By Nadine Araksi, Toronto-based Story Coach
After a decade of writing for magazines, I have a penchant for a year-end list. And wow, what a year! Though it feels a bit like a sad trombone solo as we roll the credits, there was so much hope, optimism, community and scientific breakthroughs in 2021. Here’s what 2021 taught us, what we enjoyed and what we’re looking towards in 2022.
1. What was good about 2021?
Nadine: Aside from spending the year being goofily in love, year two of the pandemic made even more space for noticing discomfort with some of my life choices and habits that needed changing. I experienced considerable challenges in 2021, and the good that came out of them was deepening my knowledge of what we teach. Using our Kickstartology Coaching Alignment Framework to notice what wasn’t working in my life, what patterns I keep repeating and then consciously changing my results was huge. I ended the year in a whole new career!
Stephanie: Good? Boring… same shit about loving my family, friends, great clients…
But unexpected? Well, I didn’t expect to be coaching a brilliant woman held hostage by her family, who then escaped to freedom in another country, but that was pretty cool (especially because now she is a close friend too).
Uncomfortable? I did some stand-up comedy to live audiences for the first time, and I just want to do more!
Rewarding? I’ve put so much into growing as a coach and the Kickstartology Coaching Alignment Framework, and this year we coached so many amazing women and had SO MANY huge client wins! I can’t wait to keep growing and helping more women get that feeling of full-life thriving.
Astounding? I did not have a single Diet Coke.
2. One thing you learned in 2021?
Stephanie: You can’t do all of the things at once. This lesson finally sunk in, and as a result, I accomplished more than I ever have.
Nadine: You cannot fix everyone’s problems, Nadine! I finally learned how much my tendency to jump into fixing creates long-term problems in my personal and professional relationships. As a result, I made space for creating new successes for myself.
3. Favourite binge-watch or other distraction?
Stephanie: The fact that I can’t think of a single answer to this question right now, even though I binged multiple things, speaks volumes. But I think I said to my boyfriend, “Do you understand how much I love this show?” during every episode of Ted Lasso. I would have binged it had they not limited me to one episode a week.
Nadine: Yup, also Ted Lasso for me. That show was my pre-bedtime treat for “putting the house to bed” at a reasonable hour, and it was a balm when things at my day job got intense. Themes of coaching, beliefs and toxic positivity were excellent to think through. Though, I could probably use a therapy session on my Roy Kent crush.
4. Something (link, read or watch) that made you think differently?
Nadine: As a story coach, I love when I can discover something new through a good tale. Cognitive scientist Maya Shankar’s A Slight Change of Plans podcast is full of fascinating stories of people who learned to see life a little differently. I get great lessons on resilience and human behaviour wrapped in something that makes me say, “wow!”
Stephanie: I just finished Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. Even though I maintain that focusing on your breath is boring, I now understand better how it interconnects with so many other things and respect and value the power of giving it some attention.
5. Favourite alignment law and why?
Stephanie: Law #6: “Your actions always reflect your priorities in the moment.” It’s a pretty blunt check-in with yourself about how you are spending your time.
Nadine: Law #11: “Stop being an asshole to yourself.” It’s the law that will change the world. We cannot be genuinely open-hearted and compassionate to others until we learn to be loving and kind to ourselves.
6. What are you looking forward to in 2022?
Nadine: 2021 laid the groundwork for building trust with myself, creating a deep belief that I can make my big plans for 2022 happen. Lots of Kickstartology ideas to execute, but also around how I share stories and teach others to examine and rewrite their own narratives in ways that empower and facilitate healing. Can’t wait to bring it to you!
Stephanie: Well, there’s a lot of uncertainty right now. Some of the things that I was looking forward to are up in the air, but what I know for sure is that I’m going to create some pretty big things for Kickstartology, and I’m looking forward to experiencing the ups and downs of getting there and seeing how it turns out.
Thanks to all of you who supported us in 2021 by being part of the Kickstartology Community. Serving all of you is what keeps us working towards making the program the best it can be. We hope you have a safe and joyous holiday break and we look forward to bringing you more of what you love in 2022.
P.P.P.S. Our client, Hanna, says it best:
“Kickstartology Coaching offers a mix of brain tools, challenge, community, encouragement, and consistency. The openness of the Kickstartology team and of my fellow program participants has helped me envision my future, create a blueprint for the way I want to show up in the world, and start building the habits I want in my life."
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