My 2017 Yearly Review; Preparing For The New Year.
By Wendi Blum
This is the close of one phase and the beginning of another. 2017 has been written. 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, a block of time behind us.
Before we turn the page and start the new year for 2018, I’d like to share my own Annual Review with you. I have done this in groups, in workshops, and privately on my own for the last 10 years. I have modified it and have been greatly influenced by the teachings of great masters that excel in their fields.
It is my commitment to walk my talk therefore going forward I am going to conduct my Annual Review publicly and share the highlights; good, bad, best and lousy. I even created an entire system called Flourish Divine Life Planner to capture some of it along the way cause if you are like me you may have trouble remembering it unless you documented it somewhere (and can retrieve it).
The idea to share my process publicly using this format came from reading James Clear annual review in November.
My annual review process which I begin on my birthday, towards the beginning of December, reminds me to look at life as a big jigsaw puzzle. The last few years I have disciplined myself to do a mini review on a monthly basis throughout the year so now I have highlights to incorporate into the bigger picture. I pull it together and summarize all twelve months at one time to reflect and celebrate accomplishments, revisit lessons from my failures so I can forgive myself, and lastly, be vulnerable and hold myself accountable in public.
My 2017 Annual Review will answer three questions. (These questions are part of the Flourish Mastermind weekly reviews)
1.) What went well this year? Accomplishments.
2.) What didn’t go so well this year? Learnings.
3.) What am I working towards? Long-Term Goals, Annual Goals.
If you feel inclined, I recommend that you spend sometime or perhaps even an entire weekend pondering these questions and then writing them down.
1. What went well this year?
Alright, let’s cover the stuff that feels good, first. Here’s are a couple of my bigger wins this year. It’s helpful if you keep a journal, calendar or best yet, a Flourish Planner. I mix personal and professional because everything I experience personally influences both my business and life.
Website. My biggest win this year was finally re-launching a new website. I was comfortable with the old version and put an enormous amount of time, effort and money into creating it 5 years ago. Now it was outdated. It did not reflect the new technology and visual appeal. I had to move through some serious resistance to muscle through. The interesting part is that I have helped more than a dozen clients launch their websites but kept putting my own on the back burner. It felt great to put “me” on my own priority list and get it done.
Business growth. I made plenty of mistakes this year (more shared on that below) but at the same time I am making consistent progress every year. I am sticking with my 1% rule. I focus on improving one percent every day- which means at the end of one year, I would of grown by 365%. My website, business consulting, brand, and WendiBlum.com website is growing despite setbacks, struggles and mistakes.
Here are some quick stats…
- 30 articles and blog posts published this year (browse my best articles)
- 115 new email subscribers this year ( if you so are inclined, you can subscribe here)
- 65 clients in 2017, totally 527 clients total (the key for me here is working with clients I love, which is now 99% true).
- 212 men and women in my mastermind group (and continues to grow by word of mouth).
- Personally taught/lead a total of 80 classes or groups this year ( I learn so much from my students)
- Guest speaker to 10 larger groups, on 2 global virtual summits, on 6 radio shows (Humbling)
- Read 20 books and listened to 55 podcasts (You can check out my 4 books a month, 2018 book list next week)
Lots of stretching for me this year. When I think about the stats above a couple of things start to happen. First, I experience a paralyzing fear that my ideas aren’t good enough to share. I remember the sense of unworthiness that once consumed me. And then in an instant, I remind myself that even if I help just one person, it’s enough. A wave of positive energy flows into my mind and my “BIG WHY” kicks in. I become clear, calm and certain.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you’re writing/teaching/or coaching one person or one million. My responsibility (which I don’t take lightly) is to do follow the golden rule of helping as many people as possible, giving as much as possible and improving myself as much as possible.: if you’re going to help someone in their life or business, you better have great ideas, tools and resources to share. For my part, I promise I’ll do my very best and focus on upping my game everyday. I’ve kept true to this.
Travel. Exploring the world for extended periods of time while still coaching, writing and hosting retreats continues to be one of my top priorities in life and I was fortunate enough to take a 2 month trip this year. Harry (my finance, more on that later) and I traveled by train, plane, and automobile from Maine to Florida making both spontaneous and planned stops along the way. Our highlights were staying in a boat house in Maine, sleeping in a Yurt in Connecticut, and in a log cabin in New Hampshire, and a Penthouse in NYC.
