Recently I read a post by someone I follow where she captured 50 things she loved doing in 2022. I loved the post and idea, so I’ve borrowed and built on it. I believe in the power of gratitude and decided to see if I could find 50 things I’ve done that I’m grateful for. It was easy once I got going and the experiences just poured out.

I encourage you to try it for yourself, as reflecting and reliving is a powerful way to connect with your growth and gratitude. 

I hope you enjoy reading mine, and I’d love to hear yours!

  1. I was really surprised and delighted to be selected as one of 22 leaders to learn from in 2022 by The Bunch Leadership app. You can read more here.
  2. I ran 3 free career challenges in 2022 that helped over 1000 women. Many got significant pay-rises, applied for jobs they never would have, and took courageous action to go after what they really want. My only free Challenge for 2023 is coming up in January, you can sign up here.
  3. I wrapped up my first Impactful leader PQ Mastermind for women in senior leadership positions who want to navigate the leadership impact with more confidence and less stress.  One of my favourite bits of feedback was “The biggest thing I’ve got is it’s taken the glass ceiling (in my head) away and helped me see I can go way beyond what I ever could have imagined possible.”
  4. I did some modelling?.  I was asked to be part a photoshoot for one of my fabulous past clients, Nuala McMenamin who started a personal styling business Adorn Bespoke Styling.
  5. We had a fun trip to Dublin with the family. It was a great test of a city (one of my kids has sensory sensitivity). We did all the standard things like the zoo, and had proper ‘grown up’ meals like sushi etc and they loved it!
  6. Early in the year I got my first prescription for HRT and it was a game changer. It took months (and some really severe symptoms read more here) to get it right. But coming to the close of a really tough year, I’m feeling more myself and grateful for the insights that I can bring to my work and help other women. 
  7. I took a big leap and massively invested in myself and the business by joining a business accelerator Mastermind programme. I’ve absolutely loved it and as a result have signed up again to Rebels. Getting expert support, learning from other entrepreneurs, and the constant push and challenge to play bigger. It’s totally transformed my approach to business, banished fears, and given me an extra element of fun. 
  8. I completed 28 talks for 20 different organisations, including InvestNI and the PSNI for International Women’s Day.  From local networks to global banking and Tech giants, I’ve loved delivering impactful and inspirational talks. It’s a really satisfying part of what I do. 
  9. We had a post-covid family reunion in Derry. Having not seen several of my family for almost 3 years it was amazing to spend a weekend together. All our kids (cousins) got on like they’d never been apart, even though some would be too young to remember the last time they met!
  10. I guested on 12 podcasts this year, which is something I really enjoy. Getting to chat to interesting hosts, and do one of my favourite things…answer questions!  I’ve been asked to share my story and expertise. Listen here.
  11. Lisa Strutt and I (my co-founder in our business Reboot) we launched our 4th cohort of Female Football Leaders for the Irish Football Association. This is a programme designed to support women across football to embrace their leadership strengths and grow the game for women across the country. 
  12. After a big break from in-person networking, the Lean In Network Entrepreneurs Network I founded, held a wonderful event to get us back together safely.  A ‘netwalking’ event hosted by the fabulous Nikki Elliott of Walk it of NI at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park and the secret gardens of Hidden Huntley.
  13. One of the many gifts of perimenopause has been rosacea!! This year I decided to give laser treatment a second go for my lovely thread veins. This time I went to Beyond Skin and had much more success and even better…no pain!!  
  14. In July we had the great honour of hosting the Graduation for the 3rd Cohort of the Female Football Leader’s programme at at the monumental N Ireland v England Euros game!  We did a lap of honour at half time, and got a shout out from the team about how instrumental our programme is in the success of women’s football in NI!
  15. We moved house!! Such a huge moment in so many ways. Firstly my business is the only income for our family and I feel so grateful it has facilitated a move to a house with way more space and exactly what we need as a family. Secondly we got through the stresses to actually move with relative ease. And finally, this move has really changed our lives. We’re all happier, we’re able to be more social, and genuinely love our new home.  I’m so excited to have Christmas here!
