Year in Review: Looking Back, Looking Forward
I was debating whether or not to do this post, but I’ve come to realize that it’s only cliché to evaluate the past year and plan for the upcoming year, if you don’t take it seriously. I used to think this whole personal development stuff was cliché bull crap. But in 2016, I half-assedly took it seriously, and as I looked back during the last couple of weeks, I realized I actually had an amazing year!
Imagine what kind of year 2017 will be if/when I actually whole-heartedly take it seriously!
So what happened that was so amazing?, you ask. Let me take you on my journey.
In January 2016, I was starting a new journey, having just discovered an online community called Live Your Legend, after watching a TEDx talk that blew my life of mediocrity out of the water. I started this blog, not really knowing where it was going to take me, and I enrolled into a Master’s program in Counselling, thinking it was my only option to find and do work that I loved, and that focused on my passion for mental health / mental wellness.
Failures and wrong turns are the best way to make discoveries
Early on in the year, I was fortunate enough to learn what might just be the most important lesson of all:
There is no such thing as failure.
Trying things out, and figuring out what doesn’t work is the best way to gain new information that will point you in the direction of clues towards what does work.
I took the first required course in my Master’s program, while still working full time, and it was HARD. It’s a good thing I loved the subject, otherwise the amount of stress wouldn’t have been worth it. I was lucky though, because my full-time job was boring and my boss supported me by allowing me to do some homework while in the office. But I knew it wasn’t sustainable.
I decided to put the program on hold until I could find a better way; but not before I discovered Positive Psychology. If I loved Psychology before, I was over the moon for anything and everything that had to do with finding ways to get people “North of Neutral”. Finding ways to help people go from the everyday blahs to actually thriving and finding happiness and meaning? Holy crap, sign me up!!
So I did. I found and registered for an exciting program that was to be held in my city… only to get a call, a few days before it was set to start, to inform me that the program was cancelled because there weren’t enough registrations.
I was devastated.
I mourned that loss for weeks, feeling more lost than I had felt when I was demoted.
But I couldn’t give up.
There was no way in hell that this was going to be it. I had gotten a taste. I had found my passion and I wasn’t willing to just let it end there. I couldn’t go back to my life of mediocrity.
So, with one last deep breath, I let that idea go. Maybe not now, I told myself, but one day.
When you find your passion, pursue it like it’s the very air that you breathe
As I sought to find and absorb all things related to Positive Psych, I discovered that coaching was an actual thing… and not another ridiculous fluffy cliché as I had previously discounted it to be.
What if I combined coaching with my passion for Positive Psychology?, I asked myself.
If I couldn’t get the official Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology, I would learn everything I possibly could on my own, and find a way to help people with that knowledge until it was possible for me to take that program.
I looked at so many coaching programs and again, found myself incredibly frustrated with the amount of time and money that most of them demanded that I invest.
There’s gotta be a better way.
And then I stumbled on the Certified Coaches Federation. This short, no frills, “everything you need to get you on your way” program was exactly what I needed; and lo and behold, the one and only time it was offered in my city this year was coming up in a few weeks!
Before I even took the course, I got my first coaching client. Within just a handful of sessions I was able to help her go from a job that she hated, to working in an area of her field that she loved!
Imagine what I can do when I’m actually certified!, I told myself.
No journey towards success is ever taken alone
By then, I was more than half way through the year. I had never made this much personal progress in my entire life. Any other time I had set goals or resolutions, I had joined the millions of people who gave up by mid-January.
So what had changed? What was I doing differently?
Remember Live Your Legend? Not only was I part of an amazing online community full of authentic, inspiring people from all over the world who were all on their own journey to following their own passion, but this community also had local chapters, and for lack of a host in my city, I had taken on the job.
Scott’s talk had impacted me so much, and I felt so strongly about each pillar of his Passionate Work Framework, that I committed to hosting monthly meetups so that others could join in the revolution and find other passionate people in our own city.
Every month in 2016, without fail, I hosted a Live Your Legend Local meetup, diligently holding that space for people at all levels of their journey to come together and support each other in finding and doing work they love.
Every time I had a setback, every time I felt lost, every time I wanted to give up, I had a meetup to host and attend. And every time I sat down and chatted with these amazing people, I felt renewed determination to push through and find a way to keep going.
This was the work I couldn’t not do.
Jim Rohn wasn’t kidding. Scott Dinsmore wasn’t kidding.
Environment. Is. Everything.
If you are tired of living a life of quiet desperation, if you have a passion and the current people around you are telling you that you’re crazy for following it, you are surrounding yourself with the wrong people. Come join us at Live Your Legend. Not only will we NOT tell you that you’re crazy, but we’ll support you in any way we can so that you too, can find purpose and meaning in your life by finding the work that you can’t not do.
I’m telling you, this shit works.
So what’s next for 2017?
As I looked back at the Goal Setting Workbook that I wrote in for 2016 and had left behind 4 months in, sure I didn’t accomplish everything I had set out to do, but holy crap did I ever make progress!
So this year, I’m not half assing it. I’m going to take it seriously. And to help keep me accountable, I’m going to share my intentions for the upcoming year with you.
Health: Right off the bat I start with a tough one. But I’m going to work on taking better care of my body and my mind, by (re)establishing a regular meditation practice, moving my body regularly, and eating healthier foods.
Business: Now that I’m a Certified Life Coach, I’m going to take that seriously by defining the WHY behind this endeavor. Just saying “I want to help people” isn’t enough. The best thing I can do for my clients is to make sure I’m doing this for the right reasons.
Connections: As an introvert, I sometimes find it difficult to push myself out of my comfort zone, to meet new people and connect with others. But I’ve discovered that when I do, amazing things happen. So this year, I’m going to double my efforts to connect with people; through the LYL online community, the LYL local community, with other entrepreneurs in my area, and in any other opportunity that is presented to me.
Expand my mindset: Last year, I discovered that learning doesn’t just happen in school. So I’m committing to reading 12 non-fiction books in the areas of personal development and positive psychology. I will also continue to seek out and listen to podcasts in those same areas. I am a Seeker of Knowledge. I recognize that now, and I will live that proudly. By the way, in order to hold myself accountable for reading those 12 books, I commit to writing a review for each of the books on my list and posting it here. Look for the first one in the coming weeks!
Creativity: Last but not least, through this blog, I have reignited my creativity. So I will continue to work on writing and posting here more regularly. I am aiming for once every 2 weeks. I also want to work on some videos, and I have a book idea I’d like to explore.
So that’s it! A tall order to be sure. But as Michelangelo put it best:
So what about you? Did you set any goals for 2017? Or maybe you have a general direction of where you want to go? Leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail to let me know!
Here’s to the best that life has to offer for this coming year.