Hola panda bears,
Last year I ended up sharing my list of 2012 goals from my Amazing Year workbook, and at the end of the year updated with how they went. Ya’ll seemed to really dig it, so I shared my workbook goals again earlier this year.
Having public accountability rocks, and ya know, I really get my mojo going from seeing other people’s goals and workbooks too. It’s muchos inspiring to see!
It’s my fifth year of using these 2014 Create Your Amazing Year In Life and Biz workbooks, and I am SO incredibly grateful that they fell into my lap and into the world. Honestly, they really have made such a huge difference to my own life and business. In life, I get much less rudder-less and lost. I stay more inspired and productive and happy when I’ve got this joyful lil coloured workbook to look back on and reset my compass on. I get more creative stuff done, and I reckon my relationships are better for it too. And in business… well, I can’t really say enough about how helpful they’ve been. They are what enable my company to double in size each year (now high six figures). It really sets the direction of where we want to go, and how to get there.
And I’m very honoured and grateful that they help so many other women too. The testimonials and emails and miracles I get told about using these workbooks is very very special. My heart is so happy that the workbooks are helping so many of you in your lives and businesses. So so happy.
So, let’s get into my goals + see how we went, yeah?
An overview of my year
This year, we kept settling in to our new house and city (having only moved in about five months before). In March, my love’s parents moved across the country and into our granny flat. It’s been pretty dang wonderful having them here – we’ve all got enough space to happily tinker about. Some days we barely see them. Some days we spend most of the day with them. Starry loves having her grandparents just down the hall, and it’s made such a difference to our lives. Built in babysitters ROCK! She does lots of crafts with her Nanny Bear, and plays games with her Poppy.
I ended up “coming out of the closet” publicly about deciding to only have one kid. And then, hilariously, ironically and magically, not long afterwards, changing my mind when a little baby soul start knocking on the door of my spirit, letting me know that I was its mama. And I shocked myself by deciding that I wanted to do it. I wanted another go at parenting. I wanted to give my husband the second child he wished for (he was incredibly respectful of my fears of having another one). And I believe Ostara was calling in her soul sibling.
So we decided to have another baby. And we became pregnacious within a couple of months. I wrote a plan of how to get through pregnancy looking at my past problems with hyperemesis gravidarum and hypermobility resulting in hip displacement. I assumed I would have about 5-6 weeks of extreme nausea like I did with Ostara. Which totally makes me laugh now.
It’s ended up being six months of HG and is much much worse than what I went through last time. Many, many trips to emergency when I became so dehydrated from vomiting that I needed IV fluids. A number of hospital stays. Being mostly bedridden for all those six months. There have been many, many, many days in the last six months when all I could achieve each day was attempting to keep enough food and water down to stay out of hospital. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. More hours have been spent rocking back and forward in bed overwhelmed with crippling nausea than not.
It’s kind of funny you know – I know from the outside, HG seems like an odd thing. It just sounds like morning sickness, right? But it’s just so much more than that. I don’t know if anyone quite understands the hell that is HG until you go through it. It just seems too ridiculous to bear.
I ended up having to streamline my attention to the barest of essentials:
Look after my health. Do what I could for my family. Keep my business running.
And I am at peace with that for the most part. Do I wish this pregnancy had been a whole lot easier? Absoloodely. But it is what it is. I gave up a lot of other goals in order to have this baby. It’s just a rechanelling of where my energy needs to go.
So looking back at my 2013 workbook and goals list, I’m really proud of what I’ve created this year. I’m also really cognizant of the fact that I’ve in effect “lost” half of this year with being so ill. There’s totally a part of me that wishes I could have ticked off more of my list, but I really need a soul-check in with myself to remember:
What I did was enough. What I did was more than enough.
I also want to acknowledge the blessings I’ve received from this time:
Firstly, I want to preface this by saying: I wouldn’t wish HG on my worst enermy. It’s a horrific, debiliating, scary illness. And I wish that no woman has to experience this ever. I wish there was a cure. Having said that, I’ve received lots of soul lessons and blessings from this time:
- My relationship with my husband is triple the strength.
