Marrakech Morocco: and a tale of the things I learnt in 2015

Dear friends,

As the year gets ready to close and be gone forever, I have been trying to take time to reflect, process and learn from 2015.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the business of moving forward that it’s easy to skip this step.  So here are some of the best things that I incorporated into my routine in 2015. 

1.      Rise early:  When I get up early (between 5 and 6) my whole day is more productive.  I suffer from bouts of insomnia and so this can be a particularly tricky one for me.  But even if I am tired, I am better off getting up, brushing my teeth, drinking a large glass of water, having a coffee and starting my day.  The key to getting up early is {Surprise!} going to bed early, by 10:30 at the latest.  I am going to work harder on this in 2016.

2.      Meditate: I have been meditating for 20 years.  This past year I went on a Vipassana meditation retreat that included 10 hours of meditation a day.  I found the technique to not be right for me.  This year, I began using the Headspace App.   I like it and it’s helpful to have on my phone.  I find 15 minutes to be the right length.  I am doing a series of compassion meditations now, which I love.  I want to work on being a kinder and more compassionate person, and I hope these will help.

3.      Affirm:  I keep a series of written affirmations in my phone that I have developed for myself.  It is helpful to read them daily in the morning.  I have affirmations for all areas that I want to work on – but particularly on how to be a better wife, mother and employer.  I also have affirmations related to my health, as well as new projects.  Reading these affirmations (preferably aloud) takes less than 2 minutes and it’s a good daily reminder of the important stuff.

4.      Go vegetarian: in late August, I stopped eating meat and poultry.  The health benefits are documented and astonishing, particularly in terms of preventing cancers and heart disease.  I would like to become increasingly plant-based and so we will see what 2016 will bring. 

5.      Fast: In 2015, I traveled to an Ayurvedic center where I did a light soup fast, combined with Aururvedic medicine, spa treatments and yoga for 12 days.  I felt fantastic.  There are a lot of benefits to fasting.   I have already booked my fast for 2016.  I feel like it is an investment in myself.

6.      Listen and learn: This was the year of the podcast for me.  I listen to podcasts daily and have at least 10 different podcasts on my iphone at all times.  Some of my favorites include: The Model Health Show, Happier, Startup, Online Marketing made Easy with Amy Porterfield, Reply All, and Rich Roll. If you are a lover of podcasts, please share your favorites.

7.      Watch and learn:  This year I started a Documentary Club at Peacock Pavilions.  Everyso often a group of friends get together, have a vegetarian meal, watch a documentary in our outdoor cinema, and then have a group discussion.  My favorite documentaries have been Finding Vivien Maier, Forks over Knives, Jiro dreams of sushi, and The True Cost.

8.      Build the right team:  2014 was not good, in this department.  And I suffered.  Thankfully, 2015 has been much, much better and I am so grateful to now have talented , compassionate and mission-driven colleagues.  Carrie, Natalie and Grace, a profound thank you to you three lovelies. 

9.      Pomodoro:  I have been using this time management technique for years and if you follow me on Twitter, you will see me tweet about it.  It has literally doubled my productivity.  NO joke.

10.   Start up: In the wake of starting Peacock Pavilions, my shop, and Project Soar, this year, too saw a new beginning when I founded Red City PR with my husband and some beloved friends.  This continues to be a yearly learning lesson for me.  I continue to do things that push.

Love from my olive grove in Marrakech,