As you look back over the years, I think we often find that we don’t realize all that we’ve accomplished.  Or similarly, how all we’ve experienced has led us to be the person we are and where we are…at this very moment.

This week will be a time for making that list and yes, checking it twice.  And remember, nothing is too big or too small to be included.

What Did I Accomplish That I Said I Would This Year?

I should start by being honest here and saying that this year was pretty much a year without any goals.  And well, that’s not only sad (we should all have a couple of goals for ourselves), I sometimes feel that it has led to a year that was lacking in any real sort of movement.  Don’t get me wrong, I had growth (I spoke about that in some of the earlier  Looking Back | Looking Forward posts), but I can’t really look over my business and see that I accomplished all I set out to do for the year.

That said, I did set my intention and my word for the year last (EXPAND).  And looking over all I’ve accomplished (big and small), I feel quite confident in that I did indeed expand this year.

I tried new things.  I met new people.  I adapted (and adopted) new mindsets. And I have fully expanded the person that I am and the business that I run.

Oddly, none of this is how I imagined I would expand my business (I was leaning towards expanding my voice and my presence through speaking, classes and products), but I expanded and grew in a big way.  And I’m not the least disappointed in that.

Here’s a brief list of some of the things I’ve accomplished this year (and no, they’re not all business related)…

  • Created a partnership
  • Wrote more – quite a lot more
  • Advocated for the teaching schedule I wanted along with more (and better) equipment
  • Learned new tools and resources
  • Walked away from gluten (not necessarily by choice – but I’m not really complaining – or missing much)
  • Developed new business systems & schedules
  • Supported my husband (and our dog) when he lost his hearing (very scary time)
  • Attended more conferences
  • Discovered true triggers for my migraines
  • Started painting with water colors
  • and more…

This Past Year Led Me To…

…Let Go and Recognize When It’s Not My Shit

…Speak Up Clearly and Confidently Without Judgement

When I look back over my past year, two things really stand out.  Both of these things have helped me grow and develop as a person.  Which also means, they’ve helped me to grow and develop as a business women and a solopreneur, as well.

Over the year, I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable speaking up – and speaking my mind – when it matters.  In the past, I’d avoid any and all sorts of confrontation.  But this year, I’ve learned to take a deep breath, get comfortable with what I want, and set the intention that it will all work out for the best for all involved.

This has shown up around billing challenges (love my doctor, but her billing department is horrible), around customer service (especially restaurant service now that I’ve realized I have to be more careful around my food due to my gluten challenges), and even in my classroom where I advocated for some additional resources and access to the newer computers.  Granted, things might not have always worked out as I would have liked.  But they did work out in a way that was acceptable.

I’ve also gotten much more comfortable and confident in recognizing when someone is reacting to or speaking from their own shit and trying to project their stuff onto me (or others).  The not-where-I-am-today me would have  argued or walked away in a huff when someone started putting their words and feelings into my mouth.

But these days, I’m able to clearly recognize it for what it is (their demons shit) and let it drop.  I don’t feel the need to “set them straight.” I allow them the space to be heard, I let them know they’re heard and I let my own crap (that automatic angry response sort of thing), go.

And by the same token, I’ve also gotten better at more clearly realizing when something is MY demons shit and not someone else’s.  When I feel the need to speak up and advocate for something, I recognize (and clearly admit) that I’m feeling this way, and it’s causing me to respond or react this way. And I admit that I know that it’s my demons shit and not theirs.

I think this has saved more relationships and friendships than I might ever realize.  Those would be the kind of relationships that in the past I would have walked away from in a huff (often, never to return).  But these days I’m able to see the good – the parts that I enjoy – and let the rest go.

I’m a believer in everything happens for a reason and that everyone we meet and interact with in our day to day lives happens for a reason (not everyone would agree and that’s fine).  So when that salesperson angers us to no end and we realize that we’re having that interaction for a reason, it’s wise (though not always easier), to stop and accept the gift and walk away.  It won’t always make sense then and there (in fact, I find that it rarely ever does), but eventually, it will all make sense.

In fact, using my own examples of being quick to get angry with the actions of others throughout the year (or to be honest…years), has led me to finally be able to recognize that it’s not my stuff, I don’t have to take it on (or take the bait or the blame) and I don’t have to become a victim. I can recognize it for what it is, brush it off and walk away.

And that feels SOOOO good.

But more importantly, I can help others (friends and clients) that are similarly engaged and entangled in one-sided relationships or feeling victimized or attacked, to recognize that it has nothing to do with them or who they are.  And I can help them learn to recognize this, to disengage and to walk away.  And that too feels good.

So while I may not have grown and expanded as much as I would have hoped financially and through speaking or product creation. I have grown immensely as a person.  And I’ve noticed that that very growth and expansion has in fact, made me a better coach and I feel that my speaking messages have come across much softer and loving.

It works for me.

 Next week, I’ll be sharing another Looking Back | Looking Forward journaling exercise.  I encourage you to set some time aside this week (and each week), to ponder, journal or create in response to these questions so that you can help create the business (or the life) that you envision for 2013.

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