How was 2016?
Did you have time to review what went well and what didn’t work last year? And use your lessons learned to tackle 2017?
Early 2016, I challenged myself to do more activities outside my comfort zone. Overcoming some of my fears raised my self-awareness about why I had them in the first place.
Here are my lessons learned.
The podcast side effect
My biggest adventure in 2016 was the launch of my podcast show Get On Your Quest.
I created the podcast to:
- Challenge myself and overcome the fear of creating a podcast in English, which is a foreign language to me.
- Implement an idea that I had kept for too long in my mind so that I would not regret that I never pursued the project.
- Inspire my audience to take action toward creating a business they love.
- Share the stories about entrepreneurs and business owners who inspire me.
I did not expect that the podcast would have such a positive impact on my business and on my mindset.
I connected with a new audience that I would not have met otherwise. And I was so determined to bring the project to life that I did not let my fears stop me from launching the show.
- Announce that you have a new project in the pipeline: it will hold you accountable to get it done despite your self-doubts.
- Acknowledge your fears, analyze where they come from and change your story. We are often the ones blocking our own way to success.
- Don’t let past events stop you from moving forward in your life. Ask for help if necessary so that you can grow stronger each time you overcome your fears.
20 years in technology without using that many tools
I celebrated 20 years in technology in 2016.
I love testing new tools to stay up to date with the latest trends but I still limit the number of applications I need to get my work done.
I avoid distracting tools such as chat and messenger apps. For example, I still haven’t installed Facebook messenger on my phone.
I disable most of the notifications on my phone or laptop. This allows me to focus on the tasks I scheduled in advance in my agenda and I avoid working in a reactive mode.
The less tools I use, the easier it is for me to know where to find my data and the less distracted I am.
- Less apps equals less overwhelm. Before installing a new app: ask yourself if it will help you work more efficiently. Check if you already have an app installed that provides you with similar functionalities.
- Let people know about the best way to contact you. Defining your main communication channels will simplify your life. You will also support and answer your clients more efficiently.
One important activity a day
The launch of my podcast took more of my time and energy than I had planned.
To keep my health and sanity, I had to pause some activities that were not vital to my business so as to prioritize my work with my clients and allocate enough time to publish weekly podcast episodes.
Earlier last year, I was using a productivity planner to tackle 3 important tasks per day. I did not get good results with that approach during the podcast launch.
I decided to target only one important activity per day. Achieving more would be considered as a bonus.
The result? At the end of each day, I was getting things done and I felt good about my accomplishments.
I also grouped similar activities together to create themes (such as Marketing activities, Operations, etc). This allowed me to be more focused and helped me accomplish more each day without feeling overwhelmed.
- You improve your focus and prioritization when you add constraints to your schedule.
- If you were too ambitious in your goal setting, instead of beating yourself up for not getting things done, scale down your objectives until you find a good flow that brings you results.
Dig deeper versus dream big
I paid more attention this year to how bloggers were creating their headlines.
Sometimes, we get caught up with copywriting formulas and we forget about the meaning of the words we use.
I read so many headlines containing the words “dream big” (I also wrote similar sentences) followed by empty explanations, that I started wondering if people ever questioned what they were writing and teaching to others.
I spent time doing some soul searching and wondered if I was having big dreams.
Based on startup events I attend in the Silicon Valley where you hear “successful gurus” explaining that you’re playing small if you’re not targeting a billion dollar company, it was easy for me to conclude that I was not dreaming big enough using their reference.
However, I do have dreams. They matter to me at a personal level. I find some of them bold. Though I’m sure that entrepreneurs with ‘big dreams’ would find mine simple.
Simple does not mean that it’s easy to achieve.
The most important thing is to take consistent action to get closer to your dreams every day.
I feel that I’m already living part of my dreams: being free to spend my time on activities that matter to me, working with people I enjoy working with, surrounding myself with uplifting peers, getting up every day without thinking about office politics, and not asking for permission to travel when I want to visit my family.
I still have my bucket list of things to do and places to visit. I know now that it only depends on me to fulfill each of my dreams. They might not be big dreams but I know what makes me happy.
Take the time to dig deeper into what you truly want and not what others want for you. You might discover that you are not that far away from a more joyful life.If you never had a taste of your big dreams, how do you know what truly makes you happy?Click To Tweet
Let your inner child break through your limiting beliefs
My soul searching woke up my inner child.
The fears I overcame during the podcast launch didn’t exist when I was younger.
As a kid, I used to write short stories, draw, play music, read novels that nourished my imagination.
Then I grew up.
I didn’t allow my imagination to grow with me.
- I stopped writing because one day I told myself I was not a writer.
- I took a few drawing classes as an adult but I used to tell myself I was not an artist.
- I am now reading more business books than novels. Some business books are inspiring but they don’t wake up my imagination and emotions the same way novels do.
I built up some of my fears when I started working and didn’t notice them as they were dormant, hiding deep inside me.
When I decided last summer to launch a podcast in September, working on such a demanding project brought my fears up to the surface.
Fortunately, I got so much support during the entire launch process that I was able to not only break through my doubts but also to have a method to deal with them the next time they appear.
I’m finding myself again: the person who had dreams and believed those dreams were within her reach.
Reconnecting with my inner child opened the door to more creative activities.
She told me it was ok to write, draw and have fun just for the sake of spending some time being myself and experiencing things I enjoy without any outcome related to my work.
- The person you would like to become might already be there, waiting for you to wake her up.
- Your inner child could help you find the life you truly want to live.
- Let others help you instead of giving up.
My intentions for 2017
I don’t do New Year resolutions but I do have goals and things I would like to experience in 2017.
My inner child will be my guide: I will play more with her and will listen to the creative ideas she suggests me.
I will also read more novels and maybe fewer business books.
In addition to my business projects, I will allocate more time for activities related to my self-development and self-care, which includes blocking in advance some time completely disconnected from work and from the internet.
What about you?
Ready to play with your inner child in 2017?
Denise Wakeman says
Beautiful recap of your awesome year! Looking forward to seeing your next evolution! And, I’m totally with you on reading more fiction. I started doing that again last year and appreciated being a voracious reader again.
Thank you Denise!
I already got few books during the holidays to make sure that my first books in 2017 won’t be business ones 🙂
Denise Wakeman says
Ok, now I want to know what’s on your reading list??? 🙂
In that case, I will let you know soon 😉
Sue Fockner, Owner - Arkadaslik Yachting says
All work and no play is no fun for anyone. Keep indulging your inner child and everyone will reap the benefits! It sounds like 2016 was very successful and you’re on a good path for an equally good year in 2017. Congratulations!
Thank you Sue for your message.
2016 was quite a journey and I still can’t believe that it took me so long to reconnect with that inner child.
Wishing you an excellent year in 2017 too!