I flip-flopped back and forth about whether I should actually do this post or not for quite awhile.
On the one hand, this is like the quintessential blogger post – “Recap of blog lessons of 2017!” “Recap of business lessons of 2017!” “Recap of life lessons of 2017!”
But on the other hand, does anyone actually even care? I mean, would I read a post called “life lessons of 2017?”
In all honesty, probably not. But here I am 😉
I’m a big fan of looking back before looking forward, and in my 2017 reflection time, there was one glaring message:
There were no new lessons in 2017.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I learned some cool NLP things. I learned a lot more about crystals, chakras, reiki, and yoga. I learned more about hormones and human psychology.
But those big life lessons? Yeah. None of ’em were new. They were lessons I’ve already learned in the past, wrapped in a pretty new package because I failed to listen the first (or second, or third) time.
And that is why I decided to write this post. Because I clearly need to hear these things over and over and over again before they finally sink in. And I thought that if I needed to hear these things on repeat, then maybe you do too.
These lessons/reminders aren’t necessarily listed by level of importance, but I did save the juiciest for last, so be sure to stick around.
#1. Sometimes You Gotta Ignore the Signs
I consider myself to be a gal of the spiritual variety. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for signs. Signs that I’m on the right path. Signs that I’m on the wrong path. Signs that I must seek more signs.
You know, the usual stuff.
So earlier this year when I sat down to create my vision board, I was a little distraught when I couldn’t find a single image that represented a half ironman, despite having a number of triathlon magazines at my disposal.
Numerous things happened while training for my first half ironman that I took as a sign to put the brakes on my training. A near-DNS at my first race of the season, a number of injuries, wrenches thrown in my plan.
I constantly agonized over whether or not these instances were signs to throw in the towel. But I wanted to cross that finish line oh-so bad, so I chose to ignore them and powered through until July 23, when I crossed the finish line of my first half ironman.
Despite all those signs, I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to do that race. I wanted the experience, the stories, the medal, the glory. I suffered a few consequences, but in my opinion, they were totally worth it.
Moral of the story: sometimes you just gotta say “fuck the signs” and do what your heart wants. It may or may not be the best route, but you’ll regret it if you don’t try it.
#2. Trends Come and Trends Go
It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to do the latest and greatest. It seems like every 5 minutes we’re inundated with articles about the latest fat-burning foods, the best funnels to grow your business, the number one life tactic you need to start employing right now or else you’ll spontaneously combust next Friday night at 9.
Putting your blinders on around these things can cause some serious FOMO. I mean, as dumb as all these claims seem, what if one is actually true?!
But the thing is, whether it’s in fitness, business, or life, all those old boring strategies that have stood the test of time have done so for a reason.
Because they work.
A combination of low-and-slow and HIIT training is great for triathlons. Same with primarily whole, nutrient dense foods and the occasional doughnut. No need to get caught up in what all the pros are doing if you don’t care nor have the time.
A successful business can be built off relationships and consistency as opposed to sneaky sales funnels or gross growth tactics that involve buying fake followers and engagement #yuck
Which leads me to my next lesson/reminder…
#3. Consistency Trumps All
2017 was the year I started to really notice improvements in my fitness and my business. Those watts on the bike were steadily getting higher and higher. My 100m swim time was getting shorter and shorter.
My business didn’t explode, but I honed my craft, found my voice, and finally felt less scared and uncomfortable while telling someone why I was the right chick to help ’em.
This all came as a result of showing up and putting in the work every day. “The work” changes based on the season. Sometimes it’s pushing through the hard times, sometimes it’s sitting back and allowing the recovery times to actually be recovery times.
It’s doing the things you don’t always want to do but you know will push the needle forward. It’s keeping your eyes on your own lane and knowing that if you keep showing up, you’ll eventually get to where you need to be.
#4. Life Is More Fun When You Don’t Try So Hard
This is a lesson I’ve been trying to embrace all year long. And for a recovering accomplish-a-holic, it’s a tough one to grasp.
Anytime I’ve stepped back and taken a break from the grind, my business flourishes. When I stop being so focused on a specific fitness-related outcome, my body looks and feels great.
And yet I continuously find myself in this cycle of rest-success-grind-burnout-repeat.
In Law of Attraction land there’s this idea that what you focus on expands. And I’m sure I’m not the only one when I admit that, occasionally, when I’m gripping a specific outcome with fists clenched, it’s because I’m worried it won’t actually happen.
And that worry is what stops the flow of magic ✨
On the other hand, sitting back, chillin’ out, and doing the things that make you feel good? That leaves space for ideas to cultivate. For stress levels to lower and clarity to heighten. For ease and fun to enter.
So this is my public plea to you – if you catch me bein’ all serious and outcome-focused without any flow, call me out on that, will ya? 😉
#5. Nobody Really Knows What They’re Doing
This is something we all know, yet never actually remember.
Your best friend doesn’t have her shit together. Your co-worker doesn’t have his shit together. That chick you follow who’s Instafamous and posts photos from her amazing life definitely doesn’t have her shit together.
We’re all just walking, talking animals that have figured out how to make life really freaking complicated for ourselves. We’re all just trying to figure out how to make our short existence on this planet a pleasurable one.
There are giant, massive life forces out there that are so much greater than we are, like Mama Nature or the abyss of the Universe.
An earthquake could happen at any moment. A mountain could explode because of a previously unknown volcano. A comet could suddenly destroy the earth.
In the big scheme of things, we are small and insignificant. The little details we fret over on a day-to-day basis do not matter.
Isn’t that refreshing?