5 Behind-The-Scenes Success Habits from my Life and Business in 2016
The Christmas holiday season is, quite frankly, one of my most favourite times of year. I stay home. I declutter. I read books, drink wine, go for long walks and avoid email like the plague. And I also use the time to reflect upon the year that was — I review my accomplishments and challenges, and set some intentions for the coming year.
2016 was a banner year, both financially and in terms of the impact we had in the lives of the women we serve. Here are some of our highlights:
- We launched the Fierce Feminine Leadership podcast and took it straight to New & Noteworthy in iTunes.
- We doubled our business.
- I completed more than a dozen international keynote talks.
- We held our very first live, 3-day women’s leadership retreat for a sold out, global crowd of powerhouse women.
- We took dozens of incredible women through our Impact & Influence Leadership Lab for women — my signature leadership development program.
- We launched Bold Women Thought Leaders, an exclusive 3-month group coaching program for women who are building expert, thought leader or consulting based businesses and want to build a global brand.
- We welcomed our first cohort of 10 incredible women into the Bold Women in Business Mastermind, a year-long mastermind for women entrepreneurs.
- I was appointed Chair of the Visiting Women’s Executive Exchange Program at the Yale School of Management, a program that seeks to support and empower diverse women in leadership.
I feel enormously proud looking over that list. But of course, things have not been 100% rosy this year. (#Imstillwithher)
While I continue to work out, play soccer and basketball and take my dogs out for almost daily walks, the truth is that my health and fitness levels suffered this year because I worked hard and travelled a lot.
Some weeks I had excellent boundaries around work and non-work, and others I found myself checking my email at 2 a.m., simply because I couldn’t sleep and my phone was my alarm clock.
I didn’t spend as much time with my friends as I’d like to. I missed them.
I spent a significant amount of time wondering how to personally topple Vladimir Putin, Bashar Assad, assorted terrorist groups and a number of other “leaders” whom I felt brought out the worst humanity has to offer in 2016. These plans were rooted in anger and deep sadness, a little too Warrior Queen-esque, high on emotion , impractical and ultimately, time wasters.
But despite the challenges I faced in 2016, it was, overall a banner year. As I reflect on WHY my team and I achieved the things we did, I’ve drawn some conclusions about my personal success habits that contributed the most to our success.
I do my very best work with clients who are ready to make a big leap. When that commitment is firmly in place, one of the first things I invite them to do is to declutter the hell out of something — a flower bed, an “everything” drawer, their closet.
You have to make room for the new stuff, ladies.
In December 2015, I read Marie Kondo’s international best selling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
And because I’m a major implementor (more on that later), I Marie Kondo’d my entire house from top to bottom.
Seriously. Between December 5, 2015 and January 1, 2016, I devoted all my non-work and non-family hours to decluttering. I released over half my wardrobe, three quarters of my library. I drastically reduced my belongings.
A few days into the process, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and was struck by how, well, great I looked. (My instinct is to apologize for saying this, but it’s the truth. I looked GOOD). Releasing stuff took years off me.
I’m convinced that this massive decluttering effort made room for the powerhouse results I drove in 2016.
True story: I believe in a higher power (whom I call “God”. As a side note, my oldest son referred to God as a woman until he was six years old, a fact that brings this fierce mom endless amounts of joy, but I digress).
As I said, I firmly believe there is a benevolent higher power, and I frequently connect with this higher power when I meditate, pray, chat to my deceased father while walking in the woods, or brainstorm how to get out of a sticky situation. I’m a believer in Things We Can’t See.
I often find myself working HARD to neither snort nor roll my eyes when people talk about the “law of attraction.”
This is a knee jerk reaction I’m (sort of) working on. The challenge I have with the most vocal supporters of the law of attraction is that in many cases, these die-hard “law-abiders” regard the LoA as a get out of work free card. And I see very little practical evidence that success is not linked to effort.
Success comes faster when you work hard AND manifest.
I define manifesting as rendering your dreams real through the power of relaxed yet highly focused intention. I worked to double my business this year. But I also manifested it, by following the “Intention, Attention, No Tension” process.
