The year that was 2018
A new year has started, for many, it represents a fresh start, a chance to pursue new opportunities or it may even mean time to finally get training for that big race you’ve always wanted to do. As the saying goes “new year, new beginnings”, and boy are new beginnings exciting! My question however is, have you taken a moment to take a step back in order to reflect on the year that was? To appreciate your successes and be thankful for the obstacles that taught you some great lessons?
Looking back in order to move forward
The minute the clock struck 12h00, on the 31st December 2018, my brain went into automatic mode planning and thinking up all the things I want to get done in this year and I was full of adrenaline, ready to take on 2019. I kept saying to my myself – “This is going to be “my” year”, which considering I am expecting my first child in a couple of months, is already making this
year AMAZING for me. I quickly saw however, I was not alone in saying, this was going to be my year – numerous family and friends shared the same sentiment, combined with the fact they were glad 2018 was over with. This got me thinking was 2018 that bad? I mean, it was the different challenges and life lessons that I experienced in 2018 that had fueled my ambitions
and plans for 2019. I then remembered a quote I had read not so long ago by an unknown author that says “If you want to move forward, often look back. Otherwise, you’ll forget where you came from and where you need to go” Reflecting on 2018
All of this got me thinking, and I decided to take a step back and really reflect on my life during 2018. 2018 had started off quite roughly with my fiance being hospitalized for a lengthy period of time, I was in a work environment that I did not enjoy, was in over my head with assignments due for varsity and was planning a wedding amongst other things – a true mix of highs and lows.
Giving new perspective on life
But looking at all of this carefully, these very things that had me experience a mixture of emotions both negative and positive, turned out to be the best possible things that could have happened to me in 2018. Why? Well, On the 14th April 2018, the most beautiful and magical day of my life thus far surrounded by the people that mean the world me, I married my best friend. My now husband who thankfully is back to full health, learned to take a step back every now and then, now lives by the motto YOLO – you only live once, something that rubbed off on me. His new outlook on things gave me the courage to make the changes I wanted to make in my career, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but was always too scared to take the risk, in
June, I took that risk and even though it’s been challenging, I am now my own boss, doing what I love daily. The hard work on my studies during the year last year will allow me to make my dream of graduating this year a reality. Above all, I rediscovered the power of faith & gratitude and how lucky I am to have the family and quality of friends I do in my life.
Grateful and Blessed
Personally, I am glad I reflected back on the amazing year that was 2018, I am so grateful for all the lessons and blessings I received during the year. Looking forward to 2019, I know I am going into it a stronger, happier, healthier and humbler person and for that, I say thank you to the year that was 2018.
Need inspiration? Who better than Mel Robbins to help you with that?
For this women’s month I have decided to feature a woman that truly inspires me in life and business. She has adopted a no-BS lifestyle that has brought her to where she is today.
If you haven’t heard about the 5-second rule, you probably don’t know who Mel Robbins is.
How Mel started out
Mel started out in a legal career at the Public Defender, left her job and moved to Boston so her husband could finish his MBA. She then worked for a law firm and hated it. After maternity leave she didn’t go back and worked in a couple of tech startups which she enjoyed. Even though she enjoyed her job she felt like something was missing so she started seeing a life coach which inspired her to become one herself. She started studying towards a certificate in life coaching, qualified and started her career. When Ink magazine did a feature on her business she got a call from a big shot at CNBC for a job and that’s how her media career kicked off. After having some issues with a deal with FOX everything came to an abrupt end. Due to her contract restraints with them she couldn’t do anything in the media business for a year. She felt like such a failure that she didn’t see it fit to go back to coaching. On top of that her husband’s restaurant business was going under. Her world was falling apart. One night she decided she’d had enough. That morning when her alarm went off she didn’t hit snooze ten times as she usually did, she counted 5-4-3-2-1, launched herself out of bed and started putting the pieces of her life back together. Today her achievements are awe-inspiring.