Travel highlights for 2017:
12 states Delaware (2x), New York (3x), New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Connecticut (2x) Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, North Carolina (first time to Asheville, loved)
Explored new cities in our own state of Florida: Key West, Pensacola, Destin, Ft. Walton Beach, Mt. Dora.
Working Out and Health. I try to strike a balance between eating healthy, working out, yoga and having a normal life. I love yoga, but have cut way back to add some more variety to my work out routines.
I have been writing down my workouts again which has been part of my routine for many years. I like seeing my goals manifest themselves with a paper trail. It inspires me to keep going. In 2015, I exercised an average of 5 days a week. In 2016 I added natures walks to my routine and walked on average 3 times a week. In 2017 I increased my nature walks to an average of 4 times a week while adding in weight training a minimum of 3 times a week. At the very end of the year I added in spin once a week.
Here are my highlights of accomplishments for overall health and wellness in 2017:
January – 12 months of dedication to skin health (sunscreen, wearing a hat, seeing the dermatologist)
February – 28 days of dry brushing and coconut oiling my skin.
March – 31 days of lemon water
April – 30 days of stretching and yoga
May – 31 days of deliberate breath work
June – 30 days of watching the sunrise
July – 31 days of gratitude
August – 31 days of being outside in nature
September – 30 days of osteo-strong workout for my bone health
October – 31 days of taking my cod liver oil with Vitamin D
November – 30 days of jumping, dancing, or beach walking
December – 31 days of waking up at 5AM.
My unique standouts and one offs were:
Spinning for one month and loved it.
Bootcamp for one month and loved it.
Rhythm Dance for an entire weekend and really loved it.
Hiking for 1 week in North Carolina and really loved it.
These were all personal goals for me, so I guess I can say that I crossed some milestones in 2017. (Although I fell short in attaining my fitness best this year, my skin healed a major Basel cell carcinoma, for which I am most grateful).
Retreats. I begin each year hosting an event called “Create Your Best Life” because I know I need the tools that I bring in that weekend for the new year to be the best it can be. Last January started the whole year out on a “high”.
The #CreateYourBestLife 2017 was the best one yet. I had so much support and help behind the scenes instead of doing it all by myself. My amazing team far exceeded my greatest expectations. The foundation of surrounding myself with extraordinary, heart centered, kind, talented, smart, generous people, apparently happened. I would not be who I am or accomplished a fraction of what is on this list without them. And then I surprised myself with doing a second one in April that was put together in 30 days that was exceptional, again, because of the people I have been blessed with in my life including talented speakers, Shelley at Plumbtalk, Jack Shulman, and the people in that room who too, are focused on personal growth, development and living an exceptional life.
This is the first year in many which I did not host an international retreat but instead co-hosted a local retreat in Connecticut with a brand new twist of spirituality based on Judaism. It is also the first year that I had a retreat planned out 2 years in advance for Bali and have not had to do any real marketing for it because it has filled organically on it’s own. I’m planning to host two more retreats in this way, one to Israel the beginning of 2019 and one to Africa towards the latter part of that year. I am also finally hosting my very last retreat to Bali in 2018 and know it will be the very best of all 5 of the trips I have done there in the past combined. I know that this format is the greatest immersion of self growth there is and it has become part of my DNA that has overflowed to both of my sons, Daniel and Cory.
Getting Engaged. Harry, my wonderful life partner, proposed to the full moon in November. The experience was far more magnificent than I could of ever imagined. I had taken a beautiful yoga class with my favorite yoga teacher, Marianne Morgan Fried by the beach, had a green juice and was floating back to our home walking along the beach with Harry who met me at the resort where the yoga took place to keep me company on the way back. And he blew my mind in the most amazing way. Then to top off the good flow of family and friendship, we hosted our first Thanksgiving together and it was beautiful (and next time we have added to our intention list that Harry will be feeling well enough to join us at the dinner table).
2. What didn’t go so well this year?
Now for the setbacks:
Flourish Masterminds. Plain and simple, 2016 was an explosive year for my mastermind groups. Everyone was getting so much out of them that half of the group requested getting certified and trained in the process. I had just launched it in January 2016 and hadn’t been been at this very long, but I decided to give it a go. Many times I live by the philosophy of growing your wings while you are flying. In this particular case it went well in the beginning but I hadn’t had enough experience to understand what would happen on the back end.
