Today marks exactly three weeks till the end of 2019.
The end of any year always seems like a pretty big thing, a good time to reflect. But this year, today also marks exactly three weeks till the end of a decade. And for whatever reason, that seems much, much bigger than the previous decade.
For about a month now, I’ve been seeing this reminder – THE DECADE IS ENDING! Which, to be honest, I hadn’t really thought about until I saw thirteen separate Instagram posts about it. And while we’re often inundated with messages about pushing to reach goals before the end of any year, all of a sudden, this year, there’s been a more forceful spin, even more pressure: “You’ve got six weeks left in this decade. What will you do with it?”
For me, I’ll do with it exactly what I’ve been doing with it for the last year, and for the last ten. I’ll reflect on where I’ve been, I’ll be grateful for where I am, and I’ll ponder where I want to go. But beyond that, there is absolutely nothing I can or will pack into the next few weeks to make the decade turn out any differently. And that’s not a bad thing.
I just want to see it.
I do like to do a little bit of accounting at the end of each year. Where was I this time last year? How was I feeling? How was my business doing? How were my relationships? What were my priorities? What was my focus? What kind of progress did I make toward those things throughout the year? What life milestones showed up throughout the year? Where might I improve in the coming year? How do I feel now? What experiences have had the most impact on me? What can I learn from?
It’s a great exercise to take a couple hours and really look at what’s gone on over the course of the year, ask a ton of questions. I’m a big believer of that old thing that we overestimate what we can do in a day or a week, but we underestimate what we can do in a year. I think that’s true a lot of years, and it’s fun and beneficial to see it laid out in front of you specifically.
Seriously, try it for a great confidence boost today.
But you do have to go into that reflection with your compassionate pants on, and recognize it’s not all about forward movement. Focus on the last few questions, because they’re where the value is.
Impact over outcome, all day long.
Anyway, I got to thinking more about the decade thing, and decided to check it out this week, in addition to reflecting on just 2019. I wanted to see the lay of the land, what’s happened on a broader scale, bigger picture, where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve learned. But especially in light of a couple of challenging years, I wanted to see how I’ve grown. How I’ve changed. How my life has expanded.
My little exercise did not disappoint.
I went to my Facebook timeline, as one does, and scrolled year by year, noting trends and milestones. The 2010s certainly began with a bang, and I feel like they’re going out even bigger, in a totally different way. Here’s my brief snapshot of a decade:
2010: Got engaged to Marty. Got married to Marty. Moved to Louisiana. Got a dog. Posted on Facebook waaaaay too embarrassingly much.
2011: Ran my first half marathon. Bought our first motorcycle. Moved back to STL. Made a major career change into fitness.
2012: Went to Colorado skiing for the first time ever. Joined Instagram. Ran my first marathon. Got a tattoo.
2013: Started Happy’s Running Club STL. Started a business. Got fired.
2014: Was named one of the 50 Hottest Female Trainers in America. (Yep, that was a thing!) Became a founding Shred415 STL coach. Got my MC license, got my first motorcycle. Found lifting.
2015: Rebranded. Fell in love with bodybuilding. Started wearing my hair natural. Downsized like whoa, went mostly minimalist.
2016: Released my first digital workout program. Went to Radiance Retreat. Went no-contact with my family. Traded in my first motorcycle and bought my second. Rode it to Sturgis. Voted. Sobbed the day after I voted.
2017: Moved to Colorado. Released The Bigness Project. Coached Build Your Big Life twice. Went to Peru and hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Hiked a 14er. Started reflecting, learning, and speaking up. Moved back to STL.
2018: Hosted a couple in-person workshops and gave a bunch of talks locally and nationally. Rebranded again. Took a six-month break from fitness coaching. Became depressed. Struggled, a lot. Lost myself. Bought a Subaru. Adopted a kitty cat. Officiated a wedding.
2019: Struggled some more. Quit social media completely for 30+ days. Started therapy. Joined a co-working space. Hosted a couple conquer-the-world cocktail nights. Started a podcast. Got involved with a cause I care about. Found a new church and my faith again. Made my way out of the fog. Came back to fitness coaching. Found myself again. Got excited about life and love and work and the present and the future.
There’s a lot there. 300 words to wrap up ten years. I mean. Wow. So, OK, I see lots of things.
I see checkmarks. Changes. New endeavors. Progress.
I also see arcs. Arcs aggressively up in my career and confidence. Arcs down, directly from a previous height. Milder arcs with higher starting points.
I see when things were easy, when they required more effort. When they were like slogging through a cold bog. I see why that was the case.
I see the specific things I chose to make note of, the meaning and impact of them, for me.
Above and below all these things, I see more about myself.
I can see just how considerably I’ve changed and grown in the past decade. I can see how the things I cared about in the early years were very much on the surface. The things I care about now have drastically shifted, they’re far more deeply meaningful not only to me, but in the world. I see a life that’s way, way more well-rounded. I see the evolution of my relationships, and how they’re are far, far healthier and stronger now. I see a woman who’s clearer. Grounded. Full. Unafraid of the scary and challenging and different, and not just saying that.
In light of those three hot questions, I can describe exactly how I feel this year, and as we close out the decade. I can define the experiences that have had the most impact on and for me. And I can name what feel like a million opportunities for learning.
And what I see in all of that isn’t going to be initiating any major shifts or pushes or achievements in the next three weeks. Maybe not even in the next year. All I see is a way to approach those weeks, the coming year and decade, with a rainbow lens of grounding, care, and potential. There is no need to panic. The arcs will keep arcing.
Listen, none of this is to say that who we were and where we’ve been in the past is who we are now or where we’re going, or that it’s the most important thing. But we can’t deny that all our years live somewhere inside us, and it’s good and interesting information to have. It does help us to grow. It gives us perspective.
I mean, I get it – there are about a million quotes about not focusing on the rearview mirror.
But the fact remains that in order to properly drive the car, you do have to glance in the rearview mirror from time to time.
So we hope that this yearly reflection, or the one for an entire decade, is that glance. A snapshot of one-eight or -ninth of a life lived with self-awareness, and compassion, and abundance.
We don’t need to analyze it, live in it, stare at it too hard or too long, but we need to see it.
So if you slow down today, put that car in park instead of barreling through the rest of 2019 (and beyond), what do you see? In your rearview? In your side mirrors? Blind spots? Inside the car?
Now, finally – what do you see ahead of you through your windshield?
What do you see in your 2010s? I’d love to see your snapshot! Email me anytime and tell me the story. And if you’re looking ahead with purpose? Let’s talk about how we can make the 2020s your decade. Schedule a call below!