  16. I’m delighted to say I fulfilled my goal of launching 2 Impactful Leader PQ Mastermind groups.This year. I’ve loved sharing these life-changing strategies and I’m proud to say the women are stepping up and delivering. With many moving into group-level and C-Suite roles, others being head-hinted to global roles, and overall having a hugely positive impact. My favourite thing has been watching them shift from being (unknowingly) close to burnout and even though they’re delivering, still lacking self-belief…to self-described zen and delivering with such confidence and ease. It’s the best programme I’ve ever created (in 20 years of creating transformational programmes), and I’m proud of it and the women I have the privilege of working with. 
  17. Surrounding yourself with people that inspire you is a brilliant way to help you level up (and the ethos of my programmes). I’m fortunate to have so many great women in my life, and I couldn’t be prouder of my awe-inspiring friend Virginia Mendez when she launched her book Childhood Unlimited: Parenting Beyond The Gender Bias a total must-read!  We used to talk about it on our lockdown walks and she did it!! One of the best books I’ve read on gender and helping us understand where bias comes from.
  18. Sea swimming has become such a big part of my life for many reasons. It made me feel alive again coming out of covid. It’s a fab reset for my perimenopausal brain. And I absolutely love my swim sisters. It’s been a real highlight of my year to spend time with these wonderful women and host them in my old and new house! They have been some of the easiest and nicest evenings I’ve had all year. 
  19. This year I nominated my friend Lisa Strutt for an award Ulster Tatler Infuential Women of the Year Awards 2022…and I was so delighted she won. Lisa is a talented and generous coach, and 2 years ago her husband died of pancreatic cancer. She’s taken all of her grief and pain and channeled it into helping others. From being on the board of NIPANC (a charity to improve awareness of Pancreatic Cancer), to making a powerful video series to help train healthcare professionals to better manage end of life care for families. She humbles me very day with how much she gives. 
  20. I launched a new mini-service with maxi results. My new Career Audit service has been helping women to get expert help to formulate a career gameplan. Whether it be for a specific challenge or their career as a whole. The results from this package have been big…courage to get that payrise, making a big career transition, and strategies to build visibility. 
  21. I’ve really missed live music so it was brilliant to finally get to a gig. This one had been rearranged what felt like 30 times…Elbow at the Waterfront. We were right up at the front and it was an epic gig. One to put in the memory bank for sure!
  22. I’m always encouraging clients to put themselves out there by speaking at events. I don’t often get to see the results firsthand, but was very proud when not 1 but 2 clients totally nailed it speaking on a panel about Women Leaders in Tech. I couldn’t have been prouder!  I’ve had other clients speak at global conferences, and one do a closing speech at a huge event of over a thousand people. My Generation Women inspire me every day!!
  23. It felt great to get back to in-person speaking. My first live event was on a panel for Version 1. I always love a panel as you get to learn from and bounce off the other speakers. And of course the best but was a live audience. The energy in the room always gives such a buzz!
  24. One of the greatest benefits as a family for what I do is flexibility and being able to take time off. With 2 children (and some complex needs) it’s great that I have the ability to take most of the summer and other school holidays off. It definitely made the house move and transition a lot easier. 
  25. I got to go to London again!  It felt like forever (probably 3 years) since I’d been and it reminded me how much I love the big smoke. I was travelling to do a talk for Baring’s on Imposter Syndrome, and marked the first travel for a talk since covid. 
  26. We’ve had all the play dates, movie nights, and kids parties since moving into the new house. All that extra space has been fab for the kids. Plus we’re enjoying throwing more parties and stuff too. I grew up with my house being the hub for my friends and I’m hoping it will be the same for my 2 girls. 
