If you can’t count it or put it on a spreadsheet, does it count as an achievement? We get so wrapped up in managing, tracking, and measuring, but often, what matters most cannot be measured.
My Top Achievements From 2017
There was a time when I looked only at the numbers: deals closed, clients enrolled, words written, articles published. How many new followers did I get? What was my reach? If I couldn’t measure it or tabulate it in a spreadsheet, it didn’t count.
Looking back on my successes from 2017, I can see a dramatic difference in what I view as a success. The first things that came to me were not the numbers or milestones, or even some of the glaringly obvious things (like the article that went viral) – I’ll address those in a separate post.
Although I do have plenty of measurable wins, the successes that came to me first were the moments of growth that help me grow deeper roots and stronger branches.
Here are my Top 10 Successes from 2017.
(1) I created space for my best work.
Every day, no matter what, I engaged in my daily rituals, which give me the space to fill myself so that I can serve others from a place of congruence, alignment, and intention.
- I continued my daily Fitness First practice for another full year.
- I completed my 2nd full year of daily meditation practice.
- I wrote at least 1,000 words a day (most days, much more).
- I completed my 4th full year of My Daily Recap, my evening journaling practice.
- I began a Sabbath ritual and maintained it each week.
- I silenced the internal distractions to focus more deeply on my work.
(2) I spoke my truth.
I spoke my truth and stood in my truth, even when my truth wasn’t received well (or at all) by others. At times, others tried to shut me down or stifle my voice. Within the span of 2 weeks in early 2017, my website was hacked and I was asked to remove a post from my social media feeds because some people didn’t like it.
I did not let that stop me. I called out the poor training that real estate agents receive, the lack of leadership in the industry, the ways that agents are failing to serve their clients, and the ways in which brokerages are failing their agents. I tackled some of the biggest myths about productivity, meditation, fears, and emotions.
(3) I stopped escaping.
I embraced what was happening in my internal and external worlds,
even especially when it was uncomfortable. I didn’t run away from my emotions into the escape hatches of social media, television, busy work, books, podcasts, the pull of the hustle, comfort food, alcohol, drugs, or any other escape device.
Instead of throwing myself into the comfort of community that was outraged and angry by current events, I sat with my emotions and processed through them.
I dug deeper than ever before, opening old wounds and exposing them to the light so they could heal. I spent a lot of time in the dark with my shadows, learning to love those sides of myself even when they hurt me. I allowed myself to feel it all so that I could heal it all.
(4) I removed the masks and suit of armor.
The theme I gave 2017 at the start of the year was “The Year of Showing Up.” And I did. Even in the most difficult of personal moments, I showed up for clients, friends, family, and strangers. I came to my group programs in full vulnerability. I removed the masks of “strong warrior” and “I’ve got it all under control.” Even when I was hanging by a thread, I showed up as I was, and I trusted that would be enough.
I stopped answering “how are you?” with “I’m great” or “OK” when it wasn’t true. I stopped answering that question at all when the person asking it was walking by me, not even listening for the answer.
(5) I leaned in and reached out for support.
I summoned the courage to be vulnerable and to share what was really going on in my life (where appropriate and safe to do so). I leaned in and reached out to ask for support, where I believed the person could give it. I allowed myself to receive support from those who offered and were capable of giving it.
When I needed a second eye on something, I asked people to read it. When I needed someone to hold space for me, I reached out to ask for it. I stood in the value of my greatest work — myself and my full presence — by asking for what I needed to support my becoming.
I learned that people want to help, although sometimes their desire to help exceeds their capacity to do so in that moment. I learned to release my judgments and expectations around that and be grateful for their desire to help, even when they couldn’t offer me what I really needed.
To be clear, this is a hard one and I’m still working on it. I expect it’s the type of thing one works on forever.
(6) I made an impact through my work.
In my real estate practice, I’ve always been clear on the impact I make through my work, and 2017 was no different. I helped my clients move in, move out, move on, move up, and move through. I helped them claim the value of their biggest investments and navigate a shifting market. But the impact of this work had nothing to do with the size or price point of their homes; often it was only marginally related to their homes.
