Posts Tagged ‘2014
Happy New Year! Okay, it’s a little late at this point, but this week is the first full week of January and a big week for me! I’m beginning some huge changes that will impact so many parts of my life. I’ve spent the first days of January reflecting on last year and what I learned. If you haven’t followed her or even heard of her, make sure you head over to the fabulous redhead motivator, Lara Casey’s blog. She is the creator of Southern Weddings magazine and also is one of the faces behind Making Things Happen, a workshop designed to set people on fire (motivationally-speaking) and put people on the path to make things happen in their life. She hosts a wonderful goal-setting series on her blog at the start of the year that asks just the right questions to help people reflect on their past year, on what they want for their life, and what goals will help them get there. I’ve filled up many pages in a notebook reflecting and goal setting. I want to share these goals on our blog as something that will help me look back at where I started. I also want to help encourage anyone reading this to really focus on what their vision for their life is and to start now at working to achieve that vision. It’s never too late to start!
I’m definitely not going to share everything I wrote down when reflecting on 2013, but I feel some information is important so you have an idea of where my new goals are coming from. 2013 was a change-filled year. So many things happened, such as:
- We bought our first house
- We renovated our first house with my parents for 7 months
- We used Dave Ramsey’s envelope system and budgeting tools we learned from a financial coach for a whole year
- We adopted Clementine Louise
- I quit my teaching job so that I could find a job that would allow me more time to work on my photography business (and less stress overall)
- We started spending more time with friends by planning monthly dates with our friends who live closeby
- I got very organized with the help of the Filofax planners
- For a period of time, I started waking up early to read the Bible and reflect on the Word
On paper, it was a great year! Lots of things happened. However, when I was really reflecting on the year, I was left feeling down. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for our home, our dog, and the help of my parents to get our home to a modern, open point. I am proud of the year overall. But, I feel like I lost a lot of momentum in the areas I had started working on at the beginning of 2013 because of the progress we made in other areas.
Renovating a house is not for the faint of heart. That’s the honest truth. Our weekends were filled with chaos. Think plaster dust everywhere, tools on the floors, rooms full of furniture placed in other rooms. Not knowing where things are. We got a lot done on the weekends, but I also had business stuff going on which I started to resent because it was just another thing added to my plate. Instead of my business feeling like a blessing, I started wishing people wouldn’t want to book me. That’s horrible, but true. However, when I would actually get to sessions or weddings, I felt rejuvenated and I remembered why I was doing this. I just didn’t have any rest time to refocus and remember why I was doing all of these things. The weekdays were always full of catching up on things we couldn’t get done on the weekend.
After reflecting on the year, I realized that at the heart of why I still felt down about the year even though so much happened, was that a lot of things happened that we didn’t spend time planning for. When we put in an offer on our house, we never realized the amount of renovating we would do. It makes so much sense now and we are glad we did it, but had I known that we would have been renovating for seven months, I would have setup systems in advance for my business, incoming papers, bill-paying, etc. so I wouldn’t have to be stressed out about those things. I would have planned time to stay dedicated to my business blog, to friends, etc. beforehand instead of scrambling to make these things work in the midst of chaos. A renovation is chaotic no matter how organized a person is, but setting up some systems beforehand and knowing it would be so chaotic, would have allowed me to find some peace during that time. I’m glad I know these things now because they will help me later on. It definitely was not a wasted year, and it gave me the motivation I needed to make this year insanely awesome!
With all of this in mind, I decided on the word “REFRESH” as my word of the year. I learned a lot in 2013. We made some great progress. However, in my heart, I didn’t feel like myself a lot of the time. Just like a webpage gets frozen and wonky from time to time and needs to be refreshed, I feel as though parts of my life were frozen with no progress (or I went backwards). My health definitely suffered, my stress level were high, and I wasn’t resting enough or reflecting on my goals. I want to refresh this year and take from it only the progress I made and leave behind any backwards-action away from my goals. I want to start fresh, clean, and happy. I am ready to move on and mentally get to a place I was in 2012 when my life was very focused an orderly and I want to start this year with that mindset.
Whew! Now that I got that off my chest, I want to share some of the goals I set for this year. I set 18 goals total, but a lot of them have to do with the same things. I’m going to share the shortened version of them:
- Goal 1: Become closer to the Lord.
- Goal 2: Work on creating a deeper relationship with my husband.
- Goal 3: Make health a priority because my body is something to be treasured.
- Goal 4: Begin preparing to be a good mother, whether I become one this year or not.
- Goal 5: Create new habits and force myself to be uncomfortable so I can grow.
- Goal 6: Look into a way to help/inspire women to stay at home with their children. This is something weighing on my heart lately, and although it is not even in the cards for us right now, it is something I feel God pulling me to look into and help others with.
- Goal 7: Strengthen the relationships I have with my loved ones.
- Goal 8: Organize my life (both physically and mentally).
- Goal 9: Inspire happy marriages.
- Goal 10: Document my life through writing and photography.
- Goal 11: Simplify our belongings.
- Goal 12: Honor God with our finances.
- Goal 13: Work on branding for my photography business.
- Goal 14: Fill my days with thoughts of gratitude and hope.
- Goal 15: Take (and plan) time to reflect, refresh, and relax.
- Goal 16: Carve out times and write them on the calendar when San and I will devote time solely to each other (not our phones).
- Goal 17: Continue to make our home a beautiful, cozy, inviting place for ourselves and our loved ones.
- Goal 18: Streamline my business so it is more productive and lucrative for the time I’m putting into it.
This seems like a lot, but I have a whole year! This won’t all happen in a day, and many of them are things I’ve already made progress on but just need to continue doing.
The main goal I am working on right now is becoming healthier. I have read The Daniel Plan and have become super motivated to clean up the food I put into my body. Already, San and I went through our fridge, freezer, and pantry and got rid of anything with high fructose corn syrup, MSG, anything hydrogenated, and other processed ingredients. It felt so good! Here is a look at just some of the stuff we got rid of via my Instagram photo:
And here is how much awesome food we got to keep:
I also started (yesterday) a 30-day detox where in addition to not eating foods with the aforementioned ingredients, I will also be omitting gluten and dairy from my diet. I’m doing this to see if I feel any changes without these things because so many people have sensitivities to them. I’ve eaten them both my whole life and may not even notice any damage they are causing, but I might once I omit them. Either way, my diet is going to be so much better now and I can feel proud knowing exactly what I am eating (and being able to pronounce it all). I will definitely be updating throughout this process.
I am so excited for an amazing year to shine and inspire others! I hope these goals inspired you and I would love to read about your goals for 2014, reflections on 2013, or advice for anything I posted! San will be back this week to share his goals as well.