grief and the enormity and gravity of the problem. I was angry at almost everyone, at the flippant and ignorant populace out there. It seemed to me that we were headed for disaster and nobody was doing anything. I was consumed by grief and I knew it wasn’t a good place to be. Thankfully I remembered how managing your thoughts was the first step to changing your feelings and thus your actions and the outcomes you have. So I chose to accept the severity of the situation, to mourn the loses we have and to refocus my work in service of empowering others to become aware of their agency as a conscious leader. And in doing so, I’ve been able to find more clarity for myself around the intersection of how I can use my power to nudge and create change within the system, in service of this huge and complex problem.
I Enjoy Using My Voice for Change
I have never thought of myself as a public speaker, I love teaching but speaking in front of a large audience scares the heck out of me. However, I was asked to do a Pecha Kucha talk about how I was creating change in service of climate action to a bunch of business school and law school alumni at one point. If you are not familiar with a Pecha Kucha, it’s a strict format of story-telling with 20 images that are shown for 6 seconds each, requiring precise timing and planning in order to create an engaging 6.40 min speech. After way too many hours of preparation, I delivered my speech and loved it. I received great feedback and it seemed as if it resonated with many people. I’ve decided that I would like to do more speaking engagements, even if it terrifies me to do so.
Breaking Down Tasks into Microsteps and Scheduling into Your Pockets of Time is Key to Moving Forward
2019 was incredibly busy, with all the household renovations going on so I knew I had to be focused and disciplined with what time I did have. That meant creating a master schedule and getting really specific with what tasks would be accomplished within any given pocket of time. Creating a schedule is so simple and yet is so easily overlooked because most people don’t get specific enough with their pocket of time. You might block out chunks of time for following-up with prospects, or working on your content, or servicing clients but it’s often not effective enough until you break it down further and get very specific with what you will accomplish in that pocket of time. I like to break my little pockets of time into baby steps to help me stay focused and on track with what I ultimately need to accomplish by the end of the week. With a full-time job, a young family and endless home projects, I need to be really focused with my time. In addition to that I have realized that making sure that I am taking the time to take-care of myself and recharge are equally important, including going to bed early enough to get enough sleep.
Now that we’ve covered some of my lessons learned, here are 10 commitments, call them resolutions if you want, that I am committing to for 2020.
I will NOT sign up for anymore newsletters and opt-ins
I have been VERY bad at this before, I’ve got a massive folder of various people I follow that I have signed up with at some point. I have been starting to go through and ruthlessly unsubscribe from them but I need to keep working on that. For 2020 I am going to commit to not subscribing to ANY new things unless I know that it will absolutely help me with my personal or business growth, and that I can commit the time to actually go through the material and apply the learning.
I will NOT buy any online courses
I love learning and sharing what I have learned but I am choosing to focus more on the latter this year.
I will NOT sign up for any webinars
I sign up for these and never have time to listen so as part of #1, no more webinars
I will NOT compare myself to others
I have come to realize that it doesn’t matter at what level of success or growth you are at, this is a common thing and I have been falling victim to this even though I know it is not productive or healthy. Part of this will be to limit the time on social media so that I can focus and stay in my lane.
I will only spend 1 hr on social media a day
I have to say, I am already pretty good at this. I don’t spend that much time on social media even though I need to to get more visible. I will focus my time and limit it to 1 hr of specific relationship building, following-up with prospects and engaging and interacting with my community. No more scroll.
I will not let my ego get in the way
There are so many identities I have been holding on to and I know that so many of them are holding me back so 2020 I will aim to be more vulnerable, and not hide behind any identity my ego decides it needs. I value authenticity and I endeavour to be honest and sharing all the ups and downs that go on.
I will meditate and journal daily
So important and much neglected. I do spend a few minutes daily reflecting and being grateful, but I have not spent a concerted effort to meditate nor journal and I very much love the journalling process. I know when I have there are some great breakthroughs. I have some great journal prompts as well that I will share in another blog post soon. These prompts help you really get clarity and define what you want.
I will write every week on my blog
This hasn’t been easy, I am feeling so time crunched but I have my content planned out for 2020 now which is much better than how things went for this year so I am hopeful and excited to share all that I have planned. I will be sharing in another post how I came up with my content in under an hour.
I will finish writing my book
I have been writing a book and the first several chapters flew by, but I admit, it has stalled a bit so I aim to finish within the first quarter of 2020 and publish it since I know it will be such a great resource for people to move beyond grief and upgrade their mindset and leadership to take the action they need.
I will launch a podcast
Last but not least, my podcast. This has been a goal for a while, but launching a podcast is a whole production of its own so I have been hesitant with doing so until I had a better handle of my time and the home projects were more settled.
I have never been one to declare my goals publicly but I think should be fun and interesting to review at the end of 2020 to see how I did on these dos and don’ts. I do have separate goals but these are some small commitments I am making to help me stay focused and on track.
Hope that this has been interesting and somewhat entertaining for you. What are some of your commitments for 2020?