My background has been sales and marketing. I’m okay at technology as well. I have helped clients with social media, writing newsletters, and creating flyers. I also speak from time to time and like to network. But that’s my gig, not everyone else’s.
I didn’t factor in that business alchemy would be necessary to keep their groups going.
The first month or several months for each group, once they launched their own were full with excitement but then their groups fell off. And most importantly to note, I had not fully embraced my leadership role as the founder and glue for the additional masterminds.
Without consistent touch points, which I did not build into the training, the groups started to fall apart. I completely dropped the ball because I was not in constant contact with the group leaders to help them keep their momentum. I am re-grouping into the new year and am taking full responsibility for the let down.
Also, I was consumed in doing research for my next book project which prevented me from actually writing one. I won’t be too hard on myself as I grow closer to actually starting one soon.
Looking back now, I realize that I spent a large part of 2017, learning how to build an evergreen version of my coaching programs on line. I am getting closer but still haven’t launched it yet. I am painfully growing from super fast production to a more slow paced mindfully, systematic style of creating.
With all that said, I do believe 2018 will make up for some of my shortcomings this past year. Despite several bumps in the road especially during the first six months of the year, I bounced back in October and felt stronger and more committed closing the year on a high note.
My Website. As I mentioned above, revamping my website was one of the highlights of my year. Unfortunately, the way I handled it left a lot of room for improvement. When I starting looking for a web designer, It basically became my full-time job for a few months and I wasn’t very good at it. I felt stretched and found I preferred helping other people with their successes more then my own. I clearly had a block there that has been there my whole life. It kept coming back to my own worthiness conversation and playing a bigger game. I finally muscled through it but it was uncomfortable and messy.
Building a Team. Back to my website, If all of the creative ideas are in my own head and aren’t communicated in a concise way that can be duplicated with clarity then it will be a misfire. Thank goodness, it all worked out really well. Everyone always wants to do their very best. Many times, when you live in the moment (as the grand masters of flow teach us) you have to adapt, be agile, and willing to change direction with a moment’s notice. That can work when leading your tribe directly but when their are several layers of leaders on top change can’t trickle down spontaneously.
Being a workaholic. I love my work which is good and not so good at the same time. There were plenty of times I was consumed with my clients, my writing and my work—and wasn’t as present for my family and friends, I am slowly recovering from this infliction.—and am appreciating the time that I can completely shut down and not be in high productivity mode.
3. What am I working toward?
Looking back, 2017 felt like a breakthrough year for me. I had some new wins, but I also had resistance, blocks and set backs. Growth with a few detours. I clearly need to stick with systems and preservation of energy.
As I turn my mind and attention to 2018, I see my priorities falling into a few clearly defined buckets with a concentrated focus on one theme- systemizing (so I can scale).
First, becoming super focused. It’s time for me to become completely organized, disciplined and regimented. I did make some progress this past year but it’s time to go deeper- all in. I feel really good about the resources I have put into place for the next 12 months now it is up to me to efficiently use them. My attention for the first half of the year – concentrated effort to build an infrastructure -will allow me to conserve valuable energy leading into the second half of the year so that I can write and complete a book project with higher standards. I will also challenge myself to be more interesting, to become a better writer and to be more origin with my content.
Second, health. In 2017 I slacked in this category. In 2018, I’m getting it back. I am planning on being in the best shape of my life while cutting back on wine, dairy, and all processed foods. I will detox on a regular basis with intermittent fasting. I will hold myself accountable to higher standards and play an overall bigger game.
Thirdly, mindset. I will work on my character and personality. I am fully aware that I am an imperfect work in progress. I will check in for feedback more often, apologize and take responsibility for things that don’t work out as expected, and hold my feet to the fire more often. I am optimistic and excited for the new year and the new me that will emerge. On that note, this ends my review. I want to thank you for taking the time to read this and I don’t take that for granted even for a moment. I am not professing to know it all but I am obsessively curious while experimenting along the way. I’m happy to share those ideas here. I wish you a stellar 2018.
Love XO, Wendi