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In today’s episode I share my top 5 life lessons I learned from 2020 and how you can take these and customize it to your life.
I would love to hear what unexpected lessons shaped your 2020 vision? And what’s in the plans for ’21?
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[00:00:57] Welcome back to the final episode of 2020 for the Mommy’s on a Call podcast. What a year?! I don’t think I need to say anything more because I believe as a collective, we all felt very similar things in 2020.
[00:01:11] So what I wanted to do in today’s episode in order to wrap up 2020 is reflect back on this year and reflect back on all the things good, bad, whatever that is to analyze the data. Of the year in order to move on and really figure out how to plan for the future.
[00:01:29] I’ve mentioned this on many episodes, I’m really a big advocate of taking a moment to reflect backwards in order to move forward. Because I think for a lot of us, if we just keep going, going, going, or even just living in the very present, we aren’t aware of things or patterns that we might want to change things. We want to continue doing things that worked things that didn’t work, et cetera.
[00:01:53] So I want to take this moment and this podcast episode, in order to share the top five lessons that I learned in 2020. But these are lessons that I think a lot of you can take away with also as a mom, this was a crazy crazy year.
[00:02:09]And I think a lot of us really dug deep into understanding the many roles that we were playing in our lives. And so these lessons are to help teach how to be a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better businessperson, et cetera. And so I think these five lessons you can take also and customize it to your life.
[00:02:31] So I have a question for you, and I know I can’t see you guys, but how many of you out there have a word of the year? It’s been something that I’ve been doing for the last couple of years? I think since like 2018, where I’ve chosen a word of the year as my overall theme on how I want my personal and business life to run, I’m a really big believer in setting this sort of theme or new year’s intentions over resolutions and extreme goal setting.
[00:02:56] Since 2018, I’ve chosen a quote word of the year as my theme to how I want my personal and business life to run. I’m a huge believer in setting overall themes and new year’s intentions over specific resolutions and goals. And while I don’t think goal setting is a bad thing because yes, I’m all about setting goals in my business it’s more of a broader term.
[00:03:20] And so in my previous life, I used to set smart goals. And for those of you who don’t know what that means, smart stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound goals. And I’m sure a lot of you have heard of that, especially in business. You know, how do we set goals and how do we measure things? But the problem with that is it was so concrete and. Life needs to be more fluid than that. And so while smart goals are great to set for quarterly or monthly for a year, it’s really hard to achieve because like 2020 in March, when everything, you know, went up in the air, you had to be flexible, pivot, change, et cetera.
[00:04:01] And so maybe those goals that you set in October, December of the previous year, aren’t the same as what would happen if something were to change. And so I’m a big believer of setting this word of the year as an overall theme on how you want to live, how you want to set your intentions for the year, et cetera.
[00:04:22] And so in 2018, my word was sparkled because I was all about this. Like. Glitz glam. Like I wanted to just shine in 2018 and then for 2019, my word was simplified because I think I got so overwhelmed with everything that all I wanted to do was eliminate and simplify. And after a crazy whirlwind of surprises in the second half of 2019, especially when I found out I was pregnant with number three surprise I realized that for 2020, my word of the year was going to be surrender. I don’t think I could have picked a better word for 2020, because. I mean high surrender. There’s nothing more that I could have done this year than just surrender to everything that was happening.
[00:05:06] So the other day I backtrack, I watched the movie Soul the Disney Pixar movie that just came out. And if you haven’t seen it, I think you really should. I won’t give away the movie, but the whole theme is really just about living every moment fully. This is very similar to why I stopped making these solid goals and I shifted to more intentions because I felt like the problem with setting these goals is I was always living to achieve something. My purpose was just to get to the next thing, get to the next thing. And I’ve done that my entire life. I always had a goal, like, okay, I’m going to go to business school. I’m going to, you know, graduate. Top of my class, , I’m going to. And it was always the next thing and I never surrendered to the process, enjoyed the journey. And instead I always just push forward, push forward. What’s next? What can I achieve? What’s bigger instead of truly living in the moment.
[00:05:58] If you watch a movie soul, that’s kind of what , the whole theme is. I felt like it was so powerful. Because it really mirrored how I felt it’s about 2020.
