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New Year, Better Me: My Top 5 Lessons from 2022

We have officially embarked on our journeys into a new year filled with new - or renewed - hope for new potential opportunities to be a better versions of ourselves. I feel like there's a light waiting to shine bright for many in 2023. Personally, in every facet of my life, personal to professional, 2022 was riddled with challenges that I didn't need to face. I do appreciate challenges because I know they'll help me grow, but many of them felt like massive blows below the belt. Like its unwelcomed predecessors, 2020 and 2021, I will definitely not miss 2022. However, I must thank it for its lessons of growth that it has left me. By the way, never mind the whole "new year, new me" line; make it a "new year, BETTER me" kind of vision. Out of all the lessons from 2022, here are my Top 5 that really stand out.


5. TO SERVE OTHERS, MAKE SURE YOUR CUP IS FULL FIRST.

I wasn’t taking care of myself. Self-care was not a priority. It was beneath working on trying to earn an income and creating content. I would take appointment during my blocked hours for "me-time" because we desperately needed the funds. I was sacrificing my workout time just to film edutaining (education + entertainment) reels just to make the algorithms happy. What I planned to be 15-minutes to film a video would instantaneously end up being an hour. The sad part was that I wasn't seeing any return, not even leads, just spam. The juice was not worth the squeeze. I was close to hating what I enjoyed doing - being creative and helping others grow - because I was not benefiting from my own cup. I realized that it’s ok to be selfish to do something for me, if it means that it will help me grow and rediscover joy in the things that once made my soul sing. It may even require taking a break from social media. If you have nothing left to give, then what are you giving?

4. CHANGE CAN BE BRUTAL, BUT APPLY THE SKILLS THAT YOU ACQUIRED AND LIFT YOU UP TO GET THE BEST OUT OF THAT CHANGE.

Coach Josef in front of a Toronto office building.

I thought going back to the corporate life was nothing but a tiny speck in my rear view mirror. But when it came to financial stability, I had to make a U-turn out of necessity. After not wearing the hat for 4 years, I went back to work as a Business Systems Analyst for a telecommunications company in November. My last experience in a similar role was not a pleasant one. However, this time around, I’m coming back with new skills that I've acquired in the last 4 years, ranging from leadership and coaching to public speaking and confidence. I’m putting a special spin on this role. It also helps that my new work colleagues are supportive and wonderful. You may find yourself in a new position, leaving what you worked so hard to master. But, wouldn't it be cool to see how what you mastered can be applied in your new chapter? Be curious.

3. STOP THE SOCIAL MEDIA COMPARISON CYCLE.

The financially successful coaches. The influencer fitness coaches. The ripped coaches. I fell into the comparison game trap, envying the display of success from others. Fully packed boot camp classes and successfully online programs. It brought me down. I adopted a negative version of the "why not me" mindset. However, what I rarely saw on social media were those engaged in a similar battle I was fighting - struggling to make ends meet or to find one more client. We don't often get to see the entire picture of someone's journey. Inspiration from social media can be a great thing, but remember, the way and the pace at which you grow is unique to you.

2. OWN THE SITUATION.

It's simple. The blame game is lame. Determine what is in your control and do something about it. I had so many opportunities that in front of me, one of which could have potentially sky-rocketed my career as a fitness coach, but there were certain things beyond my control. In March, my mentor, Hollywood Physique Expert, Eric the Trainer Fleishman, called me up to join him in Hawaii for a show he was doing, while getting some in-person mentoring and training some of his celebrity clients. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. But, there were some logistical issues beyond my control that prevented me from going. I was disappointed and just so down on myself. I knew, however, that I couldn't marinate in that attitude. I assessed what was in my control: my state of mind. I had to flip the switch on the perspective and understand that there'll be other opportunities in the future. I had to continue moving forward or else I'd drown. Besides, knowing that I had such an opportunity presented to me was an honour.

You may be dealt a hand that's not in your favour, but how do you create opportunity from the adversity.

Another example for you entrepreneurs: Not everyone will leave you a review on Google. It's not that they don't want to, it's simply not on their priority list and that's OK. What you can do is politely ask them for one and remind them. Send your clients the link to the Google review form to help start the process.

1. CALL A FRIEND TO SAY AND CHECK IN, WITH CARE AND APPRECIATION.


You don’t need a reason. They might not tell you in the moment, or ever, but they’ll be happy you dialled them up. Don't text, CALL.

Coach Josef and Eric the Trainer, Hollywood Physique Expert

My mentor and friend, Eric the Trainer, unexpectedly passed away on November 24th. The last time we spoke on the phone was when he invited me to join him in Hawaii. After that, we occasionally texted or DM'ed. What I wouldn’t give just to tell him thank you one last time for showing a belief in me and taking me under his wing. Life is unpredictable, too short, and too fast.

I hope these provide a light for you as you step into 2023 with renewed hope. Challenges are part of life. They may not seem like it as you're going through them, but they help create new skills and fortify existing ones. They build confidence and resilience. The experience they provide will prepare you for the journey ahead. What I like to do is try to impress myself, not anyone else, and push forward to persevere. Why wouldn't I do that? I'm the hero of my story after all, as you are for yours. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your continued support. Although, coaching has now returned to being a side hustle, I will always do my best to provide the guidance and light you need for your journey to grow into the best version of yourself. I wish you an amazing year ahead full of amazing experiences, abundance, health, and growth.


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