Here’s an example of how I manifest:
- I set monthly income goals. (Intention).
- I tracked my daily income AND I made my passwords my monthly income goal. I also added my monthly income goal to the names of people who frequently call me (i.e. my husband) so I saw the number pop up at numerous times throughout the day. (Attention).
- With these gentle reminders in place, I released myself from stressing about whether I would achieve my goal. The reminders acted as “anchors”, naturally aligning my intentions with my big income goals. (No tension).
The beauty of manifesting is that it turbo-charges your work. Manifesting = effort on steroids. If you don’t believe me, just ask my 2016.
3. Developing a finely attuned ear to my own B.S. excuses.
One of my great personal achievements of 2016 is that I mastered the art of rolling my eyes at myself WHILE practicing self-love. I mastered this great skill because I practiced it a lot this year.
I practiced simultaneous self-love and eye rolling because I took on some big, challenging goals this year: doubling my business, running a 3-day retreat, launching my podcast etc. Each project pushed me beyond my comfort zone…
…and any time we attempt to move beyond our comfort zone, we typically walk directly into the excuse cesspool.
No one will buy this.
No one care about what I have to say.
What if I suck at this.
I might fail.
Excuses didn’t have a safe harbour in my world in 2016. That’s because I replaced B.S. excuses with acceptance and commitment. (Please note the B.S. is in bold).
Example: I want to launch a podcast but it will be a lot of work. I feel very busy as it is.
No B.S. self talk: Yes, it will involve some work. And I am prepared to commit to it anyway. Because I have been thinking about launching a podcast for 2 years. And this year it’s happening.
The key to getting over your B.S. excuses is to ensure your desire for your goals is greater than your desire for the status quo. If you’re looking for tools and mindset strategies to increase your commitment level to your goals, you can check out this podcast episode.
4. I implemented.
I group people into 4 categories: People who talk and dream. People who learn. People who implement. People who do all of the above.
In 2016, I focused on increasing my “implementation levels.” As a coach, I have observed that one of the main reasons smart, talented women don’t reach their goals is because (gasp) they dream and plan and learn…but don’t actually implement.
Meanwhile, when I consider the incredible powerhouse women I know and work with, the common thread that unites them is their ability to implement.
This is the difficult truth: Every body wants to achieve great things and “up level.” The people who actually do are the ones who take action.
Knowing this, my success habit was to check in with myself each day to ensure that I had actually implemented one thing that would move my business forward.
As long as 75% of my days were implementation days, I knew I was good.
In order to become an implementation machine, I needed to:
- Release the habit of worrying about things I can’t control, particularly what other people think.
- Release my need to have things be perfect, and focus instead on iterations.
- Ongoing practice of strategy #3.
5. I worked with the right mentors.
Maybe it’s my sports background. I am an eminently coachable person. I invest a huge amount of resources in my own learning and development. As such, I have worked with several mentors and coaches over the years.
Earlier in my career, the coaching I needed focused on self-discovery. Today, the coaching I invest in is laser focused on performance.
Think about it: Usain Bolt might talk to his coaches about how he wants to be the world’s fastest man. His coach might truly support Usain’s confidence and self-knowledge. Usain might feel great. But if Usain isn’t able to perform in a race…he’s likely going to get a new coach.
Investing in a coach who can actually help you get the results you’re looking for (not simply make you feel good) is critical.
In 2016 I actually worked with 3 different powerhouse mentors, all of whom not only provided insight and advice, but actually held me accountable to achieve the things I said I wanted.
Surrounding myself with people who stand for my dreams and intentions — versus people who indulge my excuses — is one of the most profound success habits I have going for me.
So there you have it. The top 5 success habits that fuelled a year of fulfillment and accomplishment.
PS. If you’re committed to creating powerful results for yourself and your career or business in 2017, we can help. Click here and fill out a brief application, then schedule a complimentary strategy session with us to see how we might support your growth. Big dreams, #noexcuses.
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