I get teary thinking how much he has cared for me over the last six months (and will continue to until the end of my pregnancy/HG). He has been my full-time carer and therapist and support, while also solo-parenting Ostara, taking care of our dogs and house. He’s done all the washing and grocery shopping and cleaning. He’s taken me to endless doctor appointments and the emergency ward. He’s listened as I’ve cried again and again from being so relentlessly ill. Usually we take turns being “the rock.” This time, he’s had to hold it all together because I needed so much support. I’m so grateful to him and his sacrifice.
- Your support
Honestly, it triggered the shit out of me that I was unwell. I’d much rather be wildly healthy and happy! But I made the decision early on to share publicly honestly and authentically about what I was going through. Partly because I’m such an open book I couldn’t imagine not speaking about this immense thing that swallowed up my life, and partly because I believe that for whatever reason, I was given a chance to talk about HG for those who suffer from it and those who love them. It can feel so very lonely when you are going through it. And I am incredibly grateful for the amount of support and compassion and love I received from you, my tribe. Thank you, a million times over.
- I learned how to surrender.
I tried every possibility under the sun to cure HG. And when HG managed to grow another head and circumvent all those treatments, I ended up surrendering. I was piss-scared that I would be sick for the whole time. Terrified that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. And one afternoon, I very clearly remember my angels telling me to close my eyes. And my whole body relaxed, and they said:
Surrender. Just surrender to this. Just be with this illness. Don’t keep fighting the fact that this is miserable and that it shouldn’t be happening to you. Just accept the fact that you are sick, and you will be sick until you aren’t sick anymore.
- Colin Firth is an angel of handsomeness and wisdom as always
A couple of nights after I heard that message, I was laying on the couch, rocking back and forwards. Hauling myself from the bed to the couch was all I could muster. We watched Colin Firth on Inside The Actor’s Studio, and he said this line which resonated so deeply with me:
- My business still thrived and survived without me being able to work at my usual speed.
It was definitely testament to my systems and teams and business structure. I am endlessly grateful. I’ve put many years into growing my business, and when I needed it to, it was able to support me so incredibly. I am forever grateful.
- I’m going to be a fucking zen buddha after this pregnancy.
Ha! But honestly. I feel like my heart has been cracked open, and I’ve been in a kind of solitude where no one could walk through the dark with me. In many ways, I felt like I was so vulnerable that I could feel every pain of the world. I’ve been through an immense amount of physical and emotional suffering, and I feel like I can be that much more compassionate and understanding now when others are going through their own dark night. It’s a strange thing: I wish it hadn’t happened. And I wish that suffering didn’t have to happen for anyone, ever. And yet it clears you out. Burns up residue. Makes you see. And you emerge a different person. For that, I am grateful. Hard won and painful soul lessons, but good medicine still.
Having said all that… let’s talk goals hey! How did this year eventuate, tangled and twisty though its path was?
Despite all of the above health and pregnancy problems, most of my workbook goals did come true. It really goes to show what the power of goal setting does, and setting yourself up for success.
Let the goal celebrations commence!
Take the historic train up the mountain
We managed to do this just after I conceived and before HG set in.
We had such a special time… Ostara still talks about it! This is the train – ranked as one of the top 10 scenic train rides in the world! Me & Starry went with Chris’ cousin and her beautiful boys, and Chris’ aunt. It was just the loveliest time.
Ostara couldn’t get enough of her cousins, and we made friends with sweet Chinese tourists from the next booth… because strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.
Rolling through the rainforest was pretty dang magical.
Go to Yungaburra
SO CUTE! Want to go back there for a mini break! We had the loveliest time wandering through the village, visiting incredible pristine lakes, meandering through secondhand bookstores and checking out the freaking cool Curtain Fig Tree.
Chris has a bowling philosophy: he says that for every bowling adventure, there has to be someone who does surprisingly well and someone who is completely craphouse. He was the bowling brilliant that day, and I was the laughably bad one – even Starry beat me! It was so much fun – and OMG peeps. Bowling shoes in tiny people’s sizes are just BEYOND cute!