I helped them realize goals and dreams, and create space for their best work — their lives. I helped them bring big plans and visions to form, and I helped them release visions that were no longer aligned with their values and identity. I helped them navigate the rocky roads of their biggest life decisions. That’s my best work.
And in 2017 I made huge strides in expanding my work beyond the borders of my real estate practice. This is something I’ve slowly expanded over the past few years, and in 2017 I set myself up for a breakthrough.
Through my writing, teaching, speaking, coaching practice and volunteer service, I helped clients and strangers move on, move up, move out, and move through their limiting beliefs, fears, painful emotions, and sabotaging habits.
I led participants across the hot coals of the firewalk at Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within.
I created awareness, reflected truth, and held space for hundreds of big life decisions, from career changes to marriage to having kids. I helped others work more effectively, launch their programs, command their value and earn more than they had previously imagined was possible. Most important, my work touched people’s hearts and lives,
(7) I conquered some of my strongest triggers to distraction.
I stayed off of Facebook for a year without deleting the app. I stopped watching television (I haven’t turned on my TV since Memorial Day Weekend). I spent 3 weeks completely offline in March (including email), without announcing it first and without an auto-responder.
I cut down on the number of books I read. I stopped listening to podcasts. I read fewer blogs. I cut way down on the news and other media I consumed.
Somehow, even without all the stimuli, and personal development tools, I found plenty of things to write about and did my deepest personal growth work ever.
More important, by learning to be with my emotions, I conquered the internal triggers that drove me to distraction.
(8) I showed up in my full presence to serve and connect.
I finally reached the point where I could be in an experience without formulating the status update in my mind, which allowed me to be more present to every experience.
As a result, I experienced deeper connections with myself and others. I had deeper and more meaningful conversations. I was able to see and hear things beneath the surface of what was said.
I acquired more knowledge in the true sense of that word — knowledge means that which we embody. By being fully present, I remembered more details from experiences or conversations. I connected more dots and saw more patterns simply by being present, without needing a Personal Knowledge Management system or a second brain.
(9) I embraced “exquisite risk.”
I embraced exquisite risk by opening fully to love and intimacy. I experienced the transformative power of losing all track of time and place while looking deep into another person’s eyes.
I displayed courage. I allowed myself to be seen, even in my imperfections.
In 2017, for the first time, I spoke publicly for the first time about my challenges with ADHD, the lingering effects of my brain injury, my struggle with burnout and the ensuing emotional breakdown, and other highly personal matters.
In flying trapeze, I took the safety lines off of new skills and tricks. I took those tricks across to the catcher out of lines, building my muscle memory and my self-trust that I can get to my back safely when went across to the catcher without the safety lines.
In trampoline practice, I took the safety lines off of my front tucks — something I never thought would be in the realm of possibility for me. I built my trust muscle.
(10) I remained CALM amidst the CHAOS.
2017 was a year in which everyone seemed to be perpetually in CHAOS — caught up in the news, confused, crazy, hustling, harried, angry, anxious, overwhelmed, outraged, stuck and spinning. Through it all, I remained CALM: centered and composed, aware, level-headed, and mindful.
Parallel to the disorder that we experienced in the world last year, my personal life experienced an upheaval. Through the most turbulent of uncertain times, I remained rooted in trust. In the darkest moments, I found the light within.
Perhaps I was able to do this because of the other big wins, or perhaps the other big wins were possible only because I remained calm.
Regardless of causation, I know this skill sets me up to emerge in 2018, and to rise.
Choosing Metrics that Matter
In the past, I had to get through my “measurable wins” to get to the “growth wins.” The fact that these are the successes that presented to me first is a big shift for me. And that, in itself, might be my biggest success of 2017.
It’s great to have results that you can measure. Everyone loves a good spreadsheet, to summarize the year in numbers: hours spent, income earned, deals closed, calls made, blog posts written. It gives us a sense of accomplishment.
Just remember that those measurable wins are not the ultimate success that we are aiming for. In the end, we pursue those things to find meaning and growth.