The change from one year to the next is, for many people, a time of reflection. A new year is a milestone, a touchpoint at which we pause to consider where we are compared to a year ago at the same time.

Last year, I set some goals for myself. That’s not new, I do that as a matter of regular practice. What was new last year, though, is that I shared those goals with you. I set a public intention for myself for the year ahead.

Two years ago, I wrote a ‘year in review’ blog. So here I am again, looking back on the past two years, with a specific focus on those goals I set for 2022. I wanted to share this reflection with you.

Goals: Proper mindset and balance

In setting these goals for myself, I wanted to restore a sense of balance that I felt I was lacking. Let’s face it, we all know that life sends curveballs our way. There are always going to be unexpected changes and shifts; some welcome, some not so much. A big part of what I’ve learned through developing my coaching practice is learning how to deal with those curveballs. And you can’t do that without balance.

The first step – and the most important one for me – was continuing to move through my journey healing from grief following the loss of my partner in March of 2020. Everyone’s journey is different, and if you’ve suffered a similar loss in your life, I don’t need to tell you that healing takes time. What I wasn’t entirely prepared for is the judgement that can be attached to the journey. I found that there were lots of people – well-meaning, I’m sure – ready to tell me how I should grieve, and how I shouldn’t grieve. That it should take longer, or take less time. Following through on my goal of balance meant coming to trust myself. To know that I needed to grieve in my own way, in a way that felt right to me.

In a very tangible expression of these goals, I also purchased a second property. It’s out of the city, in a beautiful rural setting, and I call it the Hill House. For me, it’s far more than just real estate. It’s a change of scenery. It represents tranquility, and restorative time in nature. It’s a retreat – sometimes on my own, sometimes with those who are close to me – and it’s an important aspect of maintaining balance.

Goals: Relationship and family harmony

The people we surround ourselves with, and the connection we have with those people, are such an important part of the human experience, and I’m very happy to say that I’ve achieved the goals I set for myself related to these connections.

This past year brought a new relationship into my life, and I couldn’t be happier about that. I also committed to spending time – truly quality time – with my family, and I’ve done that as well. My Hill House has played an important role in this. It’s been a wonderful place to spend time with the people I love, in beautiful surroundings and with fewer of the distractions that can get in the way of real connection.

Goal: Commitment to improved physical health

The goal I set was related to physical health, but health extends beyond the physical. This year I’ve also had to focus on my mental and emotional health as well.

Along with fibromyalgia, I suffer from chronic vestibular migraines. In addition to the pain, these migraines also cause vertigo attacks and nausea. All of these conditions are exacerbated by stress. Stress, for example, like the stress we’ve all faced living through the pandemic.

On that note, I also faced some unique challenges related to COVID. I was unable to get vaccinated. I’m sure you can understand, that had a huge impact on my ability to live a relatively normal life. There are simple things that we all took for granted before the onset of the pandemic, things that many people have been able to continue to do over the last two years. For me, those things have been difficult in all cases, and impossible in some. Social gatherings have been challenging. Eating out in restaurants hasn’t been possible, for the most part. Forget getting on a plane to travel anywhere. And even shopping for basic necessities has been a problem. With all these restrictions, and with the divisiveness that’s come along with it, some cherished relationships have been strained. I won’t lie, it’s been very difficult emotionally. Like everyone else, I’m really and truly looking forward to having the pandemic and all its hurdles behind us.

On a positive note, I have begun incorporating more holistic and spiritual approaches along with traditional medicine in my health practices. I’ve been working with energy healers and mindset coaches, and I’ve found these to be a valuable addition in my life.

Goals: Career passion and personal satisfaction

It has been an interesting year in the recruiting business. It’s been very much a candidate’s market, and business has been good. In fact, I’m happy and proud to say that 2022 was the best year in the history of Eximius. A business can’t exist without clients, though, and so along with sharing that great news, I also want to share my gratitude. A lot of my business is repeat business, and some of my clients have been working with me for over 20 years. To my clients: I’m so fortunate and grateful to work with you, and I appreciate every one of you.

I’m happy to say that my coaching practice is growing as well. While it may not produce the same kind of revenue that recruiting does, I get an immense sense of satisfaction and fulfilment from coaching. It’s tremendously rewarding, and I’m looking forward to seeing this practice grow over time.

As you probably know, I’m a big believer in lifelong learning. Reading is difficult when you suffer from vertigo and migraines, but I haven’t let that stop me from learning and growing. I listen to a lot of podcasts; I listen to one almost every single evening before going to bed. Some of my favourites from this past year have been Dr. Wayne Dyer, Rob Dial, Jay Shetty, and Tony Robbins. Whether you choose to listen to them, or read them, check them out. They have so much to offer people who are working to become the best version of themselves.

Service and social responsibility were among the goals I set for this year. I believe very strongly in giving back, and in previous years I’ve done a ton of volunteer work with some amazing organizations. But you can’t pour from an empty cup. Sometimes you have to make an intentional choice to refill that cup, and this past year, I’ve had to do exactly that. I’ve focused on my mental and physical health so that in future years, I can continue to contribute and give back the way I want to.

The takeaway from my 2022 goals

Reflecting on this past year, I’ve achieved some of the goals I set for myself. For some of them, I didn’t even come close. Some of my goals had to shift, or to take a back seat to others that were of a higher priority. And I’m fine with all of that. Like I said at the beginning, life pitches curveballs to every one of us. To carry the metaphor, it’s all about switching up your batting position when you need to, and accepting that you’re not always going to hit the ball, let alone a home run.

Setting goals is a useful personal practice, and if you haven’t done it before, now’s a great time of year to start. Goal-setting is half the task; reviewing your progress against those goals is equally important. When you do, be grateful and take credit for the progress you’ve made. But be gentle with yourself, and don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t made as many strides in some areas as you hoped. It can be tough to do this in isolation; an objective viewpoint can be really helpful, and I’d love the opportunity to coach you towards setting and achieving your goals. Get in touch, and let’s talk.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2023.