  27. Some unreal client results from my lovely Career Elevator women…like one who got the courage to go for a new role after our first session together and got a 100% payrise. Or the one who went from public sector to private sector after 16 years and is loving it. Or the one who was being poisoned in a toxic environment and made her escape and got a 35% raise in the bargain. There are so many inspirational success stories, maybe I should write a book!
  28. I’m all about new experiences lately, and one of the ones I enjoyed this year was my first cacao ceremony with a Celtic calendar twist. We celebrated Celtic New Year on the 1st November. It’s interesting because I’ve always found that I’m drawn to setting goals at that time of year. It’s definitely got me prepared for the end of year, and 2023. 
  29. I’ve been talking a lot about menopause this year. My own tricky experiences made me want to speak up. I’ve spoken on panels, interviewed experts. A particular highlight was getting to MC and speak at a fab women’s wellness and Menopause event for over 140 women. We learned about women’s cancers, fertility, other health issues, and of course perimenopause!  I shared some techniques around mental fitness and changing mindset that have been a real gift for me on my journey. 
  30. Lisa Strutt and I took Reboot to a new level with the launch of our Elite Leadership programme for the IFA. Working with women at the top of their game to help them push through and explore what next level leadership looks like. Our pilot is going brilliantly and you’ll definitely be hearing more next year. Big things are on the horizon. 
  31. I’ve had a bit of a year of panels, my final one of the year was at Ladies who Launch who support women entrepreneurs. Founded by the powerhouse that is Sarah Friar (CEO of NextDoor and NI local). It was great to be speaking to a different crowd, inspiring women to step out in their own business rather than a traditional career. 
  32. I’m all in for a good laugh and that’s why a perfect night out for me would definitely include live comedy. We went to see Nish Kumar and honestly I laughed so much I ended up in physical pain. I thought my head might split open. So worth it. 
  33. Speaking of a good laugh…I have the best family and the women are particularly powerful. A group of us cousins and aunts have formed a little ‘ladies who lunch’ group and we try to get away from time to time to just have fun!  This year we spent the night in a beautiful hotel in Letterkenny. We had a gorgeous dinner before heading off to probably the worst play I’ve ever seen. I never laughed so much (it wasn’t a comedy), or drank so much during a play!! I was trying to block out what was happening on stage. It will be something we wet ourselves about for years to come I’m sure.
  34. Every year I have the honour of being asked to be the head judge for the Soroptomist International public speaking competition for school girls.  I had the honour of watching 22 girls deliver powerful speeches. It was so tough to choose a winner, but one thing was undeniable, the future looks bright!
  35. One of the biggest highlights of my year was taking a dip in Glenone waterfall. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alive!! It was icy cold, but I felt so connected to Mother Nature and her infinite power. I screamed into the blasting water and left my fears and frustrations behind and took away a hunger for life and challenge (watch this space on that front)!
  36. I had the best educational experience of my life earlier this month. Yes I went to Gin school. Playing around with scientific equipment and flavour combinations to make my very own gin was definitely an experience I’ll cherish. Who knows, maybe there’s a Generation Women gin in our future. 
  37. I’ve watched some epic TV this year. Shows like The Extraordinary Attorney Woo where I totally fell in love with her. Traitors which has been mind blowing with its twists and turns and intrigue. As a psychology graduate I’ve enjoyed every minute of watching human behaviour. The gorgeous Heartstopper. Bereft at the end of This Is Us. I’m excited to get stuck into Dead To Me and Wednesday over Christmas. If you’ve any recommendations I’m always up for a great show (even better if it’s a strong woman leading). 
  38. I’m a big believer in staying fresh and up-to-date in your field, so I’ve been deepening my knowledge and experience of Positive Intelligence this year. It’s such a powerful approach to mindset and is the foundation of much of my transformational work. It’s also been reaccreditation time with the ICF so I’m doing a coaching refresher programme with the only ICF accreditation -approved trainer in NI, Olivia Cleland. Olivia’s approach is thought-provoking and challenges your style and approach, whilst being incredibly supportive. I’m really enjoying brushing up. 
