The beginning of a new year symbolizes a fresh start, a clean slate. That feeling of “starting over” can be incredibly inspiring. It really is the perfect time to sit down with a fresh piece of paper and a good pen and write out all those goals for yourself that have been weighing heavy on your mind…or in this case, a computer screen and much typing. But before we do that, I sometimes like to look back at what happened during the year because with life being life, it goes by in the blink of an eye.
I’ll be honest with you, 2018 was my biggest year of failure to date, and consequently, my biggest year of success and gratitude. There were lots of tears, both happy and sad. Failure shouldn’t stop us, my friends. Failure should invigorate us. It should propel us forward and provide a new and enlightened perspective. Failure is a beautiful thing that should be looked at as an opportunity learn and grow and then try again (with even more enthusiasm) until we succeed! Only through massive attempts and the occasional failure can we find the ways that DON’T work so we can try again with the ways that DO!
12 Lessons Failure Taught Me
1. Know When to Cut Your Losses and CHOOSE Failure: Yes, you read that right. This year I chose failure at at least one point. It was the hardest decision of my year, but I’ve learned that by holding on to something that just isn’t meant to be that will continue pulling my time, effort, and money with little return in the end just isn’t worth pursuing any longer.
This was the case with Fresh by TRANSFORM. Did it suck to throw in the towel? Yeah. We poured our hearts and souls, as well as MOST of our time into this venture, only to realize months (and a lot of our partner’s money) in, that running a food company was NOT what we were cut out for. Sadly, a good handful of our following was negatively impacted and/or inconvenienced by our inability to run the company like we had hoped to. It was a foreign world to us, one that we struggled to figure out. About 7 months after launch, we all cut our losses, closed our doors, and refocused our efforts. To let go of a dream is painful. But in the end, we knew our time and effort was better spent on what WAS changing lives…The TRANSFORM App + the new Chris + Heidi Supplement line!
2. FEAR Has No Place in My World. We just talked about this a little, so I had to make it number one. It can be scary to try new things, and that little voice in your head will tell you you can’t do what you want to do, and it will give you some pretty legit reasons why you’re gonna’ fail. But remember two things: 1. FAILURE IS GOOD! Because this is when we learn the most and are put in a position to appreciate success. And 2. Let’s not forget what “FEAR” actually is = False Evidence Appearing Real! Those things that little voice tells you? 99% of the time they won’t happen, and even if they do…so what?? Maybe your ego might take a slight hit, but you’re not going to die. And sometimes an ego hit is good for us, it’s like chicken soup for our souls! The bottom line is that you can’t win if you don’t play. PERIOD. So why hold yourself back from becoming the person you want to be because of fear?
3. The Comparison Game will Eat You Alive. This game leads to only one thing: MISERY. Yes, it’s the fastest way to get there. Avoiding this game can be as tough as avoiding a cold during cold season! It’s right there in your face, and people keep “sneezing” on you with their social media posts! I get it. It’s a really delicate dance to continue on your path and socialize with others (whether in your personal or business life) without falling victim to this.
I’ve learned that hard way (and I’m STILL learning) that the more I focus on what others are doing, I the more I lose sight of what’s most important, and I have to remind myself to let go of the comparison game because we each bring something unique to the table.
4. Change the Lens in which you View Social Media Through. When you’re on top of the world and winning at life, social media is a breeze. It’s a walk in the park on a sunny day where everyone is waving and high five-ing you, inflating your ego by congratulating you and telling you how great you are.
But it’s a different story when you’re failing. When times are tough, your marriage is rough, your kids are misbehaving, and/or your dealing with the debris of a failed business, social media can be a beast. Not only do you find out who your true friends are, but you’re also left to feel poorly about yourself when you’re faced with the highlight reel of everyone around you. Yes, this one also plays into the comparison game, but it’s also important enough to be its own tip.
Guys, social media should bring you closer to your goals and sense of self-love, not pull you farther away. If this is NOT the case, it’s time to change some things. If any account makes you feel negative or like you are not good enough, do yourself a favor and UNFOLLOW it. This is NOT mean, but in fact, it’s a beautiful way to begin caring for yourself and rebuilding the confidence the tough times can chip away at. Who knows, maybe one day you will begin to follow those accounts again when you feel stronger, but not yet.
I always remember my dad preaching to me, ”Heidi, you are who you hang out with,” and that goes for online too. Follow accounts and people that lift you up, educate you, challenge you, and inspire you to be your best self!
5. Have Laser-like Focus and Reach One Goal at a Time. It’s SO hard to focus on one thing when you see SO many possibilities and endless opportunities! I know this first hand! It’s incredibly tempting to work on a million goals at once when you feel passionate about changing your life and the lives of others, but let’s look at some cold, hard facts: Your chance of completing one goal when attempted solo is 80%. Now that’s a percentage I love! But when you add another goal (or more), your chances for nailing any goal drop to 30% or even lower. Not great odds there. So stick to one goal at a time.
