“What a year!!” –  is a statement I have heard more times than I can count the last few months. It is officially up there with “unprecedented” and “pivot”.

But, I couldn’t agree more - even if I have tended to use slightly more colourful language to describe the year.

I don’t know many people that when they clinked their glasses together at 12.01am on the 1st January this year thought that this would be the year that we would find ourselves presented with.

Yet, here we are.

We did it. We pushed through. We are still pushing through. And we will continue to push through.  It hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows this year, but, I for one, have taken a huge amount of learnings out of this year.

I bet if you stop and look around you, you have too.

There aren’t many people who haven’t had to sacrifice something this year. Whether it be a job,  a wedding, a holiday, their health, a huge life change that’s been put on hold, even for some, starting or expanding a family. Sacrifices have been made in the thousands, and it has been hard.

What it has also allowed us to do though is stop and reflect on what is really important to us. What is it all for? And, for many of us, we’ve realised that the way we were ‘doing life’ just wasn’t really working. We were just so stuck on the hamster wheel though, that we couldn’t see it.

I am not personally in the camp of believing that we will ‘return to the norm’. I believe those days are gone.

Why? Because I see better days ahead.

Days where we take all the best things about the ‘old norm’, and we merge them with our ‘new norm’. We take the lessons we learnt this year and we embed them into our lives going forward. We don’t just forget about them and go back to the painstaking habits that had control over our lives previously.

We get to choose. And choose we will.

On a personal note, I look back over the last 12 months and feel a genuine sense of pride at the sheer volume of change that has occurred in my own life and how I have dealt with it. From getting stuck on a small yacht, to living on the roof of my car, to multiple rounds of isolation - this year has seen me push limits within myself I didn't event know I had - including;

  • Quitting my major corporate job in December 2019 as General Manager – HR to launch full time into my own business.
  • Packing up my life in Melbourne, selling everything I had, and putting whatever was left into storage, before driving 3,500km across the country to my home town of WA.
  • Leaving Australia in January to travel and work abroad for a year – this was the dream!
  • Enjoying 3 months at the start of the year in Central and South America pushing myself mentally and physically hiking through Patagonia, learning Spanish in Colombia, and chasing beautiful wildlife in Costa Rica.
  • Getting stuck in the thick of the pandemic which saw me stuck floating in the middle of the Caribbean Ocean for 10 weeks on a (very) small yacht with 4 people unable to get off for long periods, or source fresh food (Hello SPAM and powdered potatoes!).
  • With the help of the Australian Embassy, finally getting back to Australia where I was locked in a hotel room with no balcony or windows and doors that opened for 2 weeks. Oh, I also did this twice this year!
  • Reassessing what the **dream** (see above!) was really about and reminding myself it was about a sense of adventure. Keeping that dream alive by sourcing a 4WD and roof top tent and driving from bottom to top of the Australian eastern coast and embracing everything it had to offer.
  • Returning back to Perth to a 2nd quarantine period, and slowly immersing myself into this world with family and friends.

When we work the muscle that keeps our minds open to and flexible with change everything gets easier.

Finding the balance between having goals and making plans, working towards them, but not being so defined by them that if they cannot come to fruition we lose part of our identity, is one of the most empowering places you can be.

It’s the biggest lesson I take with me into 2021 and beyond.

Remaining flexible.

Remaining adaptable.

Remaining open to the idea that there might be a greater plan for you that you hadn’t even considered. A better plan than the one you had for yourself.

You are NOT your plans. You ARE how you deal with them when they don’t go the way you’d planned.

Holding that mindset this year has meant that things have come to life that I never thought possible. It has reminded me that although I lost almost all of what I had planned for 2020, I actually gained so much more.

I firmly believe that things happen when they need to – our job is just to trust and let them.

For me this year, my initial adventure blowing up in my face has leant to so many experiences equally as rich and nourishing.

It has seen me build and nourish relationships with an abundance of beautiful clients and watching them and their Organisations fly.

It has seen me have the time and mental space to look deep within and reflect on who I am, what is really working for me (and what is not!) and make the needed changes.

It has seen me finally have (***make***)  time to read books, nourish my brain and nourish my soul.

It has seen me run completely virtual events for the first time, leadership programs completely online for the first time, write an E-book and open an online store, participant in podcasts, guest blogs and online speaking events all for the first time.

It has seen me write two articles that went viral, one to over 300,000 people in the global HR community – thousands of which have since reached out to me to continue the work together.

How? Because I consciously chose to remain open.

I chose courage over fear. Every time.

When all I wanted to do was step backwards and let the world swallow me whole. To hide under my doona with some popcorn and Netflix.  That is the time. THE. EXACT. TIME that you have to lean forward. Something amazing is just about to happen to you.

My Christmas wish for you this year is to take the time to reflect on your own 2020 before you wish it away. What did you learn about yourself? What do you want to take into 2021 and what do you want to let go of? And more importantly, HOW will you hold yourself accountable to following through on that?

If you need help asking yourself the right questions and starting the reflection process, ask me for a copy of my latest freebie document that will help you lookback at 2020 and look forward to 2021! Or, sign up here to our free online resources hub!

As always, I am here to help you and your Organisation get out of your own ways. To 2021 and beyond!