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End of Year Post (2017)

End of year post

2017 is coming to a close and, like always, I find myself once again reflecting on the past year.  In many ways this was the best year ever for me personally and professionally.  What makes that so?  Many things, though not the absence of grief.  There were losses: in fact, we lost 2 good friends to cancer this year and our grief ran deep.  I still feel the pain of those losses, even as I ponder all of the good that has happened.

I start by counting my blessings: my children and family are healthy and all are doing well.  Everyone is employed or self-employed, with businesses that are thriving.  Collectively, we seem to have created a synergy of abundance: an abundance of love, growth, and prosperity.   I am truly amazed and grateful for that.

It was also a year for milestones: I ran in the New York Marathon.  My niece and brother-in-law, fellow runners, completed the Chicago Marathon.  I exercised consistent action that led to results.  I achieved more than I thought I could, and more importantly, I feel different inside. I could describe it as a deep well of satisfaction, or a sense of purpose and feeling centered.  I feel more focused and confident and these are all attributes I set out to grow this past year.  While success is normally measured in outcomes, how we get to those things are in changing behaviors, attitudes, and other seemingly immeasurable qualities. In every way, I felt like I grew in those qualities that I most wanted to develop.

More important to ask is how did this happen?  It may take longer to answer that, but in this moment here is what comes to mind:

  • Signing up for the NY Marathon scared me enough to keep me in action. It felt bigger than other events I’ve signed up for. It meant traveling to another city and making plans in advance without knowing the lay of the land. Weeks before the marathon, I dreamed that I got lost and showed up at the starting line after everyone else had started running. I knew it was just my psyche working out my own fears, but it left me restless in a good way: action and movement allowed me to focus on what I was doing in the moment and I had to sharpen my other skills like organization and time management. Both of those are important skills to being successful.  Life lesson here– do things that scare you and keep you out of your comfort zone and build your success structures in that uncomfortable place.  That creates resilience.
  • I stayed focused on a few key priorities this year and didn’t try to do everything. I had a deadline for a work event out in front of me and it drove the choices I made when I had time to work on something. I eliminated controlled distractions, like watching less tv, and spent my idle time doing things that renew me like reading books, running, walking, and listening to music. Doing these things allowed me to manage my energy better.  Life lesson here– make choices that support your big why and what you want. Say no to everything and everyone else.  It allows you to find your boundaries and then hold them for a higher purpose.
  • I asked for help and utilized other people’s skill sets better than I had in the past. What it demanded of me was trusting others and being OK with not having to do everything. It allowed me to step into a leader space that felt more authentic to me.  After all, what is a leader without anyone to lead?  Overcoming my own fears of letting go allowed for this to happen.  I also created better agreements with people up front. I spoke my expectations out loud.  This area is still something that is developing and I see good things ahead if I can continue it.  Life lesson here– you can do more when others are with you and you ask for help.  It requires vulnerability, which is strength in disguise.

As I look at the list, I can’t say I didn’t know any of those things, it’s just that putting them into real action and being intentional is what made the difference.  I was consistent and that also made a difference. Most importantly, I am present and aware of what I want my life to be and I know that I am the one who can make the most difference in my own life. I also know that whatever happens, I am up for the challenge.  As 2017 ends I am going to allow myself a little time to enjoy where I am at in this moment and stop the clock just a little bit before I start up again in the New Year. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this being an amazing year.  I hope you have your own success stories and lessons from them.  I am so excited about what the future holds.

 

 

 

2 Comments
  1. Suzanne – you are always inspiring and consistently spur me on to be the best version of myself. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Great message Suzanne!

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Living Forward, LLC is a coaching and training company founded in 2006, that "inspires lifelong learning". Our qualified coaches specialize in workplace communication, change readiness, and performance improvement. We also offer individual coaching, group coaching and conflict resolution/mediation.

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