Go to Yungaburra markets
It was kind of torrentially raining while we were there. Everyone was splashing around barefoot, and the paths were rivers. Would love to go back!
Go to Mareeba markets
I bought a soy lavendar candle and homemade gluten free pastries. Also: Starry finally got brave enough to try going on a jumping castle. Girl was born with an inbuilt safety meter. One that usually revolves around sticking as close to her mama as possible. So I ended up having to go in with her. I shan’t speak a mistruth people: I LOVED IT. It was the greatest excuse of my life to bounce like a happy Tigger. Starry, in usual form, was happy to mostly bounce softly in the corner and laugh hysterically at everyone else. It was a tops little market!
Go on holiday by myself Have a beach holiday
Ermagerd! I can’t believe these two actually happened! In May I finally mustered up the mama balls to go on a solo mama retreat. I went for THREE! WHOLE! NIGHTS! AWAY! BY! MY! SELF! Mamas in the house, you know how wild and magical this very idea is. I stayed at a beautiful B&B right on a cliff over the ocean. I painted. I slept. I read. I stared at walls. I sat in a restaurant by myself eating risotto. I sat in a rocking chair and watched the sunset over the ocean.
Honestly: it was miraculous. All I did was think about ME! What did I want to do now? What did I want to eat now? Do I want to sleep now? Is the couch or the rocking chair more comfortable for reading this book?
I recommend the experience to any mama. I thought it was impossible to do too. Trust me. By hook or by crook, find a way.
My whole soul still lights up when I think about that retreat.
Adventures still to do:
- Visit the Daintree Rainforest (we planned to be there for my husband’s birthday, but HG stopped us. I just wouldn’t have been able to survive the 2 hour drive, and would likely have needed to stay in bed the whole time we were there. Not really the point of visiting the most ancient rainforest in the world. We will go when the time is right… and that seems like that will be with both our daughters!)
- Go on a TI flight at coffee plantation (pregnancy stopped this baby from happening. Might do it later on when baby doesn’t need me as much if I’m still called to it.)
FUN TIMES + FRIENDSHIP
Have 2 friends visit on holidays
We had more! Hooray! My bestie Sone visited which was WONDERFUL. As was having our Aunty Trish here for a few days (she helped teach me to sew! Hooray!), and our little Awesome Dawson gathering of Chris’ aunt, cousin and boys! SO lucky!
3 months holidays
HO HO HO THIS MAKES ME LAUGH. I didn’t think I’d end up doing this… but I got forced into having a Bedrest Holiday for waaaaaay over three months.
Feel connected with dear old friends
My friends have been so kind during this illness. I feel very grateful. And in a awful case of ironic, one of my dearest friends was in hospital at the same time as me… her in for cancer treatment, both of us chronically nauseous and on the same medications. We would message each other:
This is awful. This is the worst. This is horrendous.
I know. I know. I’m sorry. Me too. I know.
And she said:
It’s just the most awful case of synchronicity… you’re fighting to bring new life into the world, I’m fighting to stave off death, and we both feel exactly the same way.
I know it sounds a bit morbid, really. But it was actually a real blessing for both of us, to know that somewhere, someone understood. Someone who wouldn’t try and comfort us or make us feel better. But just to say:
I know. Me too. I understand. I’m sorry.
Have amazing, inspiring entrepreneur soul sisters to uplift me
I’m SO grateful for this. I ended up pulling together a small mastermind of other women entrepreneurs that grew very very close this year. We’ve supported each other, given each other interventions, brainstormed with each other and truly loved each other through all the business and life stuff that we each needed support with. Miraculous.
Make friends and have fun!
Hooray! I did indeedy! I’ve had some bloody lovely times this year including:
Having a quiet dinner with some internet friends that ended up being the most ridiculous night of fun… doing spontaneous photoshoots around the city as European supermodels on a hen’s party and going on a bicycle rickshaw. I laughed so much I was hoarse by the time I got home. Greatest. Fun. Ever!
