By about midway through 2016, I knew it was already in the running for a banner year in my book. As I sit and type this, I’m not that different that I was a year ago. We live in the same house. I still have the same man (thank God!), two kids, and a blog. My career hasn’t changed much. While there are a handful of new friends in my life, things are pretty stable.
But holy Moses, 2016 was a year of intense personal growth.
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Be warned: this post is completely focused on my personal growth. However, it’s still my goal for this post to encourage and benefit you. I hope that some part of my journey or the tools I’ve used will help make 2017 a banner year for you.
And while I’m at it, I have to give a shout out to my girl Laura. She opened the proverbial Pandora’s box by sending me some posts about the bullet journal, and it was like giving a mouse a cookie. Without Laura and her enthusiasm for new things, this year would have been very different and–dare I say it?–emptier. Thank you a million times over, Laura!
So here they are–the four ways I grew in 2016:
During the last two weeks of 2016, my life was very still. Yes, I went to family events, hosted holiday events, spent time with friends—all the usual fun and loud things. But here’s what I didn’t do:
- I didn’t check my email (other than for discounts—keeping it real, folks)
- I didn’t write a single blog post
- I didn’t contact customers or clients
- I didn’t sit down to brainstorm, well, anything
Despite doing a lot of nothing, I feel like those two weeks gave me time to mull over how 2016 gave me increased focus. No, I don’t know exactly where I’m going, but it’s growing clearer than ever. And what’s better than that is—I’m okay with discovering my focus slowly.
One of my favorite sayings is this:
“I never fail; I only learn and grow.”
Keeping that in mind, I learned a lot this past year. I learned about what makes me tick. I learned about what I really want for my family. I learned about changes I need to make in my career. I learned about what I want to stop doing.
Some might look at my life this past year and see excessive amounts of floundering. But really? I was swimming, getting my stride, finding the flow. And by the end of this new year, it’ll be even clearer.
Ho-ly cow. If you’ve heard me say it once, you’ve heard me say it fifty times. The Miracle Morning has been a life changer for me. You can read all about my thoughts on that journey here and here. As a teaser, let me just say that I wouldn’t want to even imagine my life today if I hadn’t discovered that system. I’m a different person. If you’re not feeling 100% in the confidence department, you can download The Miracle Morning to your kindle here, or order a hard copy here.
Thanks to the journey of 2016, I know these things about myself:
- While I’m a distracted mom, I’m also a fun and loving one
- While my house is often dirty, those I love find it warm and inviting
- While I don’t get everything done, I’m one of the most productive people you’ll ever meet
- While I might not be exactly where I want to be in my life and career, I know that I have the tools and the drive to get there
- And while I can binge watch TV shows with the best of them, I also have a burning need to learn and grow that will never be quashed
The changes in my health stem from a few different choices I’ve made. First of all, one of the components of The Miracle Morning is daily exercise. But let me tell you, there is nothing like two weddings to force a girl to get in shape.
During the first
many several nine months of 2016 I made it my monthly goal to “lose baby weight.” In numbers, this meant anywhere from 10-15 pounds, depending upon the day. Now seriously, who loses 15 pounds in a month and keeps it off? Insanity, I tell you.
So when my BFF set her wedding for just THREE months after getting engaged, and then when another super good friend told me to get my butt in gear…I did.
While I’ll save the details for another post, here are the basics of how I took control of my health:
- Daily exercising using this Jillian Michaels routine
- Tracking my sleep and wake times in my bullet journal
- Drinking 8-12 glasses of water per day
- Consistent supplement intake
- Tracking my food and activities using LoseIt!
- Showing myself kindness in taking naps when necessary rather than relying upon caffeine
Hi, my name is Kendra and I am a Type-A, dyed-in-the-wool perfectionist with legalistic tendencies.
Can wool be bleached? Because I feel like that dye might be gone. Or lighter. It’s definitely lighter.
Two things have helped combat my perfectionist tendencies: art/creativity and using a bullet journal.
Again, you can read about my bullet journal here or watch a video flip through here, and my artistic pursuits are spread across those journals and my Instagram posts. However, I will share the secret behind this journey away from perfectionism.
The beauty and, for some, the horror of the bullet journal is that you are working with a blank slate. No pretty boxes, no printed fonts, no pre-made artwork. It’s just you and your pen, girlfriend.
And therein lies the magic. That little blank book is your bridge to freedom. With purposeful bravery you put pen to paper, screw up a little, learn a lot, and begin to embrace the beauty of imperfection.
Getting creative works the same way. This Christmas I made several hand-lettered gifts for friends. Now, I could have made something similar and much more perfect using Photoshop and computerized fonts. But the messages of these prints went beyond just the written message; for me, the imperfections in the art were part of the message—that I’m a work in progress, and that that progress is messy and beautiful and necessary.
It’s all a win
Those were my four big wins: focus, confidence, health, and (addressing my) perfectionism. How about you? What made 2016 great for you? While your growth might not seem significant to others, if it’s a win for you–celebrate it! Give yourself a shout-out below and let us celebrate with you!