I love when Austin Kleon writes his 100 Things list for the year. I shared my list in 2020, in 2021 and in 2022. Now here we are again. A tradition. Not quite as long running as my Best Books of the Year lists, but I’m working on it!

Here’s what I did, loved, watched, experienced this year:

  1. I returned to social media after two years away. I have really strong boundaries and systems for using social media now – I teach about them as a bonus in Marketing without Social Media. At the moment, it’s all feeling pretty good!
  2. Settled our two mermaids into a new school. It was a big change to move to a more mainstream school after years of alternative schooling and homeschooling. It’s been a real blessing to my sanity however, and I’m so proud of my mermaids for how well they’ve coped with the change. I’m so grateful to be at a school that has more accountability and transparency than I’ve experienced before. I had to get over a lot of my own fears about mainstream schooling, and it’s been surprisingly healing.
  3. I ran a sold out goal planning workshop in January with my babe Tash Corbin and 50 other gorgeous souls. It was DELICIOUS. And yes, we absolutely wore matching outfits. WHY WOULDNT WE.
  4. Got really into one stitch this year. Cross stitch is a bit too small and finicky for my eyeballs, but big chunky stitches work well. Ended up finishing four pieces in 2023.
  5. Created a brand new program called Midas Touch. It’s very different from what I’ve created in recent years – much more mystical. It felt like another leap of faith that was divinely guided, and the response was just incredible.
  6. Moved to a new accountant locally after being long-distance with my old accountants. It felt like a really big shift as we’d been with our old accountants for 8 years, and they’d given me so much support and guidance when I needed it. It’s been a blessing to have someone locally again though so me and my love can go to quarterly planning meetings together.
  7. Spent a lot of Friday afternoons at the beach after school with the kids, defragging from the week that was. Water and blue can heal a vast quantity of things, I find.
  8. Had two big Academy launches this year making $280,000 in November and $230,000 in March. Wildly proud!
  9. Created & taught ten brand new workshops in my Academy including:
    1. Set Up Your Website That Sells
    2. Decide Your Pricing & Set Up Payments
    3. Set Up Your Mailing List
    4. Master Tech For Business Success
    5. How To Decide What Business To Do
    6. Create A Lead Magnet
    7. Create A Newsletter
    8. The Two Page Marketing Plan
    9. Sane & Profitable Social Media Marketing
    10. Plan Your 2024 Biz Success
  10. Ran monthly group coaching calls for my Academy members… always so much fun!
  11. Got an assignment from the angels to run my first in person women’s circle in years. It was magical.
  12. Read over 100 books. Here’s my list of my favourites!
  13. Created a bunch of new templates for my Academy members including:
    1.  Yearly Business Growth Tracker
    2. Monthly Financials & Growth Tracker
    3. Annual Marketing Calendar
    4. Launch Results Tracker
    5. Financial Goals Tracker
    6. Weekly Content Planner
    7. Lead Magnet & Webinar Success Tracker
    8. Affiliate Link Tracker
    9. Content Library Planner
  14. Went on four holidays in 2023 – all within 30 minutes of our house. Travelling further with that with our elderly dog became impossible this year, so we rented some holiday homes nearby instead. We had some magic times at river houses, and I’m so grateful!
  15. Spoke at the Heart Centred Business Conference in Noosa (you can watch the video here!) It was absolutely magic, and I’m so grateful I got to hang out with old, dear online friends like Kerry Rowett, Denise Duffield-Thomas and Victoria Gibson along with meeting so many new ones. Plus my local business mastermind sisters were there as well… it felt like swimming in an ocean of love and friendship.
  16. Spoke at the Ausmumpreneur National Conference in Sydney, and won four awards: Online Education Award, Author of the Year, People’s Choice Business Coach and Creative Entrepreneur of the Year. It was such a huge spark in my year, and I’m so in awe of the magic and heart I experienced there.
    Just having a little cuddle puddle on the floor with some new friends. The usual conference behaviour.
    Me & my new sister from the same soul womb Jorja. Love that I can now get her to deliver ridiculously good bouquets of donuts to my beloveds in Canberra.
  17. Also got to visit the Ken Done gallery while I was in Sydney. Look at me! I am the happiest koala that has ever koala’d in her life!
  18. This year, I knew we needed some extra support in my business. For years it was  me and my right-hand-gal Zita doing everything. Then a couple of years ago, we hired Lydia part-time to look after our Customer Service emails. I’ve been super reticent to hire any more than that as I’ve managed a large team of 20+ people before and really hated it. I was allergic to hiring anyone more than what I had, but as the business became busier this year, I knew we needed more support so we didn’t burn Zita out. I got Zita to do all the hiring and managing as that’s just not my gift at all, and it worked FABULOUSLY. We ended up with two more part-time VAs who are just brilliant humans with kind hearts. I feel so lucky! All together they still do less hours than one full-time person, but it feels like a great fit and much more spacious.
  19. Had a full day videoshoot with a crew of 20+ models, videographers and assistants. We created the most FUN, ridiculous, wonderful video to promote the Academy, and it was just SUCH a joy to create it. Oh my heart! So full of gladness!
  20. I made a free weekly biz planner worksheet!
