What a crazy year, amiright? It's been an insane year period, and now that I'm taking time to reflect on it, I wanted to share with you what worked for me this year. These are things that I do have to consistently reflect on to implement in my life still, and it's important to know that going into 2018. Everything takes work, we as humans are always in the process of becoming who we want to be. (Or who we think we want to be). Below are 5 things that really changed my life in 2017.
I've mentioned it in a post before, but 2017 started out rough. The beginning of 2017 had me feeling lost and not knowing what needed to change so I could take complete charge of my life. I traveled to Bali with two friends (pictured above, Heather & Liza), and came back to feel as if nothing had changed and I was stuck doing the same shit everyday. Which is the reason why I left a full time job to start freelancing, running your own business meant freedom! But I didn't feel that. I hit a low point and was there for too long until a good friend pushed me to go to therapy. The few months I spent going to therapy really helped me reframe my thinking. I was more aware of toxic habits that I had that made me feel as if I weren't accomplishing anything. My therapist taught me things to be weary of and how to work through those thoughts when they do push through.
Hiring a Trainer
Working out has been a habit of mine since late high school / early college, so roughly 7 years. I've gone through a year of yoga, 2 years of boxing, and the rest have been a mix of either all cardio, weight lifting, or interval training. But this year, I felt a lull in workouts, I wasn't motivated and anytime I would get to the gym, I would go through the motions. One day a trainer at my gym approached me to offer me a free session. I went through it with her and she showed me so many things that I've never done before! It was like I had never step foot in a gym! After our session, I decided to invest in myself. Working out is something that I love to do and learn about, and there was no reason to NOT invest in it. Since then, my trainer and I have worked together weekly on workouts and food intake, and I feel so excited to hit the gym 5-6x a week. She's shown me how to have fun again, and how having fun still means making progress. I've grown a lot of lean muscle and I'm so proud of it. Because of this, my confidence has gone up and I feel better about life. It's added so much to my life!
Taking a break from conferences
Since graduating from college, I've *always* attended conferences every year because they fulfilled something in me. Conferences became an opportunity to connect with my industry and make friendships in it. I have met so many incredible people and have felt completely inspired. But I hit a wall in 2017, and maybe it was a part of having to work through it in therapy, but I was honestly feeling cranky about conferences. I've went to 2-3 conferences a year, and I just didn't want to do it again in 2017. I felt like I was attending all of these conferences and spending the money to be there, but I was having the same experiences. Don't get me wrong, everyone gets something different out of a conference, but I reached a point where it was too much inspiration and not enough doing. After traveling to Bali, I was more inclined to spend the money on a trip rather than the same experience at a conference. But that's what I needed this year. I needed to take a step back to be in my business and figure things out.
Finding a group of friends to be a part of
If you know me offline, you may notice that I'm way more quiet than you'd probably expect. Growing up I've always been one to observe, never one to be the center of attention or chat a lot. As an adult, I've found that being an introverted freelancer has made it incredibly hard to make friendships and keep them. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of friends from conferences that I absolutely adore and keep in touch with, but I'm talking about the kind of friendship that feels natural, the one where you don't have to try or watch what you say. According to my personality type (INFj, FTW!), I don't like wasting my time on relationships that aren't genuine. Therefore, I've spent the majority of my life with a close friend or two. But in 2017, I was #blessed with 3 amazing women that I am so proud to call my friends. These incredible women have pushed me and helped me make touch decisions in my personal and professional life. We lift each other up and are honest. Sometimes there are friends who sugarcoat everything, but I'm lucky that this group doesn't sugarcoat anything. It's been such a game changer to be friends with them.
Now this is something that I STILL work on every single day, and it's really hard when my thoughts want to spin out of control, but being mindful has been a consistent thing that I've worked on throughout the year. Being mindful is bringing me back to home base and assessing the situation I'm in and seeing all of the possibilities, it's practicing self care more instead of pushing through the clear signs that I'm exhausted. Being mindful is just taking care of myself.
What worked for you in 2017? What skills did you learn that helped you grow this year?