[00:06:09] So as I said, my word of the year for 2020 was surrender. And let’s talk really about how the universe slapped me in the face over and over and over again in 2020 telling me that I needed to listen and wake up.
[00:06:21] I had my word of the year podcast episode, like the next one I’m going to do for 2021. All lined up and ready to go last year, because for those of you who don’t know, this podcast started off as the power mom minute, I launched it in 2019. And then I put a pause when I had the baby, but I had my word of the year episode and I never published it.
[00:06:41] But. The other day, I decided to take a listen to what I had recorded and it was really crazy just to reflect back on it. I thought I’d give you a little snippet from it to give you context on what led to the big shift for this year and on really honing in on these lessons that I learned.
[00:06:58] Back in January, when I was going to release this all my grand plans of prepping before maternity leave and getting as much work done as possible was put on hold. And this was because. So many things happen even before the pandemic to push me off the route that I thought I was going to be taking. I’ve lived, as I mentioned, my entire life, trying to plan and control and micromanage organized and perfect.
[00:07:22] I mean, I was like a Ninja when it came to Excel spreadsheets and timelines for weddings. I think people who would get my wedding timelines would be like, Whoa, she’s all a little bit OCD and a little bit type a, and the thing is it’s because I just like to have control over things and put, once I had kids, I realized that control wasn’t something you could do.
[00:07:45] I think after I had my first baby, when my water broke and everything, I realized that there’s only so much you can control in life.
[00:07:51]So it’s nearly impossible for me to sit still not have huge goals, huge expectations on a list of what I want to do next, because you know, I was just that person.
[00:08:00] I had every intention to surrender in 2020, but part of me still wasn’t bought in when January, 2020 started. And by mid January, I realized that’s when the universe decided to step in and give me a little bit of a reality check by January 31st, I had gone to the ER. Urgent care twice the dentist and doctor more times than I ever had in the last year combined.
[00:08:25] Between my whole family coming down with the flu to my 19 month old, smashing her face into the pavement office scooter and losing her front tooth to busting her lip and face and being in the final five weeks of my pregnancy with baby number three, 2020 January was already a constant reminder that I needed to just slow down, breathe, let things happen. Listen more, especially to my own body. Rest be more patient stop trying to force, stop, trying to hustle, eliminate all the FOMO in my life, allow space for things to grow. Stop thinking I would have showed up, could have done this and just surrender to the moment. So besides focusing on surrender, I had decided that 2020 was going to be my year to actually take a step back from my business to take a step off the gas and focus on my family and myself, my career, my company, and my ambitions, I knew were not going to go anywhere. Even though I was a little heartbroken that I wouldn’t be able to build on the momentum that I was having, but I knew it would always be there when I wanted to return. And I.
[00:09:34] Realized mid January that my family and my health needed to be my priority. And as I’ve always said, if you’re not 100%, you, you can’t help or serve anyone else. So it was my turn to put on my oxygen mask before helping others and reminder this was all before COVID even hit. So we know the end of that story, but that being said in February, February 3rd, I had my third baby.
[00:10:01]And I remember just sitting there in the hospital and taking out my computer and starting to work on my website redesign that was still going on. Like I was working in the hospital. I had, I not, I hadn’t even learned my lesson yet that I needed to just stop. But I was doing that. I was like, okay, like I have this time, I had a C-section I’m just laying in the hospital, relaxing, not really relaxing, but you know, when it’s your third kid, it’s totally different.
[00:10:27] And I was just sitting there. I was working on my computer. I was doing stuff. And I think the universe again was like, Stephanie, you need to stop. You really need to stop. And then only like four weeks later COVID hit and I knew that any plans or goals I had needed to be fluid and flexible. And I finally decided I needed to live up to my word of the year and I surrendered and said, we’re going to take a break. We’re going to start listening. And we’re going to see what happens.
[00:11:03] And so a lot of shifts happen through the year and through those shifts, I’ve learned five lessons that I want to take forward with me into 2021.
[00:11:10] So the first lesson is letting go of good things, not just bad things.
[00:11:18]And I know I talked a lot about, like, you need to let go of things that aren’t serving you, you need to let go of things that are negative in your life, you know, because I’m a very positive person. And I always think of optimistic things. And I think like, Oh, if there’s negativity around you, you can’t stay positive.
