How has 2017 “treated” you?
While I feel a little weird asking you the question in this way, I hear lots of peeps saying things like,
“This year has been good to me.”
“This year totally sucked, and I can’t wait for it to be over.”
“Is it 2018 yet?”
If you’ve stuck with me this long, you know I’ll probably tell you that the year is whatever you make it. Also, not much really changes when you flip the month on the calendar. Do you start fresh every July or October? No. Let’s chill out a wee bit on the obligatory resolutions that roll in when the ball drops and people sloppy kiss someone they regret kissing.
But this is the calendar we’re stuck with and if I had to sum up 2017 in one word, I’d say, screw that, I have two:
It was awesome because I made some big moves, hard decisions, and am proud of doing it authentically and in a way that feels good.
You may have caught the 2018 goal-setting bug. If you only start to feel excited about turning the page on the calendar on January 1 and feel meh the rest of the year. Your intentions might be in the wrong place.
Here are 18 things I did (or didn’t) to make the year amazing:
I quit my job. I had another one lined up. One that didn’t feel like a job. One I had been growing on the side for years and dreaming about even longer. I kind of had a plan. But saying goodbye to that dependable bi-weekly paycheck turned out to be the best thing I’ve done this year. Maybe ever.
I stopped going on school field trips. That’s all I have to say about that.
I started a new writing habit and stuck with it. Morning pages, 9 out of 10 mornings you’ll find me on the couch with a rocket fuel or green tea latte, under a blankie, writing in a journal. The best free therapy ever.
Keto. The non-dairy kind. Mostly. I still love salt and vinegar potato chips, french fries, wine, and chocolate. Which definitely aren’t keto. This has been KEY for my focus--which I realized I needed more than ever if I wanted to be effective. If you’re a woman and keto-curious, I recommend this blog and this book. It’s what made the difference for me.
Saying no when it’s not a hell yes. Just the other day I said no to some work that would have paid well, but it felt like a mental energy drain. And do you know what happened instead? Three new (amazing and perfect for me) clients knocked on my door. Just say no with grace, and keep it kind.
Keeping my phone in airplane mode. At night and in the morning until I’ve done my writing in my morning pages and spent some time on a personal writing project—a new book, website tweaks (that never end), or blogging.
Getting off the self-help train. I’m just fine thank you very much. I’m giving fiction another chance, and business books will always have a special place in my heart.
Getting over my fear of video and my “man voice.” This seriously freaked me out. Until Brit of Marketing in Yoga Pants said something to the effect of, “Your voice is fine! Just give it a try.” I took her push and started with an Instagram story the very next day. Video is now much less scary, and I interviewed for two podcasts last month (they'll be out soon!), and have a third planned for next month. Things that would have been too scary to consider just a few months ago.
Shitty oil. Seriously, sticking with coconut, olive oil, and avocado oil feels so much better.
Fire cider all winter long. A shot of fire cider day keeps a whole bunch of nasty stuff away.
Wine + chocolate pretty much every day. Saving it up for the weekend feels too restrictive.
Started working with a business coach. I’m afraid to tell you about her because you’ll all book her and I won’t get any time with her. But seriously, she’s helped me grow my business balls, and I’m ready (so ready) for 2018. If you’ve been around the business block a while and it’s not working anymore, you want to level up, or you feel like you should be paid more for the work you’re doing, get in touch with Stephanie.
Found a new circus. Sometimes you look up and realize you’re not hanging out with your monkeys and you need some new ones.
I didn’t buy a single online program. Previous years, I bought more than I’d like to tell you about, but I’ll tell you more another time. Instead of buying programs, I helped write them or was a part of them. I was a copywriting coach for one of them, and with that, I could take the course on my own. This was the second-best business decision of 2017 after quitting my job.
I stopped reading competitor websites. Stay in your lane to honor your own voice.
Unfollowed and unsubscribed from everything that didn’t bring extreme joy. Making inbox zero a breeze.
Being proud of things being easy. When the work was easy (or when I made it feel easy even though my brain hurt) is when I created the most magical results, and clients cried happy tears!
Finally, FINALLY embraced calling myself a “creative.” For 15 years, I hated that label. I had associated it with being flighty and broke. I wrote a magazine article about this that’s coming out in the new year (I can't wait to share it with you!). I grew up as a creative kid (like most kids). Did you know I wanted to be a famous fashion designer and live in Paris? Well, if you’ve seen how I dress today, you’re probably laughing. I put creativity up on a shelf for years. I took her down off the shelf, and it still fits! When I started loving the word creative again, it changed everything. They’re not all flighty or broke.
As we head into 2018, ask yourself three questions:
1. What can you stop doing this year?
2. What's one new habit you can start?
3. What feels easy?
If you're looking to create a morning routine that feels good, here's a peek into mine. And if growing a side business or side hustle is one of your goals in 2018, here are some ways to do that so you don't hate your life.