Year-End Reflection – 2017

Approximate reading time:5 minutes

I no longer remember where I got this list of year-end reflection questions, but I like using it to think about the past, present, and future.

Looking Back

  • What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about? I don’t know if they’ll care much about my business, but the first time I got published was pretty cool.
  • If you had to describe your 2017 in 3 words, what would they be? Balanced. Happy. Growing.
  • What new things did you discover about yourself? I am, in fact, a capable entrepreneur as long as I’m not trying really hard to be someone else. And I can actually make friends and socialize. I can raise a happy, intelligent, and well-adjusted tiny human in spite (because?) of my weaknesses and failings.
  • Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year? Flexibility, adaptability, and willingness to persevere in being flexible and adaptable when my dinosaur brain wanted to dig a hole and crawl in it.
  • Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on? My husband. And my minion is really good at giving hugs.
  • Which new skills did you learn? Building websites on WordPress using the X theme, making lots of things in InDesign, running a business in a lean and fearless way.
  • What, or who, are you most thankful for? The opportunity to do creatively fulfilling work in a flexible manner that allows me to care for my family. (More specifics here.)
  • If someone wrote a book about your life in 2017, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else? I like to imagine a series of witty essays a la David Sedaris, but with fewer drugs.
  • Which mental block(s) did you overcome? Does postpartum depression count as a mental block? Because I kicked that in the face.
  • What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with? Besides my family, I’m naming my business squad: Mama B, Christina, Genavieve Rose, Mandarin Mama, and my Sseko sisters.
  • How did your relationship to your family evolve? Fire Monkey became a little person instead of just a cute potato. My partnership with Science Guy continues to grow…mostly I feel a greater sense of normalcy now that his dissertation and the first year of parenting is behind us. 
  • What book or movie affected your life in a profound way? Star Wars? I think that’s going to be my answer for this question every year…
  • What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life? Colorful pens, tickling my child, and sleeping.
  • What cool things did you create this year? All this stuff here!
  • What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)? Stressed for maybe the first 7-8 months, but now I feel much more settled.
  • Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year? We moved more than 90 miles from my hometown and I went to the Big Ten Football Championship (which involved staying up later than I can remember doing since maybe college, whoof.)
  • What was your favorite moment spent with your friends? The last women’s group I went to before we moved. It was loud and hilarious, as usual.
  • What major goal did you lay the foundations for? Replacing my teaching income through freelancing. About halfway there!
  • Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary? I was very afraid that I would fail to thrive in College Town, and I’m doing pretty well!
  • What experience would you love to do all over again? There was a period of time after Science Guy defended his dissertation where we just kinda got to chill as a family. Science Guy hadn’t found a job and we didn’t know where we’d be moving, but we had a chance to take a breath before the frenzy of moving preparations.
  • How did your overall outlook on life evolve? I am more confident and balanced as a business owner, mom, wife, and friend.
  • What one thing would you do differently and why? There is maybe one or two client contracts I would have negotiated a higher rate on, but overall I’m pretty happy with how things went this year. 
  • What do you deserve a pat on the back for? Not backing down from my values, standards, and processes
  • What activities made you lose track of time? Writing.
  • What new habits did you cultivate? Daily cleanup time, and just having much more of a daily routine in general. I still didn’t floss my teeth, though.
  • What advice would you give your early-2017 self if you could? Plug into community even when it’s hard.
  • Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year? I usually turn like the Titanic, taking several years to make any changes if I don’t hit an iceberg first, but this year I went from postpartum depression to running a mindful and profitable business in a little under 10 months.

Superlatives

  • What single achievement are you most proud of? Turning a spazzy little blog into a legit business in a little under ten months.
  • What was the best news you received? Not objectively a big deal, but back in February the first time I negotiated a higher rate with a potential client felt pretty awesome. And every time I get hired I do a happy dance.
  • What was your favorite place that you visited in 2017? Tacoma, Washington.
  • What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever? Business coaching!
  • What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year? My business coach Adam at The Wonder Jam.
  • What was the biggest problem you solved? Does moving across state lines and learning how to function in a new place count?
  • What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it? This video of Thrift Shop remixed with goat noises.
  • What did you think about more than anything else? I really should do more with my e-mail marketing.
  • What topics did you most enjoy learning about? Productivity systems, and my clients’ fields of expertise.
  • What was the best gift you received? My new phone was pretty nice even though we had to send it back once.
  • What was your favourite compliment that you received this year? A client told me he hired me because he read my blog and liked my voice. I think he called it distinct, which is a really nice way to say spastic.
  • What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise? My first four-figure month, which I hit in June while working negligible hours and packing to move across state lines.
  • What was the most important lesson you learned in 2017? How to pick my battles.

Looking Forward

  • What do you want the overarching theme for your 2018 to be? Content.
  • What do you want to see, discover, explore? I want to take a solo trip again…I’m not super picky about where as long as it’s not cold.
  • Who do you want to spend more time with in 2018? I’d like to have even more quality time with my family and get more face to face time with my friends and business buddies.
  • What skills do you want to learn, improve or master? My learning list includes content SEO, Pinterest marketing, and maybe formalizing some of my design skills. I’d also really like to improve my Mandarin.
  • Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen? Grace.
  • What do you want your everyday life to be like? Fulfilling.
  • Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of? I still need to floss more and put things back when I’m done using them. And I still want to reinstate yoga, journaling, prayer, and spiritual reading. (This seems to be a perennial theme.)
  • What do you want to achieve career-wise? Double my income without working significantly more hours.
  • How do you want to remember the year 2018 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now? The year we burned down the patriarchy.
  • What is your number one goal for 2018? Continue raising a well-adjusted human being and becoming a better version of myself.

Thanks for a great year, everyone! I’d love to hear how your 2017 went and your vision for 2018. Let me know in the comments!

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