Where Mel Robbins is today
Through utilizing her own 5-second rule, Mel became one of the most booked speakers in the world. Motivating people across the globe to get up and show up. She’s the CEO and Co-Founder of The Confidence Project which is a media and digital learning company. She is the Creator and Presenter of the Audible Series Kick ass with Mel Robbins. In 2017 she published best seller The 5-Second Rule. It was named the number one audiobook in the world and the fifth most read book on Amazon. Her TedX Talk has been viewed on YouTube by over 14 million people. She runs an award winning YouTube series #MelRobbinsLive giving advice and telling people about her life as a travelling CEO, motivational speaker, wife and mother of three. On top of that she’s a CNN commentator as well.
The 5-second rule helped her to get her life back on track after she was dealt a bad hand and got stuck in a rut. It teaches us that everything is achievable if you have the right mindset.
I’ve been following her on YouTube and getting daily motivation from her talks and advice. I can recommend her to anyone that’s hungry for success or that needs to get back in the saddle and start kicking butt and taking names!
Celebrating Everyday Heroes as a Daily Inspiration
“Celebrating the Women in your Life in Honour of Women’s Month” WOW, what a topic.
There are many Women in my life both alive and the dearly departed that have made a huge impact on my life and impact of the direction that my life has taken.
The woman who made the most impact in my life
Let’s begin with the most amazing Women that has made the biggest impact, my Mom.
What a truly remarkable, inspirational and caring person she was. My Mom brought me into this world and taught me the value of life, love, happiness and most importantly time. My Mom always used to say, “make the most of every second in your life, every second that has been wasted on the trivial matters in life and things that don’t matter is a second you will never get back”.
My Mom taught me the value of work ethic, the value of working hard in life for what you want. Nothing gained in life is for free. What you put in, is what you get out! Remember what your mother taught you, it came from the most sacred place of love that exisits.
The reason I get up in the morning
Then I have my daughter and granddaughter. What a combination these two angels are. These two angels are SO special to me. The tinkle in my eye, the reason I get up in the morning and the reason that I live life to the full.
The biggest blessing one could ever hope for is too be able to bring a child into this world. Melissa, my daughter, is such a wonderful young lady, she has brought SO much joy and happiness into my life. She works hard, focuses on the important things in life.
I truly see so much of my Mom in her. Melissa is such an inspiration to me. I am SO very proud to be able to call her my daughter.
Then we have little Mia, Mia has taught me the biggest lesson of all, LOVE, LOVE and more LOVE. Just when you thought you couldn’t love someone any more than you do, along comes a grandchild. Have you noticed the admiration they have in their eyes when they look at you and everybody around you? So much love.
How does a child spell L O V E ……. They spell it T I M E! My little Princess, your Nanny is SO lucky to have you in her life. I am constantly amazed by your beauty and the love that you portray for the little things in life.
If I could turn back the clock to when my kids were much younger, there are so many things that I would do differently. First and most important of all, I would spend more quality time with my kids. Embarking on adventures together and loving life. When my kids where younger I found that I spent far too much time working and I kept telling myself that I was doing this FOR them.
The Entrepreneur that inspires me the most
The next lady that has come in too my life, teaches and challenges me on a daily basis. I mention her now, but not last as in order of importance, Karen Wessels. Karen has taught me the value of doing what you love and doing it with all your heart. Such an inspirational lady. Karen has brought back into my life the importance of why I do what I do and to love, grow and feel challenged by what we do in our lives. Walking alongside her is such an honour.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the very special Women who have made an impact in my life. I love you all SO much!!
I stick by the philosophy in life, “Do What You LOVE, in order to LOVE What You Do!” Take time to smell the roses for want of a phrase.
You only have ONE life, LIVE IT!
VA Connect has a team of Virtual Assistants just waiting to be of service to you, to lighten your load! To FREE up some of your time!
The top 3 things to do in Gauteng, with young children!
Having 2 young girls who are as active as they are vocal about what they want, like and need (their needs are more like wants, but to them it’s a need) means that I need to ensure that there is always something fun and exciting, active and hopefully educational for them to do!
Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens
Just this past weekend, with winter on its way, I decided that some fresh air was just the thing we all needed. Along with a great friend and her two young children we set off for the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. The goal was to hike to the top of the water falls. I remember this hike, from back in the day, however on this day I was put to shame by a 4 and 6-year-old, who led the charge up the precarious 3.5 km hike to the water fall. This hike was not what I recalled, and though the struggles were real for me, not having exercised in longer than I can remember, the fun, the perseverance I saw in these young children reminded me that giving up was not an option!! This fun journey should be one that everyone should try at least once. The tranquil gardens, the educational aspect, the fresh air and the quality of time spent with my daughters was an amazing experience.
Second on our list is the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa otherwise known as the Pretoria Zoo. What can I say but WOW. Animals for Africa, huge. A great time out for the entire family! My daughters were able to spot animals all over the place! Unlike the Johannesburg Zoo which feels very run down and desolate, you will find every animal imaginable!! Even the Kangaroo! and leopards, Guerrilla’s, tigers. A fun time, also walked for hours, a gold cart may have been better, but the chance to spend that time enjoying the looks on their faces was the highlight of my day. Revisits are definitely in the cards!
For the young at heart where coordination is not a problem, we Roll eGoli! Roll skating! Not for the feint hearted as demonstrated by myself, where my butt was more on the rink than my roller skates. An immensely fun time, learning a new skill, the music is great, the friendly staff are amazing and the pizza to die for! Parties, or just a casual visit will have you revisiting the 80’s!
I’ve learnt the hard way that trying to find things that we all enjoy need not be the most exhaustive thing to do! With google only a tap away, and my daughters eager and excited faces as we head off on yet another awesome journey is worth more than words can ever tell!
And I did have an ice-cream or 2! How can I not!
5 Top Things to Help with a balanced Home and Work Life
Working from home has so many benefits! It enables you the freedom to work in your own personal space. To be close to your family and children at home. You avoid travel and transport costs, sitting in traffic, high costs of petrol. Yet in the role of a VA requires a very strong ability to prioritize and focus and there are many pressures in trying to find the work home balance within your home.
Create a home office space
First of all it is essential to have an office “space” or your own area where you can dedicate your time to your work with clarity and focus. This space should be organized and clean and make you feel like when you enter it, it is work time! Light and bright and full of fresh air. Put a sign on the door that establishes hours that you operate and keep the door open or closed appropriately. Don’t allow family members to wander into your office with stuff that may clutter your work area.
Use time management effectively
Then it is also essential to allocate your time effectively. If for example you work for a client for 3 hours a day, use Toggl or any similar application to monitor the time that you allocate to this client. Often as a VA you will have 3 or more jobs that you are responsible for and in order to make sure you allocate your time to each client each day, you need to be strict with this time management. The flexibility of working at home is fantastic in this way, as you can allocate your day as you wish. Similarly, you need to keep your household in order. Especially if you have young children, there needs to be set times for meals, breakfast, lunch, bed time etc. This way the family will get to know when it is your work time and not interfere with that.
The lack of social contact with other work colleagues can be difficult as a VA, but with systems like Slack where you can chat to other VA’s it is becoming much more interactive. It is important to utilize these chat rooms and liaise regarding methods of working, new systems, how you are feeling etc. Even just to vent!
Take a break!
Lunch breaks and tea breaks will help to keep the creative juices flowing! Breaks help you get your blood circulating and you will be more productive in the end.
Finding time to get outdoors, and exercise every day is a great way to stay focused and keep energy levels on top form.
Self-discipline is key
Allocate your hours and stick to them….. and when you are finished then clock off for the day and switch off. You need to treat it as you would an office job, and “leave” at the end of the day otherwise you can end up working constantly and this just leads to burn out.
I definitely see this way of working as the way of the future, the way forward. I love my job and the work/family balance is incredibly fulfilling.