  39. The next is another gig. Me and my hubby went for a trip down memory lane when we went to see The Cure.  It was an eventful night where we nearly didn’t make it, people were in our seats, and bumping into people I haven’t seen in years. The Cure were worth waiting a lifetime for. Another one on the bucket list ticked!
  40. I’m grateful for all of the brilliant companies and organisations I’ve worked with this year…Citi, KN Circet, InvestNI, IFA, Baring’s, PSNI, Ezoic, Women in Banking and Finance, Mid and East Antrim Council, Mid Ulster Council, Ladies Who Launch, SistersIn, Woman in Tech and no doubt others!
  41. I’m proud to have had the honour of working with so many women this year…almost 2,500! My goal of helping 1 million women to elevate their careers is very much on my mind. 
  42. This has been a year of gratitude for great friendships. I’ve had my share of good friends, but my early thirties saw real friendship challenges and left me feeling pretty lonely. I can honestly say I’ve never had better and more enriching friendships than I do right now. One of the best bits about perimenopause is that drive for connection and giving way less of a shit what anyone thinks. My friends are courageous, fun, adventurous, and so supportive. I couldn’t get through without them. 
  43. All the change this year brings it’s challenges in a house bejewelled with neurodivergence. There’s been lots of emotions, lots of PQ reps, and I’m glad to say lots of fun at home. As a family I don’t think we’ve ever been in a better place, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s always easy! 
  44. I’m really grateful to the girls’ school for their care and support. One of my children has huge anxiety and struggles to go to school almost every day. They have been patient, made lots of helpful accommodations, and generally been brilliant. 
  45. This year I took my magnificent Career Elevator programme and made it accessible and work for corporate clients. I’m excited to say we’ve kicked off the Elevate Women plan with a talented group of women from one organisation. More are planned for next year too. 
  46. I was asked a great question last week. What am I doing better now than this time last year?  And I would definitely answer self care. Other people have a word of the year, I have a couple of priorities and one of mine for 2022 was to honour my energy. That’s something I’ve really taken on board this year and have listened to my body and my soul and taken things at the best pace for me. With lots of things to refresh and rejuvenate. This is something I’m definitely building into 2023 and have already blocked time in the calendar across the year to facilitate it. 
  47. One of the best bits about being part of the Lean In Women Entrepreneurs Committee is definitely the other women. Their support this year has been invaluable. They are some of the best women I know…Virginia Mendez, Ellie McBride, Chikumo Fiseko, Nikki Elliott, Beverly Beck, Niamh Crawford-Walker, Nuala McMenamin. 
  48. I kicked off my December with a beautiful retreat day with Lucille Cassidy. It was a lovely opportunity for me to take some time out and get headspace, connect with my body, and I came away feeling superb. 
  49. I’m really grateful to have made it through 2022 with all of its many challenges, and thankfully many great moments to be in a better place mentally and with my health. I’m focused on getting even stronger mentally, and definitely physically in 2023!
  50. Generation Women or the Steenson family wouldn’t be anything without Dave. He’s there to make things happen, pick up the slack, and find creative ways of carrying out my hair-brained ideas. We are a team at home and at work. And whilst I’m not saying we live in any kind of delusional bliss, we are a great team and it really works. Thank you Dave!
  51. And I couldn’t help but break the rules and add an extra one. I’m grateful for all of you!! My lovely clients for investing in themselves and trusting me. For my lovely Generation Women family of followers and supporters for opening emails, commenting on posts, showing up to webinars and challenges. Together we make magic I’m looking forward to helping you achieve your career goals and dreams in 2023. Because you know what happens when you do…we change the world for women, one career at a time!

Have a wonderful holiday season and remember to take time to switch off. I want you to be kind to yourself and remember you are human, perfection doesn’t exist and isn’t fun. And it’s only a moment in time. See you on the other side!