new year, new goals
How I'm Making Changes For The Best
Going into 2018 I wanted to make sure I was recharged, refreshed, and focused. I have big goals and I needed a strategy. Not only that, but I also needed to take the time to really sit down and think through what I wanted in the new year. As a result I decided to take the first week of January to be quiet. I didn’t post on social media (rarely opened the apps), didn’t blog, didn’t worry about shooting looks or what content I was going to work on. Instead I focused on regrouping and taking time to myself to reflect. To be honest the last several months I had become enveloped in stress, overthinking, cynical tendencies, and gotten wrapped up in a cycle of negativity. How can I expect to be happy like this? It is time for a change.
In order for change to happen I have to start by taking accountability for my thoughts, words, emotions and actions. Regardless of whether these things were toward myself or others, I wanted to reflect and see what was in my power to change. For a long time now I’ve struggled with cycles of, for lack of a better term, depression. I’ll be fine for a few days or weeks and then slowly but surely this sadness creeps in. It’s slow and sneaky. When it starts all I want to do is crawl back in bed. Drown myself in television or books with stories that I can escape into. Eat my way through emotions. Beat myself up for not being good enough, for not trying harder, for feeling exhausted 95% of the time (even when I’m not in one of these moods), not making better decisions, for snapping at people or feeling cynical. I often feel like life is so chaotic and going by so quickly that I can’t keep up, which just piles on more stress and negativity. I find myself asking: why can’t I be the best version of myself? To put it simply it’s because I give in. For a long time (as in even back in high school) I pushed through, I stuffed my emotions down and accepted that this was a time when I was supposed to bust my ass and be exhausted because in the end it will pay off. But that isn’t always the case. It also doesn’t mean that if you bust your ass and work hard that you can’t enjoy life at the same time. Unfortunately, I’ve always been on one extreme of the spectrum or the other. We have lost so many family members much too early. Some of them spent their lives sacrificing and working hard to ultimately get cut short. Perhaps this has left my a little jaded. I don’t know.
What I do know is that while life is short it is also full of so much joy I could explode. I don’t want to miss a single moment of it. In 2018 I’m determined to find balance: consciously work through my emotions, be forgiving to myself and give myself time to heal while working hard, flourishing in my strengths, having fun and embracing joy.
So what brings us joy? For me it is so many things: family, love for my husband, creativity, expressing myself through my blog, running a business, being at peace with my work and myself, spending time with friends, new experiences, exploring Charlotte, going back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, making our house a home, and knowing that the possibilities for the future are endless. There is something to be said about the joy in feeling hope. In just a few sentences I’ve found the key words for 2018: love, joy, hope.
There are a few things we need to get done while we focus and foster those key words of love, joy and hope in the new year. Here are my goals for 2018 that will help me be the most true version of myself and hopefully inspire you to do the same.
- Practice Love Every Day: Expressing my love to Trent and other members of my family is something that comes naturally every day and truly brings me joy. However, practicing self-love is much harder to be consistent with. I want to start each day by saying “I love you” to my body, my emotions, my talents and flaws while holding myself accountable for the choices I make. Basically I need to treat myself like I would any member of my family: with unconditional love.
- Don’t Let Fear Be A Limitation: Oftentimes we put up roadblocks out of fear. They keep us from achieving our goals and being the best version of ourselves. What if I fail? What if no one likes me as I am? What if ___? For example, I held off from blogging out of fear for so long and now I kick myself wishing I hadn’t let it hold me back. Think of the ways that fear has limited you in the past. Let’s break those walls down in 2018 and just go for it!
- Get Organized: The last several years have brought on a lot of change for myself and my family, both good and bad. While trying to adapt and keep pushing, life started to feel chaotic because I felt like I couldn’t quite catch-up. As a result things fell by the wayside and became disorganized. That feeling of chaos and disorganization leads straight to stress. Hello!!! Stress machine over here!! So with the first week of 2018 I focused on purging unnecessary things and making organization a priority for all aspects of my life: my mind (note why I’m collecting my thoughts and goals, then organizing them here haha), home, personal life and schedule, blog and other businesses. I will continue this process throughout the next several weeks and turn it into a lifestyle. Think of organization like a refresh button for everything. Who wouldn’t want that?
- Be Joyful in My Work: I find so much joy in running a business. It fulfills me in so many ways! Whether it is blogging, Beautycounter, freelance work or my art all of it I find joy in. I want to continue to do that in 2018, but keep my self consciousness and negativity in check. Recently I found myself getting caught up in a lot of negativity when I hit a plateau in my blog and social media growth. Posts sometimes felt forced or I would obsess (yes, obsess) over how many likes or comments I got. I’d say things like “What the hell, that was a good picture!” or “Why does no one like me?” “My content sucks!” “No one cares”…to name a few. This easily turned into a comparison spiral where I would look at other bloggers and say “What are they doing that I’m not?” and questioning whether or not I am good enough. I am enough. My work should be an expression of that and throw all the other bullshit to the side. In the new year I am determined to focus on the mass amount of joy creating content for my followers brings me. Running a business and being creative at the same time is the perfect balance and fulfills me so much. I love it!
In closing I want to say “THANK YOU” to all of you who have followed my journey, supported me, and read this very honest post. I hope that you were able to relate to some of this and hopefully find inspiration in these goals for 2018.