Life can fly by in a blur! Demands, deadlines, distractions and a never-ending To Do list can be all-consuming. Before you know it another day, week, month and year have disappeared. And dare I say it, another decade!
That’s why stopping to review, reflect, release and reset regularly is so important. Because when you do that, you can be intentional and consciously choose what deserves your attention, energy and focus.
Every single day is precious, and it deserves to be lived well.
And so here it is, for the first time ever, I’m sharing my own personal recap.
Life is for living now!
I’m a nature lover and when I bury myself in busyness and pressure, quality time in nature drops down (and sometimes, off) my priority list. And while I head outdoors in some way, shape or form every day, there can be a vast difference in the quality of the experience!
This year, I’ve put an even greater emphasis on having quality time in nature, whether that’s walking in the bush, hanging out at the beach or heading to a local park or playground (did I mention I love swings!). Because when I don’t… well let’s just say things get ugly! I can get quite grouchy and it’s also when the mean voice in my head runs rampant! Time in nature replenishes, restores and rejuvenates me, and that helps me be the best version of myself.
Another key change I’ve made this year, is to redefine my work ‘container’. Because things will take up as much time, space and energy as you allow them. And by resetting the boundaries for work, there’s more room for me! I love the work I do – helping people figure out who they are, what they want for their life and how to create it – BUT there needs to be time, space and energy devoted to me.
Health – at the core of everything!
All too often people think being successful means sacrificing their health. I’ve had a heap of stress and burnout in my life plus two big health scares (both times, doctors talked about the possibility of me dying) so I know just how precious and fragile our health can be. And that makes investing time, effort, energy and money into my health a MUST DO!
But I don’t always do that and sometimes, I need to remind myself of why it’s so important. I don’t have plans to be an Olympic athlete but nor do I fancy being a couch potato or to be constantly unwell because of lifestyle choices! I’ve figured out where I want my health to be and that’s what I focus on.
A couple of times this year, I dropped the ball in terms of my health and not surprisingly I paid the price! I’d let the hours I was working creep up and I was really tired. I’m back on track and got my sights, once again, firmly set on taking good care of myself.
Oh and I’m training for a 67.5 km walking event in February 2020 - that’s certainly helping me prioritise my whole health!
I’ve been in business just over 5 ½ years and have continually refined the split of time between admin tasks, marketing, networking, learning, client time and creating content. And in January I made a big change in this space and committed one full week a month, plus time in each of the other weeks, to focus on creative work.
The creative work includes researching and creating content for my online courses and the 12-month Live Well group coaching programme, book, blogs, newsletters, social media posts, reading and exploring – the beach, art galleries, museums, parks or wherever took my fancy. It has been one of the most transformational decisions I’ve made for my business. And further changes are afoot!
Although I know what a difference planning makes, I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times this year. And it’s in those weeks when I feel particularly lost, out of sorts and at times, really stressed. The gold has been in understanding why I fell off and how to get back on track!
I’m not a fan of heavy, constraining structure – instead, I view planning as a framework to help me stay aligned with my purpose. There’s enough structure in my approach to be effective without feeling so locked in I can’t breathe. So many people say planning isn’t for them, it’s too hard, too time-consuming and there’s no room for spontaneity. We all plan a little (or a lot!) differently because, well, we’re our own person. Find what works for you and you’ll be away! Let me know if you want a hand with that.
In the 6-months, I’ve created 1200+ pieces of content. It’s a mix of social media posts and articles but doesn’t include the content I’ve created for my online programmes or Live Well group coaching. All that content is saved in Evernote so I can easily access it and use it in a variety of ways to help further spread the message about living well – achieving real success in life and business without sacrificing the quality of your life, health or relationships!
I’ve finally figured out the number of coaching hours I can do without compromising my own well-being. And thank goodness for that because who wants to work with a coach whose constantly stressed! To keep me on track with this, I enter my coaching hours, plus the preparation + follow-up time into a spreadsheet. While I’ve been doing that for a while, I enhanced the spreadsheet so I can more specifically track what I’m doing and what’s coming up.
This year a number of new personal coaching clients have come onboard. There’s been a mix of business owners, leaders and people who are committed to creating change in their life once and for all! No matter what they’ve reached out for help with, at the heart of the matter, has often been the same issue. They’re questioning who they are, what they want in life and business, and how to be less stressed! And those are important questions for us all to answer. Because every decision we make, in life and business, is based on who we think we are and what we think is ‘right’ for us to do.
