I’ve spent a lot of time debriefing my past year and the things that have come to fruition for me in this last year. I’ve changed a lot in this last year. And I’m pumped about it. I want to share with you my biggest learnings of 2017.
I’ve been practicing personal development for over 14 years, and as a High Performance Coach, my entire life is all about personal development. I am immersed in it always because for me, it’s about raising the level of my life in all different areas: my self care, productivity, success, happiness and how I show up for myself and for others. I did a lot of work in this last year. Not that I hadn't done so before, but some things just really came together this past year.
A big shift that I made this year is that I have merged my two worlds of thrive consulting and High Performance Coaching. It was like I was operating in two different realms but didn’t know how to connect them. But I realized it comes down to Leadership - whether in business, a CEO, an entrepreneur, a stay at home mom or just in life, we all can benefit from becoming stronger leaders in life. The world needs strong leaders now. Better leaders. More courageous leaders. We need those leaders to start showing up in all areas of life. We need to stop compartmentalizing and stop viewing leadership as being a manager and leading a team. You’re a leader every single day of your life. And in order for you to be the best leader you can be, you first and foremost need to show up in your life for yourself as a leader.
I am going to hit the ground running in terms of that message. Everything that got brought to light and resolved in 2017 was so that I can enter 2018 clear and able to slay this entire year. It’s going to be incredible. Hard, but incredible.
2017 got harder and harder as the year went on. I’m going to be honest, it was really tough at times. But through it, I gained some incredibly valuable learnings. Here they are.
1 - Don’t Listen to Your Fears and Doubts.
Early in the year, I got a contract with Growth.com, which was a full time offer. I already had my business, Thrive Consulting and my online brand, Change by Choice, to really provide content and tools to help people level up their lives. I had a lot of fear and doubt that came with making this choice to take on this additional contract. I had never coached 20 hours in a week. And I had so many fears and doubts in myself if I was cut out for it; what if I failed? What if I did’t have the energy required to coach that much?
But now, I can coach that and some. Had I listened to my fears and doubts, I never would’ve taken the job. Don’t listen to your fears and your doubts; don’t let them get the best of you. Talk it out with someone. Challenge yourself and put yourself in scary, yet aligned, situations where you could possibly fail. Because here’s the thing: You don't even know what you’re capable of because you’ve probably never challenged yourself to be the most capable you can be. We don’t ever know what our ceiling is. At the start of the year, that was my ceiling. And I slayed it. So now I feel like, “okay what else can I do?” We can match the goals we have as long as you’re willing to do the work and you’re clear on what you want. But don’t let your fears and doubts make the decisions for you.
2 - Let go of the Things that Don’t Provide Peace and Happiness in your Life
I let go of a lot in 2017; thoughts, behaviors, people, projects, jobs. I had to really evaluate everything and it was really tough sometimes. We only have so much time, and your time is your energy. Your energy is gold; the people and the projects that are getting it, they need to earn it. I had to let go of certain things that weren’t deserving of my time or that weren’t aligned with the level of peace and happiness that I require in my life.
3 - Level up Your Productivity
When I added in this additional contract, I really had to level up my productivity. I never used to be super scheduled; I would just fly by the seat of my pants, work on things at the last minute and bounce around from one thing to the next. I got lots done...but at what cost? I had started to incorporate more scheduling, time blocking and organization to my productivity but I really had to level it up this year. My schedule is a thing of beauty; it is completely organized, time blocked and is my virtual assistant. It kept everything on track for me because the less you have to keep in your head and the fewer decisions you have to make, the more mental bandwidth you have for your other work. Which means an increase in productivity. We have to get to a place where you don’t have to remember so much information; get those safety nets in place for yourself so you can spend your time focusing on the task at hand. What productivity behaviors did not work for you in 2017? Where can you level it up?
4 - Bring Gratitude to Every Bad Situation
There were some shitty, hard times in 2017. But I viewed each with gratitude; they’re all blessings. I needed to go through those things; I needed to learn the things that I did. I healed a lot of wounds in 2017 and tackled some things head on that I never would have expected would come up. I learned so much about myself in the process and did a lot of healing. But I viewed each situation with gratitude and sought out the learning in each of those bad situations. And I’m a better, stronger, happier person because of it.
5 - Establish Boundaries
I am a reformed people pleaser, and I found myself in certain situations falling back into those old habits. What that really meant for me was that I had to stop apologizing for things that I really didn’t need to own. My own sense of not wanting to feel rejection had me over-apologizing for things that I didn’t need to. I came to the realization that if someone doesn't want to be in my life, that’s okay. I don’t have to take it personally. It doesn’t mean that it doesn't hurt, but I trust in my ability and in who I am. If someone’s not ready to have me in their life, that’s not on me. I’m a straight shooter and people aren’t always ready or wanting that. And I’m okay with that. It really re-established my true worth in myself.
6 - Learn How to Be Alone
In order to really achieve the healing that I had to with some of the hard situations that came up, I had to really take a step back to reflect and be alone. And to learn how to love being alone. I was always the person that had to be with other people and keep busy. But the more I go into service with people, the more I need to recharge myself and spend time with myself. I had to reflect and journal and learn though those situations that needed healing. And being alone was the only way to do that.
