Has your year turned out to be everything you hoped for?
2018 has been a year of ups and downs (like all years) but also full of many blessings and teaching experiences. You see I started the year with heartache after my first miscarriage and suffered another mid-year. But I’m entering the New Year at 8 months pregnant with very close observation on my new baby boy so this is incredibly exciting for me.
So before I jump into 2019 I like to do a recap of my year to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned throughout the last 12 months.
And I think about lessons as a wife, a mother, a business owner and also a coach.
Ironically I’m able to do this pretty easy because I’m also doing my corporate and personal expenses for my Accountant so I have a pretty clear recap of the months that have passed. Also Instagram does this neat little “Instagram Top Nine” pictures so I also have a visual recap of my year too.
Now it’s not all about pictures and budgets because I’m very much a results oriented type of person so I try to look for nuggets of wisdom where I’ve faced personal challenges and either have overcome them or have caused me to steer my life in a different direction. In a nutshell I’m always looking for opportunities of wisdom.
So are you ready? Then here we go:
Thing I learned as a Wife
1. Schedule Date Nights:
For a little while my hubby and I only spoke about work or stressful situations because we were in a transition period in our business and it’s so easy to forget about taking some downtime with each other. We were always in “panic mode” because of our incredible huge list of items on our “to do list” that never seemed to get finished anyway. So every week we schedule 2 lunches and 1 dinner with each other – device free and stress free. The only thing that matters during those dates is the time we spend with each other and since we’ve been doing that, it’s really connected us closer than ever. If you don’t schedule enough date nights with your spouse I highly suggest you do so ASAP.
2. Asking More Questions:
This one sounds odd but lately Vincey and I have been asking each other more personal questions and are starting to discover new things. Now don’t get me wrong we know each other inside out but over time things do change. So it’s important to stay connected with your husband by asking more personal questions. Lately (for some odd reason) he’s been watching more WWE Wrestling saying it’s prep work for our sons. LOL! I’m not sure I believe him entirely but he’s been having a great time watching again so I’ve been asking him what’s going on with the storylines. I can’t promise I’ll watch with him regularly but it’s been such a blast to see genuine enjoyment coming from him.
3. Schedule Intimacy:
This is important for obvious reasons but more so because I’ve discovered that most married couples rarely sleep in the same bed anymore and complain about being more roommates than married. Now my husband sleeps in all areas of the house because he’s a weirdo sometimes but we very much schedule intimacy into our life regularly. In fact many happily married couples that I’ve gotten to know also do the same so if intimacy is missing in your marriage, scheduling back it back in is a sure fire way to get reacquainted on that level again.
Things I learned as a Mother
1. Pregnancy is hard…but oh so worth it!
I’m currently 8 months pregnant and don’t remember things being so incredibly hard! Of course the last time I was pregnant I didn’t have a Threenager but seriously everything is so challenging!
Lately I’ve been having to miss all events and get togethers, I’m so tired, I have so much trouble getting up my stairs and I can use a lot of sleep. And did I mention how much I miss coffee??? 1 cup is not cutting it!
But when I look at my ultrasound and feel my little guy kicking away, my heart melts knowing he’s going to be with us soon. I can’t wait!
2. Miscarriages will teach you about love and the sorority of motherhood
Having a miscarriage will show you first hand that having a child is a true miracle. When I announced my miscarriages I literally had hundreds and hundreds of other women message me their own personal stories. It’s been eye opening and humbling to connect with them all.
They reached out to me as strangers and through our shared experiences we’ve connected in such a deep level that only we, as women who have gone through miscarriages, would understand.
Whenever I read or hear about a miscarriage story, I will always reach out to let them know they’re not alone.
3. Pick your battles
The biggest challenges of my year haven’t been business related. It’s been trying to get my son to wear the appropriate jacket and hat for the weather. G’ah! But, as frustrating as that was, I realized my son was becoming more independent and was starting to make his own choices which made me proud.
So I let him decide these little things and the great thing is common sense kicks in and he usually ends up deciding a spring coat and baseball hat isn’t the right attire for freezing weather.
Things I learned as a Business Owner
1. More structure means more freedom
For a little while I was always on “reaction mode”. Reacting to life’s challenges instead of being proactive and producing results. It was like I was trying to patch up holes on a sinking ship but when I finally started planning right down to the most minuscule detail, I discovered more freedom.
The big turnaround on this came from my investment in the Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne. This little investment has been massive in terms of results for my overall productivity and also more time for my family.
2. Focus on One Thing
I’m guilty of chasing the “shiny, bouncing red ball”. Whenever there is a new online strategy I’m immediately thinking “I should do that too!” and my “to do list” ended up growing massively and realized nothing was actually being done.
