This Blogger’s Snapshot of 2015: Voices In My Head, Cobblestones, Spices, Prostitutes and Purveyors of Wisdom

On more than one occasion I have been accused of being aloof. Apparently, I hold my cards close. I don’t reveal enough about myself. Writing this “Blogger Snapshot of 2015” drove that home for me. I hated writing this. I would rather tell you about how to do the perfect squat than go on and on about me, me, me.

However, life is all about learning, so I am going to publish it anyway. And, because I have also been called arrogant at times, feel free to skim the self-indulgent parts and read the “what I learned sections.” 

Those snippets are the meat of this diatribe.

Lifeshift: This year started off in the throws of trying to sell a chiropractic practice I had loved, nurtured and developed for fourteen years. The practice was going to transition the first of the year but, due to many factors, the first of the year turned into five months later. This shuffle in timeline created some unique learning and communication opportunities between my staff, the new docs and my beloved patients. I had to flex when the plan didn’t go as a planned. I was Gumby! 

During this time my husband left his fourteen-year-post at Starbucks for a job that headquartered in Chicago. (Sure, why not!) Brent went from 60% travel to 80%. So with Brent traveling all over the world and me trying to shift from full-time practice to the life of a “work-from-home-blogger-online-business-owner” (whatever the heck that is) it was tenuous at times. Okay, cutting the sugar jacket, it was likely the toughest time I have had in my career. Read “The Doctor Is Out” for more.

What I learned: When a change is right, there is a deep knowing in your heart that chants, “This is right, this is right, this is right.” If, just for a moment, you sit quietly in the chaos and can still hear that voice, keep going. Just. Keep. Going. If it were not for that voice, I might have taken my ball and gone home.

The great doctor's who took over Lifetime Wellness Chiropractic
The great doctor’s who took over Lifetime Wellness Chiropractic

Travel: There were many reasons for my transition away from full-time practice. I am quite sure my chiropractic colleagues think I have lost my mind. One of the reasons I could no longer deny the need to leave was that my body was full of bugs. Travel bugs. I just could not stand the tickle anymore. I wanted to create a life where we could travel somewhere for weeks of months at a time. When reflecting on whether I felt like I hit my travel goal for this year, I looked at my travel booking account. Close to 40 flights – Arizona, Palm Springs, San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, Utah, Portugal, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Mexico, Calgary, Los Angeles. A good start! (I will try and do better next year.) Check out this “Walking Workout” blog post from our trip to Portugal.

What I learned: Traveling reminded me that when you explore the world your senses become acute, and you live fully in the present. You have to. You connect with people in a way you tend not to when weighed down with the day to day of regular life. I can see why some people, even people of the slightest means, make it a priority to “adventure” forth. One’s life becomes rich with vibrant memories of air thick with spice, toothy smiles on locals, and the curve of the individual cobblestones you meandered. Intoxicating.
Tower of Belem, Portugal

Missional Work: Another reason for “Heather’s midlife transition” was that I had always wanted to volunteer as a chiropractor. Up until now it felt like I never had the time or energy to invest. As soon as I handed over the reigns of the practice I looked for a non-profit for whom I could play a helpful role as a health coach and chiropractor. I found my calling almost immediately. REST, located in Seattle, is a non-profit that works with women who desire assistance in getting out of the sex trade. My hope was to provide chiropractic to the staff and volunteers first so they could be at their best. I eventually will work toward helping directly with the women that this organization serves. Check out REST.

What I learned: I am an idiot for not volunteering earlier. I think I was making excuses and also being selfish. Once invested, I realized people are glad (and often shocked) to have any help at all. The biggest trick to volunteering is finding something about which you are passionate. Volunteering should never feel like a job or obligation. If it does, you haven’t found the right calling. (Look at me, all experienced now!)


 Coaching and Speaking: This year I pursued some coaching and speaking opportunities. I only spoke once, so I guess not much pursuing there! But, I loved it. I have also started working as a consultant. I formalized my coaching business into a boutique-consulting house called “First Five Consulting.” The mission, although still in development, is to work with business professionals in their embryonic business building period. I am primarily working with chiropractors. Teach what you know, right? Stay tuned for more on First Five!

What I learned: Speaking well publicly is a finely tuned art delivered forth from an inherent gifting. Not sure I am in possession of said gifting, but I will continue to dig for it! Natural gifting aside, any skills polished in the area of presenting in front of a group of people transfers beautifully to interactions with colleagues, friends, and family. As difficult as it is to speak, practicing it, I believe, is one of the best personal development tools in the box.

My smug speaker face!
My smug speaker face!

Blogging: This was the point of the exercise of the big life transition, right? Become a full-fledged, full-time blogger? Well, the minute I started sitting down and blogging I realized I knew absolutely nothing about blogging, so I loaded up on conferences. I attended BYB15, Fitbloggin, and BlogHer. Three conferences in a row, on a subject you know hardly anything about, is a sure way to get overwhelmed. It has been natural to feel like I am spinning wheels and not making any progress. But, if I reflect, I have developed a website, an online store (launching next week!), 89 blog posts, I guest blog post, 6400 Facebook followers, one published article (coming out in January on FIX.COM) and my first product THE THREE DAY RESET (wahoo). I feel good about that. Will 2016 look very different? For reals! But 2015 was an excellent blogging start.