[00:11:34] So let go of negative things. But what I didn’t realize is that sometimes you also have to let go of positive and good things. And that’s really hard for me because I’m that person who, when I’m like cleaning out my closet, I see like good clothes that I never wear, but I know I should get rid of, but I’m like, these are so great.
[00:11:51] Like I spent so much money on this or this was my favorite shirt, but I’ve only worn it once. , I can’t get, let go of it. Or just like, when I’m getting rid of kids’ toys, I’m like, well, this is a really good, you know, toy. This is a really good stroller. Why would I get rid of it? And I realized like sometimes you have to get rid of good things in order to make space for even more to come.
[00:12:14] And besides just making space that good toy that could stroller can really help someone else. And. I didn’t think bigger than that. And so I really learned that you have to let go of good things and not just bad things.
[00:12:29] And on that note for me, what was really hard for me to let go of was my event planning company.
[00:12:35] I had spent the last 10 years building this company from scratch . It was one of those things I built as a side hustle. I built when I didn’t have a job, I built all throughout my marriage throughout having kids. And so for me to let go of a great brand great clients that I had lined up for 2020 was really hard.
[00:12:58]And ironically, towards the end of 2019 in December, my website was hacked and crashed. I remember I opened it one day and it was like a Chinese sports equipment page. And I was like, what is going on here? And I tried everything. I contacted DreamHost who is my hosting site. And there was literally no getting back. It was hacked, it was destroyed and it was gone. But it was also a sign that I didn’t really read. It was that I had always wanted to step away from that business and say goodbye, but I was holding onto it because it was a good thing. And it was bringing in revenue and it was security and it was safe, but I knew I needed to move on from it.
[00:13:36] And so after a decade of running this event planning company, I decided, okay, in 2020, I’m going to say no to all events. I’m not going to keep on my recurring clients and I’m going to close it. I had to tell some of my favorite clients, I wouldn’t be planning their events this year, but in the end it was truly a blessing because there are no events in 2020. And so I don’t think I would’ve wanted to deal with that, but on that note, It was a blessing in disguise, but it was so hard to let go of something. Good. And so that was lesson number one. And so to all of you out there, sometimes it’s okay to let go of good things, because maybe we just moved out of that phase of our life.
[00:14:19] Maybe we’ve grown into something bigger, maybe just like kids toys. Like I hate getting rid of things that are so good. But it’s like, if you’re not going to use it, it can go to use somewhere else. And so there is a bigger picture for these things.
[00:14:34]Lesson number two. Setting solid boundaries in all aspects of my life.
[00:14:40] And I feel like when I hear a lot of people talking boundaries is the number one thing. It should be the theme of 2020 is setting boundaries. But for me, I was really bad at setting boundaries. I’m one of those people who wanted to multitask. And I think as moms, we all think we’re amazing multitaskers.
[00:14:56] And while we are in the end, it really only hurts. And, you know, I know what distance learning and having to work from home and all of this stuff, it’s really hard to set boundaries, but it can be done. And I did that in 2020, even with a newborn in arms.
[00:15:13] what are some of the things that I thought were super helpful were scheduling and my Google calendar time and making it non-negotiable.
[00:15:22] I said, every Thursday is my office day. That is my day and we will figure it out. And so it was like, if Thursday’s are going to be my Workday, what do we need to do to make that happen? Not okay. Well maybe I can push this around or maybe, uh, you know, it’s okay. No, it was non-negotiable and I made that clear. And so between my husband and I, we communicated, we figured out childcare. We figured out our schedules when our son was distance learning at home, we figured out who was taking control of that, that day. And we made that a solid boundary and there are other things that in my life that definitely I can work on for sure on setting boundaries, but it’s the little steps we can’t do this all at once.
[00:16:05] And so I at least tried to separate different aspects. Like. In the morning I have until 6:45 AM to get downstairs and start prepping lunch and all of those things. But it’s up to me to figure out what to do with that time beforehand. So if I slept until six 45 and didn’t have time to meditate, well, that was on me.
[00:16:26] But I set that boundary of this is my me time in the morning. This is if I need to wake up early, which I’m terrible at doing, but I’m going to try in 2021 to start waking up earlier and earlier. Then that is my container of time to do stuff. And I need to start scheduling that into my calendar.
