With a blink… it’s March

181b03584b88e11c0aa9485bb4fad232I’m a planner. A big one. In the beginning of January, I would have told you I knew how 2014 was going to play out. I’d be back to training, running — racing! I’d be engaged with my work and the value I was adding to the community. I would have opportunities to travel and perhaps make that trip to Ireland happen this summer. I’d be in in the usual whirlwind of dating. I’d be keen, excited — and trying to make it.

It’s funny how much can change in the blink of an eye.

It’s been a wild 6 weeks. It feels like my entire life was thrown in the air, jumbled up like a big load of laundry and landed square in front of me — with a “figure it out.”

Everything and nothing has changed.

I’ve had moments of absolute bliss, as high as you can possibly be on cloud nine and the happiest I’ve been in ages. I’ve also had the worst anxiety of my life, been completely overwhelmed and ended the day in tears.

One thing I know for sure is that during periods of change, growth is inevitable. You can either resist change — or you can accept it. The key is to focus on what you can control {like your thoughts and actions} and figure out how to process the rest. I fully acknowledge that life continually teaches us lessons and at some point, we’ll reflect back on life and see how the pieces fit into the puzzle.

I don’t know what I’ve ‘achieved’ over the last month, but I do know that I’ve been blessed to learn a ton. I’ve been at my most vulnerable, unsure if I would be accepted. I’ve dug deep inside me to find strength. I’ve leaned in and asked for help. I’ve put full trust in others. I’ve spent days doing absolutely nothing and totally over the moon about it. I’ve made commitments to myself surrounding boundaries, balance and taking care of me. I’ve been my best self. I’ve been my worst self. I’ve rocked out some days, I’ve totally screwed up other days — but slowly, but surely, I’ve made progress.

10 things I’ve learned {and re-learned} in 6 weeks:

  1. The past does not equal the future. Reflect on the past, stay focused on the present and work towards the future.
  2. Setting boundaries is a way of caring for yourself. Pay attention to the people and places that energize and drain you.
  3. Nourish your spirit by taking care of your soul. Get some fresh air, slow down, sleep.
  4. Never underestimate the power of a hug. They can turn a bad day into a good day — and a good day into a great day.
  5. Laughter is an instant vacation. Laugh until your belly hurts. And then do it again. And again.
  6. Sleep solves everything. Fact.
  7. Say thank you. Show appreciation for anyone and everyone who brightens your day.
  8. Let go of who you think you should be — and just be who you are.
  9. You don’t have to have everything figured out all at once.
  10. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe deep. Repeat.

Life is by no means bad, it’s just different. And I think I like… different.

Embracing the unknown and headed into March filled with light and love.

“Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.” – Arthur Rubinstein

Dreaming Big – Part 1: Vision Boards

A few nights ago I started thinking about goals. It was random and motivating and ended up turning  into one long, very nerdtastic, project.

In 2010, I created my first vision board! I closed out 2009 with some very big goals for the upcoming year. I was entering into my final year of university and I had a number of intentions: get my degree, complete my designation, keep on track for 5 years of well-rounded HR experience and begin creating my personal brand. 2010 was the year I got involved in social media {really learned and understood why Twitter is rad!}. It was also probably my most successful year of my career.  I figured out what I was good at. I interviewed with executives across the country. I had job offer after job offer. I was recognized for my contributions to the community and my industry. I had opportunity after opportunity presented to me. And, I was happy. Pretty sure I was sleeping 8 hours a night back then too. ;)

I account a lot of my successes that year to dreaming big and staying focused. I had a personal board of directors who kept me in check, a mentor to push me into the uncomfortable and goals that aligned with my personal and professional growth. The year was by no means perfect — Exhibit A, Exhibit B — but did I learn a hell of a lot and did it contribute to who I am today? You bet.

I have no idea where I first learned about vision boards, maybe elementary school. :) I am a visual learner and liked the idea because I thought it would help my dreams come to life. In 2010, I wrote all my goals and then transformed it into a visual. Pretty straightforward.

This year, I approached things a little bit different. 

I’m 100% not ready to write my goals for 2014. I’m still focused on getting through this year and doing a lot of reflection on what worked and didn’t work. I’m very committed to reflection, learning from the past and moving forward with intentions. I feel like I gotta get to the end of the year, get on a plane to the UK, sleep a bit,  figure out what I’ve learned  this year and then write about it. Writing has always helped me move forward. 

I decided I would create a vision board based on my gut. What’s important to me right now, in this very instant? What am I not focusing on, that I really should be focusing on? Who do I want to be? What do I want to achieve in 2014?

