What a year!
“I’ve never done this before.” That’s a statement I’ve said many times this year, and no sense ending the year without at least one more first, my first year in review post. And like many of the other firsts I have had this year, I don’t really know how to do this, and that rush of the unknown is a bit exciting!
When I started this year I had never blogged – actually that’s a lie. I once had a blog named “No Setlist for Turning 30”, it was for the year I turned 30, and I think I did a total of 4 posts – anonymously. And there was that time I traveled to Southeast Asia and I blogged on a Facebook app that doesn’t even exist anymore, which is a real bummer because I no longer have those posts, and if I do say so myself, they were hilarious and enlightening – isn’t that what writers are supposed to say about lost works?
So, I never really blogged, like for real. And now I have posted 30 blogs since April, read in more than 20 countries, and by at least 1000 people, I’ll call that a pretty cool win. I am starting my year in review with writing, not because it was the first thing I did this year, but because for me it was one of the most important.
I have always fancied myself a writer. I always thought that one day I would write. And then I continued to let one day be someday that never seemed to include today. So the fact that I actually posted blogs with my name on them, not only to this blog, but also to my creative blog “Versions of Anna“, is pretty exciting. Versions of Anna hasn’t had any new content recently, because as happens when writing another idea comes and takes over, and you can’t focus until you get it out, and so that is where my creative efforts are being focused at the moment, but I will come back to Anna.
I not only blogged this year, I took a giant leap and submitted an essay to the Globe and Mail. When I first submitted the piece I was sure that it would never get chosen. I didn’t tell a soul that I had submitted it. And then the email came, telling me that it would be published on October 22nd. I can’t explain to you the feeling of having something, that was so incredibly personal, printed in a national daily newspaper. Having dropped out of Journalism school sixteen years ago, I felt like I was getting back to what I always wanted.
Writing will continue to be a journey for me in 2016, but I’m feeling great about the progress I’ve made in getting back to what I’ve always been passionate about.
There were a number of doors to walk through this year. Some of them I closed after much reflection and others I created to remain open as opportunities for the future. I am grateful for all of them.
I started the year living in Toronto. It was a temporary stint. By the time the clock struck midnight on New Year’s I had made the decision that I would not be extending my stay beyond the end of the month. That meant big things for me. At the beginning of the year, it didn’t matter what I did, there was going to be a big decision with big consequences. If you had asked me at the start of 2014 if I planned on making the changes I made in 2015 I would have laughed in your face. Time – you fickle bitch, just a little bit can change everything.
At the end of January I left the comfort of a 15 year corporate career and life that I had worked hard to curate into my everything. That was a door I closed. Sometimes if feels like forever ago, and other times muscle memory kicks in and it feels like just yesterday.
I took February off. If extreme laziness was a sport, my first two weeks of February were Olympic gold. I crushed Netflix, it is both a moment of pride and embarrassment.
I then went about opening doors for myself. I started Mind Set Grow, took coach training, worked with a dear friend on business workshops that we had a blast delivering. I dabbled in a little bit of everything as I worked to discover what I wanted Mind Set Grow to really focus on. And then in August I started teaching – that was a step I didn’t expect to take.
Sliding Doors, while I don’t make it a habit to learn from Gwyneth Paltrow, if we can take a lesson from any of her movies it must be that every decision we make is like walking through sliding doors. On each side is an option and things on each side could be completely different, doesn’t mean you should be afraid to walk through them. Take the chance, walk through your sliding doors!
If nothing else, this has been a year of growth. I’ve taken risks that 2014 Christy would never have thought of. I have found myself more articulate in my beliefs and values. I have grown through coaching, jumping off metaphorical cliffs, expanding my knowledge and thought process, and questioning things.
I started the Mind Set Growth Zone to support the personal and professional growth of others. I started a business, I started teaching, I started saying yes.
Yes was probably most profound for me. You see I had become really good at having excuses at the ready for why I couldn’t do things – work. Damn I was busy, I didn’t have time for friends, family, a life. But then when I closed the corporate door I no longer had a ready made excuse. And so I said yes. And that has allowed me more time with family, an extended network of friends, a better understanding of the geography of this city, and a ton of experiences that I wouldn’t give back.
As I look back at this year, I am amazed. There was so much that happened, and so much I made happen. I encourage you to do this activity. Look back at your year. While I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, I am big on reflection and setting goals. And as we close the door on 2015 and open up to all 2016 has to offer, I wonder – what are your goals? I’d love to hear them below in the comments.
I can tell you that for 2016 I am looking at launching an eCourse in the spring focused on creating innovative business strategies. I am also looking at other online opportunities that I’m not ready to share at this time, and I am excited to continue teaching and growing and saying YES!
Happy New Year!