My 2019 in review.
This morning I was debating with myself, “Should I reflect on 2019 of my life, or write “Fat Loss in 2020. Fasting and a plate diet”?
The former felt more important, the latter easier and more clickable. You know what I chose.
“The unexamined life is not worth living”
What kind of life is worth or not worth living — I leave that question to someone smarter.
But examined life is definitely more meaningful.
What we do daily means very little, unless we know, that what we do today contributes in some way to a bigger picture of our life. And we can’t see that bigger picture, unless we stop, take time to think and reflect on our past.
A year mark is a good place to do the reflection. It doesn’t have to be January 1st, or 2nd, or Monday — do it when it feels the most right to you. Like today. On a beautiful Sunday morning in Istanbul. (Even though it’s still dark when I’m writing this, I’m an optimist — I believe in sunny mornings.)
Looking at all of my goal lists (I had many through 2019) — it didn’t quite work out as I planned. I didn’t change the world, I didn’t transform the whole food system, and I didn’t even get on a cover of any magazines for my great start-up, that helps billions of people to eat better daily! And I’m not making 50K a month, and I’m not an on-high-demand international speaker yet, and I don’t have 100K+ subscribers on my Instagram, and my podcast is not the best in the category yet, and… well, it seems like I failed completely! Or did I?
I tried building my world-class online nutrition school, I recorded hours of video content in Russia in English, making uncomfortable myself, confusing my Russian camera man and many shop assistants, afraid to say anything about “no video” policy to a strange girl speaking something in English, pointing at their products. Didn’t work out at the end. But I’m definitely tons better in front of a camera, and, as it turns out, I’m quite a natural! Shooting most of the long-form videos from the first take! I always thought, I had a fear-of-camera condition.
I’m not an internationally recognized speaker yet, nor did I win any speaking competitions — but I did give 5 local talks and many mini-workshops for 3–10 people, countless one-on-one presentations of my ideas to anyone willing to listen — at the end people would say often, “You are like Steve Jobs kind of person, I just want to follow you and support anything you do! Cause it sounds so damn good!” — Getting somewhere, I guess? And I’m definitely not afraid to speak up my smart-ass point of view at every opportunity, when asked or not. And I always thought I was shy?
I’m not a natural-born closer, and sales are not my forte. Or so I thought. But after going through the Jordan Belfort’s straight line sales training, my sister said to me, that unlike me, she’s not great at sales, and she doesn’t want to continue selling apartments for a living — and I always thought I was the shy one in the family. The closing rate for qualified clients got to 90%, not to mention getting to YES in many more interactions in life, it all got much easier — we are always selling something, ourselves as professionals, our ideas trying to build teams to change the world, our services and products. I used to fear calling people and organizations, when I needed to reach out to propose an idea, to offer my services as a nutrition, health and performance coach, heck, to simply ask a question of how I can use a service to pay my taxes — I was just afraid of uncertainty, that every interaction, every conversation could bring, afraid to look stupid, inadequate? Now I call anyone and everywhere, I ask every “silly” question in my head, I’m inappropriate often (or so I think), I leave voice messages and call people instead of texting and emails — I’m just out there, smiling and talking! And asking lots of silly questions.
I wanted to have more friends and meaningful connections — the real ones, not FaceBook-talk-once-in-a-blue-moon kind of friends. I wanted to have better family relationships with my parents and sister. I wanted to have better romantic relationships. It might not have worked out the way I expected — all perfect. But I do have more friends all over the world. I did get much closer to my parents and sister. I have much better romantic relationships. And I do put work into all of these every single day! Nothing changes by itself, by us wishing it would get better. It gets better when we work on it — when we are honest and speak our minds in every interaction, no matter how awkward it might feel, when we accept others as they are, not as we want them to be, when we stop judging ourselves and others and just get curious, when we are taking care of our own well-being and the well-being of the other in any relationship sometimes protecting them from ourselves and our selfishness, when we stop a relationship, that is no longer working, and when we are not afraid to start something, that might not be perfect on paper but for some reason feels incredibly right in our hearts.
I wanted to travel more. I didn’t go to all of my bucket-list destinations, but I did put 8 new pins on my traveling map and finally got to live a “traveling” life, coaching people online, while exploring the world.
I wanted to have my finances all figured out, with a thriving business and never hitting a low. Not quite there yet — taking risks, trying different ideas, still learning financial literacy and building a rock-solid foundation, learning to support myself, so I could fuel my dreams with no fear and no interruptions, working on sales and getting my work out there just as enthusiastically as working with my clients and researching food, nutrition and health. I’m not rich yet. But I feel like I’m in a much better place now — not dreaming of breakthroughs so much, but slowly putting in the work, building the foundation in real life.
I don’t have a huge following yet and not even sure, that it makes a huge difference — now and more so in the future, nobody cares about your pretty picture, or the best social media ad, people care about personal interactions, the value we give, our authenticity, how we help them, our character — the real you, in real life.
My podcast is not best ever yet — but I’m consistent, I’m getting better, and people who matter are listening.
To sum it up.
I’ve done stuff!
I’m growing, I’m changing, I’m evolving — my life is looking and feeling much more like the one in my head. Imperfectly perfect.
The most important lessons?
Only actions matter. That’s where we learn who we are, what we truly enjoy, how the world is, what works and what doesn’t.
Energy is everything — it defines what we do and how we do it, how the world responds to us. Learning to manage it is the most important skill in life!
What we focus on grows in our life like new grass after the rain. If we complain and notice what we don’t like in our life — we’ll get more of that. Look where the grass is greener and go there! Plant it when there’s none. Quit bitching — do something about it!
And above all — smile. We live once and it’s happening now. We might as well enjoy it!
What’s your 2019 has been like?