How was Your Year? What’s up for next year?

Year EndJust a few more days before 2015 is over. So hard to believe!

I feel like I just wrote my last email/blog post of 2014 so I’m totally amazed by how quickly this year went by! I like to spend some time at the end of each year to take stock and to see where I want to change or improve things. I think it’s an important thing to do to make sure I continue to grow and change!

This might be a boring post for you – I’m really just analyzing some of my year but I want to lay things out on the table. I’m a work in progress. I’m learning as I go. I’m not afraid to pick up and change course when I don’t like where I’m headed. I hope you see that too. If you don’t like how 2015 was for you, you can make 2016 different.

In one of last year’s last posts, I wrote about how I wanted more of a heart-centered business and to let go of some of the “shoulds” that were coming from my head and not my heart. I also wanted more calm. Let’s see how I did.

Heart Centered vs. the Shoulds
I’m going to say in this area, some ways I did great and in others not so great! I launched several new programs, some of which came from a “should” place. The meditation program was one of those. I felt I should run it – I love meditation, I think the mental and physical benefits of doing it are amazing and I want to share that with others in an accessible and easy way . . .but . . . I felt I had to launch that program because it was part of a package I bought from a company who creates programs for life coaches when I first graduated. It was supposed to take some of the work out of starting the online portion of a coaching practice – but that program (along with some others) was FULL of typos and poorly proofread components that I had to spend hours and hours just making it ready to sell. I eventually felt I had to launch it because #1 I wanted to make back the money I spent on it but also because I had put so much time into just making it usable! By the time I actually launched it my heart was no longer in it and I felt bitter about it. It’s hard to sell something you don’t feel great about! I believe in meditation and I think an online program can be a great tool for getting started in it, I just wish I had dropped this one before I spent so many hours trying to get it going. I felt sour about it and that showed in my marketing. It was not done in a heart centered way (which is hilarious since the subject was meditation!!). If the original program wasn’t such a mess, I could have spent a few hours making it more fitting to my niche – emotional eaters and those who want to stop dieting – but I was so annoyed by the poor quality control that I barely had the time to just correct their errors, let alone change the content to fit my specific needs. Oy! Not the heart centered approach I wanted to have. The “shoulds” won in this case.

But other than that, I’ve done really well staying focused on the heart. My writing has picked up (I’m sending out at least 1 email and blog post every week these days) and I’ve really started to focus on writing about where my heart is (emotional eating!). I’ve let go of more of the “generic” aspects of health coaching. Yes, many people need help with learning how to eat cleaner or how to get more sleep or what foods they should be avoiding etc. and I do help my clients with that, but more importantly, my clients and readers need a place where they can discuss what is going on with them, uncover why and how they can take steps to move forward. No one is going to be able to eat cleanly when their job and home life is falling apart or needs support. I can support them with a desire to eat cleanly but I’m better suited to help them understand why they are eating so poorly in the first place and they make much more lasting changes this way. Heart-centered has won in my writing and in my one on one coaching practice. Yay!

To remain true to my heart, I’ve also decided to retire the 12 Day Detox program. I hate the word detox and I hate the idea that you can fix your problems in 12 days . . .the program attracted people who were looking for the next quick fix diet and while I’m happy to be able to provide a short program to give people a taste of a cleaner lifestyle, it completely goes against my philosophy of making changes slowly so you can be in it for the long haul (and not yo yo diet the rest of your life). Will I never run a new short term clean eating program again? No, I’m sure I’ll do one again some day but you can bet it will fit into the mold I want for my business and my life better. Heart-centered win!

I guess in a way, I’m honing in more about where I want my coaching practice to be and that means doing away with some things – January will be 2 full years I’ve been coaching and while it’s been amazing, at times I felt like I was just plucking ideas out of the sky even if they didn’t fit in my long term plan. I want more cohesion in 2016. I am not a natural marketer and don’t know the first thing about branding but I know my “brand” included not promoting products that I’m not totally enamored with.

Calm
One of the things I mentioned in the post I linked to at the top of this post was that I wanted more calm in 2015. Two of the ways I maintain feelings of calm are #1 with physical activity and avoiding anxiety. I actually did great there!

I made physical fitness a priority – most weeks, I exercised at least 5 or 6 days, whether it was through barre classes, walks, weight lifting, HIIT intervals or biking and whether it was for 90 minutes or 10 minutes. I moved my body regularly and listened to it when it asked for time off.

And when I say avoiding anxiety – I know some of you are laughing at that, like you have a choice, right?! In getting to know myself really well (something that I think is key to making changes), I know now exactly what things bring out my anxieties and I take steps to not let that happen. One way I do this is with my thinking. I know, when I have a thought around worrying about my health (one of my anxieties), that if I let myself think about it, pay attention to it, my anxiety and worries will grow. If I say “ok brain, I hear that you are worried about this, but I am not going to give it attention right now” it stops the crazy worries from growing. It keeps me in a state of calm. And had I spent extra time indulging in those thoughts, the only thing i would have gained from it was more stress. I really made an effort to check myself and not indulge in the very thoughts that make me crazy. It’s probably been the best year so far for my medical anxiety in all the years I’ve had it! Yes, I still had a few episodes but the ones that I had were just a blip on the anxiety radar instead of a full on panic attack (or 3 day panic paralysis). Once you know what works for you with eating, anxiety, procrastination, whatever, you have to work it. You have to apply it for it to make a difference and I did and I am and it’s awesome. Calm is good.

Eating
Lastly, I want to talk about food and eating this year. My weight is the same as it was at the end of last year. I’ve been between 155 – 160 for over a year now. It’s a little more than I ultimately want to weigh but I feel good. I feel strong. It’s not a struggle to weigh this. I don’t have to restrict and I’m not going up and down in huge amounts. I eat whole foods most of the time but I can let go and enjoy a party feast or have a piece of cake or buy a bag of chips these days without all hell breaking loose. There are things I wish were different about my body sometimes but overall, shit’s not so bad! I know they are people who look at me and think “How can she feel ok being overweight?” and that’s their problem now, it’s no longer mine.

It feels way better to be a bit heavier than I want to be but have this freedom and relaxed attitude around food, than it did years ago to reach the weight I wanted to be but have to work really hard to stay there and worry about every bite that went in my mouth. Because of this (weighing more, relaxing my eating), I’m able to enjoy life more. I’m able to enjoy my time with friends and family more. I’m able to enjoy a meal out with my husband more. My time is mine to do with what I want and isn’t just a countdown to how many days I have to lose weight before an event. It took a lot of work to get here and it was not a fast process but it’s been so worth it. I’m using a heart centered approach with my choices around food and the payoff is huge. Heart centered win here!

What’s next
In 2016, I want to continue this heart-centered approach with my business and with myself. It just feels right!

How did you do in 2015? What were you hoping for more of this year? What did you want less of? What do you want for 2016? And ultimately do you believe you will get there? (Think about this deeply – If right now you do not think it’s possible to reach a 2016 goal then it won’t be possible to reach it.) Take stock of your year and hopes for next year and please share with me!

 

 

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