In this solo episode, Lisa looks back at 2016 – how deciding to be guided by the feelings that are important to her (joy, feeling grounded) helped make this a better year.
Connect with Lisa at http://smallstepsliving.com/
Prefer to read? Here’s the transcript:
Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I decided to record this episode, a year in review, even although I clearly haven’t been podcasting for a year, and it’s also, kind of, the week before the end of the year. But, I don’t want to do any work next week, so I’m recording this episode for you! And the reason that I thought about recording this, and the intention, I guess, for this podcast, is to think about the year in terms of how we felt. A friend contacted me yesterday, and she said, ‘Hey Lisa, you’ve been in my thoughts. How are you?’ We hadn’t spoken for a while, and on Facebook Messenger, I just rattled off a whole heap of stuff that had happened throughout the year, you know? The things that happened. And, you know, ‘How are you?’ And today, I was thinking about that, and I realised that’s not what the year is about, at all. When I look back on 2016, what is it that I’m going to remember?
And there are a few things I want to share with you, a few big things that happened this year, outside of, you know, the to do list, that have really shaped me, and that I’ll be thinking about when I look back on this year. I wanted to start by explaining that twelve months ago, or a little bit less than that, in January of this year, I ran a little webinar for my members. I always had a membership for my Small Steps to Wholefoods graduates, which is my eight-week program, and that is actually now available for anyone to join, but only until Friday 16 December. So, you better jump in, if you’re listening to this and you’ve still got time! And I ran a webinar with them, and it was inspired by Danielle LaPorte’s desire mapping, and a lot of the stuff that she talks about. And she talks about core desired feelings. If you haven’t discovered Danielle, go and check her out, and she’s actually coming to Australia next year, which is super-exciting. Anyway, Danielle talks about making decisions based on feelings.
So, for 2016, I lead my members, and myself, through a process of working out, ‘How do we want to feel this year? What are the feelings that I would like to have?’ And after a really, really crazy 2015, like, I can’t even put into words how crazy that year was, there were four words that came to my mind, that have helped me make decisions throughout 2017, and I’ll share them with you now. The first word was ‘ease.’ I wanted this year to feel easier than it did last year. Everything felt hard. You know, three really little kids, starting a business that exploded way before I was ready, not having any systems in place, not having any support in place. Wanting to do a 150% job for the people who had paid to be a part of my programs, you know? I was overwhelmed a lot of the time. I was riding that year on adrenaline, for sure. I was loving every moment, but it wasn’t a healthy way to be. And a lot of the time, the words coming out of my mouth were, ‘Oh my gosh, this is just so hard.’ So I thought, ‘I’m going to invite ease in, in 2016.’
Then, I chose ‘grounded,’ because I felt like 2015 I’d been a lot up in my head, like, in this crazy whirlwind, and I just wanted to get my feet back on the ground in 2016. I didn’t know how all these things were going to happen, I just wanted to name the feelings. Wanted to name the feelings. Then, I chose ‘joy,’ because I felt like, with that craziness, I’d kind of lost the amazing moments. I’d lost the ability to look at them, to notice them, to revel in them. You know, I think we spend so much time, as mothers, lamenting young kids and putting those barriers in place, for our children, to keep them safe, and give them an expectation of how things work in our house. And guiding them, and toileting them, and all those special things, that I kind of felt like I was missing the joy in every single day. Because it’s there.
So, ‘ease,’ ‘grounded,’ ‘joy,’ and the last word that I wanted to feel was ‘rockstar.’ I felt like, for five years, I had been pregnant or breastfeeding, and I had lost the ability to dress myself. My hair appointments would go way beyond everybody else’s. You know, getting my eyebrows done on a regular basis, and not being horrified every time I went back in. All of those things, I thought would help me feel more ‘rockstar’. I wanted to step back into Lisa, and once again, didn’t know how I was going to do it, but those four words, ‘ease,’ ‘grounded,’ ‘joy,’ ‘rockstar.’ They were the feelings I wanted to have in 2016. So I thought, in this podcast, I could explore a little bit about some of the things that happen, and how using those words. Instead of writing, ‘I want to lose 5k,’ ‘I want an extra A$20,000 in the bank,’ you know, whatever it is, I decided that my goals were to be guided by the feelings that were important to me. And, it worked.
So, a big part of the reason why I needed to reassess where things were at, and to bring ease, and joy, and groundedness back into my life were because, by the end of 2015, and a year of pretty much working every single night, because you can’t work when kids are around. So I was doing a lot of the work on my business at night time, and it meant I wasn’t really talking to Nick, my husband, and we weren’t in a great place. And in fact, we want to do a podcast about this. He’s certainly got some things to say, and so do I. I think, you know, we need to be honest about what’s happening in marriages at the moment. That’s a whole other story, all that you need to know for now is that we were not in a good place. And it was my absolute priority to bring my marriage back to a priority status, it dropped right off. And I think that’s something, also, that happens when, you know, we had three children in four years, and that’s intense. And there are a lot of other priorities, when that happens. My focus was on making, feeding, growing, nurturing, children.