One of my dear buddies from high school visited her grandmother in a little town a couple of hours away, so we went on a roadtrip through the canefields and had a great visit. Zetty likes to remind me that she’s known me for half our lifetime now, and that she remembers me slurping soup outside her dorm room just to be obnoxiously annoying. Obviously, I have no idea what she’s talking about.
And we had our best couples first date ever with the lovely Jen and Mike! We were supposed to just catch up for breakfast… but five hours later we still couldn’t stop talking and laughing. Greatest! Ever!
Make 3 good new friends
Yep! Feel so grateful to have fostered connections where I feel so supported, heard and loved!
For me, Chris and Starry to have a wonderful network of friends and community here
We’re slowly starting to feel less like newcomers and more like locals who know people here. We’ve met some really kind, creative, friendly, sweet people and children. And I’m looking forward to getting out there more on adventures and connecting with them when – you guessed it – this illness is over.
Fun Times + Friendship Still To Do:
- See dolphins again (On my beach holiday I stared the shit out of the ocean trying to find them. No go. Maybe they’re trying to surprise me with a Christmas miracle again.)
FAMILY, HAPPINESS + HOME
Try out extra playgroup
Did. Still love my beloved Steiner Waldorf playgroup though. Plus Starry’s brother from another mother (seriously – the two of them look like twins) is there.
Boom, boom, boom shake the room. Hip, hip, hip off BOOM.
Eat own passionfruit
We didn’t manage to get any passionfruit before the scrub turkeys this year! Instead, we ate our first oranges and limes instead… it was amazing!
I even managed to make a raw key lime pie out of our limes. HEYOO! Betty Homemaker of the Year!
Research Sacred Sabbath
Read a butt-tonne of books on sabbath this year. This one was my favourite.
Cultivate a morning routine
Honestly, this one makes me laugh. I have had a VERY regimented morning routine for the last six months: wake up, run to the toilet, then run outside for a hurl.
When I wasn’t sick though, we created a gorgeous routine that I’m looking forward to returning to – gentle mornings on the verandah, drinking tea and looking out over the rainforest.
- Send 52 cards
I think I might end up doing this every year – it was really quite easy and lovely. I ended up being 52 from different artists on Redbubble and kept them close at hand to send out to friends, clients and co-workers when I was called. It felt like a really nice way to send love in a tangible form.
Have a connected, loving, intimate soulmate and best friend relationship with Chris
Honestly? This came true most of all. I’m astonished by how much more beautiful it has become. He’s truly been the most rock solid love of my life during this year. I’ve relied on him so deeply during this illness, and it’s taught me so much about our partnership.
Make at least 12 fun crafts with Starry
Made muchos more than that! We had a great time creating!
Be a happy mom with a great, loving relationship with Starry (and new wee baby soul that’s wanting to come through!)
Even though I’ve been so ill, I feel really content, happy and at peace with my relationship with my wee ones. I definitely feel much more comfortable in that whole mothering thing now. Took me a while to work out my own style and hit my stride. I like it! Very grateful!
Feng Shui our bedroom
We did. It feels more and more like a sanctuary every day. Which is a good thing, because I spend a loooot of time in there at the moment! Ha!
We also created a little art gallery wall which is getting added to piece by piece. Top left piece by Lori Portka, middle left piece by Tamara Adams, bottom left piece a greeting card, right piece by me.
My hunky love has gotten me a couple more pieces that he’s giving me at Christmas too (YAHOO!) – a custom mermaid painting by an Academy goddess Demelza Hillier and a Papaya Art! print.
Eat own bananas
Did. Our lady finger bananas were so sweet and tasty! It honestly just tastes miles different from store bought bananas!
Read books to Starry every day
Pretty happy with our habits here! We absoloodely didn’t do it every single day, but we would end up making up for it on days when I was too sick too by having a mega reading session together to catch up. We also signed up for library cards because even though we’ve got a fairly big collection of kid’s books, I totally needed an injection of new ones to read without falling asleep. I especially love choosing library books that are beautifully illustrated to inspire my artist heart while I read them to her. She chooses her own too.
