Here’s what I learned in 2019 🌟… (top 11 list inside!)

Happy Friday!

Oh my goodness, I don’t know about you but how did it get to be Dec. 20th already?!? Ca-RAZY! 

I hope you’re not pulling your hair out yet, and instead choosing to get excited and simply go with the flow. And for those who, like me, partake in Christmas shopping and are not yet finished, NO STRESS! Worse case scenario we write a thoughtful card, have less wrapping to do, or choose to be a tad belated this year and score some boxing day sales. Wins all around! 🤣

So last week I said I would share my biggest takeaways from our annual CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) convention… however in the process of brainstorming, I realized I may as well share my top learnings from 2019. Quite apropos as we get ready to say thank you and goodbye to the last year (not to mention the last decade! EEK! ) and get excited to welcome in the new one. 

And while these may have been my biggest learnings (at least the ones that come to mind in this moment! Also not necessarily ‘new,’ but came into play in a big way this year…) my hope and intention is they may get you thinking, also. And of course, there will also be an opportunity for you to share yours with me – sharing is caring, after all! – as I am super curious!


Carol’s Top 11 Learnings from 2019. 

(because everyone else does top 10, and because I made a wish at 11:11 this morning, and yesterday to boot, and well, I don’t need to justify any other reason other than it felt right and more me!)

#11 Relationships are everything. 

I wouldn’t have had all of the fun nor amazing moments I did, let alone make it through this year (still smiling!) if it weren’t for the AMAZEBALLS people in my life… you know who you are, and thank you. Work hard to cultivate the connections in your life. And let those special folks know how you feel about them. Don’t take anyone for granted, ever. I really do believe the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships.

#10 Be in it for the long game.

I used to feel I needed to do it all, and to have it all done by yesterday. And now, more and more, I’m recognizing there is no rush. Especially if you’re enjoying the journey as you go. Overnight success is always at least 10-20 years in the making… so be where you are now. You’ve got time!

#9 You will learn what you need to learn when you need to learn it. 

This was a piece of advice a friend shared with me as I was just starting my business… while trying to learn all of the things all at the same time. (which, as you can imagine, meant I was learning none of the things!) And last week, I finally took it to heart. For the first time in the six years I’ve had the honour of attending our convention, I didn’t feel FOMO when choosing which sessions to attend, which conversations to take part in, which ideas to implement. The information isn’t going anywhere any time soon, promise!

#8 The One Thing. 

Not only is this the title of a book I have on Audible (and am still listening to! 😳) it’s an idea stemming from the last one worth sharing. Now, coming from someone who loves doing #allthethings… and is often juggling numerous tasks and projects at the same time, it really is impossible to focus on more than one thing at a time, especially if you want to do it well. Focus is not overrated. And single-tasking is the new black. 

#7 The more you share, the less you have to hide. 

As I wrote last week, I took on my life this past year… and wasn’t afraid to invite you in! And I have to say it is extremely freeing. I dare you to share more of you, too. 

#6 Experiences over things, every time. 

I have a one-bedroom condo, and yet when I brought in a professional organiser to de-clutter my space last week, it was amazing the amount of unnecessary ‘stuff’ I had accumulated! I don’t need nor want to collect more things. I want to collect more experiences, more stories, more moments. They are more precious than any item ever will be. And even though I’m still devastated after losing the most valuable possession I ever have and ever will own – my mother’s engraved bangles – no one can ever take away the moments we shared together.

#5 Invest in yourself. 

Whether for personal or professional development or both, or to somehow up level your life – be it your environment, the car you drive, or the activities you say yes to – do it. You’re worth it. This is your life we’re talking about, and you only get one shot at it.

And taking it one step further – make decisions from the place you want to be… financially, professionally, and personally. It’ll help you get further, faster. This year I joined a high-level mastermind, bought a new car, and am upgrading my condo layout and decor. And I have to say it feels pretty good!

#4 Have that courageous conversation. 

Oh man can those tough conversations be, well, tough! But they are always worth it in the end. So dare to be courageous, to be transparent, to be honest. Be willing to get uncomfortable in order to be heard, to seek to understand before being understood, to fight for your relationships. And you will only grow closer as a result. 

#3 Do the right thing, even (especially) if it’s not the easy thing. 

Pretty self-explanatory, wouldn’t you say?!? There have been a few times this year where I have been tempted by the latter… and while at times the former may not appear as exciting, or perhaps as comfortable, I’m always glad I made the right choice in the end. 

#2 Be brave enough to be you. 

I have spent so much of my life trying to please others, gain approval from others, fit in with others. And this year, I stepped into more of who I am than even before. And not only has it been pretty freeing, it’s also pretty exciting to see what is happening as a result. Besides, you’ll only ever be the best in the world at being YOU. 

And, moreover, I’ve come to realise that:

#1 Good things happen to those who are brave. 

It’s TRUE!


So I invite you to think about what it would mean for you to be even braver as we get ready to move into 2020, as creating my own Brave List this year and identifying all I would do ‘if I were braver…’ really was a game changer.

(and if you want to create your own Brave List with me LIVE, alongside an awesome group of fellow brave women, join us on at our Brave New Year, Brave New YOU!’ event on Jan. 9th… SHAMELESS PLUG I know! 🤷‍♀️ More info below…)

May you find these learnings useful… and may you share your own big learnings with ME! Take a moment to reflect on your year and share some of the lessons that played a role in the comments below.

And then stay tuned, as next week I’ll be sharing my annual rituals to close out the year powerfully, and enter into the next one with an even bigger, bolder, braver vision for yourself and your life!

Wishing you lots of happy and merry and joy (and perhaps a tad too much eggnog!) this wonderful holiday🎄season. 


Carol Schulte

Carol is a published author, has been featured in numerous magazines and podcasts, and is a returning guest expert on Rogers TV. Having lived and worked in 16 countries including Ashrams in India and vans in New Zealand, rocked dreadlocks in Thailand and shaved her head for breast cancer, she certainly walks her talk and brings a global perspective to all she does. When she’s not traveling or speaking on stage, you can find her volunteering as a bereavement facilitator, training for her next triathlon, or practicing her serious carpool karaoke game.

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