What I learned: Halfway through the year, I realized I needed some serious talent around me if I was going to make this thing fly. I got a coach. Thank you, Katy Widrick. I got a tech guy. Thank you ARCHIT!!!! (Seriously saved my bacon!). I got some peer-mentors HappyWifeStyle, Kaitlinjumpfitnessnow, Sweetblonde’sfitlife, Kylieburnside. This start-up phase has taught me that you must surround yourself with incredible talent if you want to get anywhere, let alone leapfrog your wildest dreams. Watch out 2016.

Word of the year: My word “WONDER” for 2015 was a bit of a bust. It never really resonated, and then I started “wondering” if I heard incorrectly when my word came to me last year. I suspect the word was supposed to be WANDER. Wander away, toward and around. WANDERING denotes not being in a hurry, being open to inspiration and spontaneity, looking to see what life has to offer. That feels so much more like my year. 

There will be more on this in next weeks post but watch for the WELLFITandFED Facebook INSPIRE series starting on the 18th to shuttle in my new word for 2016. Yes, “spoiler alert”, it’s INSPIRE. I completed Simon Sinek’s “The Start With Why Discovery Program”  this year as well, and my WHY statement naturally evolved to have the word “inspire” in it. So hopefully, this one is a winner!


What I learned: A word of the year is just a touchstone. A muse, if you will, to shed light on the goings on of your year. It can deeply direct your steps or just quietly follow you from behind. I encourage everyone to meditate on a focus word for the year. If you want to read a little more about your word of the year, check out this post.



Here are the top ten posts according to my new friend Google Analytics. (Thanks, coach Katy).



I encourage you to spend time thinking about your word of the year. Maybe your word will be something you need to work on or just something that well better you as a person. Share your word below if you are brave! 



Want to put your WORD of the year in front of you all the time?

  • Google a meme with your word and use it as your screen saver. See mine above.
  • Put a post it or photo with your word on it on your bathroom mirror or steering wheel. When you see the word, think about how it might manifest for you today.
  • Check out My Intent. You can get a cool bracelet made with your word on it. Just got mine in the mail! 

What were your learning points for the year? Please share in the comments below! 

Processed with Rookie Cam
Processed with Rookie Cam


33 Responses

  1. Ooo, I love the word of the year! The first word that came to me was “accomplish.” I want to accomplish my little daily tasks/to-do list, and accomplish my big goals! Thank you!

  2. I need to get back into volunteering. I was coaching rec soccer for high school kids. The number of players who stay in touch with me is inspiring. I need to find a team and a job that let’s me get back into it.

  3. Love this recap. I think one of the reasons you hold your cards close ot your vest is because you are an excellent listener. It’s hard to be a ‘sharer’ and a listener at the same time! It’s good to share though because it gives people a connection with you which is so awesome.

    My phrase for the year was ‘Let it Go’ and it was so appropriate for me. I can’t wait to see what next year’s phrase will be. I’m ready to jump into 2016!

    (Oh, and I totally agree about finding your volunteering mojo. I love the organization that I volunteer for. It feels my soul and NEVER feels like work!)

    1. I have seen that with you Michelle. Definitely a passion of yours and what a gift you give! Thank you for commenting. I hadn’t thought about the listener VS sharer perspective before. Listening feels so much more natural I guess. 🙂 XOXO miss you. Coffee in the New Year needs to go on your plan for 2016!

  4. You seem to have had quite the eventful 2015 and reading your reflection made me want to write my own. What better way to welcome 2016 than reflecting on what was the best (and worst) times of the past year!

    1. Yes, Julia. I am doing my planning retreat right now for 2016 and so it had to be done. Can’t know where you are going until you know where you have come, right? Thank you for your comment.

  5. I always love your posts and this was no exception. What an awesome journey you have been on and are continuing! And that pic in front of the Tower of Belem is incredible. I had to pin it!

  6. Wow! What an amazing 2015 you had. Talk about laughing at fear and embracing change. Truly inspirational and so looking forward to your new projects!

  7. Thank you so much for being willing to share so much of yourself in this post! I totally know how it is to feel aloof but I also know that I want to be known… If that makes sense…

    1. Oh, Suzannah! (I do realize what I did there 😉 ) You nailed it. Us aloof people get frustrated at not being known, but it is a little catch 22, right? Thank you for have great insight. You get me!!

  8. WOW! Heather – you know what is so cool… reading this post thinking YOU ARE KILLING IT!!! And what an awesome year… such a great post…and then BAM see my name there so unexpectedly. 🙂 Just made my night. I love the life you have built this year and love the travel pics!!!

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About Dr. Denniston

Dr. Denniston is a wellness strategist for elite leaders and their teams, bridging the connection between personal well-being and professional success. She provides custom solutions for burnout and stress and facilitates cohesive habit-training strategies that maximize vitality, productivity, and resilience.

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THE THREE DAY RESET is a whole food, organic eating plan geared to charge your metabolism, give you tons of energy, and provide all the nutrients and vitamins you need.

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WELLFITandFED’s primary programming includes programs, keynotes, workshops, events and customized consulting. The foundations of these offerings are rooted in 25 years of experience working with companies from small start-ups to global giants like Microsoft.

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