But when I implemented my Perfect Day Formula strategy into all aspects of my life, I started accomplishing so much more and was also feeling fulfilled. For even more clarity I suggest to invest in the books The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan and also Deep Work by Cal Newport.
3. Hire a coach
If you want to be great in any aspect of your life, hire an expert (whom you admire) to guide you to faster success. As a business owner I’ve made many mistake and am sure to make a lot more but my investment into Yuri Elkaim’s Luminaries Group was game changing for me.
Was it a lot of work? Absolutely. Was it overwhelming? You bet. Was it expensive? It was definitely an investment. But that investment paid off in terms of insights, tools and being able to tap into Yuri’s wisdom to minimize future mistakes. I was also connected with so many business owners who were on the same vibe and mission that I was on.
As an entrepreneur, nobody tells you how lonely life is. It’s crucial to be surrounded by supportive people who understand you and are going in the direction you want to go. If you’re serious about starting a business, hire a coach!
Vince and I with our Business Coach Yuri Elkaim
Things I learned as a Coach
1. As you grow, your clients need to change
I’ve been doing body transformations for almost a decade and it’s the best and most rewarding role to be in.
But after all this time my life has changed. And my clients are evolving which also means my coaching has to evolve as well. Today I spend most of my time mentoring my Strong Girl coaches and growing the Strong Girls brand. I’m so excited to be laser focused for 2019.
2. I’m not for everyone and not everyone is for me
Being in the game for as long as I have my excitement to work with women who want to transform will never change.
But as I’ve evolved in my craft I also realize I only want to work with someone who has experience in the gym but also has an incredibly compelling reason to change their life because I need my clients to be just as excited and committed as I am to their transformation.
3. You need a support staff
For years I’ve never let go of the notion of taking on as many clients as I could because as a Trainer it’s in my DNA to want to help. And to be perfectly honest I never thought I’d be in such a blessed position to actually have clients wanting my guidance. Even today it’s still surreal for me.
But with my continued growth it was time to finally admit to myself that I can’t do everything alone and today I’m so excited to be going into the New Year with 3 Strong Girl Coaches and a growing support team that I’m going to solidify working with on a more regular basis.
Things I learned as a Fitness Professional
1. Intuitive Eating
Unless I’m prepping for a photoshoot, I just don’t track calories or macros anymore. It’s just not necessary because I know enough to choose primarily whole foods and have a good idea of my portion sizes so if I see a recipe I like, I make it without worrying about calorie overload. Plus I know my body well enough to eat more or eat less.
This is something I’ve been slowly working into my client programming for long term success and happiness (which is so important if you have a family).
2. Sometimes a great sweat sesh does the trick
I’m all about strategized programming when it comes to physique development but sometimes you just want a good sweat sesh to make you feel accomplished.
Of course I’m probably saying this because my training intensity has been held back because of my pregnancy so I’ve been looking at other ways to feel like a bad a$$ at the gym which is why I’ve been doing a lot of Kettlebell Work and Metabolic Bodyweight Training.
Let’s see how I feel after the baby is out.
3. Prehab/Activation Work has been amazing for my Workouts
Years ago I used to just jump into my workouts but realized sometimes I’d have great lifting sessions and then other times would feel meh. But since I’ve been incorporating about 10 minutes of activation work into my programming before my lifts, my workouts have hit another gear!
I feel my muscles more and achieve a quicker muscle pump with my lifts because of improved strength and overall mobility.
Miscellaneous things I discovered:
1. Paper Plates
When people come over to my home I now mostly serve paper plates. I don’t know what it is but I’ve had very little interest in washing dishes and putting them away (I’d blame this on being tired and pregnant). But with the magic of paper plates, I simply throw them away and have shaved some extra time in my day.
I wasn’t even aware there was such thing as a laundry service but boy oh boy has this been a game changer to open up more freedom in my week. With my laundry service I put all of my laundry in a bad and leave it in my front door for pick up. Then it’s delivered back to me in a few days washed and folded.
If you spend a lot of time in your week on laundry I consider outsourcing this at least 1-2 times per month. You won’t regret it!
3. A sweaty face needs a different kind of cleanser
Since my miscarriages I’ve been using more natural products (less chemicals) and one of the things I’ve discovered is Fre Skincare. The amazing thing about Fre is it’s been created specifically for women who exercise strenuously and let me tell you this product is phenomenal protecting and purifying my skin from sweat breakouts. I highly recommend starting off with the Detox Set (use code JVB for a 15% discount).
Skincare is a fitness/health ritual that I’ve been getting my clients to embrace as part of their overall programming because I really believe being fit is a lot more than exercise and what we eat.
So there you have it. 18 of my biggest discoveries and learnings from 2018.
Which ones stuck out to you? I’d love to know. Please post in the comments below because I very much appreciate your feedback.