2017 was one giant, unplanned adventure that brought a new wave of clarity, purpose and direction into our lives. We really didn’t expect a personal growth spurt of this magnitude but hey, we’ll take it! These are just three of the many important lessons we took from the past 365 days.
We started off the year feeling confident and sure about what we wanted to accomplish. I wanted to monetise The Banter Press – a Lifestyle & Wellness blog I started in 2016 – and Tom wanted to continue producing music and release at least 1 EP, which he did before taking an indefinite hiatus. Towards the end of February, the idea of Saint Belford was born and the current of excitement running through us was too intense for us to even consider benching the idea.
You can plan everything to a T but sometimes the universe has something else in store for you and if you don’t pivot, you might just miss the opportunity jackpot. It’s okay to revise your goals and change direction, as long as you’re pursuing and embracing the things that are quenching your thirst for fulfillment.
As someone who thrived off the hustle mentality and wanted to do it all, my health wasn’t something I actively prioritised. Recognising when to say no and when to slow down didn’t always come naturally to me. It took a nasty episode of gastritis and plenty of emotional meltdowns before the importance of self-care permanently sunk into my burnt out brain.
I realised that if I continued along this road, speeding recklessly, I would never be able to enjoy the fruits of my labour. I’d be crippling myself along the way.
From that point on, Tom and I made a pledge to put ourselves first - to make our health a #1 priority. It’s not selfish, it’s sensible. There’s a reason why they ask you to put your oxygen mask on first. Some days, the most productive thing you can do for yourself is rest and recharge.
When you’re caught in a bubble of negativity or suffering from a case of ceebs, escaping it can be quite a challenge. You find yourself adding fuel to the fire by fixating on the thoughts that have engineered this unsavoury state of mind. We’ve always known that our emotions are linked to the movement in our bodies but we never fully embraced this fact or consciously used it to reset our moods.
It was a combination of Tony Robbins and Dr Rhonda Patrick that inspired what has become a morning ritual / ritual for combatting those bleh feelings. Call us crazy but we are now cold shower advocates. I was skeptical at first but the benefits are real.
When you take a cold shower, your brain will naturally tell you to run from the pain. However, remaining in this uncomfortable state is like a simulation for facing your demons and building mental resilience. At the very least, you can start your day feeling more alert and accomplished.
Scientific backup: According to Dr Rhonda Patrick, the cold exposure releases the hormone norepinephrine (one that calms you down) to the blood, which is known to have a positive impact on focus, attention and mood.
2017 was like being thrown a surprise party every couple of weeks with reactions ranging from “my face hurts from being so happy” to “I want the po po to shut this party down ASAP.” Looking back, keeping an open mind and embracing the magic of change did us plenty of favours. We trust it will do the same for you too.
Reflecting on the year that's been can help you set and clarify your intentions for the year ahead. You can use our Post Game Analysis template, inspired by Tim Ferriss, to get you started.