And then I threw in this business, when my baby was about four months old, I think, things kicked off. And I sort of thought I was going to tinker away for a while, and just build something up, so when she was one, I might be able to justify not going back to work. But it exploded in my face! Which was a wonderful thing, but something that I wasn’t prepared for, and something I didn’t feel like I had control of. And our marriage suffered, as a result of that, and other things as well. So, I am so proud to say that in 2016, Nick and I, by the end of 2016 we’re in a much better place. We’ve prioritised each other, even if it doesn’t mean going out on date nights all the time. It’s been how we came back to each other, came back to conversation, came back with kindness. I felt I was triggered by him all the time. We didn’t know how to be around each other without, kind of, getting trigger happy. And we’re slowly working through all those things, and we have come out the other side so much stronger. So much clearer on what we want from life. Still unsure of how it’s all going to happen, but the love is back. And that is one thing that I will be so happy to celebrate at the end of this year. You know, choosing him, at midnight, on New Year’s Eve, if we make it up that late. And just saying how proud I am of both of us, and how much stronger we are, how much stronger our family is, as a result of us prioritising our marriage again.
I think my son starting school was a real moment of groundedness. I was mega-emotional about him starting school. I actually feel teary, almost, thinking about it now. What a massive transition for a parent, and a mother, who has been at home with her children. You know, I always had two days of family daycare for my kids, but predominantly, like, you know, that was what I did, and it was him and me, from the very start. You know, he’s the one who’s taught me how to be a mother, and I was sending him off into the big world. Oh my gosh, I am getting emotional, because now he’s just finished his first year of Prep, and I’m so crazy proud. I’ve seen him develop in such amazing ways, but on a personal level, for someone who’s not that into being told what to do, having to be at pick-up and drop-off of school every day drove me nuts. Absolutely nuts! Does anybody else feel frustrated by the pick-up and drop-off? You know, for me, it was a real groundedness. I had to work out how to be in a routine, and I don’t feel like I’d been in proper routine, apart from kids having an afternoon sleep, for a very, very long time. So that has been a really big change for me, and it has grounded me in a way that I hadn’t quite expected.
For someone who thinks that the world is an exciting place, and, you know, has big ideas of where to live, and moving here and there. We don’t live in a house that we own, we’re living in Brisbane because of a job that Nick has here, but I’ve been building a business that, you know, could really take us anywhere. We could do this from anywhere that has decent internet, which is not much of Australia, but anyway, that’s a whole other story. And I feel like, you know, with your child starting school, that there’s this, kind of, bit of a permanence about that. That I have a new respect for place, and home, and consistency. My son, who is six, has lived in one, two, three, four, five houses. And for the last two years, we’ve been in one particular house. So, I guess there is a sense of grounding in your children growing up, and establishing their own community, that I’ve found really interesting. A really interesting development for me, as a person who likes to move about.
So, another big change when it came to motherhood was that as I said before, from the time he was about seventeen months, he had two days of family daycare. And my daughter, my second child, was about fifteen months when she started, and then the youngest was probably about fourteen months when she started two days of family daycare. And I always felt really, really, congruent, really good, about having that two days, because I’ve always worked for myself, in different forms, since they’ve been born. And I needed that time, and I was always really cool with that. They went, and they played with other kids, and they were in someone else’s home who totally adored them. I’ve loved family daycare. And when I realised that my business was growing, and I loved it, really loved it, and that I could outsource certain things, but I couldn’t outsource the ‘me’ part of my business. And I realised that in this stage of growth, it needs a lot of me.
And I fought, and fought, and fought, and battled in my mind, about extra childcare. I kept on just waiting for Nick to maybe drop back work a little bit, and I wouldn’t have to think about it in terms of them not being at home. But in the middle of this year, I remembered that word, ‘ease.’ And I thought about how much more ease there would be in my life, if I incorporated an extra day of daycare into it. Obviously, I had one child at school for five days a week, and my daughter was at Kindy five days a fortnight, and I had childcare on Thursday and Friday. So I knew I always had Thursday and Friday, but it was school hours, Kindy is, it was, sort of, 9:00am ‘til 2:30pm. So I was trying to run this business, and do all that I wanted do, in, you know, eleven hours a week. And I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to maintain this, because even if I wanted to just stay at the same level, just keep doing what I was doing, which is #impossible for someone like me. It was still just not going to be possible to leave everything to a Thursday and Friday. I was working the nights.
