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When I think about this past year, I can’t help but think of a song I have on a playlist by Panic! At The Disco called “Hey Look Ma, I Made it.”
Not made it as in an end goal, but I made it through this year and am better for it.
The interesting thing about my accomplishments for 2020 is that most of them are internal or not obvious to other people, which I find hugely satisfying.
There’s something immensely gratifying when you can shift to external validation as a driving force to internal validation. I’ve also shifted how I look at external validation.
External validation used to come from societal expectations, other people’s approval, and things that could be measured (bank account, stuff, vanity metrics, etc.).
Now I think of external validation as the little signs that show up when I’m following my own right path. It could be an email from someone, a song I hear, an inquiry, money shows up, you name it… and the cool thing is that the more in alignment I am with what is true and right for me, the more these signs show up.
In a recent issue of Jodi Hersh’s “Fresh Squeezed” newsletter, Jodi listed a handful of questions that she was going to ask herself as she reflected on 2020. It’s a great list and I thought I’d use some of them here as I look back on my accomplishments.
Q: What am I most proud of this year? What memorable project, assignment, or goal did I complete?
A: The personal work and journey I’ve been on this year. I set the intention back in April or May that I wanted to raise my vibration. I had no idea what that looked like, but my therapist was game and it’s been amazing.
I launched List Explosion, #FtheHustle newsletter, got my podcast back on track, and with the Content Creators Planner, we have stuck to a weekly publishing schedule of new content & the newsletter.
I’m also extremely proud of the fact that I picked up and moved to another state by myself. I knew I needed to make a change and I did it.
Q: What’s a goal I gave up on this year (or fell short on). Am I glad I did that because objectively it wasn’t my highest priority?
A: I can honestly say I didn’t give up on any goals or fall short on goals I set. I launched the things I wanted to launch, was happy with the results, and have trusted the process the entire time.
Q: What new habit or routine did I create this year that has had a positive impact?
A: Consistency has been huge for me. Accountability works extremely well for me and Jodi has been instrumental for me in this arena. The other new habit that has been huge for me is intermittent fasting. I LOVE how I feel, am losing weight, and know this is a lifestyle change.
Q: What did I face head-on this year rather than avoiding?
A: Diving into copywriting has been incredibly powerful for me. Really taking the time to learn, study and practice copywriting was initially challenging (hated it), but the more I did it, the easier it got (imagine that). This is also true of the work I’ve done with my therapist. I’ve faced things head on that I never thought I’d share, own, or want to look at. I feel like I’ve been in a constant state of wonderment with that work.
Q: How did I use my spare or personal time? Am I happy about my decision?
A: The majority of this year has felt like spare and personal time 😂. My decision to move to Boise has been so healing for me. My kids are on their own (both doing great), the rest of my family is well, and in Northern California and my time and life are mine.
This year has been all about me, and I’ve loved every minute of it. The quiet and space away from everything familiar have allowed me to get crystal clear on what I want for myself and my life. The only thing I would have changed would have been to exercise more, but that’s coming.
Q: Who’s help or support have I been most appreciative of? What relationship was the biggest positive surprise to me this year?
A: The support and help from my therapist is something I have always been appreciative of, but especially this year. She’s helped me navigate things and grow in a way I never expected. The same is true of my partnership with Jodi. I’ve always been appreciative of who she is and this year has been no different.
The relationship that has been the biggest positive surprise to me this year has been with myself. I’m on a journey to stop judging myself. I’ve also found a level of trust in myself that I’ve never had before. In other words, watch out. This girl is on fire!
Q: How would I summarize the year?
A: Growth. As challenging as this year has been for the world, it’s been a huge year of growth and peace for me. It’s been a really good year, even with losses and still missing my Mom. My heart feels full.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about concrete goals I’ve set for myself.
Here’s the crazy thing…
I have been resistant to setting definitive goals for a long time. Which, might be a little surprising, but it was for one reason only: protection. What if I failed? What if I didn’t reach my goals?
