I have big dreams for where I want to go this year, hoping I’m prepared to make real plans and take action to get there, but this post is not really about that. This one is about my high and low of last year, and how I want those to shape my 2016. Warning: I’m not going to be afraid of going text-heavy on you guys!
This January feels different than the rest. I’m much much more excited and hopeful, not because I know every move I’m going to be making this year (I don’t!), but because I’m just so happy about the general direction I’m headed, which is a feeling completely new to me not too long ago.
The monster milestone of last year was quitting my job to go full-time with the blog. It was a decision so right that I almost believed I was experiencing happiness for the first time in my life. That sense of purpose and identity I only read about in books was now mine whaaaaat.
While I regard that as my biggest achievement of 2015, it was also the source of my biggest shortcoming. Being free to focus all of my attention on the blog consumed me. With zero boundaries on work hours and not knowing when to take a break, I kind of stopped taking care of myself. My favorite thing to say towards anything that would take me away from the blog became, “I don’t have time.”
Simple basics, like getting dressed, doing the dishes, or eating, became cumbersome tasks that I’d always reason could wait until later, and then suddenly it’s 4PM and I’m clawing at a Costco rotisserie chicken and eating it over the sink because I forgot to eat lunch. How can I forget to eat?! I LOVE EATING.
I just shared that I eat Costco chickens over the sink…
There are a lot of things like that, things I love and want/need to do that I just didn’t because I believed that “I don’t have time.” While I thought spending every moment possible on the blog was sure to be best for it, it crossed over the edge into burnout territory and finding my focus became a huge challenge. We’ve all lived or heard this story before, right?
So, like last year, I’m setting an intention with my goals for this year, focusing on taking care of myself and remembering that there IS time to do those things that will ultimately make me better and more productive at doing the work that I so love doing.
I discovered last year that waking up early is awesome, who knew? I’ve always considered myself a proud night owl but I can no longer deny the productivity that comes with waking up early AND going to bed on time. The goal is bed by 10PM and up by 5AM on work days, which is purposely the same as my boyfriend’s schedule so he can help me HA. The other benefit to this is going to bed together, which is much nicer than falling asleep on the sofa while working on a blog post then waking up at 3am to zombie-walk over to the bedroom (happened often).
This is actually a huge achievement of mine last year that I’m bringing into 2016. I never, ever, ever, ever liked working out until I signed up for Class Pass last fall because it completely changed my perspective about working out. Instead of seeing it as losing weight, I see it now as gaining strength, both physical and mental, which is infinitely more motivational. I’m going to continue scheduling my workouts first thing in the morning, 5 days a week, to help with the previous goal of waking up early and to also get my days started on a positive high. I’ve noticed I’m now significantly more happy when I get to workout that day. This is seriously unheard of for me. Who am I???
This was a goal from last year that failed, and I think it’s one of those cases where getting specific might help because last time all I said was that I want to read “more.” I’m setting a goal to read one book per month. Typically my reading occurs before I go to bed, which from experience has brought me better sleep, so that’s cool! I’m also hoping this will reduce the time spent on my phone scrolling through social media since it’s become a habit of mine to do this right before I go to bed. Replacing that with reading will be a much more productive activity. Lots of good to come from this.
Work at My Desk
I stopped working at my desk once I felt like my needs outgrew the space, and instead of taking action to improve the function of the area, I started working from my sofa. This is something I can confidently point to as negatively affecting my productivity, so first things first- a workspace redo is in progress (will share that when it’s done!) and I’m determined to exclusively keep work to this area. I’ve found that the challenges of working from home absolutely require setting boundaries on where work happens.
Who doesn’t have this on their list… I had it on my list last year, and I’d say we did pretty good on that in terms of taking smaller trips. I think what’s different this time is that I see it as leaving room for spontaneity, and also allowing myself to take a break and not feel bad about it. If I schedule ahead for all the work to be done, why shouldn’t I also schedule ahead for the trips I want to go on? Up till now I had this notion that there will be moments I feel like the work is done and at a place where I can leave it for a bit, and THEN I’ll take a break. But you already know- the work is never done, it only grows. So, I’m not putting off our Euro trip any longer, and I’m going to ask you guys for recommendations on that as we draw closer to that trip, ok?
I’m going to take space in my planner to write down awesome things that happen, however small they might be. Whether that occurs on a daily or weekly basis, I want to be able to review them weekly and reflect on successes/generally positive things from a place of gratitude. I’ve known for a long time that this would be good for me, especially since I’m the type of person who gets asked “How as your week” and then is unable to remember a single thing about it. Good stuff happens all the time and I want to remember it!! In general I see this as a good way to check in with myself, something I never do at all ever.
On that previous note, I think it’s easy to forget that goals can change and that we can revisit them after we’ve tried them out, then adjust if they turn out to be completely unreasonable. I also think in that sense we can be a lot kinder to ourselves if we slip. Is it likely we might not hit our 10PM bedtime tonight because we’re trying to finish Making a Murderer? Yes. But have we been really good about that all other days? Hell yea. It’s not for perfection, it’s striving for better, and already I feel I’m doing a lot better (yea it’s only been a few days of the new year but c’mon, let’s be proud).
Aside from these personal goals, I want to mention a few other things about the blog and what to expect this year.
The DIY content will remain, and as much as I love it and know that it’s your favorite, my conflict with increasing the frequency of them comes from a couple of reasons: 1) I really want to keep DIYs to ideas I truly believe are worthwhile, and not make things only for the sake of making (sometimes! I do get the itch to just make, but I wan’t to be highly mindful of intention.) 2) My goals to continue decluttering and thoroughly editing our home have me personally thinking most about how to live with less, not with more.
It’s of course very important to me to serve you the inspiration you loyally come here for (thank you so so much), but I wanted to share a bit about where my heart is and be open with the idea of changes in blog content reflecting that. In any case, good design is what I intend to be the foundation for everything, and I’m not going in any drastic opposite direction. In fact, the biggest thing on my editorial agenda is to focus even more on home, and my hope is that we’re cool to also try some new things.
Maybe you hate this? Leave me your thoughts if you have any.
This has been highly requested forever, and I really want to do it. I haven’t done it yet because I simply haven’t been happy with our space, but I started taking big strides last year towards those changes I always said I was going to make. We all know that making a home is a long process and I’ve tried my hardest to be patient with this. I certainly can do a better job of sharing progress and decision-making points if you’d like, but that home tour is coming I promise.
I love the blog design now and a lot of you thankfully expressed the same, but it’s time for something even more streamlined to really solidify HOM as a brand. This has been on my mind for a long time and it would be ideal to accomplish this year. I’m very, very excited about this one!
Always and forever, thank you for continually coming back and giving me the push to strive for more. I’d love to hear about any of your goals, if you have the same ones, or if you have any thoughts on goal setting in general. Happy New Year! <3