Buy Ostara real scissors
I know this is a funny thing to put on a list, but there ya go. And it happened. And she’s pretty good with them – kid has her own safety radar. It must be a genetic thing because my hunky love is Mr Safety too.
Make at least 12 things with Starry
We’ve done WAY more than this… we had a tops crafting routine happening before I got ill. And now my mother-in-law has taken on the crafting with Starry tasks… they make jewellery together and make lots of art. Grateful!
Organise getting our keyboard sent
We lent it out to family and forgot to take it with us when we moved last year. Starry now has it in her room and is becoming master of the keys.
Have 52 Friday Date Nights
This has been a good ritual to have! Instead of only happening intermittently (or NEVER!), we try and sit down together on a Friday night to watch a movie together. We’re really not “going out at night” kind of people. Which is kinda tops when you’re a parent anyway. I love the conscious effort of us sitting beside each other on the couch, choosing something we want to watch together, putting away laptops and phones, and just talking about the week and the movie. Also: he is hot. And I like him.
Grow a garden
We’ve got a bunch of gardens and an orchard on the acreage. Most of them are pretty self-sustaining and don’t need much work. This year we grew a bunch of marigolds and sunflowers in large terracotta pots (worked awesomely and created a good centrepiece for the entry, grew tomatoes, capsicums and bush cucumbers (the tomatoes and capsicums failed, the bush cucumbers ended up being fairly untasty) and put together a raised garden bed for veges. Looking forward to more adventures in dirt!
December: 2013 Instagram album
As I shared in the advent activity ideas, this is one of my mainstay yearly Christmas activities. Hooray!
December: Have a glorious Christmas season
Workin’ on it!
December: Make another advent calendar + do it!
You can see our list here. It’s muchos simplified this year while I’m ill, but it still feels like a good season. I added another activity for December as well: Hold Starry as much as possible. Whenever I can, I will hold her while she is going to sleep. And make extra cuddles during the day. And lean in to the fact that for right now, she’s having a “I Need Mama As Close As Possible” time (no doubt making up for all my hospital visits and time in bed.) And soak up these days when she is my one and only babe in arms.
Fun Times + Friendships Still In The Works:
Name our place (We’re still debating on this one. Well, the name hasn’t landed yet. Currently, we call it Casa Del Awesome Dawson (considering there’s five – soon to be six – of us under the roof!)
- Go to a concert with Chris (had tickets booked to see Bernard Fanning in concert together, but ended up giving them away because I was too ill to go. It’s the thought that counts!)
- Make a firepit (Hunky love has just started gathering the rocks for it now)
- Write 12 letters to Starry (2 written! Not bad considering if I hadn’t written it down, I probably wouldn’t have gotten any done – despite my best intentions!)
- Grow a pumpkin or watermelon patch (got watermelon seeds to propagate to about two inches… and then my hunky love mowed over them. Ha! Come summer I’ll be coming at the watermelon patch like a spider monkey!)
52 Artist’s dates
Did I get to 52? Nope! But I did more in a year than I ever have – about 20 + a solo retreat for four days… not a bad effort really!
I like to set goals for myself that are excessively high so that even when I fail at them, I still do much more than if I’d set a “realistic” goal. So I’m totes okay with crossing this off. I was much much more mindful this year of taking myself out to get creative.
I had some lovely times sitting in cafes, by the beach and at parks having artist dates with myself. And I want to continue the tradition next year. One of the biggest lessons I learned from post natal depression that getting out of the house by myself to connect with my spirit and my passions is absoloodely essential for my mental health.
And while I didn’t call them official “artist’s dates”, me and Starry did weekly craft sessions with a mother’s group (before that whole up-the-duff-and-chucking-up-thing started) which was just perfection too. I’ll definitely be doing this next year (this time with a babe in arms too!)
Find music I am deeply excited about
Paul Simon’s So Beautiful Or So What absolutely blew my head off this year. Like, OMG. I don’t even know if I can talk about it. I’ve always been a big ole fan of Paul anyway, but dude keeps taking it to another level.
City and Colour were a magical discovery too.
- November: Do Art Every Day Month
I’ve been planning on doing this one for years, but always tended to find November too full on with both my love and I’s birthdays going on (double the Scorp! double the fun!)