[00:16:43] And I think that’s like a problem for a lot of us. Moms is one we had just agreed to take on so much stuff, but as we start to blur the lines on the roles that we’re taking. And so if you are trying to play the role of mom and you’re trying to play the role of teacher, and you’re trying to play the role of entrepreneur all at the exact same time, something is going to fall through the cracks.
[00:17:04] And so if it’s even like, okay, I’m sorry. Like I know I have to do distance learning from X time to X time set that boundary and don’t take business calls , or just try and figure out how to set those parameters and really setting your priorities and sticking to it. Again. I know we have to be fluid and flexible, but if we don’t even create a boundary, then you’re setting yourself up for failure to begin with.
[00:17:32] The third lesson I learned was prioritizing my wellness. And I’m talking both physical and mental health, not just wellness, like eating goat and exercising. But I think COVID really taught a lot of us that we really need to prioritize our wellness, our mental and physical health.
[00:17:50] But for me, I really learned that I needed to listen to my body more when I was pregnant and then having my third C-section because afterwards my hormones were crazy. I had never had that. Such a terrible postpartum. And if any of you follow me on Instagram, I wrote a post for weeks postpartum and I just broke down.
[00:18:09] It was really hard for me. I had postpartum hives. I had hormonal issues. Everything. Just hurt. And I’m still in December going to physical therapy, going to a pelvic floor PT because having three babies in five years with three C-sections and not really prioritizing my health, didn’t do good things for my body.
[00:18:31] And so I’ve been really focused on. What I’m putting into my body, how I’m treating my body from everything, from learning more about clean beauty products, to what foods am I eating? My gut health, , all of these different things like. What my different, like muscles and nerves and everything in my body, how it’s all working together.
[00:18:51] And, you know, when I feel neck pain, what does that mean? To even the fact that I’m wearing a mouth guard now, because I grind my teeth, which was leading to apparently headaches, which I had no idea everything was connected for me, I really wanted to prioritize biohacking myself and figuring that out.
[00:19:09] This was something that I was passionate about years and years ago before kids, , IB and I even talked about it when I had my blog cupcakes to CrossFit when I focused on health and wellness, but I really like re-energize that side of me. And so I think for the collective out there, a lesson coming from 2020 is just really like, we got to start thinking about our physical and mental health.
[00:19:32] And I know mental health is going to be a really big issue moving forward, because this year was so hard on a lot of us, the isolation or dealing with illness or dealing with. You know, having a baby in quarantine or whatever that might be, we really need to start making sure we’re okay. Because again, if we’re not a hundred percent, okay, we can’t help others.
[00:19:55] The other thing that I invested a lot in was spirituality. And so I’m not a real religious person, but I am a believer in this bigger divine out there. And that there’s like a bigger something bigger than just. What’s here. And so I really started diving deeper into the woo side astrology. And for those of you who may not know a little fun fact, my grandma was a Buddhist priestess and the house we currently live in used to have a Buddhist temple in it.
[00:20:25] I started to rediscover some of those things and do a little bit more reading and listening to podcasts and kind of researching more and really tapping into that spiritual, divine self. And I think I just like enjoyed learning, but also connecting to something bigger out there. And again, I’m such a big, big believer that the universe is out there to guide us, whether that be your God, whether that be whatever you believe in that there is something bigger than us and that we also need to trust in the universe.
[00:20:59]lesson number four is that we need to dedicate time, like specific time. So this goes along with boundaries and prioritizing, but dedicating time to focus on your family. And to focus on your relationships.
[00:21:15] So I took this time at home to really cherish those newborn moments. I think with my first two kids, like I kept thinking that I was cherishing those moments, but I realized my first kid, I went back to work when he was three months. My second one, I spent six months at home, but I wasn’t a hundred percent present. I was still working on my business. I, you know, was traveling. I really took this time because I know my third is my last and just to cherish every single moment and be there with not only her, but with my older two kids who may not have had quality mommy time.
