At the beginning of 2017, I decided this year would be the year of me. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution but rather a challenge I had been thinking about for a while. That certainly explains why I stuck to it unlike all New Year’s resolutions ever made in my life. The year of me meant changing my priorities so I could focus on what I was good at, what I enjoyed doing the most and the skills I needed to learn. In 2016 I had worked on myself to identify all of that, so in 2017 I wanted to see concrete actions.The challenge was to do at least one thing for my personal development every month. It doesn’t seem much, but it was more than what I had ever done in the past. And it worked. In the last 8 months, I have managed to stay motivated and I have even done more than I was expecting (this blog, for instance).
What I did each month
- January: I did extensive research on coaching accreditation and courses as well as university degrees in psychology, and defined which one I wanted to do.
- February: I completed a course on Psychology at Work on Coursera. This was the first time I was doing a massive open online course (MOOC).
- March: I started meditating 10 minutes every day using the Headspace app.
- April: I saw the first massive benefit of meditation after doing a track on patience in April. I found a mantra to control my impatience and let go of what I cannot control in a few deep breaths. I also increased my practice to 20 minutes a day.
- May: I attended a leadership retreat and saw a talk from Drew Dudley that made me focus on my values and what they meant for me.
- June: I attended the first training session on coaching. Not only did I learn amazing things but I was also coached almost every day on real topics. Let’s say it made me even more self-aware and passionate about it.
- July: I read The Complete Handbook of Coaching and Clean Language : Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds. I also bought (a lot of) books on developmental coaching, leadership coaching, positive psychology, powerful questioning and mentoring.
- August: I have done quite a few things so far this month. I started a log of my own observations as a coach on what I do well and what I can do better during sessions. This helps me to improve my practice faster. I subscribed to Harvard Business Review. The 6 free articles per month hadn’t been enough for a while, so I kept saving for later the ones I couldn’t read. I ended up with over 100 articles to read, so it was time. I finished The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson, which was very good. Oh, and I also started this blog.
- September: I traveled to Bath, UK, to complete the second training on coaching.
- October: I downloaded the app “HabitBull” to start new habits, and it’s working very well: I’m tracking 3 daily habits of meditation, yoga, and avoiding sugar. I also wrote a series of blog posts on coaching on the blog, which was an amazing way for me to go back to my notes, research the field of coaching even more, and share what I love the most. I learned a lot more in the process.
- November: so many things! I’m doing an open book exam of 25 questions and 3 case studies in order to pass my coaching course. I also had a few mentoring hours in my coaching practice. Last but not least, I bought my first MOOC on Udemy to become a Mindfulness Practitioner. I have started the course but this is not my priority for now as I need to finish the exam first. I continue spending 30 minutes to an hour every day to take care of myself through meditation and yoga, and I’m actually starting to need that.
- December: I continued doing daily yoga and meditation, and I got my Mindfulness Practitioner certification.