It’s definitely wintry in Ann Arbor, and our seasonal diet has shifted from the cool leafy salads and quickly grilled foods of summer to heartier root veggies and slowly simmered soups and stews.
Everything seems to slow down and turn inward at this time of year, which makes late fall/early winter a perfect time to reflect on the year gone by and think about the one ahead.
I’ve been looking for a blog post series to end the year with, so stay tuned for some musings on where I’ve been this year, what I’ve learned from it, and where I’m hoping to go in 2019.
My hope is that you can spend some time looking at your own 2018 (with curiosity rather than judgment) and 2019 along with me.
One of the goals I set for myself in 2017 was to blog weekly, and it’s a bit wild to realize that it’s now been two full years of weekly posts. Well, except for that week my website exploded, and in my own defense, I did write a post that week—it just didn’t quite survive the conflagration.
I love to write, so in one way, this felt like a pretty easy goal to reach.
The real hurdle for me lay in overcoming two obstacles:
Feeling confident that my content—what I was writing about—was valuable to others, not just myself.
Finding my own voice—how I was writing about the content.
Turns out I needn’t have worried: as so often happens, the more I wrote, the more people told me, “It’s so nice to know I’m not alone in feeling this way,” and “I’ve never thought about it that way—you post was really helpful in reframing this topic for me,” and even, “This changed my life!”
And the more humorous, irreverent (er, potty-mouthed), and downright snarky I was—yes, that’s the real me—the more engagement I got.
A goal for any blogger is to get people commenting on their posts, and I think that the topics I write about are sometimes a bit too personal for people to leave their own story out there in the comments.
Last week I also learned that at least three readers weren’t able to leave a comment—I guess that can happen when you get hacked and put a firewall up—but I’ve experienced a measurable uptick in readers who reply to my weekly email that links to my blog: there are more replies and they come from a variety of readers, not just my beloved regulars (bless you, by the way!)
In 2018, my goal was to create a free health coaching webinar every month, and I’m one episode away from reaching that goal—the last webinar will go live this coming Wednesday, December 5.
Now this was a much more difficult goal to achieve, and if you’ve been tuning in, I hope you’ve noticed a marked improvement in the quality of the webinars.
I consider myself fairly tech savvy, and as I explored different online platforms over the course of the year, that aspect started to feel (almost) easy.
Again, my biggest hurdle was a mental one: I really, truly, deeply, passionately (you get the idea) dislike recording myself, whether we’re talking audio or video.
Be interviewed for a podcast? No worries.
Conduct a live panel or a 1:1 Q+A with experts in their field? I’ve got this.
Speak in public in front of a large group, even one numbering in the 100s? No problem. I’d even take on 1,000.
As long as there’s another real, live human being to interact with, go ahead and hit record!
Look into a camera and/or speak into a mic and pretend to talk to a real person? Just. Can’t. Do. It.
It’s sort of a running joke in a few virtual groups I belong to: Let’s throw down a Facebook Live challenge! Come on, Liza, you can do this.
No, nope, I really can’t.
I recently had to submit a 1-minute video of myself as part of a job application. It took me an hour to get 1 minute of footage I didn’t hate. (Yeah, that’s about as good as it got: Well, I don’t hate it….)
I hope you’ll agree that the webinars’ content is valuable and that the presentation did get better over time. In 2019, I’m going to go back and rerecord the earlier ones.
And I’ve realized that it just doesn’t make sense to spend time in business (or in life) on things that don’t feel good. Been there, done that, don’t need to do it again.
After all, as a health coach, it’s a matter of practicing what I preach: Try leaving your comfort zone.
If you find you are okay out there, take time to celebrate yourself, then take one more baby step when you’re ready.
If it’s just not for you, change your direction—you’re the only one who can say what works for you and what doesn’t, and if it doesn’t work, it’s not sustainable in the long term.
As I mentioned, the last webinar for the year airs this Wednesday at 12pm ET, and when you register for it, you’ll get access to the other 11 replays, which will be improved over 2019.
They all provide a peek at some topics we might spend time on if you work with me, ranging from secondary foods and meal planning to primary foods and goal setting.
December’s will be on a topic that has been taking up a lot of my brain space since June: career pivots. After relationships (and sometimes before), our careers are one of the most vital primary foods, so if you’ve been considering a career change (or even a slight shift), I hope you’ll tune in!
In the meantime, leave me a comment or send me an email and let me know: What’s one goal you reached (or didn’t) this year, and what did you learn about yourself in the process?