[00:21:46] And so I really focused on. On dedicating time to that. Even though like distance learning was a pain, I also know that , once this is all over, he’s going to be in school for like the rest of us, you know, the next 18 years or whatnot. It’s a time that I won’t get back and wow, I’m getting all emotional, but it was kind of fun to see, to be part of that with him and seeing with my two year old, like she’s going to go to preschool in a couple of months and she’s then going to be in school. And I won’t get that time. So being able to have that, like I made my mommy and me ballet class with my daughter, like a non-negotiable time
[00:22:22] also the bond with my husband got stronger because we had way more time to talk and connect and really take time. Even if we were sitting side by side, scrolling our phones to just be together, because I felt like we were just in the hustle and bustle of things, you know, having to young kids. And he was commuting to work. We were always like two ships passing. It was like, we only talked when we were trying to coordinate calendars and we barely got a chance to really dive deep into like the things we wanted out of life for like, w are we on the same page about things? And I think this year really gave us that opportunity to focus on our relationship.
[00:23:00]Moving forward. This is something that I don’t want to give up. I really want to keep this allocated time with my husband. Keep this allocated time with each of my kids. I mean, I learned about this, , 20 minute cure in preschool parenting class and, While I tried doing it, it was never consistent and so this gave me a reason to try this and to build these tiny habits so now doing these are so much easier for me to be able to be present.
[00:23:25]The last lesson is I really learned how to narrow in my focus even more. And what I mean by that is I learned how to really stay in my lane and go deep in one thing and eliminate all that shiny object syndrome.
[00:23:43] So whether it was learning to say no to more things, to setting boundaries, which also goes back to, focusing and listening and being really attuned with my physical, mental self. But along the flip side, I also learned how to stay curious. And so lesson number five is really learning how to stay focused and going deep, but staying curious, and it sounds a little bit backwards and you’re probably like, how can you stay curious without getting shiny objects syndrome?
[00:24:12] But what that really means is keep your eyes open and attuned to what’s going on, but don’t. Get sidetracked, like read the signs as you’re on the freeway, going down, like read the signs. What are the exit signs saying? So you don’t have complete blinders on, and you’re not missing your own exit you need to take, but like staying attuned to what’s going on around you, but knowing what you need to focus on.
[00:24:40] For example, for me, I knew that my focus was going to be on content creation and. Content creation involved, podcasting speaking engagements, just anything that revolved around building my platform and focusing on delivering content.
[00:25:00] And so I took a break from working one-on-one with clients. I decided not to relaunch my mastermind. I said no to pretty much everything, except for things that were in line with this podcast and really building a platform.
[00:25:17] so anything that I did that took up time had to deal with this, but I also stayed curious. I was trying to. Not necessarily learn new skills, but just learn new things that were fascinating to me. So, like I was saying, like, I was staying curious about learning more about health and wellness, because I knew if I learned stuff about that, it could help my physical and mental health.
[00:25:38] I was staying curious about spirituality and reading and learning and listening more, but I wasn’t trying to take every single online course out there because I knew that would be distracting.
[00:25:52] Those are the top five lessons. So re-going through that, if you got lost lesson number one was it’s okay to let go of good things.
[00:26:02] Lesson number two, it’s super important to set solid boundaries in all aspects of your life. From business to personal, to relationships.
[00:26:12] Lesson number three. You need to prioritize wellness, both physical and mental health and everything that encompasses wellness.
[00:26:21] Because again, if you’re not a hundred percent, you, you can’t help serve others at all.
[00:26:27] Lesson number four, dedicating time to focus on your family, your relationships and your partner.
[00:26:35] Lesson number five, stay hyper-focused say no. Go deep. But stay curious.
[00:26:44] Since this episode went a lot longer than I thought it would. I think I’m going to do a quick new year’s podcast episode. Revealing what my 2021 word of the year is why I chose this theme and what’s to come on the mommy’s on a call podcast next year. So tune in, I hope you gain some insight from today.
[00:27:01] I would love to hear what lessons you learned from 2020, because I mean, I probably could have listened. About a thousand lessons I learned, but I thought these were the top lessons that I could take from this year and apply to next year also. So enjoy happy new year. Thank you so much for being on this journey with me.
[00:27:21] I love and cherish every single one of you. I know your lives are busy. So if you’re listening to this, , taking a shower, walking, doing the dishes, running around, whatever it might be. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I cherish all of you. Have a wonderful new year’s and I will see you in 2021.