Reflections of 2018

The holidays are always a time of year that makes me nostalgic. I was recently reflecting on this past year one chilly evening sitting in front of a roaring fire, sipping my hot apple cider, and admiring all the ornaments on my Christmas tree, including many from my childhood. Every December I like to carve out some time to think about all the successes and missteps of the year and what I learned from each experience.

Each year always seems to have an overarching theme. I was thinking back to 2014, which was a crazy year for me. I started a new job, traveled to Europe for the first time, bought a new car, and bought our first house. Whew! That was a big year full of firsts.

2018, however, has been a quieter year with an emphasis on healing and rebuilding. I was still grieving over the loss of my dad the previous year but finally reached a point of acceptance and peace. I also went through a complete rebranding of my business to focus on helping new college graduates and early career professionals.

I have had to do a lot of soul searching this year about myself, my goals, and my purpose. I had to go back to the basics and revisit who I am at the core. I talk a lot about authenticity and the vulnerability and courage that goes hand in hand with it, but it’s because it’s so very important, especially in this day and age of technology and societal expectations. It seems so simple to ‘just be yourself’ yet it can be very challenging at times.

I found myself looking outward and comparing my company to other companies to define my business direction instead of looking inward and focusing on what only I can bring to my clients, which is my unique personal brand, experience, and perspective. I lost sight of what energizes me the most, aligns with my values, and utilizes my gifts, which for me is coaching young professionals.

Everyone has their own special talents and value proposition that is completely unique to them. Sometimes you have to stop, assess, and pivot, if necessary, to get back on track toward a career path that aligns with your goals and strengths, which is ok! That’s embracing the beauty in growth and change.

If you felt like you floated through 2018 without any purpose or meaning, maybe it’s time to rediscover yourself. There is a great song by Mama Cass of the Mamas and the Papas, who was one of my dad’s favorite bands, called “Make Your Own Kind of Music” that talks about the importance of always staying true to yourself. (My Millennial readers probably won’t know who they are, but it’s an uplifting song definitely worth downloading!) Cass’s pointed lyrics are a good reminder to “make your own kind of music, sing your own special song, make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.”

As you enjoy the holiday cheer this month, take some time to ponder 2018. What was the theme of your year? What takeaways can you use from your successes and missteps to help shape a rockin’ 2019?

Peace and love. ✌♥

Ali

P.S. For your listening enjoyment:

Lyrics:

Nobody can tell ya;
There's only one song worth singin',
They may try and sell ya,
'Cause it hangs them up to see someone like you.

But you've gotta make your own music
Sing your own special song,
Make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.

You're gonna be knowing
The loneliest kind of lonely,
It may be rough goin',
Just to do your thing's the hardest thing to do.

But you've gotta make your own music
Sing your own special song,
Make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.

So if you cannot take my hand,
And if you must be goin',
I will understand.

But you've gotta make your own music
Sing your own special song,
Make your own kind of music even if nobody else sings along.