This year it was actually a real comfort to do it. I’d do it in the moments when nausea waves had gone down. It was just so nice to remember “oh that’s right! I’m an artist! I do this creating this all the time when I’m not a vomitron!”
I ended up creating a colouring book out of some of my Art Every Day Month drawings… you can get it free here.
Repair hole in wedding shawl
My shawl (and dress) is made out of rayon – so beautifully soft, but easily gets holes. I use the shawl when I meditate, so I wanted to patch it up with something lovely. I made some needle felted wool patches and hand-sewed it on.
Find a magazine I love to read
Hooray! This one couldn’t have come more true! A dear entrepreneur soul sister found the Renegade Collective magazine when it was launched and recommended it. I found one and I ACTUALLY SUBSCRIBED TO IT. This is a rare, rare event people. The only other magazine I’ve subscribed to before is SageWoman.
Renegade Collective magazine is a fantastic read for entrepreneurs – especially women. Chockfull of content and inspiration. I love its design. There’s always, always plenty of good shit in there!
Make my office a sanctuary
Heyoooo! I’m really, really happy with my office sanctuary. It feels more like my room than any office I’ve had before. Lots of art on the walls, crystals, treasures, prayer flags, angels, vision boards, books. And a bed for napping. HEYOO!
I repainted the room at the end of last year/start of this year I think… took it from a beige caramel to a light light light blue.
And this year I made an effort to invest in original artworks too. The mermaid above was a synchronicious find – turns out the artist used to live in my old hometown too, and the wooden frame is from a house in Proserpine.
Love writing again Feel like I’m a divine channel to Spirit again Feel creatively inspired, invigorated and productive
All of the above! Hooray! I love being in the creative mojo flow!
Embrace pop music
This one makes me laugh. I’m such a folk/70’s music girl. And I usually blissfully ignore anything that’s popular. This year, I wanted to open my doors to pop music and see what delighted me. I even bought one of those Hottest Hits of 2013 which made me laugh! (Unrelated but totally not: some of the pop music I like from different artists all ended up being written by the same artist – Sia. Who I already loved and adored but didn’t realise she was such a prolific songwriter!)
Make a felted journal
I ended up making two this year – one for me and one for my bestie. The great thing about these covers is that you can refill them with new journals when you’re done! Hooray!
- Find a TV show to obsess over
Ahhhh, me and obsessions. It’s totes a part of being a Scorpio! I talked about all the TV shows I was obsessing over in this post if you want to get more recommendations! Tee hee!
Gosh I loved making beautiful things this year. It makes me wildly happy when I get my art on.
Creativity Projects In The Works
- Make a doll (when I’m well enough to get back to craft classes, it’s my next project)
- Do a painting workshop (ditto)
- Make Angel + Charlie dog toys (ditto)
- Make beautiful art that sings to my soul (ditto)
- Write a novel (partially complete)
- Re-release “73 Lessons Every Goddess Must Know” (in the works!)
Take care of my body, nervous system and soul as a first priority(no choice but to do this this year! being this ill has made my health very much my first priority!)
- Get osteopathy for my jaw
Get 12 massages Get skin check-up
Body Still To Do
- Get yearly dental (I’ll wait until baby is born now)
- Summer: Try aqua aerobics (pending hyperemesis gravidarum clearing up – can you imagine spewing in the pool? SO SEXY.)
- Weekly yoga or pilates (pending hyperemesis gravidarum clearing up. Dear HG, you are a buzzkill. Love, Leonie.)
Feel centred and aligned with my soul in every area of my life(feeling really good about this) Keep learning from deep, sage, wise and spiritual teachers(Byron Katie, Doreen Virtue and Hiro Boga continue to be wonderful teachers for me) Have a spiritual experience (circle, retreat etc)(have had some lovely times – especially a Red Tent movie night I went to that gave me major spirit goosebumps! And my solo retreat was off ze hook divine!) Find my women’s circle(found a couple to go to, went to a few, will do more in 2014) Keep doing fortnightly healing mentoring Deepen my spiritual journey Get a tattoo
I ended up getting one while I was on my solo mama retreat. You can read more about it here.