I actually enjoy getting up early in the mornings to work, truth be told, and I’ve done a lot of that this year, instead of staying up late. Getting my hours before midnight has made a big difference to me, I’m proud of that in 2016. I was always a morning person, but you just tend to value those hours when you’ve got little kids. Anyway, shifted out of my routine a bit, but when it came to this extra day of care, it was sort of nothing I could do anyway, because my beautiful family daycarer, who I just adore, up here in Brisbane, didn’t have an extra day. And I would have needed it for the two girls, and it just, sort of, seemed a bit impossible. So I just, kind of, put it out of my mind, until, just by chance, a friend’s nanny was opening up a family daycare, literally around the corner from my house. Which meant a huge decision, and anyone who has ever felt a beautiful bond with a carer of their child knows how heart-breaking it is to make the decision to switch.
But, switch I did, because not only could I get the Thursday and Friday for my youngest, at this woman’s house. And I’ve also got to say, we travelled about 40 minutes, both, you know, in the morning and in the afternoon, to that other daycare. Which I didn’t mind doing, because as I said, I loved her, and the children did too. But this one was literally around the corner, and she’d cared for my girls, and the girls really liked her. You know, as a nanny, just on one or two occasions. And then, she could also get in my Kindy daughter, and the youngest one, on a Tuesday, which would be three days a week. And so with much heartache, and with much soul-searching about, for me, what it means to be a mother, and the balance that I’d always felt so cool with, but I knew needed to change. I made that choice, to go to three days, and I invited that ease into my life. And once again, Lisa’s emotional. I’m a crier, I’m so sorry, I’m a crier. But those decisions have been big for me, and it has made the world of difference to the way that I move through my day.
Knowing that I’ve got Tuesday to work, and then Thursday and Friday, has made a massive difference. It’s just seen my stress levels, my adrenaline, go down. My ability to be present, and do cool stuff with my girls, on those other two days, so much higher. And it just made me realise that motherhood is ever-evolving, and our decisions, and our ability to change things up when they might not be working for us any more, because we, as people, change, is totally cool. And my youngest, she still loves me, even although I made this decision. And they absolutely love going over there. So I just wanted to share that, because it’s been a big part of the ‘ease’. So now, instead of eleven hours a week, I’ve got about sixteen-and-a-half. No, seventeen-and-a-half, or something like that. Anyway, it was an exciting development for me, but do you know what it also made me realise is? We stretch time. So I was still very productive in nap times, and I’ve realised that when people tell me they don’t have time for things, I kind of don’t believe them, because we make a decision about how to spend our time.
We’ve all got the same amount of hours in our day, and we just choose what we prioritise. And it’s totally okay to prioritise Suits on Netflix, or the blog, or whatever it is that you use for downtime, or just vegging out. Do that. That is a priority, it actually should be a priority to include those things into our time as well. But when it comes to time as an excuse for not getting things done, I think that we just need to look at what most of our time is being spent on, and how we’re using it. Because I wonder, even if I had five days a week, would my output still be the same, because I have all this extended time to, kind of, fluff about? I don’t have that in my life, so when it’s work time, I really do work. When I started the business, I had all three children, and I had a baby for the first fourteen months, at home with me. And I was just a ninja in naptime! People ask me how I get things done. Well, I ignored the house, and I just worked for that hour-and-a-half, and just got really good at taking imperfect action. Nothing that I delivered was exactly 100% the way I wanted it to be, I didn’t have time to, you know, make things perfect. I just got it done. And my life has been easier as a result of adding in this extra day of care, and it hasn’t made me any less of a mum. Surprise, surprise. I know, I know.
So, I think those things, you know, becoming more mindful, more present, in my day. You know, I’m watching them grow up, and it’s freaking me out now. It sort of gets to the stage where you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, could this end?’ to, ‘Oh, goodness, this ends. Hang on, have I loved every moment?’ No, impossible. But can I just notice these amazing moments, please, and lock them away? And do things that make me feel good, so on weekends, it doesn’t have to just be about the kids, it can be about what Nick and I want to do as well. And that’s been a bit of a revelation, and super-nice. And as for rockstar? Well, the way that ended up playing out was that, I think my biggest rockstar moment was doing a live event with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz, beautiful woman that she is, down in Melbourne. I love public speaking. Of course I get nervous, but I had a few public speaking engagements this year, and man, I felt my rockstar coming on. The Lisa Corduff that was, you know, School Captain back in the day. You know, show me a lecture theatre! I loved public speaking, I loved debating, and all that stuff, and it makes me want to do a whole lot more of that in 2017, actually.
