Lessons I’ve Learned In 2021: A Look Back

Have you taken the time to reflect on the lessons you learned in 2021 yet? Or are you still in go go hustle mode and have promised yourself you’ll take that time over the holidays? Because I’m usually the one who doesn’t do much reflecting until I’m sitting on the beach and looking at the ocean and then the tears come - mainly happy tears of WOW we made it through the year and look at what we’ve accomplished! But sometimes the tears are for the fact that I still haven’t reached some of my goals. Goals I made at the beginning of the year somehow got buried under other priorities or kicked to the side because they felt too big and scary. Well, I promised myself this end of year reflection was going to be different. Instead of realizing what I didn’t accomplish and being frustrated with myself, I’m making a plan for moving forward and getting crystal clear on what I need to do to reach those goals. And in this episode, I’m sharing lessons I learned in 2021 and how I plan to take action on going after those dreams.

We just returned from our annual family Christmas trip to Edisto Beach, South Carolina. We had such a fun time. The weather was perfect, and we did a lot of fishing. I actually caught fish this year. I have been listening to Neville Goddard’s talks on manifesting. I was telling Billy about how to manifest what you desire, and I kid you not I reeled in 2 fish after I stated my manifestation to the universe. Now I don’t know if that’s too woo woo for you, but it worked!

Ok so let’s get into this episode. Truth be told these lessons have more to do with my personal life than the podcast however they affect the podcast and my vision for moving forward.

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So let me just dive right on in and share lesson #1. I can’t do all the things I want to do and be successful. This is something my husband has been telling me for pretty much all of 2021. I have many many irons in the fire - being a mom, being a wife, my job, the podcast, activewear business, creating continuing education, life coach, professional interviewer - just listing them out has me feeling overwhelmed but also excited. The problem is that I love each one of these roles and it’s hard for me to choose where to put my focus and energy some days. Don’t get me wrong, my family always comes first yet that’s where things start to get even more overwhelming. Our girls started playing club volleyball this year which means they each practice 2 days a week and I'm the main chauffeur around here. So, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday I’m taking them to and from practice. Some days I am able to sit and get work done but I really love watching them practice so more often than not, I get nothing done. 

Here’s why this is a lesson. My highest priority is my family. For me to feel successful in focusing on my family, that means less time to focus on other things, like creating continuing education. It also means less time on social media, which I really don’t mind giving up, but that’s where I do the majority of my networking and connecting. When I put my family first, I feel successful. One of the reasons this is so important to me is because when I was a kid, my family life was a lot different than the one I've created with my husband. My parents were divorced, and my mom was our main caretaker and many evenings we were on our own while she was in grad school. When you’re a kid that’s a big deal to not have your mom around, right? We were pretty good kids and didn’t get into much trouble and she had us surrounded by people who loved us. Yet I knew that if I had kids, I would be there for them more than my mom was able to. I’m not a helicopter parent, I've seen the issues that come from being one of those, but I am accessible to our girls when they need me. And that to me is success. 

What does this lesson mean for 2022? I’m unsure. However, I know it means less irons in the fire. So, stay tuned, you know I'll keep you posted.

Lesson #2. Self-care is critical but it’s hard to do. Raise your hand if you’ve discussed self-care with your clients this year? Ok now raise your other hand if you’ve put your own self-care on the back burner. Because I've got both up and I’m waving them wildly! Over the summer I realized I had to get more intentional with my self care. The first thing I did was take Facebook off my phone. That was a self-care gift I didn't know I needed until I did it. I do love connecting and networking with friends and peers, but that algorithm is just too much. I finally realized that it wasn’t good for my mood or energy. So, I just deleted it one day. Poof. Gone. I’ve also cut back on the amount of news I take in too. I also started walking. I sit so much, and my body was starting to revolt. My tight hips and hamstrings were constantly barking at me. One day I just went for a walk, and it was an instant mood and energy boost. Yes, I’ve added a stretching routine too. Speaking of exercise, I get asked a lot about what I do for workouts. I lift weights 3-4 days a week and I walk. Here’s theworkout plan I follow if you’re curious. 