Get a year reading
I like to get a yearly reading from Karina Ladet. I end up printing it out and putting it in my folder with my yearly workbook and refer back to it throughout the year. How we connected originally is a synchronicious kind of event actually. She’s an Academy member, and she sent me a beautiful card in the mail. It had a gorgeous painting on it that felt like something I’d dreamed before or been before. It struck me so deeply I knew I had to reach out to her, and I’ve been getting yearly readings from her ever since!
Spirituality Still To Do
- Be spiritually inspired and invigorated
In many ways I feel much stronger having gone through this illness. It’s really taken me back to my core, and I’ve needed to release a whole lot of things that weren’t working.
And at the same time, I know I’m feeling pretty dang depleted from being horizontal for so long. It’s taken every bit of courage, faith and resilience I could find (and more). And on a body level, I know I’m wildly depleted. Once baby is born, I’ll be in need of some physical and spiritual replenishment.
Institute monthly financial reporting
Yep, it’s happening. And I’m very grateful for it. There’s more things I’m going to add to the monthly system of reporting next year. But I’m on the right track.
Half yearly financial review
We ended up doing it much more often that that. My husband and I sat down and had very real conversations about budget, finance goals and investment. Plus, we consolidated all our accounts into one bank so we could very easily look over balances in savings, mortgage, superannuation etc. We feel more like a responsible adult every year as we wrap our brains around this stuff.
Put $x into savings
I definitely exceeded my goal in this area – feeling very very proud of myself. (I haven’t shared the actual amount here because I always rely on my gut instinct. On this one, my gut said no.)
A friend asked me yesterday if I’d always “been a saver.” Which totally made me laugh hysterically, because up until six years ago or so, I had none. I had maxed out credit cards and car loans and a mortgage that would take 30 years to pay off. I spent everything I earned. So it was definitely a very real shift for me to change that mindset and get educated about savings, money and financial literacy.
Nobody changes your life except for you. Don’t wait for the lottery to be rich. It is absolutely and 100% your responsibility and choice.
You can read more about my financial freedom philosophy and advice here.
See a financial advisor
We ended up finding a new accounting and finance advisor firm that can help take our business to the next level.
Continue learning about money, finances + investment
For some reason I had this belief about myself that I couldn’t understand finance investment stuff… that it was beyond me. And it’s really not – it’s not beyond anyone. It’s just been about education, like anything else! I’ll be learning this stuff for the rest of my life!
If you want to see some of my money and finance book recommendations from the past year, you can find them in my Top 20 Books of 2013 post.
TO INVEST IN
- Rainbow chandelier
Outdoor lounge for back verandah
- Get air-conditioning in hall
Stuff We Didn’t Need To Invest In After All
Get iPhone screen fixed(decided it’s not a priority anymore – my husband ended up giving me his iPod instead) Get air-conditioning in office(Don’t need it – it’s been staying lovely and cool in here during summer!) New washer/dryer(don’t need to yet – our old machines are lasting! Woop!)
Still To Invest In:
- Get screen doors installed
- Release Amazing Biz and Life Academy
Done. And has over 4000 members which is incredible. I honestly can’t imagine life without the Academy. I adore creating new programs for my members and being able to support them with as many programs and resources as I can.
Again. I’m totally amazed that this only happened THIS YEAR! I can’t remember life without my current website.
Have a planning retreat
Had two – one solo one, and one with my team. Filling out the workbooks and planning out my year in business is a total non-negotiable for me now. The results from it are huge!
That’s a picture of my essential business tools – my business dreamboard, to do list book, my laptop and the Leonie Dawson International 2013 Mission Statement, Vision + Divine Plan.
I take all the results from my workbook, pop them into a PDF so that I can share copies with my whole team!
New Academy membership site
We ended up creating a whole new design for this which looks great. And we’ve just started creating a new custom-coded website for it too. Hooray!