I love this analogy shared by Rachel Hollis (author of Girl, Wash Your Face): When you throw a bunch of pebbles into a lake, you get some ripples. But when you drop a boulder into a lake, you get some major action. In 2018, I learned the power of a single boulder by way of throwing a TON of pebbles that only made ripples. In 2019, my goal is to go for a boulder. Time to really make a difference…are you with me?!
6. Being Unapologetically YOU Is the Only Way to Be. Yes, I wrote a blog (or two) about this, so I won’t beat a dead horse here, but you do you, Boo! And don’t apologize for it EVEN if/when others express dislike for it. I’ve learned in business to get all the advice I can from others, but at the end of the day, I will follow my gut even if it means someone disagrees. It’s really hard not to people please. But remember the most important person to please in this world is YOU. And if you spend your life being what you think “they” want, you’ll never find happiness. And you’ll probably also drive all of your businesses into the ground! Trust me…I’ve been there. 😉 This is YOUR life and YOUR journey, no one else’s. Have realistic expectations that you WILL upset a person or two (I mean, can I ever post on social media WITHOUT offending someone for crying out loud??), but always remember these wise words: “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Bernard Baruch
7. Be Realistic with Your Goals. I can’t tell you how many times this has bit me (and Chris!) in the butt. We oftentimes either like to think we can do more than we actually can, OR we know very well we can’t do what others are asking, but we’re too scared to say no. So what do we do? We bite off more than we can chew.
Which is funny, because we OWN our own businesses, yet we are STILL scared to be realistic with what our true bandwidth is! Like we are scared of letting our employees or co-workers down! Chris and I have learned the hard way though, that if you AREN’T realistic with your goals and straight with your communication on this to those you work with (or live with), more let down will happen when the goals you commit to aren’t met.
8. A Goal Kept in Your Head Usually Stays There. We talk about this often in transformation, but I learned the power of it this year. When we are too scared to declare out loud what we want, chances are very slim we will ever get close to actually achieving that goal. Why? Because without others knowing what it is we are striving for, they simply cannot support us in our efforts! AND WE NEED SUPPORT!
My quest to winning an IFBB Pro physique competition never came to fruition until I swallowed my pride and let the people in my life know I actually wanted it. Chris suddenly began setting aside time for me to work out, my coach put a proper plan in action, and I felt the pressure I needed to put forth the effort and finally achieve my goal. But until I declared it, I only experienced failure after failure after failure.
Did you know that by simply writing down your goal, you’re 42% more likely to achieve it? A goal not written down is just a dream, and we’re moving past dreaming to DOING this year! Get a cute notebook that makes your heart flutter and fill it with your goals, the steps you’re going to take this year to nail those goals, and any thoughts, feelings, and trouble spots you hit along the way. And posting your goals on post-it notes, as your screensaver, and wherever you’ll see them most can be super helpful too!
9. Live as If…Unless We’re Talking About Money! In that case, don’t count your chickens before they hatch! Other than financially, live as if you are already accomplishing your dream and running a successful company (or whatever your goal is). I’ve found that my fear to take risks will creep in if I continue to see myself as “small” and/or “not as successful as others.” When this happens, I tend to run on conservation and desperation mode, usually not making the decisions that are best for myself or the people in my life.
With ANY goal you have, picture yourself as having nailed that goal already. Don’t say “I want to” or “I will.” Go for “I did!” Why pictures? Your subconscious (the take action part of your brain) works in images, so give it the best image to work on—you completing your goal—so it can go to work behind the scenes to help you achieve that goal starting TODAY!
10. You Can Only Control Yourself. This sucks sometimes, because gosh darn, some people do things you DO NOT agree with. I get it, and to be honest, I STILL really struggle to embrace this lesson completely. But I understand that I have no choice BUT to live by this principal and make the most of it. In the end, Karma is either a bitch or your best friend. Also, I have to remember that any energy spent trying to control things or people we cannot control is completely wasted.
11. Gratitude Is the Antidote to Despair. Finding something to be grateful for in every situation has truly changed my life. In 2018, I even forgave myself for some things and decided the ONLY way to move past them was to find the silver linings. By putting my focus on what I HAVE versus what I HAVE NOT, I am not plagued by my failures the way I would have been in the past. This is EVERYTHING, and it will help you realize you already HAVE everything. This is the key to freedom from so many chains that bind us down in life.
Case in point? I couldn’t be more grateful for the tough lessons I had to learn in 2018 by way of massive failures. As a result, I am as strong as I am and prepared for the battles ahead.
12. In the End, Only One Thing Matters…and It Ain’t Money or Winning. Family is everything to me, and I didn’t realize it fully until a rough patch challenged this.
For them, I will do anything, give up anything, and be anything. They are my world. Without their love and connection, nothing else matters. With them, anything is possible. Enough said.
As I write this, I remember a quote we have framed on our wall in our office:
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
6 Secrets to Success: How to Reach Your Goals This Year
5 Steps to a Powerful, No Fail, New Year…and Beyond
The Procrastinator’s Guide to Transforming Your Time Management Skills
Reignite Your Fire to Achieve Your Goals!