As as the year is coming to a close, I wanted to write today about end of year reflections. No matter what is currently happening in your life or what happened earlier this year, in my opinion, it’s important to take some time to reflect on the past year and take note of what went well, what was challenging and what you learned from your experiences. I also think it’s important to take the time to focus on what you’ve been grateful for this year. To encourage you all to do these things for yourselves, I’ll take you through this process with my own end of year reflections as an example for all of you.
This year was off to a busy start for me, as I was working full-time as the Director of Enterprise Sales for a Silicon Valley start-up called Grokker, while also continuing to build my company, Passion Fit (which I had originally launched in 2014 after leaving Google) on the side. I was also busy with my family, as my husband and I have two busy boys in fifth and first grade, who are active in school and sports. I was in an interesting place as a working mom, because I knew getting start-up experience was invaluable for my career and also contemplated staying in the tech space and possibly going back to a large Fortune 500 company again, but having already left Google to launch and build Passion Fit, I knew deep down, that’s where my heart was and had always been. I also was spread pretty thin and knew it was not sustainable to work full-time, build my own company and continue to be a hands-on and present mom and wife, especially given my husband also has a busy, full-time career in the tech space.
In addition, I’ve always liked having the flexibility to manage my career and personal life in a way that works best for my family and me and have experienced for many years, the stress that comes with working full-time for another company, while managing school drop-offs and pick-ups, soccer and basketball practices, volunteering at school, homework, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. Therefore, in March of this past year, I decided to leave Grokker and focus full-time again on Passion Fit and take my company to the next level. And nine months later, I can tell you it was absolutely the right decision for me and I’ve been so thrilled to have flexibility for my family and home life again, while also following my passions, career dreams and mission to help others flourish from the inside out by focusing on their health, wellness and fitness. I’ve been so incredibly busy with designing and teaching my fitness and dance classes, growing the Passion Fit community locally and online, writing for my own blog and third party publications on fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and healthy lifestyles, launching my fifth video series for my YouTube channel, conducting wellness workshops and speaking engagements for companies, universities and non-profits, developing local business partnerships, launching my wellness consulting practice and landing media appearances on TV, online and in print publications. Also, I’ve been serving as a proud and active alumni board member, vice chair and student mentor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Business School.
I’ve enjoyed being able to focus on my own health by exercising most days of the week through teaching and prepping for my classes and sometimes taking other classes, training myself and others for and running a half marathon, getting more focused on my mindfulness practice through daily yoga, deep breathing and/or meditation and taking my nutrition focus to the next level for myself, my family and my Passion Fit clients. After obtaining an additional certification in nutrition through the American Council on Exercise this year, I’ve felt even more empowered to make even healthier choices.
Family and Travel:
My family and I were able to take some fun trips to Lake Tahoe, San Diego, LA, Orange County, Madison, Milwaukee and Phoenix this year for family get togethers, to help my parents move from the Midwest to the West Coast, the holidays and family weddings. We’re now hoping 2018 will allow for more East Coast and international travel.
Overall, 2017 has been an interesting year. As a nation, we’ve experienced much political and societal upheaval, shootings, natural disasters such as hurricanes, droughts and fires and an increased focus on empowerment and respect for women and people of all backgrounds.
For me, there were definitely ups and downs personally and professionally in 2017. I had moments of joy, peace, growth and happiness and some moments of stress, burnout, worry and frustration as well. I had days when I had full confidence in myself and everything I was doing and other days when I was unsure of myself in some areas and questioned things. I had days of pure bliss as a mom and wife and other days of exhaustion from all of my responsibilities within these roles. I had days when I felt really strong and healthy and other days when my health suffered (i.e. such as this fall/winter when my seasonal allergies and asthma really kicked in and have been tough to deal with). However, through it all, I’m grateful for my family, health, faith, friends, home, career and life. No one’s life is perfect because that’s just not what being human is all about. That said, in my opinion, the key is to work hard, have good intentions, help others, be kind and empathetic, stay positive, have faith, be persistent yet patient when trying to reach your goals, be flexible, learn from mistakes, have passion, use your head and heart, love unconditionally and never, ever give up.
That’s it for today, Passion Fit Crew! I hope you all take some time for your end of year reflections and wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and a prosperous New Year. I look forward to connecting with you all again soon and can’t wait to share what’s in store for Passion Fit in 2018 and beyond!
Lots of love and best wishes,