A couple of hours later, I ended up with this:

Capture

Whoa, eh.

You know when something — just works? I put the finishing touches on my vision board and knew I’d hit the mark. It gave me clarity, inspiration and showed me what I’m working towards: strength, vulnerability, stillness, gratitude and embracing me for me. 

Next up, I plan to write my goals {and make them public!}, find a mentor and re-jig my personal board of directors. All good problems to have.

Interested in making your own vision board? Sweet!

A little advice from me to you:

  1. Brainstorm, dream and dig deep. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What gets you jazzed up and talking with your hands? What could you talk about with a stranger till the sun comes up? What is eating away at your brain and something you know you need to focus on?
  2. Do a sanity check with yourself. Did your “dreaming” land you on a tropical island with your mega babe husband, with wads of cash tucked into your bikini, a bling of a ring on your finger and a butler waiting for you with your glass of champagne? Similar to writing goals, you’re not going to want to create a “yeah-freaking-right-this-is-unachieveable-in-one-year board.” ;) Think about what REALLY matters to you — to your core. Start there. Be honest with yourself about what you want. There is no right or wrong. Just remember that you’re human.
  3. Find pictures — whether it be words or images. Pinterest and Google are both great starting places. Drop in keywords {could be related to your career, relationships, health or any items on your bucket list} and scroll through images. This process in itself will get you thinking even more outside the box about what you’re looking for.  When you find images you like, save them all to your desktop.
  4. Send Oprah some gratitude. In my opinion, Oprah has got the best tool on the internet for creating a vision board. Check it out and if it works for you, use it! I always loved Oprah’s web application because it allowed you to export it as .jpg, send to your mentors, save it in your Dropbox, etc.  You can also do an old-school vision board with magazines, scissors, glue, etc! 
  5. Get clear on what you want. When you start uploading pictures to your board, you’ll realize that you don’t love some or they weren’t what you originally intended. My best advice? Go with the flow. Find your focus. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your vision board will be a work in progress and it’ll take a bit for you to be like — whoa, that’s it. 
  6. Keep it top of mind. Make your desktop background your vision board. How’s that for staying present on your goals? Alternatively, you could print it out and pin it up at work or on the fridge at home.
  7. Share it. I’m a big believer in sharing goals. Personally, it keeps me in check with myself and holds me accountable. Whether you want to blog about it, share it with your sister, brother or best friend, or send your mentor a note with your game plan… I’d encourage you to get comfortable with involving others in your journey.
  8. Take action. What’s stopping you? Like Amber Rae says — nothing. Get moving. Hustle. Figure out what you want and GET AFTER IT.
  9. Go with the flow. You may achieve a few things on your vision board — or you may achieve all of it. You will grow over the course of the coming year and your intentions may change. Be flexible and adapt as you evolve.

Dreaming big in 2014? Excited to head down this little journey? Keen on making a vision board or stoked on setting goals? Let me know what you’re working towards, I’d love to be a part of your journey.

PS – I turn 30 in 6 months. Like exactly, 6 months today. Eep. If anyone knows how to process that, please let me know. xo

Three Years Ago

Three years ago… I flew from Calgary to Vancouver for my first speaking gig.

Three years ago… a young woman approached me post-session wanting to chat about her brand.

Three years ago… I met Stephanie Wiriahardja.

Two years ago… she wrote this post.

Tomorrow… we take the stage.

Together as a duo, sharing our story.

Thank you to YWiB Simon Fraser for the opportunity. Catch the highlights on Twitter via #YWiBYou.

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Stephanie and me at TEDxKidsBC 2013

15 Q’s: Lunch with the Ladies

LWTL: If you could trade shoes with someone for a day who would it be and why?

JW: Hands down it would be Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor & National Advocate at the United Nations Foundation. She used to work side by side with Kofi Annan, she’s an incredible public speaker and she’s a mover & shaker committed to solving global issues. I had the privilege of hearing Gillian speak at a UN Summit in 2012 and I would bend over backwards to peer inside her world.

Read More: Lunch with the Ladies’s Blog

#33Coffees

RSVP 33: What advice would you like to share?

Jillian said an important thing she learned was to outsource the work she didn’t want to do. Learning that her time is valuable and choosing where she spent it was a huge lesson for her when she worked as a consultant. Even if you’re capable of doing the work, if you hate it and it takes you four hours and a lot of mental anguish to complete a two hour task, it’s worth it to hire it out. And in life, if you hate cleaning, hire a cleaner.

Read More: RSVP33’s Blog