Live Well Planner and Live Well group coaching programme. First launched in 2018, I was stoked to raise the bar and release the 2019 version! It was a long-held dream to help people intentionally live life and to share the planning approach I’ve refined and taught over many years. The daily messages I receive from people about the difference it’s making in so many aspects of their life is inspiring and humbling.
Who Are You, Really? online self-discovery programme. This programme launched in May and so many people have signed up. Wow, thank you! The self-paced online programme is helping people answer the all-important questions – who am I and what do I want.
Events I’ve been involved with…
Live Well Now - vision board workshops. So many amazing vision boards have been created by the people who’ve come along to these workshops in Hamilton and Te Awamutu. I love seeing people leave with a renewed sense of clarity and confidence!
Rare Disorders NZ, education day in Wellington. At this event, I spoke about developing resilience and being an advocate for yourself when you live in a constant shadow of illness. It was a day full of powerful reminders about the preciousness of life and the strength of the human spirit.
Leukaemia and Blood Cancer NZ. For the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at their regional and national events. Earlier this year, I led an interactive workshop in Hamilton where we delved into developing your own resilience - whether you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or you’re caring for someone who has been.
Smart Women’s Guide to Relationships, Property and Money. Along with Kirsty MacDonald, lawyer and director at Gallie Miles, and Janet Natta from Smart Money Advice, we hosted another two of these workshops in Te Awamutu and Cambridge. Invaluable information to help women navigate their way through relationship property matters and how to be financially savvy. Kirsty and Janet share a wealth of information and I guide people to clarity and feel confident about their next steps. Because information without action isn’t much use at all!
Events I’ve done…
Xterra 11km event at the Blue Lake, Rotorua – beautiful location, great vibe and I got to spend time with friends. A winning combination!
Now, this next event I’m going to talk about, I haven’t done but I go along to watch it nearly every year - Ironman, Taupo. And it gets a special mention in this recap because it’s an invaluable check-in for me! Every time I go, I think, “I should do it!”. But when I dive deeper into what appeals, I always come to the same conclusion. It’s not the event itself that I want to do, it’s the feeling of working towards a goal so big that I don’t know if I can do it.
And yes, I did notice the language I used about not knowing if I can do it (I used that quite deliberately). Because here’s the thing, we often set goals we KNOW we can achieve. And we hold back on declaring other goals because they seem too huge and impossible - we don’t know if we can do it so we don’t even try.
For me the Ironman event is a symbol of a big hairy audacious goal. The thought of working towards a BHAG is super exciting because to achieve it, you have to grow significantly as a person. So, I’ll continue to make the trip to Taupo to watch the Ironman so I’m reminded of what’s possible when you set a goal and commit to working towards it.
And by the way, from this year’s trip, I realised my goals are all safe - they’re all more or less easily achievable.. They’re not really going to stretch me significantly, so I’ll be taking a look at those!
Events I’m training for…
A friend asked if I’d walk the length of Lake Taupo, an event held in February each year, with her. Yes! absolutely - I’d love to do the walk and support my friend in a team for this 67.5km walk. The only thing was, when we checked out the finer detail, you need to have a team of 4, minimum. That didn’t appeal at all (it’s not enough of a challenge!) and I felt incredibly flat just thinking about it!
So, we’re doing the event as individuals instead. I’m two months into my training programme and have missed just one walk due to being unwell. I love having a big goal (it’s not quite a BHAG but it’s a reasonable size) to work towards! And the upside of training for this event is I’ll be in good shape for summer tramping (hiking) and mountain biking. Yahoo, happy days indeed!
The beauty of stopping to review and consciously notice what went well and what didn’t go well, is you’ll find, if you’re open to it, the lessons.
Hmm, the challenge is that those lessons can be quite confronting sometimes. And yeah sure you could just brush things under the carpet or point to someone or something else and blame them but that doesn’t help you live well. If you don’t take a look, you can’t make the necessary adjustments so you can live well.
I’ve (re)learnt a few important lessons in the first 6-months of 2019 and the one that stands out for me the most is this…
When I’m intentional, life flows more easily.
And that doesn’t mean I don’t face challenging times; it means when I’m conscious of what’s happening both around and within me, I can move through life with greater ease. Because struggle, resistance and fighting doesn’t help, in fact if anything it makes things worse!
The planning I do extends across all aspects of my life and business. Whether it’s identifying my intention and priorities for the year, month, week or day, or how I prepare social media posts, articles, blog posts or for client sessions or events. Planning makes a difference!
