13 Things I Learned In 2013

Can it be? 2013 is drawing to a close! I say it’s the perfect time for a bit of self-reflection, yes?

It’s definitely been one crazy year for me. I’ve started a couple of ventures, achieved a few goals and failed at plenty more. But most importantly, I’ve learned a tonne of lessons along the way, some of which I’d like to share with you today.

13. People do read this blog

I never thought I’d enjoy blogging as much as I do, and a huge part of it is due to you. If even one person is inspired, has a laugh, learns something new, or tries a new recipe as a result of one of my posts, then I know I’ve done my job.

Thank you to everyone who has read, liked, commented or thanked me for the posts I’ve written. It’s what keeps me going.

12. New words:

Garrulous (which I could probably now use to describe myself)

Copy (which I now write),

Obvi, heckers, totes inna pro-pro (all courtesy of working with a 21-year old grad),

Twerk (why, Miley, why?),

And basically a whole new CrossFit vocabulary: WOD, thruster, cluster, body-blaster, box, Girls, Heroes, AMRAP, RTF, EMOM, AHAP, Rx…oh my, on and on and on (and we wonder why people think it’s a cult…)

11.    Lord of the Fries burgers do not have meat in them

And they are damn tasty. I had an ‘I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-chicken!’ moment on Brunswick Street the other week, which at the very least took my mind off the futile hunt for a late night cab…

10.   Gravity is a seriously bad movie

The delicious Gold Class rocky road popcorn was the only thing that made 90 minutes of waiting for Sandra Bullock to be asphyxiated/incinerated/eaten by crocs bearable.

Go see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty instead.


No land vs. Iceland. I know what I prefer!

Ben Stiller in Walter Mitty


9. Cool stuff I couldn’t do before:

Unassisted pull-ups, double unders, walking on my hands, climbing a knot-free rope, one-arm handstands (yep, those skills are going straight to the LinkedIn profile…)

Christina Canters handstand

8. My body responds well to a dairy-free and gluten-free diet

Sometimes we don’t know how certain foods affect us until we eliminate them. I gave up dairy and grains during the Paleo Challenge in May, and I’ve since stuck to it because I just feel so much better for it.

If you ever feel lethargic or bloated after eating, try eliminating either dairy or gluten for a week and see how your body responds. Treat it as an experiment! You may be surprised at what you find.

7. If you want to learn anything about anything, listen to a podcast

I only discovered podcasts in July this year, and now I’m addicted. Seriously, go to the iTunes store now and search for any topic you fancy, whether it be health and fitness, online business, language, science, comedy, knitting…anything at all.

I guarantee you will find awesome content that will inspire, educate and entertain. (And while you’re there…feel free to check out my little podcast venture!)

6. Tim Ferriss is a freakin’ genius

He also looks pretty sexy in an apron.Tim Ferriss

No seriously, I do not know of any other person who thinks outside the box more than this guy. He has inspired me in more ways than I can think of.

Check out his blog and books here.

5. How to run properly

Since almost destroying my achilles during a snowboard trip in January (for the second time), I’ve been learning to run again, but in a better, more sustainable, less injury-prone way. Frustratingly, it’s taking a very. long. time.

Mostly due to my own stupidity and impatience, I’ve suffered many running fails this year. Which brings me to…

4. How to fail

Being a firm goal setter, high achiever and semi-perfectionist, it’s been difficult for me to swallow, but I’ve learned that failing is ok.

I had a huge goal of running a marathon this year. Did I achieve it? No. In fact, I had to pull out of the half marathon plus two other events this year due to injury. I thought that others would think less of me if I didn’t fulfill these goals. But really, that wasn’t the case at all. And in each instance I learned something about my body, and what I need to do next time to increase my chance for success.

So ask yourself: What’s the worst that could happen if I fail? You’ll probably find that the consequences are nowhere near as bad as you think. And there will ALWAYS be a valuable lesson in every failure.

3. A large part of achieving success in anything lies in surrounding yourself with the right people

If you want to become healthy and fit, make friends with people who love vegetables and working out! If you want to feel positive and energised, hang out with inspiring, optimistic people. If you’re starting a new business or venture, spend time with other entrepreneurial types. It’s simple.

You are the average Jim Rohn

I truly believe Jim Rohn was right. Have a think about the people you spend your time with, and whether they have a positive or negative effect on you and your goals. I’m not going to delve into details here, but if you’re interested check out this great blog post on the topic.

2. You can achieve almost anything if you’re willing to tolerate a little discomfort.

Yep, this comes back to getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things and facing your fears in order to do something extraordinary. Remember, you will never feel like doing something that does not come naturally to you.

So if you really want to achieve your goals, get used to being uncomfortable.

1. Don’t be afraid to go out and pursue what you really want.

I’ve learned that what truly motivates, inspires and rewards me is helping others. I’ve experienced it through this blog and it’s what led me to start my podcast at DesignDrawSpeak.com, which helps design students to become more confident at presenting and communicating.

I’ve faced a lot of fears, self-resistance and doubt, like: What if nobody listens? Why should people listen to me? I’m not an expert, etc etc etc. It has been one of my toughest challenges this year, but it’s something I really want to pursue.

So what do I do to help myself through it? I surround myself with the right people. I embrace discomfort. And I don’t fear failure.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I  know that I’m moving in the right direction towards achieving something truly great. And I can’t wait.

Named Must Your Fear Be
While you’re chilling out during this holiday season, I encourage you to have a think. What are some lessons, skills or new habits you’ve learned or developed this year? They don’t have to be huge or profound, but I think it’s important to reflect on how far you’ve come, where you’re at now and what you want for the future. Feel free to leave a comment below!

I hope you have a joyful and fun end of 2013, and I’ll see you next year with lots more delicious recipes, training tidbits and life thoughts!

Christina 🙂