I hope you are doing great! If you are like me you are probably feeling a little crazy lately. How are we already halfway through July?! The last few months feel like they are flying by. We are more than halfway through the year. And, I hate to say it, but 2019 is going to be here before we know it.
How do you feel about that?
In the past, I have struggled with the thought of the year ending because I knew I wasn’t any closer to accomplishing my personal goals and the things that I wanted to in life. Each month that went by made me sad because I was that much closer to another year ending where I didn’t do the things I wanted to do.
See, there were major changes that I wanted to see in my life. I had big dreams, but that was it. They were just dreams. I didn’t really have goals in place or take the real steps that I needed to in order to make them happen. And, as long as I was doing that I was never going to experience those changes that I was looking for. My personal goals were never going to become reality, they were merely dreams.
What I learned in 2017 that changed all that
Well, that all changed in 2017 and it has made 2018 a blast (with challenges of its own)!
In 2017 I experienced the following:
- My husband and I sold our house (which we wanted to do for YEARS!)
- We moved out of Michigan (which we also wanted to do for YEARS!)
- I quit my outside job and transitioned to working as a solopreneur
- I began homeschooling my daughters which gave me the time with them I had desired their entire lives
There were a lot of other changes that happened, but these are the main three and I learned a LOT along the way. Here are some of the things that I learned or changed in 2017 that made the year different for me:
1. I took some risks and made some hard decisions
At the start of 2017, I was working for my local church, working as a freelance writer, and working as a travel agent specializing in Disney World travel. I loved all of the things that I was doing. But, it was too much. I was burnt out. I realized that I would never be able to really succeed in one of these areas because I was having to divide my time between too many things. So, I needed to make a choice and get focused.
I spent a lot of time praying and the answer was not what I expected it to be. I felt like I needed to focus on my content writing. So, at the end of April, I stepped down from my position at the church. It was an emotional, but it was the right decision. After I did this, the church actually offered me a better position. If this would have happened a few months earlier, I probably would have taken it, but I knew it wasn’t right. I knew I needed to step away from my work there so I stuck to my guns and politely declined. Remember, just because a door opens does not mean it’s the door for you to walk through.
Once I made this change I was able to start focusing more on growing my writing client base which led me to taking on some of my favorite clients.
2. I invested in myself
Towards the end of 2017, I decided to invest in myself and my business. I joined a membership group that is for female entrepreneurs. I’m a pretty cheap person that doesn’t like to spend money so this was a tough decision to make. But, once I did it I started to take myself more seriously as a business owner. I started to learn new strategies, tips, and tricks and have been able to connect with some amazing women from around the world. My world has expanded greatly. In fact, this blog would have never started back up again if it weren’t for me joining that membership group.
3. I moved from dreaming to planning and taking action
Dreaming is good, but it’s never going to get you anywhere unless you make a plan to go with the dream. My husband and I had wanted to sell our house for years. In fact, we had even tried to sell it a few times but we never had a real plan of what would happen after that. In 2017, we created a plan. The funny thing is the plan for our move turned upside down completely (which I will share more in detail in the future), but I don’t believe it would have happened at all if we didn’t start somewhere.
We can make our plan, but God guides our steps. I have found this to be very true in my life, but I also believe that many Christians use this Bible verse (Proverbs 16:9) as an excuse not to take action. I think some people wait for God to do it all and think that they shouldn’t take any action until God has shown them a clear path. Well, I haven’t found it to work like that in my life. When I was sitting around, praying for direction, and not taking action, nothing happened. But, I started making progress towards my personal goals when I was praying and taking action.
God gave us brains for a reason and it’s our responsibility to use them. If you are going the wrong way, he will correct it. We were moving to Florida in 2017. We actually did take our moving truck and family to Florida for a night and then ended up living in Kentucky. But, if we hadn’t taken action to get to Florida we would still be in Michigan right now. It didn’t end up being what we originally thought, but something was able to happen because we took the steps to get going.
4. I started overcoming my fears
2017 was a scary year, but it was also a learning year. I learned that the more I face my fears and take action the less scared I am. I cannot even begin to explain in this one article all the fears that I have overcome since 2017, but there are a lot of them. Fear can keep you safe in some situations, but most of the time it just stops you from making progress in your life. You are smart enough to determine if the thing you are afraid of are actually life-threatening or things that you need to face and overcome. You were not meant to live in fear.
5. I connected with some really smart and motivating people
In 2017 I started connecting with people that help me to grow my confidence and follow through on the tasks I needed to do to reach my personal goals. Some of these were my clients and some were women I met through the membership group. Through conversations with these people I learned how to grow my confidence, set personal goals, make plans to follow through, and I found the accountability that I needed.
The 2017 changes have made 2018 so different
All of these lessons learned and actions that were taken in 2107 have made 2018 so different. I no longer dread the end of the year because I know that I am making progress towards my personal goals. In fact, I can’t wait to review my year and set my goals for 2019. The things that I have done are not exceptional or things that other people haven’t already accomplished in their own life, but they are huge steps for me.
Make sure you aren’t comparing yourself with others. My 2018 isn’t better than everyone’s 2018, but it’s better than my 2017 and that’s what matters. If you are ready to start making changes this year to make your 2019 so much better I would love to help. I have found accountability to be one of the things that hold many of us back. We lack the ability to keep ourselves accountable towards our goals so we don’t make progress. Or, we try to get accountability from friends and family, but that never works before they let us off the hook way too easily (or we end up hating them if they try to get stern with us).
If you are looking for accountability, I would love to help. You can find out more here. And, another great way to start making progress is to create a plan and stick to it. If you want to try the daily planning strategy that I use you can check that out here.
You can change the rest of your 2018 and set yourself up to make 2019 your best year yet!