2017 has been… interesting.

Normally when I send out my final update of the year, it’s filled with lots of exciting news: Certifications I’ve completed, challenges I have undertaken with my ladies, changes to classes, photos of Christmas parties etc etc.

This year feels somewhat different.

It’s not that I haven’t undertaken any training (of course I have*), and it’s certainly not that I’ve had a quiet year (31 babies born – although not to me personally)!

Yet somehow this year has felt remarkably unremarkable.

On the surface of it, 2017 has been a good year:
– I have my health
– Business is booming
– I utterly LOVE my work
– We had an awesome fortnight housesitting in Florida this summer

But away from the public face, there have been far less sunny elements to the past 12 months. Some events seem rather trivial in hindsight (the dog’s ruptured cruciate ligament costing us a not-so-small fortune, the failed house purchase, two blue-light ambulance rides to A&E with the toddler). Others have been really very tough. I’m definitely in the “bring on 2018” camp!

So what’s the point of this blog? Where’s the big motivational pep-talk? The inspirational role-model?

All I can offer is me, right now, as I am. I am good enough. YOU are good enough. That right there is the lesson.

In almost a decade of running Lovefit, the things I’ve tried to stay true to are: Being authentic, showing up, and simply being me. 2017 has been about delivering all these things… and no more. And that’s OK, isn’t it? Not every year can be our best year, surely?

Every business coach in the land would disagree. We should always be striving to increase our bottom line, do more, sell more, get more subscribers. Apparently. Whereas my business has actually got smaller. For the first time in 5 years I am back to being completely on my own (having employed a full time PT, several bootcamp cover staff and a part-time admin at one point), and it feels utterly liberating. Sometimes less really is more.

You see, it’s tough to do everything. I’ve blogged before about the difficulties every parent in paid employment faces: The feelings of inadequacy, the guilt of being torn between running a business, “mumming” and being a good friend / wife / daughter.
– I know I haven’t pushed the business this year. I’ve intentionally tried to step back a bit, and just focus on the people in front of me; my existing clients.
– I know I haven’t used my recouped time to become a mumsy mum. There has been a distinct lack of home-made advent calenders, and family crafts in this household. Instead there have been a lot of books, near daily trips to the park, and my son becoming a bit of a dare-devil on his balance bike.
– I know I haven’t focussed on my own self-care. Not nearly enough. But I have watched multiple series on Netflix, albeit whilst answering emails of an evening.

It has definitely been a year of existing, rather than concentrating on bigger projects. The upside is that it has felt good to take some pressure off myself. The downside is that it ultimately equates to just ticking over, which doesn’t necessarily sit well with my personality. And despite 2017 having been more of a slow-burner in some ways, our day-to day life coupled with all the tribulations I referenced earlier, has meant that it’s still all been rather hectic; dashing from one thing to the next. Fire-fighting, if you will.

A dear friend of mine summed it up perfectly in a group Whatsapp the other day: “I feel like I spend my whole life trying to please everybody, but pleasing nobody.”

I’m sure almost everyone reading this can relate to that statement. I have spent a good deal of 2017 feeling precisely like that. So I flicked back through all the emails, messages, and facebook reviews I’ve received this year and it turns out that I have actually pleased quite a lot of people. Therefore, rather than ending this blog with the usual list of achievements, I decided to hand over to you and a few of your kind words…

Thank you.

*A pelvic floor health certification, and the annual women-working-with-women conference that I attend, not to mention reading numerous articles, studies and books.