2014 in Review – 7 Things that changed my life in 2014
I started 2014 with a lot of hopes and dreams and goals and all those great shiny ideas and things. 2014 did not go at all how I thought it would though. (When does anything ever go how you think it will?)
I spent the first half of the year constantly sick. I was at the doctor every few weeks, had my first ER visit in March and surgery in May (gallbladder removed). Even after the surgery I was still sick a lot. I spent a lot of time at home alone because well I didn’t feel good enough to be out and about and I was always afraid of getting sick in public. I have always struggled with anxiety and depression so being sick, in pain and just not able to really live my life, it caused me to fall into one of the worst depressions of my life from August through mid October.
There were several things that have changed my life in 2014 and most of them just in the past 2-3 months. I am grateful for everything that I went through this year both the good and bad. I always like to reflect on what I have learned year. I narrowed it down to seven big things that changed my life and that I will remember most about 2014.
1. The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. This book, Lysa’s message, the free online Bible study that Proverbs 31 Ministries offered with this were just the catalyst that begin the shift in my life a few months ago. If you struggle with the rush of life, the demands, not being able to say no, always feeling like you are pulled a million directions or that you and what you do can never be enough, then this is a MUST READ book for you! Learning to overcome the disease to please and escaping the rhythm of rush, learning how to say no to things so you can be sure you say yes to God’s best for your life, it shifts everything in your head, heart and life.
2. Going back to College. One of my biggest regrets has always been that I never finished my Bachelor’s degree. I had decided to take training for life / business coaching earlier this year. I have felt God’s pull towards this for a couple of years now but not had the courage to move forwards towards that new dream until this year. While researching certification / training courses I saw that Liberty University Online offered a degree in Life Coaching. Everything just fell into place so perfectly for me to be able to attend Liberty Online, it was affordable, it was all online, it was both a highly accredited and Christian college and they had a degree program that worked out great with all my random transfer credits. I just completed my first full semester (4 classes, 2 A’s & 2 B’s). While it was a ton of work and the research papers were about more than my brain could handle, it has been so amazing. I have learned so much not just about psychology & life coaching but about my faith and myself. I have loved the discipline of it and learning about so many interesting topics.
3. Clean Eating (and Arbonne’s 28 Day Detox Plan). I really think that reading The Best Yes and learning how to eat clean were the things that really set all the others into motion. I got started eating clean by doing a 28 Day Detox Diet with Arbonne. A friend was hosting an Arbonne party and I was intrigued by this detox diet. It wasn’t just another fad diet or about drink 2 shakes a day and lose a ton of weight. It was about detoxing your body from sugars, starches, dairy, processed foods and learning how to eat healthier so you can improve so many areas of your health and life. Their program had a great support system, weekly meal plans, nutritionists and consultants there to help and support you during your time. Plus I had used Arbonne’s products before and knew they were a high quality product and I always love supporting fellow direct sales sisters. I did the 28 Day Detox and within the 4 weeks it was like a miracle had been performed in my body. After 3 years of serious digestive issues, not being able to eat hardly anything without getting sick or having massive stomach pain and literally being afraid to leave the house because I might get sick, in 4 weeks of changing my diet, taking their supplements, it was like a total transformation. I did the 28 day detox for a second round and continued to feel better. (I also lost a little weight too but just having my digestive issues completely eliminated was worth it all even if I hadn’t lost an ounce). I continue to eat clean at least 80-90% of the time (hey we all need to be able to cheat and enjoy some not so good foods occasionally and that is ok!). I seriously feel like I have gotten my life back. I have been able to get back to doing lots of events, attending networking meetings, spending more time with family and I just feel so much better! I also still take some of the daily supplements from Arbonne as well as a multi-vitamin. If you want more info on Arbonne’s 28 Day Detox or products, feel free to contact my awesome consultant Beth Simms and tell her I referred you!
4. Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard. I had seen a few things about Brendon online, attended a couple of his free webinars in the past couple of years. I love his story, passion, excitement and mission. When I saw Brian Tracy recommending Brendon’s new book The Motivation Manifesto I was intrigued. Then I saw that Brendon was offering the book and a 6 week e-course for FREE (just had to pay $7 shipping), I figured why not sign up? I am so glad that I did. I know some people are not into all the motivational, positive thinking, vision casting, purpose finding stuff but I am because of the difference those things have made in my life. I have truly seen in my own life the difference it makes when I am thinking positive, staying motivated and focused on good things, setting goals and moving forward.
5. Depression. If you have struggled with depression then I don’t need to explain anything. If you haven’t struggled with it then I hope you never have to. As difficult as it is to live with a constant struggle of a monster or cloud or heavy weight always just waiting to fall upon you, I always learn something from the times I go through deep depressions. I am grateful that I have been able to pull through them so many times over the years or that God rather has held me up and given me hope even when I did not want to feel His hope. This depression taught me that it’s time. It is time to stop letting fear hold me back from living my life authentically and moving forward towards several dreams. If I do not start living authentically I will never really be happy or fulfill the purpose I believe God put me here for. I also realized I need to make sure to schedule time off and vacation more. It seems like the only time I really sleep, rest, do things I normally don’t make time for is when I get really depressed. (I also had a very hard time finding enough pictures for the collage included in this post. That showed me that I really did not get out and about or travel or do anything much fun at all this year. I normally have all kinds of pictures of all my adventures.)
6. The Conquer Summit (and The Conquer Club) – Natalie MacNeil with She Takes on the World offered a free 9 week small business success virtual event called The Conquer Summit. It started in October. I had read Natalie’s book and followed her on social media for a while now. I really needed some extra motivation and help with working to re-brand and relaunch CEO of Me so I was excited to attend this summit. I learned so very much from all the amazing speakers, not just about business but having a successful mindset, overcoming limiting beliefs and re-thinking financial freedom. Since implementing what I learned I have already been able to increase my income and see positive changes in my small businesses. There were more “a-ha” moments for me from those sessions than Oprah could even have ever shared. It was truly life altering. I decided to invest in myself, my business & my life in 2015 by joining The Conquer Club. It is a 12 month small business intensive training/incubator, mentoring program, boot camp that Natalie runs along with several other amazing entrepreneurs. It is a big investment, not just financially but time wise and committing to working to grow, learn and work. I am beyond excited to be part of The Conquer Club 2015 and for everything I am going to learn, achieve, accomplish and all the amazing connections with like minded entrepreneurs!
7. Disabling notifications on my phone. I have spoken about this in my FREE Webinar – How to Control Your Calendar and Work Smarter, Not Harder as well as in several posts. Earlier this year, I disabled ALL notifications on my phone (and my computer!). I do not have little things pop up on my screen or dings, beeps or whistles going on all hours of the day (and night) anymore. I do still get text messages but I even turned the sound off for those. I check my email and social media when I have time to check it a few times a day and mostly later at night. I reply when I have time to reply on my own schedule. It not only has given me a lot of extra time to focus on more important things, it also has alleviated a good amount of stress.
While 2014 maybe wasn’t the best year of my life, I still have a lot to be grateful for. I am just happy that I made it through! I am also so very grateful for family and friends who have stood by me, encouraged me and supported me through it all. The struggles, trials and disappointments were all part of the journey. Everything I have experienced in 2014 has given me a renewed hope, sense of purpose and desire to finally move forward towards some big goals and living my life more authentically in 2015.
What about you, how was your 2014? If you have a 2014 in Review post that you wrote, I would love for you to leave the link below so I can be sure to visit and comment too.