  21. Re-started regular kinesiology/coaching sessions with Kerry Rowett after a few years break from getting coaching or energy work done. It’s made SUCH a difference for me, and was one of my best investments of the year for me.
  22. Some of my favourite days this year have been the ones spent with my local business goddess mastermind. I adore adore adore Amanda Rootsey, Cass Deller, Tash Corbin, Madi Beaufort, Claire Riley and Brigit Esselmont with all my heart.
  23. I designed myself a rainbowy webinar backdrop – you can see it here in all its maximalist glory!
  24. I wrote about the unexpected blessings of losing my brother at a young age. It’s his birthday today as I write this – Happy birthday, big brother! I’ll celebrate for you with a pack of teeth lollies!
  25. I wrote about finding peace with my cousin’s death.
  26. Had a paint night with my beloved Madi.
  27. Was a finalist for the Australian Small Business Champions Awards.
  28. Watched Queen Charlotte – was one of the best TV series I’ve ever seen. So powerful and left me weeping.
  29. Created a free workshop: Cash Crush – How to Make Money and Save Money even when times are tough!
  30. Made a chill neutral minimalist sign for my office. LOLLLLLZ.
  31. My naturally blonde hair became darker after my second pregnancy, and I missed showing my Nordic heritage. I realised this year that I could *woah* bleach it blonde again. WHAT A REVELATION. I SHOULD TELL OTHER PEOPLE OF THIS DISCOVERY!
  32. Donated over $8,000 to Bush Heritage Australia to help them make their biggest nature reserve purchase in history.
  33. Most popular podcast episode I shared in 2023? This hilarious one about all the ridiculous, awful business mistakes I’ve made!
  34. Shared what’s coming to the Academy in 2024.
  35. Had a spa day with some of my local business mastermind. I love them soooo much I want to squeeze them until their eyes pop out.
  36. I wrote about plovers and mothers and the fragile season.
  37. Wrote about some feelings on ageing and midlife.
  38. Did a bunch of puzzles with my family (and my old cubicle boss L when she visited!) Our favourites are from Eeboo!
  39. Got obsessed with Motion (a productivity app) then realised it was fucking up my mindset, so I embraced my messy magic instead.
  40. Spent some splendid time making polymer clay statues with my baby mermaids.
  41. Earlier this year, I struggled with (a rare for me) bout of low self confidence. Thankfully it has mostly eased because of a combination of working with Kerry, and heart-to-hearts with other entrepreneur sisters.
  42. Got really into playing Mario Kart, Mario Party & Puyo Puyo Tetris on the Nintendo Switch with my kids.
  43. Drank many emotional support bubble teas. (My favourite: passionfruit green tea with tapioca and rainbow jelly.)
  44. Reached over 160,000 downloads of my podcast Leonie Dawson Refuses To Be Categorised. Most popular episode? This hilarious one about the biggest mistakes I’ve made in business.
  45. Played an obscene amount of cards and board games with my kids and husband. My favourite of all time is Monopoly Deal… we’ve nearly worn out our packet after a year of almost daily use. Other favourites are Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza and Ecosystem.
  46. Speaking of, had a ridiculously raucous board games night with my kids and Madi, Mandy and Hannah. There was a LOT of yelling from the competitive ones amongst us. Not by Mandy though. Mandy was her usual gracious, gentle, loving self, and of course she won. My children were enchanted by her. Mandy’s basically a Disney princess walking through the forest with birds singing to her. She is leaving the Sunny Coast this year and I am both THRILLED for her and DISTRAUGHT that I didn’t get to spend enough time with her. What a magical, magical human. We are so lucky.
  47. Got a new tattooooooo to wrap around the only other tattoo I have. The words were from a healing session I had with Kerry Rowett, and they struck me as powerful medicine. It’s easy to love life when it is easy… but how can I love life even when it is hard and painful and uncertain and grief-stricken? That is the question I want to keep moving into.
  48. Watched American Born Chinese with my family. We were all OBSESSED with it. So beautifully done!
  49. Got a unicorn neon light for my birthday, and went on a river ferry with my family. It was such a beautiful, tender time.
  50. The day after my birthday, we lost our beloved doggy Angel at the grand old age of 19. We were SO LUCKY to have her for so long.
  51. Ran a free workshop with my assistant/goblin Zita sharing about the business changes we were making.
  52. Started painting with Jane Davenport’s Layer Cake paints. They are a game changer… I adore them! The ease of watercolour pans with the vibrancy and layerability of acrylic!
  53. Did a stack of interviews on other podcasts. You can see the complete list here. (Also, want to interview me on your podcast/Youtube show/telesummit? Apply here!)
  54. Did private pilates sessions with the incredible Victoria Brockfield. She is such a divine human and bright spark and we have such a big connection. And now she is LEAVVVVVVING MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE AND I AM NOT OKAY WITH IT. Also, if you are in Melbourne, see if you can do pilates with her. That way I will still feel like I am in her energetic field somehow. I’m creepy like that.
  55. Saw my beloved osteopath Dr Sophie Toland on the regular. She’s a miracle worker with her hands AND her head. She’s helped me fix my mental shit while she worked on my body shit, all while looking like a sexy Amish person. I hope she doesn’t read this. If she does HI SOPH. SORRY. WILL MAKE IT UP TO YOU NEXT TIME I SEE YOU WITH SOME TRULY UNHINGED GOSSIP. Do I know what that gossip will be? No. But I’m sure I’ll come up with something.
  56. Dislocated my jaw. LOLZ. Hypermobility really does mean my bones can’t stay in place for shit.

