In the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the new year, I hadn’t planned to share my reflections on the past year and resolutions for the coming year. However, since my friend Monica shared that I inspired her recap, I thought it best to return the favour.
My 2017 Reflections
Overall, 2017 wasn’t too bad for me. Looking back, if I were to compare my life to a TV series, this would be the episode (or season) that was more about setting everything up for the real action in the upcoming episodes.
At the beginning of 2017, I set five goals:
- Achieve an annual revenue of at least $30K in my private practice.
- At least three self-care activities (specifically, getting ready for sleep by 11:30 PM, drinking at least 2L fluids per day, physical activity at least 3 days per week, starting a gratitude practice and reading a book per month) every day.
- Reach out to someone different (ideally in-person) at least every two weeks.
- Buy a house.
- Be interviewed on, or launch a podcast.
1. Achieve an Annual Revenue of at least $30K in My Private Practice
I didn’t achieve this goal, and in fact made less money in 2017 than I did in 2016. In the end, I chalked it up to three main reasons:
- I pivoted my niche from weight management and sports nutrition to intuitive eating and Health At Every Size® (aka “weight is not something you can, or should, ‘manage'”), and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes, the growing pains are tough and weight loss is “what people want”, but I feel like I’ve found a niche that I truly believe in and feel good about serving.
- I didn’t spend as much time working on my business. Although my husband and I have been looking for a house (see goal #4) for three years, we really doubled down and were finally successful this year. Between putting offers on different houses, moving, and selling our condo, from August onwards has felt like a blur. I feel blessed that I have a part-time job on top of my private practice, so that finances were not a real concern.
- The economy is still crappy. Part of me felt like this was a cop-out, especially given all the optimism that I’ve been hearing lately. My brother, a digital artist who sells a lot of his work at comic cons, recently shared with me that shows in Calgary have gone from being some of his most profitable to just slightly ahead of smaller centres, so I know I’m not alone.
I feel a bit better about things now, especially after considering the points above, setting a “backup” goal that I was able to meet and realizing that at least this year, I did have more steady, predictable income than the last. Still, I admittedly spent a good chunk of the year feeling bummed out about my business. In addition to not making a lot of money, I tried a couple things that didn’t work out—I only had two sign-ups for my Patreon page, and had to cancel two in-person workshops due to low registration, just to name a few.
I feel hopeful about 2018. I want to be more intentional with how I spend my time, how I promote my business, and the services that I offer.
2. At Least 3 Self-Care Activities per Day
If I go with the original definition of this goal, then I didn’t achieve this. The planner I used last year had a space where I could track this every day, and as you flip through the planner, even in the first week of January I struggled with getting to bed early or drinking enough water. I stopped tracking for a bit April-May, started up again for a bit in the beginning of summer, then stopped for good in August.
As I read the goal again, however, I realize how my definition of “self-care” has changed. Self-care has never been “bubble baths and pedicures” for me, however it doesn’t have to be strictly following all of these rules either. Self-care is really anything that honours your needs. Given that I am still alive and well, arguably I must’ve done at least three self-care activities a day in order to do so.
3. Reach Out to Someone Different (Ideally in Person) at least Every 2 Weeks
I didn’t really keep track of this, but I am so grateful for all of the professional and personal connections that I have built and nurtured over the past year, that I do feel I was successful.
4. Buy A House
Done! We took possession on the Tuesday after Labour Day, and moved in the weekend after Thanksgiving. Our kitchen cupboard and pantry doors are still stacked in a corner of our living room.
5. Be Interviewed On, or Launch a Podcast
I don’t think I want to launch a podcast anymore, but am happy to share that I was interviewed on the Nutrition Matters podcast about my thoughts on the controversial What The Health documentary.