7 - Track Your Expenses
It wasn’t always enjoyable to look at the numbers, but this gives me the tools and information I need to make different choices in 2018. I invest a lot in different areas of my life and it’s something that I really wanted to be completely clear on. If you're avoiding finances, just go there. It already is what it is. You might as well track it. Create a budget for yourself and know where your money is going.
8 - Immerse Yourself in Personal Development.
Personal development has always been a part of my life, but I really immersed myself in it every single day of 2017. Whether it was journaling, courses, workshops, reflection or reading, I did something every single day. And it’s no coincidence that I made these huge shifts this last year...that I doubled my income...that I have the relationships and the team that I have. It’s because I did the work. That to me, is self care and something that doesn’t ever get cut. It’s always there. That’s not the area that you start to skim and cut. You hold it close especially in hard times.
9 - Make Sleep a Top Priority
I was really great in certain areas of my self-care, and really dropped the ball in others areas. I completely slayed it when it came to my sleep; I honored my sleep and average around 9 hours a night. If I need to, I take a power nap. Meditation and journaling were two other areas I really excelled in this year. And by honoring my sleep, adding in meditation or even just some breathing exercises when I felt myself start to get tired or anxious or stressed, I can’t even tell you how much this has helped me stay energized this past year. There are some days where I am giving out my full capacity of energy for 10-12 hours. To be able to keep up my energy all the way to the end of the day - required that I had certain habits and disciplines and took care of myself to do so.
10 - Fuel Your Body and Move Your Body
My body is my commodity; if I don’t have my voice and my energy, I don’t have work. I have to keep myself at the top of my game. I always have incorporated my daily Shakeology, but I was never great with my other vitamins. I became very consistent with my vitamin routine in 2017 and I have kept up my energy and not gotten sick since I started. But I dropped the ball in terms of my nutrition and my exercise. I let sugar and dairy creep back into my diet and dropped exercise as a priority. Those areas are going to be my focus going into 2018. But here’s the thing...I wouldn’t have changed anything. The areas that I did focus in on in 2017 were exactly what I needed and were so important for me. And now that those are set in place, I can focus on the other aspects.
11 - Fully Own your Life and Live it Authentically
I decided in 2017 to fully own my life and live my life authentically. That’s it. I’m not going to pussy foot around stuff, not going to sit back and not speak my mind. I’m going to align myself with the right things and if something doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit. I’m at peace with that. If I’m not feeling good about the things in my life, anything that wasn’t aligned or congruent is gone. Anything that didn’t feel good was gone from my life. That doesn’t mean I don’t allow the space for those things to come back in, as long as the learning is there.
12 - Invest in Yourself
Most people will invest their time in 2018 doing a bunch of stuff that’s just busy work or just gives short term happiness. But the real skills and areas that would help them be happier in life, they don’t invest any time or money into those areas. I encourage you in 2018 to change your mindset there. You want your life to change? You have to change yourself. You don’t have the tools? You have to find them and invest in them. I invested in myself and my development greatly in 2017. And I will be investing huge in this next year. I’ve really levelled up in terms of investing in my own personal development. Why? Because in order to get to the next level, I need to step up. What got me here won’t get me there.
Apply that to your life. What got you here won’t get you there. If you want your life to be different, better, levelled up...you’re going to have to shift in terms of where your time, money and energy is going. You want your life to change? “You have to make different choices. Don’t expect shiny miracles to just happen. You have to push yourself into uncomfortable zones because that’s where you change as a human. When you invest in something and you have to figure out how it’s going to happen and you make it happen.
I’ll leave you with this. In 2017, I shook everything up. I lost people, thoughts, behaviors, projects and certain choices I was going to make because certain things didn’t feel aligned. It all happened for a reason; because there was misalignment. I wasn’t being fully honest with myself or the people around me.
Honor your voice. Speak your mind and your truth. If you don’t know how to communicate in a powerful and impactful way, reach out to me. It’s the number one skill you need in life. You want to be a leader in life? In your family or in your job ? It’s the skill you need.
Don’t just do whatever you did in 2017. Evaluate how your year went for you; what were the areas in which you weren’t that happy or you were stressed or you just settled and it didn’t feel right. Don’t continue to do that. You have the information. Everything is figureoutable. You have to be willing to make different choices. To be willing to do what most don’t do.
Take small steps. Take small shifts. Be a little better each day than you were the day before. It’s about sustainable changes. I hate new years resolutions because you can’t keep up to them, because you haven’t shifted and changed and strengthened the mindset to match the changes you want to make in your life.
You owe it to yourself, your family and your community to be the best version of yourself. A huge, huge part of why my year was so transformative, was because I worked hard to seek clarity in all areas of my life. Clarity truly is the basis for all change; we can not change or move forward unless we are clear on what we want, where we are at and what is holding us back. I worked hard to gain clarity in my life this past year and it worked; my year was hugely transformative and I learned so much about myself.
I want to offer you guys an incredible training program, The Clarity Method, to help you in this path. It’s a 5 part series in which I guide you, with videos and worksheets, in how to gain more awareness and clarity in your life. After the training, you and I will sit down for a one hour strategy session to set yourself up for 2018. If you want to learn more, head here: https://charlotte-ferreux.mykajabi.com/p/the-clarity-method