2018 - a year in review at The Flourishing Pantry

One of my favourite coaches to follow online is Jen Carrington. She recently sent the questions she’ll be putting to herself to look back on 2018 and make decisions about her life and business for the New Year.

I thought I’d have a go too and share my answers with you all.


What are the biggest lessons you've learned this year?

I have grown and changed so much this year.

At the beginning of 2018 I was doing a lot of work for other people - fulfilling their goals and ambitions and putting in long hours. But I wasn’t really doing anything for myself.

I realised by March that working freelance and working ‘for myself’ are two very different things, and one is more rewarding than the other.

My biggest lessons from the year have been:

  • I want to work for myself. Working 100% for other people with no time to create my own business does not make me happy anymore. I’ve had a taste of entrepreneur life and I don’t want to give it up.

  • Walking away can be good. Walking away from work that didn’t serve me opened up opportunities for those that did. It feels scary to say no or walk away. But sometimes it’s the right thing to do in order to let something else in.

  • Working for yourself is really scary and a total rollercoaster. I have had elated moments and sobbing crying moments, all to do with my business, direction and successes. But that’s what comes with the freedom it gives you. If you want stability and continuity, get a full-time job.

  • Simplicity is really important. People respond really well to it (things like a bowl of porridge or a slice of toast on Instagram are infinitely more popular than complicated recipes!) and when you’re lost in complicated advice and overthinking things, getting back to basics really helps.

  • There is no blueprint for how this works. Undertaking my coaching training this year has really underlined the importance of trust and belief in yourself and the harsh reality that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ plan for success. Making your business or your dream a reality is a path only you can take and you have to be willing to ride out the uncertainty.

  • Money isn’t bad and investing is really important. Investing in yourself and your business is crucial. I’ve tried to work on my relationship with money a lot in 2018 and have learned that investing in things that will leap me forward is a really positive thing. Read my discoveries reading Jen Sincero’s book You Are A Badass At Making Money

The Flourishing Pantry

What are you proud of this year?

Here’s a list of everything I’m proud of this year:

  • Walking away from multiple jobs that offered stability and security, in order to pursue my dream of working for myself

  • Creating a retreat company and running two amazing retreats with nearly 30 attendees who gave incredible feedback on the effect the retreat had on them and their lives, alongside partner Lauren Healy (find out more about The Reset)

  • Getting through the year with only one month where I wasn’t able to pay the bills. Considering I had no full-time job this feels like an achievement.

  • Starting work as a coach. Investing in myself to start the coaching training with Erickson Coaching and actively stating my practice. I am absolutely loving the experience and insight it gives me, and the ability I have to positively influence people’s lives and thought processes (find out more about coaching with me)

  • Throwing an awesome wedding that our friends and family loved attending (read more about the wedding and see some photos!)

  • Hosting a supper club and cooking (mostly) edible food for 10 creative business owners, creating an incredibly happy, supportive and enjoyable environment for them to relax and connect alongside Charlotte Argyrou

  • Learning more about myself and facing up to a few demons along the way. Working for yourself brings up a whole load of sh*t you don’t realise is going on in your head and I’ve tried to approach this curiously and positively

The Reset retreats for women

What has brought you the most joy this year?

Things that have made me feel alive, connect, energised and inspired this year:

  • Learning to become a coach. I’d forgotten how much I love to learn and I want to make more space for that in 2019. Allocating time to expanding my knowledge so I have more to give back is definitely a priority for the New Year.

  • Coaching clients - I don’t think there are many things that make me run around the apartment with a big cheesy grin, excited and empowered by what I’ve been able to achieve. Sometimes I start calls with clients and I’m scared I won’t be able to help. But by the end of the call they always get something out of it, and I do too. It’s the most amazing feeling.

  • Public speaking - I’d actually forgotten how much I love public speaking. I have never been afraid of it and realise it’s a crucial and powerful way to connect with people and build a brand. I want to seek out more opportunities in 2019.

  • Tapping into communities - I’ve felt more than ever this year the power of communities, particularly women in creative businesses. I’d love to be able to do more for them and with them, because I always leave so inspired. Discovering GirlCrew and their amazing events has been a really crucial part of this.

Sweetcorn chowder | The Flourishing Pantry

What do you want more of and what do you want less of next year?

In 2019 I want more:

  • Learning

  • Trust in myself

  • Experimentation

  • Income from things I love and believe in

  • Relaxed time where I truly switch off

  • Reading

I want less:

  • Excuses

  • Stress

  • Tears

  • Work on things I don’t believe in

Casa Fuzetta retreat

What do you want to prioritise in your work and your life next year?

Priorities for me in 2019 will be:

  • A full switch off honeymoon break with the hubby, to indulge in our love of food, drink and discovering new places

  • Creating a coaching business that brings in and income to match what I have made in 2018

  • Time with friends and family, back in the UK on a regular basis

  • Building The Reset into a business that feels fulfilling for myself and Lauren

  • Starting to save for a house with a clear idea of the financial goal we are working towards

Prioritising these things would mean working hard and focused on the goals that are important to me, but also carving out relaxation and switch off time with loved ones. Clear boundaries needed!

What do you think? Have you tried these questions to look back on your year? Let me know what you think and if this has inspired or help you think about reflecting on 2018 and look ahead to 2019.

Dublin wedding

If you struggled with your year building a wellness business and something is holding you back, why don’t you book a free step-forward coaching call with me so we can talk it out? No strings attached, I’d love to help.

Check my calendar and book a call now. 

Not sure what coaching is or whether it’s for you? Find out more about coaching with me here.

I also run a private Facebook group for wellness business owners new and existing where I share more resources, run live sessions and bring together a community to help and support you. Join us now.

Like these questions? Pin them to Pinterest so you remember how to do your own end of year review.

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