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Looking back on 2023: a year of personal growth and achievements

The not-so-secret diary of a perimenopausal woman

6 December 2023

Looking back. Where to start? With the affirmation I wrote in January 2023 of course.

reflection of a rock in water

What's an affirmation I hear you ask?

It's a statement that you make about yourself, long or short, and in the present tense. Affirmations can help you change your mindset, set an intention and create a belief in yourself.

I learned the art of affirmations whilst studying for my coaching qualification and it something I use with coaching clients as their time with me comes to an end. Coaching is just the beginning of their transformational journey and creating an affirmation based one year on helps guide them through the next stage.

Setting my affirmation in January 2023

My name is Kirsten. It is January of 2024 and I've had an incredible year. These are the reasons why.

  • I've made the most of the freedom that working for myself brings. I've established a daily yoga and meditation routine which has its own clear space in my day. I work calmly and effectively and give myself time to be creative and to innovate away from my desk.

  • I've embraced professional networking and see it as much as a way of giving to others as reaping my own rewards.

  • I've shown kindness and compassion to others and noticed how that helps me to enjoy my interaction with other people more.

  • I've received kindness and compassion from others which has restored my self-belief.

  • I'm part of a fantastic community of strong women, collaborating on exciting projects.

  • I've mastered the art of marketing my business without it taking over my life, and most of my clients come through recommendations.

  • My blog is a roaring success and is generating clients and I'm known in the menopause community.

A time for looking back and reflection

Looking back, it's not about success or failure. I am where I am and I've been 'led' by the affirmation I made, the intentions I set, and the belief that I had in myself. I'm on my own incredible journey, I've achieved so much of what I set out to do and I've made a few detours over the year.

Some of those detours have led to new ventures.

At the start of the year I didn't know that by now I would have created 'Let's talk about the menopause' and would be working with colleges and training providers, helping them to create a safe and supportive space in which to talk about the menopause.

Kirsten standing at the front of a room talking to a group of people about the menopause

I also didn't know that I would become a volunteer coach for young people in a secondary school in East Sussex and would be helping them to build their confidence, resilience, self-awareness and communication skills.

Some of those detours have taken me off road and over a pretty bumpy terrain.

Nor did I know that my anxiety would rear its ugly head again and take over my life for several months. It started on 1 August. I wrote about it in my blog on 4 September and although I'm feeling a little better, it is still there, lingering, waiting to jump out on me again.

I've been lucky enough to get access to cognitive behavioural therapy for the last couple of months. Whilst it hasn't been the panacea I was hoping it would be, it has helped me to recognise what is going on and to understand that there are things that I can do to change it. It has added to my toolbox of techniques to manage anxiety that I've talked to you about before in my blogs around anxiety and mental health.

If you are lucky enough to live in Brighton and Hove (UK) and need support with your mental health you can make a self-referral to the Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service here.

What I've learned about myself this year

More than anything I've learned that my health, both physical and mental, is my priority. My business needs to adapt to fit around that. If I'm not healthy, then my business can't and won't succeed.

I've also learned:

  • to celebrate my successes however small they are, and to share them with others

  • that I expect too much of myself and don't practise what I preach

  • that I can't do it all myself and need to invest in help from others

  • to hold on tight to my values and my authenticity

  • that I like people and people like me

  • that I'm an HSP (highly sensitive person) - look it up, it's fascinating and helped me understand so much about myself and what I need

Setting new affirmations for next year

I'd love you to join me in setting an affirmation for next year once you've taken some time to reflect on 2023. Give it a go, it really does work.

My name is [insert name]. It is January of 2025 and I've had an incredible year. These are the reasons why......

Put it somewhere safe where you can check in on it throughout the year. Read it out loud. Read it to someone else. Let it settle within you and then let the magic happen!

Enjoyed reading this?

If you'd like to read more of 'the not-so-secret diary of a menopausal woman', check out the rest of my posts here. Sign up and you'll receive each post direct to your inbox when they're published. I'd love to hear what you think and find out about your experiences, so please feel free to leave me a comment.

If you're interested in transformational coaching, drop me a line at

Have a lovely festive season and a Happy New Year!



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