Okay, I was going to finish this list… but I was resisting it. And I realised I wanted to go deeper than just a numbered list. Concise isn’t for me. Long and winding is.

There’s so many things I want to be grateful for from 2023. And they aren’t achievements, they aren’t short and succinct and simple. But they are the things I will hold most precious and dear to me from 2023.

I want to remember the awe I felt at watching my love care through our elderly dog Angel through her final stages of life. How steadfast he was in loving her, unwavering in his devotion and care. I swear she lived to the grand old age that she did because of how attentive he was.

I am grateful I got to be a death midwife to her as she had her final breaths. It was a profound honour to walk with her up to the final threshold, and witness as she took the door to the next. She curled up like a fawn in the forest as she returned to the womb of Spirit. It was breathtakingly painful and beautiful all at once.

I am grateful I could hold space for my family through this grief. How I could open my mama arms wide to hold all my family’s feelings and pain. How it brought my love and I even closer. I am grateful that my early experiences of loss have shaped me into someone who is okay with grief.

I am grateful that the months and years of caring for Angel were so hard that I had to dig deeper. That it forced me to return to prayer, to ask my Angels every night:

Please help me be wider and deeper and softer to hold all of this. Please help me to be more compassionate and a living embodiment of love. What would you have me say, what would you have me do for the highest light and good of all? I am willing to see things from a new perspective.

That prayer held me in good stead. I didn’t have to know all the answers, just take the next right step after the other. I didn’t do it all perfectly, but I did my best. And it was a worthy practice, one that I continue.

I’m glad for all the ways I was reminded to lay down my weapons and judgments and return to the energy of loving compassion. I feel like I’d become somehow more hardened and guarded over the last few years of Covid, and it was time to lay down some of those fences down.

And lastly, I’m grateful for all the memories created with my sweet kids and husband this year. I want to remember sitting on the dock of a river house at sunset with my eldest daughter, watching a storm roll in together, the air magic and alive. I want to remember our whoops of joy and laughter when we tried fishing for the first time. I want to remember how the light dripped with gold, and there was no other place I wanted to be on earth.

What a year.

I’m so deeply lucky.

Thank you for sharing it all with me.

Big love,