2017 - The Year of More (and Less)
2017 has been a year of targets met and missed, but maybe most importantly I’ve let go of some of the processes and appointments that were no longer serving me. Do you ever get to the point you’re doing something just because you feel you should do, or even because you forgot why you were doing it at all?
For 2017, my focus word was “Transform”. Every few years, it’s good to have some overall focus. There are many guides and workbooks that will help you *find* your word and I’d recommend giving it a try. I found the word “Balance” really helped me for the previous 3 or 4 years, but 2017 was time for a change. Transform fit with the driving forward for change I wanted to achieve this year. It wasn’t saying it was going to be easy, it would be transformational, and it has been in many ways.
Read last years review - http://www.lizhardwick.co.uk/2016_year_in_review
January 2017 was a good kick start to Transform. I committed to deepening my practice of Buddhism by joining the Kadampa Modern Buddhism group in Preston on their Foundation Programme. A deeper learning of meditation, enlightenment and what the meaning of us being here, really is. It was hard work to get into the flow of things to start with, it took me a few months to reshuffle my schedule in 2016 to be able to start a fresh this year, but honestly it was totally worth it. I felt like there had been something missing from my life – work was great, home was great and adventures were plentiful, but I still didn’t feel complete… until I started this regular practice. Highly recommended!
Other highlights of January included a new fresh foodie start to the year, learning how to cook new recipe [photo], I was honoured to be asked to join the judging panel for the Red Rose Awards for Digital Agency of the year and was excited to get our original business mentor John back on board for DigiEnable boosting.
The new schedule in January saw the reassessment of what I’m spending my time doing, so February saw the removal of a few groups, networking events and commitments out of the calendar to leave more room for new priorities.
February also saw us watching the original Phantom film at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool with a live musical accompaniment, my first meeting on the board of the Sector Executive for BECTU, first meeting of Women In Tech North UK as part of the organising team and time with mum making cute little knitted hearts [photo].
March is usually a bit cram packed as months go, as it’s International Womens Day and I usually get the opportunity to speak at quite a few events across the month, 2016 was no exception. This year I spoke at the TUC Centre in London on the harassment of women in journalism and media. [photo]
March also saw the launch of this new website, a day in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park [photo] and getting to see Russell Howard and Mark Thomas perform. A busy, but productive month, with a fantastic meditation focus with others.
My friend Craig worked on a film that got screened in a big cinema in April, what an amazing guy! So proud to have been invited as his guest.
I also saw the Full Abridged works of Shakespeare, taught nieces the art of pancakes [photo] and more time with mum knitting things, this time cute mice! [photo]
May ended up being really busy for speaking engagements. I spoke in Manchester, Brighton, Blackburn and Leeds, so also enjoyed a lot of travelling, and it was great to see our friends from NYC join us in Brighton. [photo] I also featured in the Lancashire Business View magazine with a group discussion on the Digital Future. [photo]
As my birthday month I also enjoyed a great few nights out with friends, a few days being a proper tourist in London instead of working there – I really enjoyed a Jack the Ripper Tour around the gruesome sights, and a great achievement for getting someone to goto yoga with.
June was the big month of going Veggie for me. [photo] It was exciting to find new recipes, but wasn’t so great when trying to find something that wasn’t a Margarita pizza on a regular restaurant menu!
I spent some time in a theatre in Bolton with new found monologues, in a castle in North Wales and at the races with the family.
Charity and give back has always been important to us at DigiEnable, and this month we sponsored a charity Gangsters and Mols casino evening – don’t you think we looked dappa? [photo].
July also saw the Chorley Flower Show, Ice creams and a fantastic (better than last year) courgette crop from the farm.
I also attempted my first Dharma exam [photo] – I didn’t do too badly and was really happy with the score I got considering I joined mid-way through the season.
August was another busy one, when others have time off, our work ramps up. August was a month of interviews including radio and an exciting TV interview for Sky TV Channel in London [photo].
I also saw the amazing Mingus Jazz Band in London, got completely muddy in a Maize Maze and had afternoon tea with the mums of DigiEnable
This month I talked about cyber security for businesses, Productivity and after 20 years of being a delegate, I became one of the seminar speakers for PLASA in London. [photo] What an experience, I had to talk to people in a closed audio loop while the audience had headphones on, that was a bit surreal!
I saw Lucie Green lecture after years of first having her talk at a Girl Geeks in Manchester, seeing Hound of the Baskervilles performed by a duo of actors, went to an 80s party with crimped hair, watched my first professional basketball game and watched a TV programme being filmed.
October, for a few years now, has been my true time off. When you’re running your own business it can be hard to take time off at appropriate points, and as you’ll now know July and August are usually pretty busy!
1 wedding, 1 baby shower, 1 Jigsaw horror screening on Halloween, first Dharma prostrations, a theatre in a market, Adas List Conference in London and a gorgeous holiday in Greece that couldn’t be more perfect.
This month was back to work time, new local business networks, and working with a Global charity! I also spent some time in my new second office at Blooms, London – such a beautiful place to work alongside other founders. We did a cool joint DigiEnable SEO workshop at The Business Network and spent time clubbing to Clubland Classic at a special evening in Burnley – hardcore hey?!
I also balanced that all out with some Spa time with a friend and a long weekend at Majushri with another friend. I felt so connected and blissful! Love it!
The last month of the year can easily run away with us, but this year I wanted to make sure I got the most out of it. I was really proud to find out I was in the #Femalefounders101 list from Business Cloud. What an amazing group of women to be alongside. I spent another day with the Blooms founders in London, end of the year quiz, a Chiefs fans meeting in Manchester and along with the usual festivities spent a lovely relaxing week in a cabin with log fire, hot tub, mountain views, forrest walks [photo] and local chocolates. Another blissful week to end the Transformative 2017!
And to finish off, the annual Christmas walk took us super local this time, talking in the sights and sounds of a 10km walk to a couple of pubs. Pub crawl ftw! And in a rural area, it is possible after all!
I wish you all the very best for fantastic *Transforming* 2018! I hope you can reflect on your 2017 and find the best bits. After all we all know life isn't perfect, but it's what we focus on that counts! Big smiles, vibes and wishes, Liz x