My 2018 Theme
Last year’s “theme” was inspired by Mike Vardy of Productivityist’s “3 Words”. Last year, my words were bold, truth and enough, which were helpful, especially when it came to sharing ideas or doing things that were a little controversial or out of the ordinary. This year, I’d tossed around “patience, presence, push” for a while. I also just finished Brené Brown’s I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) (Amazon Affiliate link), where she repeatedly referred to the words “courage”, “compassion” and “connection”.
My 2018 theme is DISCOVERY.
“Curiosity” was a close second, but ultimately I chose “discovery” because I feel like curiosity can sometimes just be the mindset of wondering what’s going to happen, whereas discovery gives me that extra push to actually experience it.
My hope is that this year’s theme will draw on my natural inclination to try new things and allow me to cultivate a more curious (versus judgemental) mindset in all aspects of life. I hope that it will remind me to actually be present and experience things as they are happening. I also hope that it will remind me to be patient when things don’t go as planned, or as quickly as I want them to, but that I shouldn’t be afraid to give things a push or nudge to see what would happen next.
My 2018 Resolutions
I know it’s not cool to set resolutions anymore, but there’s a part of me that still believes that anyone who uses the new year as a time to set goals, intentions, themes, whatever is really still setting new year’s resolutions. Discuss.
The downside of the Shame-Free Resolutions Workbook was that it had space to set goals in 10 domains, so altogether I have way more than I am fully comfortable with. I’ll probably narrow these down in the coming days:
- Resume meditating and journalling. One of the awesome things that came out of 2017 was I started a semi-regular meditating and journalling practice. Moving (and throwing my journal into a box somewhere) sort of threw a wrench into things, but I’m really hoping to getting back to this morning ritual.
- Read at least a book per month. This was one of my goals from last year. (I only read 3.) This year I felt super optimistic and put holds on eight books at the library, thinking that the lines were so long that the books would just come one at a time as they were ready, but of course three books were ready at once. I’m currently two chapters away from finishing Shrill, so that’s a good start.
- Treat myself every day. I set this goal in the “pleasure” domain. I originally wrote “at least once a month”, but then realized that I probably treat myself in some way every day. Just today, I bought three of my favourite teas from the Tearrific advent calendar. I think it will be interesting to be purposeful about treating myself, and recognize it as an act of self-care.
- Plan at least one get-together with friends or family per month. Sort of a continuation from last year, but I plan to be more purposeful about keeping track of this.
- Learn and practice brush lettering. I’ve always liked hand lettering, but I really want to learn how to do brush lettering, with brush pens and the like.
- Cook from a cookbook at least once a month. This was inspired by a comment that was posted on my Facebook page:
Most of the time I cook from recipes online, and I have several cookbooks that I’ve never cooked from at all. Hoping to make a point of cooking from my cookbooks more often!
- Practice saying “no”. This is also a goal I’ve set before. I’m currently working through The Intuitive Eating Workbook (Amazon Affiliate link), and one of the things that’s come up is that I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to setting boundaries. In an effort to please, I often find myself saying “yes” to situations that often leave me feeling burnt out and resentful. I’m already patting myself on the back for saying “no” to two opportunities that didn’t align with my nutrition practice.
- Use affirmation in all client sessions. Affirming is a technique used in motivational interviewing, and as someone who can sometimes feel unnatural giving and receiving compliments, it’s probably the one skill that I am the weakest at. Over the past month, I’ve had a few incidences where using affirmations really made an impact on the session, so I want to be more purposeful in incorporating this alongside my other MI skills.
- More consistent marketing, especially “attract” and “invite” activities. In the short term, I want to work through the material from Racheal Cook‘s Sweet Spot Strategy course that I took two years ago and get back to the basics with this.
- Learn how to use analytics more effectively. I use software that collects stats on my web traffic, social media, newsletter, etc, but have no idea what all those numbers mean. I want to learn more about this, and how it might help with my marketing.
- Get adequate sleep, drink more water, move in ways that I enjoy. All goals from last year (and the year before that… and the year before…) I think it’s interesting that these goals in the “physical body” domain have been the longest standing ones, and the ones I continue to struggle with.
What does that mean?