Resolutions. They’ve never worked for me – or anyone else I know, really.  But about 5 years ago I invented a cool thing I’ve been doing ever since – instead of making a resolution, I “name” my year, or give it a motto.

I’m always a little shocked at how effective this is.

The first year I did this, I was coming out of a divorce and was feeling better than I had in a long time.  In my marriage, I was the wife of a high-profile business owner and expected do dress, act, laugh and behave a certain way and it made me feel like I was dying inside.  So, that first year my motto was “Fun Matters”.

That was a pretty fun year. So fun, in fact, that my motto for the following year was “Fun Doesn’t Matter As Much As I Thought It Did”. (I’ve since changed my mind on that – I think fun matters in a BIG way!).

2015 I named “The Year Of The Glute” – I guess I felt like my backside was needing a little work!  I spent that year in the gym doing a lot of hip thrusts, lunges, kickbacks, squats….. and by the end of the year was much happier with my rear view.

2016, though, has been my favorite year.

I named 2016 – “Fearless”.

I wanted to do things that scared me; things that challenged me; things I wasn’t sure I could do.

So I did.  And in 2016 I did the following:

  • Started Boot Camp Challenge.  I got a recruiting call from the BCC folks in December of ’15 wanting me to start a camp here in Cape.  I had never heard of them before and it seemed a little too good to be true, but I did it anyway.  Best damn thing I ever did.  It went from 6 campers the first launch to 30+ each launch.  I am making forever friends and helping lots of people along the way – thank you BCC.
  • Did my first Mud Run.  I almost backed out at the last minute.  I was scared and lacked confidence.  But I did it anyway.  When it was over, I felt like I had conquered the world.  It was one of the best days ever.  In fact, I’m going back next year – with a bunch of you!  (To join my team “A Hot Mess”, go to The Battlegrounds 2017 – A Hot Mess – choose the cadet course – because I still think running kind of sucks!)
  • Did a bikini competition.  Now let me tell you, this was hard.  I decided to do it mainly because I was afraid to do it. I trained like a crazy beast six days/week, ate 6-7 times a day and took hundreds of dollars (or more) worth of supplements.  I cried during plyo. At the end, I went to the gym at 4:00 a.m. and did cardio and went BACK later for another 2-3 hour workout.  I wasn’t a pleasant person to be around that week and many times thought about quitting.   But I didn’t quit, I did it anyway, and ended up placing first in my age category and third in my height category.  I was and am extremely proud of myself for that accomplishment.
  • Took TCrowson Fitness online.  By this, I mean I made a decision to move away from doing personal training in-person and toward training people remotely online. This was scary because it meant I was almost completely self-employed, and I have two teen aged boys to support.  What if it didn’t work? What if I got lost in a sea of trainers who are better and smarter than I am? I had no idea how promote myself but I spent countless hours learning about Facebook marketing, bought an app that would allow my to interact with my clients, had a logo made, and read – a lot.  And I did it.
  • Created and launched my first online training program. I had been thinking about it for months – reading, listening to podcasts, lurking on personal training Facebook groups that I’m a member of.  And then I heard a podcast one day about people who spend months or years hoarding information but never take the first action step – and that was me.  So one day, I came up with a name, made a Google form and a Facebook ad and clicked “post”.  I was absolutely terrified – I had no documents, no guides, nothing but an idea – but I did it anyway.  I made my documents along the way. I worked hard, sometimes into the middle of the night when I had to get up 3 hours later.  I made errors and mistakes.  And after the first six-weeks round was over, I did another one.  And another.  Each time it gets smoother and easier.  I have to continuously fight the urge to believe that it’s not good enough, that I have to keep re-inventing it over and over. But then I have a conversation with someone and they tell me it was the best thing they ever did – and that’s a great feeling!
  • Took a role in a movie.   This was scary because I’ve never done screen acting before – only stage – and there are a couple big-ish names in the film, but I said yes anyway.  It’s not done yet, but it will be on Netflicks and Kindle Fire and maybe even in local theaters!
  • Started a meal prep service. I wanted to help my local clients succeed with their nutrition goals and I like to cook. I was afraid, not knowing how I was going to fit it in to my schedule, or how I was going to pull this off in my tiny kitchen.  But I did it anyway.  I picked 3 dishes that I thought I did well, calcuated the calories and macros, bought some containers, made an online store so people could order and sent out an email. Now I’m making about 60-80 meals every weekend.  I’m home with my boys more and loving it. My kitchen is still tiny, but I’m learning a lot about organization and time management.
  • Started “Eating Healthy in Cape Girardeau”. I did a similar thing in another state right out of college, working for a hospital-based wellness center.  They paid for my meal, and I wrote the articles which were published in the local newspaper.  I am always getting questions from my clients about what they should order at this restaurant or that one, so I thought, “What’s stopping me from doing the same thing, here, on my own?” The answer was: nothing except fear of failure.  But, “Fearless” was my mantra, so I did it. I published the articles on Facebook and they were well-received.  Then I got a message from (a local business that promotes other local business) asking if I’d be interested in teaming up with them.  Of course, I said yes, and my first article in their newsletter ran last week!  (You can see it HERE)
  • Got onstage and played/sang three songs at open mic night.  This might have been the scariest of all.  There few things more panic-inducing than getting up on a stage by yourself, much less being on said stage doing something you’re afraid you don’t do very well with everyone staring at you. But I had a friend who had become a regular open-micer and she talked me into it.  I spent two weeks practicing 3 songs. I had to borrow a guitar because mine had been damaged and the pick-up didn’t work (plus it kind sounds kind of crappy). My palms were sweating and I was totally second-guessing my decision when they called my name, but I did it anyway.  And it wasn’t half bad, if I do say so myself.

Looking back at this list, I am nearly moved to tears by pride and gratitude.  What if I had been too afraid to do any of those? I would have missed out on a lot! None of them were near as scary as my brain tried to tell me they would be (except maybe the open-mic night) but ALL of them were things that enriched my life and grew me as a person, some even creating revenue.

“Fearless” was my favorite year so far, hands down.

What will my motto for 2017 be?

That’s easy: “First Things First”.

I am hopelessly disorganized and lack discipline when it comes to planning, which prevents me from being as effective in business AND in my personal life.  I am constantly surrounded by 93 sticky notes and always looking for something.  It’s frustrating.  If I could learn to lay out some systems and get in the habit of putting things in their places right away, rather then telling myself I’ll do it later, my life would be SO MUCH EASIER.

“First Things First” will not be as exciting as “Fearless”, but I have a feeling it may prove to be just as cool.  If nothing else, maybe I’ll know where I put my glasses.

What is YOUR motto for 2017??

Leave a comment and tell the world!

Happy New Year!