The Best of 2017

The Best of 2017

It's official: another year in the bag! Now, before I go any further, I have to admit I've never been much of a New Year's Eve kind of girl. If my family didn't have an annual gathering at one of my brothers' homes, you wouldn't be able to pay me enough to go to a NYE party. I'd be in pajamas sipping cocktails and bingeing on Netflix.

That being said, NYE does provide an opportunity to look back and assess the past year — and while I'm not big on looking back, I do think it's important and super helpful to take a good look at where you've been so you can better plan where you want to go. A part of that is celebrating wins, naming hurdles and obstacles you've overcome, and being aware of things you've learned. So, okay -- I'll go first! Here are my Top 5 Best of 2017 -- some are big, some are small. But they were all important to me personally and professionally. 

I hope this can help you to revisit your 2017 in order to gear up for the year to come!

1. My word of the year. Last NYE, my nephew Alek and I had a conversation about choosing a word for the upcoming year rather than stating a resolution. That word is what keeps you focused and moving forward -- here's the video I did with Alek, and what Alek stated was his word for 2017.

My word was BOLD -- and I definitely had a bold year! For me, that meant making bold choices and being open to falling flat on my face. I signed up with a business coach, redefined my business, and dealt head-on with some interpersonal challenges (we all have those, don't we?). Some things didn't work out the way I expected, but guess what? Most things did! And I believe they did because I stated at the beginning of the year what my intention was for the next 12 months. 

What is your intention for 2018? Give it some thought! One word.

2. My new website. This was HUGE for me, y'all! I'm not gonna lie -- my old website/blog started out great back in '09. Then several people got their hands on it over the years, and after awhile, it looked like a sad patchwork quilt that didn't reflect me or my business. I avoided writing new blog posts because I was too embarrassed to have the public see that space! How bad is that?

So I decided that, rather than put a bunch of energy into fixing something that was probably beyond fixing, I would scrap it all and start over from scratch. Best thing I ever did! I rolled out this new site a couple of months ago, and it's everything I've ever wanted in a website. It's clean, fresh, uncluttered, and ME. Now, I look forward to updating it and sending people this way. SCORE.

Don't be afraid to scrap something and start over from the beginning. It's not a failure; it's a redefining of what you need and what works for you. What do you need to do over in 2018?

3. I acquired a mentor. She's actually my business coach, but Theresa Loe of Living Homegrown has become my mentor. She's been a dear friend for years as well. Theresa is doing some things that I want to do in my business, and she's showing me how she's done it. Without Theresa, I might be one of those people who sit sadly on the sidelines going, "Wouldn't it be cool/fun/great if...." and then never do anything about it because I was afraid to try or afraid to fail. 

Theresa's NYE podcast is about this very thing. She talks about how to make 2018 a breakthrough year — how to move beyond what you thought you were capable of or what you thought was possible for your life. Here's the podcast: 

How are you getting in your own way? Are you defining your life in terms of success and failure instead of movement and change?

4. I got help. Listen, nobody (and I mean NOBODY) can do life on their own. in 2017, I started asking for help where it made sense to get it. Sometimes it was a friend who helped me figure something out, and other times it was something I paid to have someone else do so that I wouldn't have to do it.

Is this lazy? No way! It's smart. Here's an example: As I began to create this new website you are now enjoying, I had a few odds-and-ends details that were giving me fits. I, in theory, could have figured it all out on my own, given enough time. But, I'd be worried that I wasn't doing it correctly, and I'd be spending a lot of time re-inventing the wheel. My time is valuable to me, and I had a deadline for getting things done, so I hired out the finishing touches to my friend and colleague Katie at Make Me a Freelancer. BINGO. Work done, done correctly, and I freed up my time to focus on other things. 

What are you willing to get help with in 2018? Name 3 things you absolutely hate doing, or things that give you anxiety or stress to do them. Have someone else do those things — life is too short.

5. My book won an award. So, I was not really planning to go to the Garden Writers annual conference this past year, but then I found out my book The Cancer Survivor's Garden Companion had won the Silver award! That meant that it was also in the running for the Gold award, so of course, I wanted to be there, right? The Gold was awarded to another highly deserving book, but I was so proud of this achievement. I was always very proud of this book, but it's profoundly gratifying when your peers feel it's valuable as well. 

GWA award.JPG

I try to be as internally motivated as possible, but being a human being, this award was definitely one of the highlights of my year!

Name 5 wins from 2017 -- big or small, they are all wins! Did you get into better shape, land a new job, start a meditation practice? Write them down.

I wish you all a very wondrous new year -- may 2018 be your best year ever, filled with health, wellness, and joy!

--Jenny

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