I committed to building an entirely different life for myself in one year. Here’s how I did it.

It’s 2015. I’m putting together one-on-one, fully customized training programs for online clients and charging $50/month.

I’m a full time MBA student and I run a full time training studio out of my single car garage.

I do my homework, write my papers, and coach my clients via email and Google sheets until 2-3am. I wake up before 6am to train clients.

Fast forward to 2020, I own a warehouse gym in place of the garage gym. The Barbell Collective is the only way to to work with me in a fitness capacity online, I’ve been a small business consultant and coach for ~3 years, putting my years of business experience & my MBA to good use.

It’s March 2020. We go into lockdown. I turn my in-person gym into a virtual gym in under an hour- I thank my 24 year old self for starting an online business- I knew exactly what needed to be done. We migrated from Zen Planner to True Coach, we did Zoom sessions, we held super limited spots for open gym and upped cleaning protocols.

July 2020: I look at the numbers. My online business is bringing in far more profit than my gym. I’m tired. While everyone pranced around hopeful this would go away soon, I knew better.

As an immunocompromised person, with parents almost in their 70s, and grandmas almost in their 90s, I just wasn’t willing to risk it. I am not the captain of the Titanic- I’m not going down with a ship I can jump from.

I knew I didn’t want a trainer schedule for the rest of my life. I knew that for years.

Was this an out? Was it an excuse? Does it matter? Im still not sure.

September 2020: I commit to doing whatever it takes to make sure my entire life looks wildly different in one year than it did that day.

September 2021: here we are. I cried a lot. I lost a lot but I gained even more. I live somewhere far enough where no one knows me and I love that for me!

Christina today has to thank Christina from 2015 who had no idea what she was doing but figured the F out.

If you wonder why I’m so adamant about having a location independent business- this is one reason why. It can help you burn down an old life and build a new one- if you want to, of course.

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I put this appointment in my calendar one year ago today. “New life, who dis?”

One of my greatest fears (like lose sleep and throw up out of anxiousness kind of fear) is living the same year over and over again.

Making the same choices, thinking the same thoughts, fulfilling the same narratives over and over and over again.

When I decided that it was time for a new iteration of my life, here’s what I did:

Gave myself ample time (1 year) & marked my calendar.

>> When we set goals for ourselves, we often don’t give ourselves enough time.

Extend your timelines: you’ll be amazed at how much better and more accomplished you feel. Instead of 1 month, give yourself 12. Instead of 12 months, give yourself 24, etc, etc.

>> Put yourself on the hook. Write it down, set a deadline, commit.

I expected fear, discomfort, and doubt.

I don’t know what contributes to humans thinking that making changes is somehow full of light, love, excitement and certainty.

Hear me when I say:

It’s full of deep, heavy, dark days.
Lots of tears and meltdowns (we are all just over-grown toddlers, didn’t you know?!)

It’s full of discomfort, it’s full of doubt.

Do it anyway.

Life doesn’t tickle. Stop expecting it to.

I stopped asking others for their opinions.

I was afraid, but I was certain. Even within the moments of uncertainty, I was certain. I can’t explain it.

I no longer needed input. I needed support.
And so it was very much so going from

“Should I do this?”

to

“This is what I am doing. Are you helping me or not?”

Anything and anyone that wasn’t going to lend a hand was going to be dead weight and slow me down. Help or move out of my way. End of story. Conviction or bust.

I trusted myself.

I intentionally searched for the evidence that I was someone I could trust. I had yet to let myself down. Even when I had made mistakes in the past, I had yet to ever come to a crossroads and truly screw myself over. Reminding myself that I have always had what it takes to work through tough shit made this feel much more surmountable.

“You can do scary things. You’ve done it before.
Do it again.”

I stopped trying to make others agree with me.

This goes back to not asking others for their opinions.

I stopped searching for answers outside of myself, I got quiet, I got still, and I did what was best for me- even when literally everyone else, INCLUDING MY THERAPIST* told me not to.

*More on this in the future. I fired that therapist by the way lol

I made a to-do list and got to work.

The to-do list included tangible action items, as well as non-tangible things like making sure I was challenging myself to think differently. If you want a different life, you’re going to have to show up differently. You’re going to have to do things you’ve never done, think new thoughts, have a different routine. Put it on your to-do list.

I cried a lot.

But being sad doesn’t mean you made the wrong choice.

I knew this new life wasn’t going to create itself, it was all up to me. So I painstakingly got to work, day by day, bit by bit, and I tore down an old life and started to build another one.

September 1, 2020 and September 1, 2021 are not even REMOTELY close to being the same life for me.
Fortunately/unfortunately, I’m not even close to being done.
More rest for now. More building later.

Turn your goals into to-do lists.

A different life isn’t going to build itself.

No one is coming to save you.

Ask for help, but don’t expect it.
Do the work anyway.

Stop looking outside of yourself for opinions.

Expect to be afraid. That’s ok.
Expect for it to feel hard. That’s ok.

Mark your calendar. Get to work.

the barbell collective

Desgined for women with a history of doing the MOST