But I did start to upgrade my wardrobe, a little. I don’t particularly like shopping, and I really have come to realise I’m not a particularly good dresser. I just don’t have that ability. My kids wear nicer clothes than me, a lot of the time. I can look at them, and see what works. I can look at me, and not seeing it. I’m just not so good with that. But one of my favourite shops is Gorman, and I go in there occasionally, when they’re on sale, and just have a little shop about, and get myself some really pretty, beautiful things that I just treasure. And that has given me a feeling of ‘rockstar.’ Upgrading my underwear! Ditching my maternity bras. You know, those things, they’re moments. It’s like, ‘Okay, we’re moving on. Lisa is a real person in the world, again.’
So, there’s been all that happening, I guess, from a personal perspective, and lots, lots, lots more. And in terms of my work, and what I do, there have also been some pretty major milestones that have happened with a lot more ease than things happened in 2015. And for that, I’m really proud, of not rushing, of taking things slow. I had my seventh launch of Small Steps to Wholefoods. Seven times, I’ve put that into the world. Every single time, I get nervous it’s not good enough, and yet, over 3,000 people have taken part in that program. And I am so proud of them, and I’m proud of myself, for putting something out there that has really helped people. I love that program, and it just staggers me to think, in the very beginning, I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew exactly what I wanted people to get out of it. And over the period of those seven launches, there have been some major overhauls, and there’s been lots of minor tweaking to something that, you know, I am really proud of.
Amongst that, more recently, I launched a brand new website, which I hope you’ve visited, www.smallstepsliving.com. And I launched this podcast, and I’m just about to close off a launch for, I guess, the culmination of everything that I’ve learnt over the past two years, in business, working with women. Trying to work out the best ways to help them take the action that they desperately want to take to improve the health of their families, but without sacrificing themselves, getting massively overwhelmed and stressed, and, you know, with guilt being their middle name. It’s a really major, and exciting, program that I’m really excited to get moving in 2017. And, you know, there’s Small Steps TV on the website, where I’m going to be bringing a lot more video and TV type segments.
And, you know, a lot of people who follow my Facebook page might not be aware, but on the side, I also mentor and coach other women who are trying to create businesses online, usually amongst the chaos of kids. Because they’ve seen what I’ve done, and I’m really passionate about supporting them. And the women who I’ve worked with have frickin’ amazing businesses, that I just love seeing them get out and flourish. You know, it’s not something I do a lot. I don’t advertise it, well, now I’ve said it, but it’s not something that I advertise at the moment, because at the moment I’m building my own business. But if there’s a way that I can contribute, and help other people who vibe with me, then it’s been a really awesome way for me to give back, to connect, and actually speak to people. Because it’s quite solitary work, sometimes, when you have your own online business, and you’re working from home.
I also launched a video course. So, a lot of people come to me and ask me how I create online video, because they’d like to do it for their blogs, or businesses, or whatever. And that’s been happening for a very long time, so I finally put something together for those people, into a course called Keeping Video Real. I didn’t even have a website for it, I just, kind of, put up some information about what I’d be delivering over four weeks, and I had all these people sign up. It was amazing, and I’ve really loved doing that, because I absolutely love online video. I think that in a world where we’re just constantly barraged with information, and it can seem stark, and confusing, we’re actually only after connection. The more that we can connect with the people behind their Facebook feed, or their blog, or their products, the more real connection we’ve got going on in this world, and that’s what I’m all about.
Most people know, I always say I keep it real, and if people wanted help with online video, I was going to be keeping it real for them, and getting them to take imperfect action. Because, you know, it’s not always that we can get all made up, and look fancy, and all those sorts of things. And I think that people appreciate realness in this Instagram age, you know what I’m saying? So, that’s me. I do try to keep these podcasts where it’s just me talking to about half an hour. Half an hour is kind of my walking time, so I like podcasts to be about half an hour, I never really get through them if they’re much longer. So I just wanted to say to you that I’m also really grateful for you, for listening to this podcast. You know, so many people went and listened to it in that first week, it shot to number one in the health category, which was just crazy. And I really look forward to bringing you more of this in 2017. I look forward to getting out and meeting you, as well, and obviously, supporting the Small Steppers in the membership is going to be my number one priority in 2017, in my business. So, if you’re interested in jumping in there, you can head to www.smallstepsliving.com/ssl. That’s if you listen to this before Friday midnight, because if you don’t, sorry, I think you will have missed out.
So, that’s it from me. I hope you have had a great 2016. I’ve heard from so many people that it sucked balls, and for me, it’s been quite transformational. I have been through a lot, and I’ve done a lot of work on myself, to remove some of the barriers that have been holding me back from experiencing true happiness and peace in my life. Ah, there are so many stories I could share with you, they’ll be for future podcasts. But if you’re looking for a new way to set some goals in 2017, perhaps think about the feelings that you would like to have in 2017, and get jamming on it. I know I’ll be doing that with my members come January, and I’m wishing you a wonderfully happy festive season, whatever that means for you. And, let’s bring on 2017. I’ll see you then! Bye for now.