With it being nearly time to say goodbye to 20221, I’m sure there will be mixed feelings on the past year, some glad it’s ending, some celebrating a super successful year.

For me, it’s neither. My mindset is that we all go through good and bad times, but what’s important is what we take from them. How we grow from these experiences and how well we manage moving forward, without letting them hold us back.

My reflections on 2021 have enabled me to grow massively and one thing I have identified from my past is that I was an excuse maker for a long time.

I am an emotional person, which means when shit is happening in my life, then unfortunately I find it hard to focus on anything else.

I’ve never been the type of person that can switch off from personal problems and focus on work, it’s just not easy for me.

Being this type of person, means that I need better plans in place to support my health, happiness and business.

When we plan, we have more chance of success in all areas of our lives.

When we are very self-aware and know our thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions / reactions and behaviours because of these, then things become easier, we are less likely to be surprised by our actions, when shit happens.

So, what really happened this year for me and why have I learnt so much from this?

So, my 121 started really well, lots of new collaborations happening, business growing, health and fitness great and plan with my family to mover to a new house and set new goals for our happy life.

Then, the past 6 months was a completely different story, and all I can describe as being one shit storm after another.

But my blog today is not aimed at pity or even me looking for an avenue to vent, it’s for me to show you what each of these experiences has taught me, or left me feeling.

Firstly, my beautiful nan became ill and watching her deteriorate over a few months, was just horrific, sadly she died a few months later. Now, my nan was like a 2nd mum to be, she always said I was the daughter she never had, we were super close, so as you can imagine this was devastating for me.

So, I hear you say, how can you honestly take anything positive from this, right?

Well, actually I have loads.

My nan was 96, nearly 97 and had lived a wonderful life, filled with love. She was the most selfless person I’ve ever met and rarely had a bad word to say about anyone.

For her last few living months, my dad, sister and I spent a lot of time with her, telling stories, reminiscing and being eternally grateful for the love she had given us for so many years. This time spent together was also very special, as life can sometimes get in the way, we don’t see each other enough and this brought us all together.

I have had grandparents die before, and being a lot younger had some regret, for not spending enough time with them before they went. However, with this nan, I can honestly say I felt proud to have done all I could with and for her, especially over the past 20 years.

My biggest lesson here was to live life to the full, love the people who are important to you, ell them every single day how much they mean to you, as my nan did and make an effort always, so you never live with regret.

In the middle of my nan being ill, I then fractured my ankle and had ligament damage after falling training a client. Yes, this was bad news, as I still train a lot of clients, my income depends on delivering my services to my clients, which now couldn’t happen for a few months until I recovered.

My fitness hit an all time low, even though I was trying to move and do all I could, it wasn’t enough.

My food slipped, because my mood dropped, my stress was through the roof and I fell victim to being a victim, which is one of the first things I teach my clients to avoid.

What did I learn here?

I learnt that the universe answers you always.

I know that this injury was the universe telling me to slow the hell down. Being a stress coach and knowing all I know, doesn’t mean I am immune to the affects of stress and I have to listen to my body too.

It’s crazy isn’t it, no matter what our area of expertise, when the chips are down, we cannot help ourselves. Yes, I went back to my coach for help during this time. Yes, us coaches sometimes need coaches too.

Taking time out obviously affected my business, which I didn’t really have much of a backup plan for, again another lesson here.

A lot of my business is online coaching and yes exercise included, but a lot of that is already pre-recorded, so it wasn’t a question to give up, I reverted back to what I know, adapted my programmes for my face to face clients and offered them the online alternative.

It was great and the support these amazing people gave me was incredible.

I’m a big believer in authenticity and integrity and showing my clients how I was feeling, letting them in to my troubles was easy. The most incredible thing is, this is what they love about me. The fact that I don’t pretend life is perfect when it isn’t, the fact I’m upfront about my struggles with depression, my stress head personality and that all I have learnt to help myself, will help them too.

So, where are we?

Ok, I’m healing from ankle injury, business is back on track and yet daily little stressors carry on plaguing us as a family. I won’t bore you with it all, but when life is tough, it seems to be like a domino affect of problems coming your way.

Cut out a few weeks here and BOOM! My husband and I catch covid.

And yes, we were quite rough (not hospital rough, but bad flu rough) for nearly 4 weeks to be exact.

Again, work is on hold, fitness is zero and food, well it wasn’t bad, but my appetite was non existent.

Trying to entertain a 3 year old when you’re both ill, for 2 weeks locked in a house is not fun believe me.

Luckily Quinn didn’t get it, which is bizarre, as she picks every cold and bug up from nursery, but we are glad she was ok.

Nest (haha) week 2 after getting over Covid, slowly starting to workout and feel a little more normal and BOOM (again) Quinn brings a virus home from school and the 3 of us are hit hard, no Covid, but wow did it knock us backwards.

After Covid, Gareth and I were immune suppressed and susceptible to picking up new germs, and yep we did.

That was 2 weeks ago, and we haven’t slept properly since then, poor Quinn has been really ill, not eating, not sleeping, severe cough, which makes her sick, it’s been horrible again.

My Christmas was spent on antibiotics and steroids for my chest and sinus infection.

BUT, and this is a big but, as a few times over the past 6 weeks, feeling so ill and not seeing an end to it, I had very little positivity, but I stopped and did the tasks from my Lifeshaper programme myself again.

Reflecting back on the year, I realised that there have been so many amazing, positives too.

So we’ve had a bad few months, that’s life, I can choose to get caught up in the chaos of it all, be a victim and constant pity myself making excuses, or I can choose to rise up from all of this, stronger than ever.

I know what I’m choosing, what about you?

We must always remember that our life is what we make it.

We are where we are today, because of the choices we made, or didn’t make, the effort we put in, or didn’t put in and all of that can change, if we want it to.

So when you’re looking back at your year, skim over the shitty bits, and spend time being grateful for the good bits.

Stop focusing on what you didn’t achieve and celebrate all that you did.

You’re in control of your story.

Make 2022 work for you, not the other way around xx