As someone who believes that intention is everything, I used that as sort of an excuse to claiming what I really, really wanted.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d journal and set goals (and some have been achieved), but they were always sort of the ‘safe’ goals? (And let’s be clear on one thing: ALL of this is subjective. What may be ‘safe’ to me might be completely terrifying to someone else and vice versa).
I still believe 100% in intention, but I’m supporting my intentions with more solid plans and setting some concrete goals and deadlines for myself.
I have some personal goals, which I think, for now, I’m going to keep private with the exception of my therapist and a few trusted friends. One big personal goal I will share (that I shared recently), is that my goal is to move out of the country this year. My plan is for that to happen by May or June. I could probably make that happen sooner, but frankly after moving twice in 2019 and once this year (both fairly quickly), I want to take a little more time with this especially since it’s a big move.
Here are some business goals for 2021.
We’ve done a full post and sneak peek at what’s coming for the Content Creators Planner on that site, so you can get the inside scoop on that by reading “Our Amazingly Simple Plans for 2021 – A Sneak Peek” here.
New site: this started earlier this year and has morphed a bit, but I’m just about ready to pull the trigger on the new homepage. The rest of the site will continue to evolve, but it’s happening and will be done ASAP.
I’m focusing on 3 things for my business this year, with subcategories of each.
With each of these goals I’m getting very specific in terms of how and when (which is part of what I resisted in the past). I’m even going to use some sort of project mgmt. tool.
I use Evernote for planning, notes, etc., but ever since I stopped doing client work on a bigger scale I’ve avoided project management tools like the plague (such a weird phrase to use considering this year).
Jodi has always used Asana and we have the planner in her account but for my personal brand I’m going to use ClickUp. I don’t want to go sideways with tools here (because we all know I can), but I’m going to keep this as SIMPLE as possible.
I do not want to create a part-time job for myself in managing tasks.
I’m doing this because I’d like to hire a business manager later this year. Someone who can help me facilitate and manage the coaching/mastermind, my courses, customer service, and ads.
I’ve had a team of people before (outsourcers and a project manager) and really don’t want to go that route again, but can see a few positions where I’d like to have a contractor either on retainer or as a regular part of the team (I never want employees).
- Business manager
- General business tasks
- Support for coaching/mastermind
- Ads support (I know this seems like it should be a separate person, but I don’t ever want to just hand off ads again, so I’ll be involved as well)
- Support with any other contractors
- Podcast editor (have had one in the past)
- Video editor (for courses and any promotional video)
- Help with additional copywriting or marketing tasks
Outside of that, I don’t see hiring or wanting help in any other area.
I LOVE creating content, so that will never be handed off. And well, this is a personal brand so there’s that. 😉
Word of the Year
I think this is the first year I’ve officially announced my “word of the year”… I’m sure I’ve set one most years and always have a new password for the year (and again, this word is different than that, because that would just be silly to share publicly).
My word for myself AND my business this year is FOCUS.
I am truly loving everything I’m doing and learning. The last thing I need is to go sideways.
I have a process for those ideas that hit me and have absolutely nothing to do with what I’m currently working on, and I give myself what I call “playtime” to look at those things, but they’re never a priority.
You won’t see me on Clubhouse or any other new platform unless it directly ties with one of my three priorities for the year.
I’m building assets this year, not distractions.
AND… let me be clear that if you’ve decided Clubhouse is for you? Have at it. This isn’t a judgment about Clubhouse or whether or not it’s worth trying or pursuing.
What I know is that it’s not worth pursuing for me.
In March I’ll have been in business for 13 years! I am SO incredibly grateful that I had the foresight to start an online business before it was the norm for the masses (and yes, there is still PLENTY of opportunity).
I know enough about myself and how all of this works to know that the path to what I want is to simplify and focus.
So that’s what I’m going to do.
My Wish for You
As we wind down this year (thankfully), I just want to say again how much I appreciate you.
Many of you have been on this journey with me for years… some of you may have just found me. Either way, I’m grateful you’re here.
My heart goes out to anyone who has lost loved ones, through COVID or other life circumstances. Nothing can take you to your knees as quickly as grief can.
My wish for you in the New Year is simple:
Trust yourself, create what you want to create, and #JustShowUP.
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