Create new programs for Academy
Totesville! Some of the new programs included Shining Six Figure Team System, Best Day Ever meditation, Divine Wool Fairies craft workshop and a new meditation which is just about to be released.
Continue to spend 25% of time in education
Have read a shiz tonne of business books and biographies this year… every year I learn so much more!
Continue to make a massive impact through philanthropy through money + service donations
We sponsored another girl to add to our growing little sponsor family, and continued supporting a pretty wide range of charities. (You can see which charities we support on the Academy page). Philanthropy makes my heart sing. Honestly. I want to do this for the rest of my life… be as big as Bill Gates or JK Rowling in philanthropy.
I was crazy honoured to be in the top 1% of lenders for Kiva and that my team has donated over $17 500!!!!
Make a massive difference in the lives and businesses of 30 000 clients this year
I’m honoured that through our donated workbook program, workbooks, Academy and free weekly ezine with life and business articles we’ve been able to reach far more than 30 000 women.
Still In The Works:
- Double business in size to 7 figures a year
I don’t think we’ll crack the 7 figure mark by the end of the year, but we’re pretty dang close. And we’ve pretty much exactly doubled in size from last year. Honestly, I felt a bit pained that I hadn’t reached my goal on this, and I gave myself a loving talk to remind myself that it was a wonderful effort (especially considering my illness), and that it’s really beyond my wildest dreams anyway. I am immensely grateful for my business, for being able to share the abundance, for being to help as many people as I do, for being able to be a great boss to my team, for being able to do the philanthropy that I do. I’m huuuuugely grateful that I get to do this for a job and support my family. It really is a dream come true.
- Create intensive Six Figure Business program for Academy
This baby is in the works… it’s turning out to be mammoth as I jam in everything I know about creating a six figure business, doubling your business in size each year, and having wonderful work/life balance. Stay tuned – it’ll be out in the early parts of 2014!
GOALS I DIDN’T NECESSARILY WRITE DOWN BUT THEY HAPPENED THIS YEAR + I’M PROUD OF ‘EM
- Spending four months doing a full redesign of the 2014 Create Your Amazing Year in Life and Biz workbooks. (Was SO happy how it turned out – still very colourful and artistic, but also very polished and shiny.)
- Hitting Top 500 in Amazon for my printed edition of 2014 Create Your Amazing Year in Life and Biz workbook, planner + calendar! Holy dinger!
- We built a bookcase! Together! Achievement!
We were seriously running out of bookcase space (again). This time we decided to build a built-in in a hallway alcove.
- Migrating to a new uplevelled accountant and getting Xero set up! (I’ve been hearing such good things about Xero accounting software for so long, and have been unreasonably excited that we’ve finally got it set up at last!)
- Did a photoshoot with Starry and a family photoshoot. I really want to add this to my list next year as well to make sure it happens. Get the big camera out, dust off the lenses and spend quality time capturing special images.
This is kind of a ginormously large post. And it’s taken me like a month or more to pull it together. It’s nearly 7pm. My daughter has been playing in my office while I write, and I consequently have a full arm drawn all over. Mamas in the house, you know that ya do what ya do to keep ’em amused. Am I right or I am right?
It’s been a HUGE year. Big year.
I still can’t quite believe how much we created this year, how many blessings happened, how many goals came true. Despite the challenges. Despite it not all going according to plan.
I’m immensely blessed. Next year will be a big one too. Our beautiful little girl will be arriving in March or so. And we’ll become a family of four. And I’ll be navigating all the soul lessons that come up with that, knowing that self care, creativity and kindness will get me through.
And I’m excited to birth out the new intensive business program for those women who are called in that direction. And see what else wants and needs to be shared with the world.
I’ll be diving into my 2014 Create Your Amazing Year in Life and Biz workbook over the next few weeks. Dreaming, scheming, believing. Usually I print it out and put it in a ring binder, but this year I’m trying out the printed book version. It just arrived yesterday (AT LAST!) and I was squeeeeing like you wouldn’t believe. It’s even more beautiful than I wanted it to be.
I’ll share my 2014 goals with you in January too.
I can’t wait to see what happens next year.
Could you believe what is possible?
So much love always,