One of the modules in the Live Well group coaching programme this year is “love yourself first”. It’s a tough concept for many people to embrace especially for those of us who’ve been told, from a young age, that you need to look after others first. So we keep giving and we keep trying to please others.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with giving (in fact it’s something I love to do) BUT giving to the point of depletion, exhaustion or in the hope that someone will give something to you, isn’t healthy.
Loving myself first has been a journey! As a chronic people pleaser, I know the stress-burnout cycle well (too well!). Trying to be and do what you think you *should* is exhausting and frsutrating! The work I’ve done on showing myself loving kindness reached a new level this year. But it didn’t just happen! It was a culmination of work done over many years. I’m now at a place where I feel much more comfortable with who I am. Now, more so than ever before, I know, accept and approve of myself. And it’s liberating!
For all the experiences, even the ones that were incredibly challenging. While I can’t say I love (or even like!) all the experiences I’ve had this year so far, I can honestly say I appreciate them for the opportunity to learn and grow.
For family and close friends. Their love and support is much appreciated. Whether it’s practical help with jobs around the house, home grown vegetables, moral support or whatever it is they provide, it makes the world of difference.
For the support, stretch and wisdom from trusted advisers. No one can be successful alone. While I might be a solopreneur, a business owner where there’s just me in the business full-time, I don’t (and can’t) do everything myself!
For the people who choose to work with me. Thank you for trusting me with what’s on your mind and in your heart. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to help you reconnect with who you really are and to see you create a life you feel fulfilled by.
For me. In the past I wouldn’t have expressed gratitude for myself but now I do! I could have chosen to play small, hide in the shadows and simply push through each day but I didn’t. I’ve continued to learn and grow, to show up and stretch myself, and to practice being kind to myself (and others too).
So I needed to release something big this year. It’d be lurking around for a while (in fact, as far back as I could remember). And I want to share it with you because I don’t think this gets talked about enough!
Over the years, starting from when we’re very young, we embed stories about ourselves and what is and isn’t possible. Those stories, as you might guess, will either help you or hold you back.
This year there’s been a heap of releasing going on for me! Sometimes so much so I’ve dropped off the radar for a few days to re-group and ground well. Everything is energy and when we release *stuff* it can feel unsettling. A few days to reintegrate, to find my feet (so to speak) always proves invaluable!
I significantly changed my business model in late-2017 and decided not to take on any more long-term business or strategic planning contracts with large organisations. I still do planning work but it’s specifically with business owners, leaders and self-motivated people who want to create a life and business that aligns with their purpose. The decision meant a significant drop in income (eek!) but it gave me a greater sense of alignment and well-being (yes!).
2018 was a year of consolidation and foundation building. I was recreating my life and business to better align with who I am and what matters to me. It was a tough year in many ways and 2019 has reminded me of why I did what I did. It set me up well for the greater levels of success I’m now starting to see in all areas of my life.
None of those changes would have been possible if I hadn’t released those unhelpful stories about who I was and what I could and couldn’t do!
One of those stories was that I couldn’t create a successful business by restricting the amount of time I work with clients. Because if I wasn’t working with a client then I wasn’t working, and that must surely mean I’m mucking around. Um no!
It was the same story that was holding me back from dedicating more time to creativity! Content creation, reading, learning and exploring all feed my soul and make me a better person BUT I’d think of them as play not work. So the story had to go and be replaced by something that served me well.
Is there more to release? Yep, there is! I’ve got big dreams for my life and business that haven’t yet seen the light of day because I’ve been holding back on writing them down. That’s a sure sign there’s a story to be looked at and that’s work I’ll do in the last 6 months of 2019.
Next steps (for you and for me!)
So that’s the first 6-months of the year for me! I’m always so pleased I commit the time to review and reflect because it helps me see just how far I’ve come and to appreciate how much I’ve grown. Now, I’m resetting my intention and goals / priorities for the rest of the year.
If you haven’t already reviewed and reflected on the year so far, will you do that now?
I’d love to hear from you. Contact me here or if you post your own 6-month recap, tag me in so I can have a read too.
About Tracey, your personal coach
Hey there, I'm Tracey and I work with business owners, leaders and self-motivated people who want to achieve real success. Because life is to be lived well now - not spent trying to be and do what you think you *should* and feel constantly stressed!
As a once-upon-a-time chronic people pleaser, I know firsthand what it’s like to doubt yourself and your own dreams for life and business. I also know what it’s like to align your life with your own truth and it’s a game-changing (well, life-changing really!).
Using a good dose of ‘keeping-it-real’ soulfulness, I’ll guide you to reconnect with what matters to you, help you understand the power of your own mind and ensure you have a roadmap for success.