I can’t believe it’s already time for my 2017 year in review. Christmas music starts playing in my home as early as November. The voices of Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and Michael Buble – they instantly get me in the mood to decorate, bake ginger cookies and wear ugly Christmas sweaters. This is also the time when I review my 2017. I’ve never done a year in review post but had always enjoyed reading other people’s year in review post. I hope you’ll find this helpful as you embark on your own journey of growth.

What I Learned

My 2017 and beyond bucket list by Ling Abson 2017 is my banner year for a recovering procrastinator. I’ve achieved way more than I thought possible, checked off two of the items on my bucket list (more on that later), and pushed myself in ways that I never thought possible.

I remembered the first week of January, I wrote down in my journal “See the cherry blossoms in Japan.” and “See Mona Lisa up close.” Even though when I wrote it down, I had no idea how or when it would come true, I wrote it down anyway as that’s what I desired and handed them off to the Big U and that was that.

Lesson learned: Write down your desires. I’ve heard somewhere that there’s something transformative in writing things down but I’m now a big believer after manifesting two of my bucket list items within the year.


In February, after many hours of online research I decided to enrol in the life coaching program by the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. I was really nervous as I’ve never invested that much before in an online program. I think my palms were sweating as I click on the enrol and pay buttons but deep in my gut, I knew my life will never be the same after taking this course.

Dad and the kids Singapore
I adore this photo. It’s the first time my dad has seen his youngest granddaughter. It’s been 5 long years. Hopefully we won’t wait that long for our next trip.

Fast-forward to April, we decided to visit Singapore. Honestly, I’ve had huge anxiety about this ever since we travelled there five years ago with my oldest, who was not even two years old at the time. The whole trip was very stressful for my husband and I (imagine lots of crying throughout trip + no alone time with my husband the entire time + crazy jetlag). Travelling to the other side of the world with two young kids were not something we looked forward to.

What really helped me was going through a fear setting exercise (created by Tim Ferriss) and obviously, it worked! I have altered it slightly for myself in a handy worksheet which you can download here. And we figured, if we had to fly all the way to Asia, why not stopover in Japan for their cherry blossoms! So we booked the plane tickets, AirBnB and pretty much left our itinerary open. We ended up within walking distance to a huge cherry blossoms park and surprised our kids to a trip to Tokyo Disney (not even realizing there’s one in Tokyo).

Lesson learned: Say YES! to the things you want even though you have no idea how it would happen.


May/June/July – the next three months after the trip were intense nightly study on the life coaching course. It involved going through the manual, answering worksheet questions, hopping on calls with my coaching buddy (part of the homework) and showing up live on every call with the trainers.

Before I enrolled in the course, I was very concerned that I won’t be able to juggle it all, with a demanding day job and family. Interestingly, once I decided to play full out, showing up consistently for the course became easy (although the course itself was challenging).

I went from knowing nothing about life coaching, to having coaching calls with pro bono clients within three months. Before this, I’d never had Skype sessions and never quite knew how I can help other people. This course really empowered me and gave me a concrete framework that I’ve since used to help others.

Lesson learned: When you finally figure out what it is that you want (even though the path is unclear), everything will suddenly click and it becomes easier to do the things that used to be hard before. When your WHY is clear, it would feel like you’re a women on a mission. Things will start to make sense.


Rebecca Campbell and Ling Abson in Paris
A photo with the amazing Rebecca Campbell! Credit : Fi Mims Photography

And in July, I had the opportunity to travel to Paris, France to participate in one of two Inspiration Days that were provided for students who enrolled in the Beautiful You Coaching Course. And of course, it turned out that it’s the first time an Inspiration Day was held in Paris (and I enrolled at the right time).

I was disappointed when I couldn’t get in to the Lourve on my first day in Paris (my carry-on was too big). I thought about giving the tickets away as I was only in Paris for a few days and wasn’t sure when I could visit again. But the Universe had my back. I was able to get in with very little crowd on a different day and had a quiet few minutes with Mona Lisa. It was one of those moments that I will remember for life.

Mona Lisa at the Lourve Museum by Ling Abson
It’s crazy how I got a one-on-one with Mona Lisa! A moment I’ll always remember.
Lesson learned: Trust the process even though things might not go to plan. Once you’ve prepared what you can, let go of the outcome.


After coming home from Paris, I was on full coaching mode. In addition to the course (which I was halfway through), I took on as many clients as my schedule allowed. I started the course with an idea on the kind of coach I wanted to be and it had definitely evolved during the course. The more I coached, the more I found what I most enjoyed coaching on was helping aspiring women entrepreneurs who might be overwhelmed with it all, to get more clarity on what they want and start taking inspired actions so they can move from being stuck and overwhelmed to being impactful.


Being grateful for where you are + Believing in yourself + Building a strong mindset

To get ready for 2018, I’ve started writing more blog posts to prepare for next year so I can focus on more coaching. Sharing my work consistently through blogging and social media has never been something I was able to do. I’ve found getting the content and visual images that fit my messaging and branding took a lot of time and effort and I never really knew quite how to manage it.

Until recently my coach really encouraged me to focus on it in 2018 and as of now, I have my Pinterest content already scheduled till March, Instagram content created and scheduled till late February (although still missing captions and hashtags) and a few blog posts already written and prep till end of January. This is the first time I’ve been as organized and well prepared. 🙂 So heading into 2018, I feel really excited and ready.

Schedule a complimentary life coaching call with Ling Abson
One big change that started all this (in addition to hiring my coach) is planning in increments of 90 days. Initially I was going to plan a year ahead but with no experience planning so far ahead, it felt overwhelming. Also, I love how in the first 90 days of 2018, the seasons will change into Spring, which signals yet another new season of growth which might change how I write and I might update my social media to have a more Spring like feel to them. So I’m expecting around March is when I’ll take a few days again to batch create and schedule my content.

Do you struggle with creating/organizing/scheduling your blog and social media content too? Are you interested in how I did mine? If so, leave a comment and if there’s enough interest, I will do a blog post focused on that.

What I Wish I’d Done Differently

I wish I had paid more attention to my health. The past month, I started (again) on the Slow Carb Diet. I’ve been on this meal plan before and it worked well but for some reason, it was hard for me to get back on it. I tried it this time with hypnotherapy to really go at it with all I’ve got and so far, I have been able to maintain it for a month. Already, I feel much better. I don’t crash after a meal, I’m able to mostly resist sweet stuff (my kryptonite!) and my stomach don’t feel bloated all the time which means my clothes are fitting me nicely again.

Lesson learned: To grow and be more successful, I need to be firing on all cylinders. And that means I need to make sure I get the sleep I need, fueling my body with the right foods and be very vigilant on the thoughts that are influencing my beliefs and decisions. My mindset is important and so is my health too.


Over to you:

How has 2017 been for you? What were the lessons you’ve learned this year and anything you wish you had done differently?

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