Well here we are, at the most anticipated year-end that I’ve ever known. It’s been so – what’s the word I’m thinking of? No, not unprecedented. Different. It’s been so different in so many ways.
I know most people are going to call it a dumpster fire of a year and it definitely had its moments. But it was also a successful year.
I know it was a mess! It still is, really. But there’s also success hiding within it. Here’s what I mean.
For my work, I had to re-think how I delivered education and coaching services. The pandemic changed the way I interact with people and organizations. But I was still able to help over 200 people this year. That’s a whole lot of people that have learned to surface their authentic career story, grow their confidence, communicate their value and find their best work!
I couldn’t do that work the way I’d done it before. It was dramatically different than how I thought the year would go. And yet. I know how our workplaces, families, and communities are transformed when people are doing work they love, so helping even one person do that would be successful in my book.
And speaking of books, did you know I published 4 this year? Crazy, right? I actually spent a lot of time in 2019 writing the first book, but Change Authentically wasn’t ready until February of this year. It almost feels like January and February 2020 were their own distinct year since those months were so dramatically different than the rest of the year!
I published two short e-books during the pandemic, but the majority of my writing time this year was spent on (you guessed it!) Success Authentically. It was an idea that kept nagging at me until I had no choice but to sit down and start. It was not convenient timing, since I had recently been promoted to teacher for my two school-age children who were thrust into the ever-challenging world of virtual learning. Given the constraints on my time and the unknowns at the start of the pandemic, I shouldn’t have even tried. And yet, I wrote a little bit every day until one day, it was magically complete. When I launched Success Authentically in December, it became a best seller on Amazon!
It’s funny. Becoming a best-selling author was not on my list of things to do in 2020, but that sure feels like success, even if it is different than the goals (which now seem hilarious!) that I set at the start of the year.
I volunteer my time for an organization that is dedicated to catalyzing a global solution to the climate crisis. One of the key components of that work, up until this year had been in-person education and conversations to help people understand how they can be part of the solution. You would expect that this work would have been on hold after we couldn’t gather in groups this year, but we were able to pivot, imagining a different way to achieve the same goal. I volunteered more than 60 hours with the Climate Reality Project, mostly from the comfort of my own home this year. The Milwaukee chapter of the group (where I’m a co-chair) grew our membership by 3x and launched a new monthly education program. So yeah. Success was definitely hiding in our challenges there too.
Of course, there’s also been lots of challenges at home. Having 4 people trying to work and learn and live in the same place isn’t easy, but we’re finding ways to make it fun, even if it’s different than before. Like everyone else, we’ve changed how we interact with our family and friends (excited for the day when hugging those far away folks becomes a reality again!). We’ve changed holiday traditions and created some awesome memories. We’ve been frustrated, angry, and disappointed. But we’ve found success in being together in different ways (virtual spring break, family book reading, picnics in the yard, and more). This year helped us all build resilience and it helped us get more intentional with our time together. And that’s the most important measure of success I can think of.
2020 wasn’t all bad and it wasn’t all good. It was different. Just like every other year.
#PositiveAction Look at your year to see the success hiding within it. If your list isn’t what you hoped, you’ve still got 2 weeks to change that!
Programming Note: There won’t be a blog post next week as I prepare for some time off with my family. Yup, it’s with those folks I see all day every day, but I’m still looking forward to our very different holiday!