Self-care also means eating nutritious foods and taking my vitamins. Staying away from processed foods and sugar means I’ll sleep better, have more energy plus my skin glows when I eat whole foods. Speaking of glowing skin and energy, here’s my current favorite breakfast - unsweetened almond milk, vanilla protein powder, mixed frozen berries, banana, coconut oil and frozen spinach or kale, a few ice cubes and blend it up. Fills me up for hours and helps me reach my nutrition goals.  I’ve also been sticking to a sleep schedule and less time watching netflix during the week before going to bed. Sticking to my sleep schedule means sticking to my wake-up time. I get up by 5am and either get a workout in or work on the podcast. I find the early am hours to be my best time to focus and create podcast content. I love getting up early and getting stuff done, it helps me get a jump start on my day and I check things off the list. Plus, it’s super quiet in the house. I’m really liking the self-care schedule I have set up right now. Other things I do for my self-care: I get a facial every month, I limit my alcohol consumption to 1-2 adult beverages a week, drink my water, keep my boundaries in check, say no to things.

The 3rd Lesson. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s ok. This is an idea that in the past I would say yet didn’t truly understand the full meaning of it until this year. What changed? 2020 happened and we had to make decisions for ourselves and kids that not everyone agreed with. My people pleasing ways would come out and I’d bend over backwards to explain our decisions to others. I would find myself worked up and emotionally flooded and I'd start to second guess my values, ideas and beliefs. Whoa. This is not the person I’ve worked hard to become. It’s ok we’re different. It’s ok that not everyone is going to like me. This year made me realize that I have to stop hiding myself because there are people out there who get me and want to be a part of my life and my community.

I asked a few people in my community what 2021 taught them and here is what they shared:

Damien Hatfield, Owner of RA Martial Arts in the UK shared: "I am not an Island" I have an amazing team and I need to allow them to help. Nature of a control freak I'm afraid. 

Yes! I love this! Damien, thank you for sharing. Working so much in the details of your business may not allow you to use your skills to grow the business. Delegate the tasks that keep you from reaching your business goals. 

Tosha Rollins of the Autism in Action Podcast said her goal for 2022 is to simplify and streamline and put herself first to increase successful outcomes. I’m excited for her! I wonder what this will look like for her. Maybe it’s setting up new systems. Perhaps it’s setting boundaries with her work? Self-care may be something she’s referring to as well. What we do know is that when we neglect our own needs, we just aren’t as productive or helpful for others. 

So, looking forward to 2022 here are a few things I’m committing to doing. First is to grow my business with less time on social media. We’ve been told over and over again that we must have a social media presence. But I am beginning to see that less is more. In the past I had been taught (and was teaching) that we had to post 3-5 times a day to get visible. I’m here to bust that myth and also apologize to everyone I said that too! Yes, it’s important but we don’t need to be a slave to sharing content to get seen. It’s more about creating valuable content that your audience wants to see. What does that mean for me? More podcasts and blogging and less time fighting the algorithms. 

Speaking of blogging, I have my blog up and running on my site. I’m planning to blog at least once a week and I’ll cover a variety of things so be sure to check it out. 

I’ll also be doing more solo episodes. Don’t worry I’ll still be interviewing therapists and other helping professionals; I’ll just be spending some more time teaching what I’m learning about growing my business and podcast. 

So, what are your biggest lessons from 2021? And what are you looking forward to in 2022? Send me a DM on Instagram or an email - I’d love to hear from you. 

Related podcasts and blog posts:

Creating a Self Care Plan for Your Practice and Life

How to Move Through Burnout and Compassion Fatigue With Sherry Collier

How To Avoid How To Avoid Burnout And Overwhelm

Beat Burnout While Working In Community Mental Health With Rose Skeeters

Therapist Self Care During A Pandemic: How are YOU doing?

Living In The Land Of Possibilities with Bill O'Hanlon

The Magic in Asking the Right Questions With Bill Mayer

Your Focus Determines Your Direction with Dr. Seth Scott

Building Resilience - The Stoic Way With William B. Irvine

The Best Tips For Starting A Side Gig With Melvin Varghese PhD

Energize Your Work & Office With Feng Shui With Patricia Lohan

Psychedelics, Burnout & Pivoting Your Skill Set with Dr. Steve Thayer

Side Gigs For Therapists That Have Nothing To Do With Therapy With Lisa Mustard

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This episode brought to you by:

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