Hello there. My name is Carrie Willard, and I used to write a blog here. 😉
I only wrote 5 posts in all of 2018 (not including this one). Wow! My spot for sharing thoughts has mostly switched to Facebook live, so if you aren’t following me there, I’d love if you did! I do plan on posting more often here in 2019, so if you’re not already subscribed to my email newsletter, please drop your name and email in the box on the right.
2018: a Year in Review
It was a practice of mine for several years to write an annual review. Then I got out of the habit. Recently, two people reminded of the wisdom of this practice. (They’re John Maxwell and James Clear if you’re curious! I’ll mention these two again later.)
The point of an annual review is not to simply take note of what you did in the previous year. It’s to assess what worked, what didn’t, and to use that information to make the next year even better. (Ever known someone who seemed to live the same year over and over? Yeah… I have no interest in that! Wisdom doesn’t always come with age. One must be intentional about it! )
So, here’s my brief wrap-up of 2018.
I traveled a lot for work.
This is interesting, because I traveled more in 2018 than I did in the 20 years previous. One of the goals I had with my business was to travel more, and I certainly accomplished that. What matters most about traveling is this: though I always wanted to do it, it scared me a ton.
Everything about travel: from booking flights and lodging to navigating a new town, to hiring an Uber, brought me anxiety at first.
Now, it doesn’t. (More on this in the “something I learned” section!)
In May, my 41 year old, healthy husband had a stroke.
It affected the visual center of his brain. He lost 25% of the field of vision in each eye. This has improved somewhat, but he still has some visual disturbances. He was very fortunate that the stroke didn’t cause him the typical symptoms and he was back to work quickly. However, now we’re dealing with the medical bills that weren’t covered by our health share (which paid the bulk of it! No complaints at all about Liberty HealthShare). It’s frustrating to be back in debt after getting out of it, but that’s the way it is sometimes!
The good thing about a medical event is that it can give you new motivation to develop better habits and to pay more attention to your health. My husband has been dogged in his daily exercise habit, among other positive changes.
How I Did on My Word for 2018
FOCUS was my word of the year, only it was an acronym (cheating, I know!). It stood for Focus, Observe, Consistency, Unafraid, Schedule/Systems
I would say I did so/so on the Focus part. I tried hard to stay present. I definitely cut out non-essential activities. Working my business, my spiritual routine and homeschooling were just about all I did, and that’s ok with me.
But I didn’t stick with my “Observe” routine. I planned on creating a block of time to think, to reflect each week – and didn’t do it consistently. I have a plan for doing this in 2019 though.
Consistency was improved, I think. Late in the year, I chose 5 Things I wanted to do every single day no matter what. I got an accountability partner I message each day (and her, me). More on this in a minute!
I NAILED Unafraid. Well, it’s more accurate to say I “did it scared”.
And I did create systems for myself and my business to save me time and make sure that those who GOT my time were deserving of it.
Something(s) I Learned in 2018
As an introvert who also leads a direct sales team, I spend much of my time “peopling”. After travel or similar happening (such as a vendor event), I often underestimated the time it takes me to physically and emotionally recover.
I need to remember to incorporate recovery time in my schedule.
Scheduling a meeting with another human the day after a big event or travel is a no-no. And, I need extra sleep and rest for several days afterwards.
That I’m good at moving towards what scares me.
And that makes me proud! Too often, when people feel fear, they run away. We do this because we make the mistake of listening to our reptilian brain that tries to protect us. The problem with that is, the fear is rarely based in anything real (in other words, you’re NOT being chased by a tiger, your fear is something dumb like the judgement of others, or fear of failure, or some other thing that is best ignored!).
I basically LIVED 2018 outside my comfort zone. Unafraid was part of my word for 2018 and I think I did best in this area.
Impactful Books I Read in 2018
This list is short because one of my goals for 2018 was to read fewer books. I found I was spending too much time reading, and not enough time implementing. Or, filling my head with too many ideas instead of listening to the wisdom I already had, and the feedback life was giving me about what was working.
These books were the most impactful to me, in order of importance.
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday – Ryan is just awesome, and I love all his books, but this one knocks it out of the court.
Home Sweet Maison by Danielle Postel-Vinay – as you likely know I’m a huge fan of all things French girl. I consumed this one veeeeery slowly to drag out the pleasure, and I can’t get the ideas out of my mind. I made some immediate changes to my home and continue to do so after reading this book.
Beach Money by Jordan Adler – a classic for network marketers. I keep this one close by to remind me of the long-term goals for my business.
And although it wasn’t a book I read, I was deeply impacted by a talk I heard by John Maxwell (I’ve since become interested in his books and will likely binge read several of them in the next few months!) about the Rule of 5. More of that in my next post.
Smart Stuff I Bought
A Nespresso machine. This thing kept me out of coffee shops and paid for itself in a month.
Homeopathic HGH gel. After trying many things and spending a ton of money, it’s what made a big difference in my peri-menopausal symptoms. I don’t sell it, but I’m happy to refer my gal to you.
Stitch Fix. I get a “fix” 3-4 times a year. Each time the sylist gets better at “getting” my style.
My next post will be about my word for 2019 and new habits I’ll be working on. I hope you stick around and share yours too! Sign up in the box to the right. Comment below!