2016 Goals + Resolutions January 3, 2016 | Hi Friends! How are you? Still in a Holiday fog? I certainly am. It’s going to be a minimum 3 coffee morning for this girl. I can’t even tell you what a wonderful two weeks of stepping back a little, spending time with my family, and looking back at the year that flew past me. If you missed it, I recapped 2016 blog highlights on Friday. Today I’m sharing my New Years Resolutions for 2016 and what I learned from 2015 and how they relate to the blog. So, let’s just all get on the same page that this post is definitely different than what I normally put out there…it’s more personal, vulnerable and truly reflective. This blog (and you guys, really) were a huge part of my 2015 and I wanted to write down everything that I learned and what I want to do with this little piece of the web in 2016. Be warned, no pretty pictures, just some heartfelt words. Skip this if that’s just not your jam today, but if it is, read through because you might get to know my heart just a little better. What I learned from 2015: Just Say NO: I’ve spent so much time trying to please everyone else. Taking on too much, saying yes to something that I didn’t have the time or energy to do and really running myself ragged. I had a mild mental breakdown in September…while you were seeing pretty photos from fashion week, toasting in NYC with Better Homes and Gardens and room reveals, behind the scenes I was literally struggling to find time to brush my teeth. Right before I was supposed to leave for a big buying trip to Las Vegas with Project Nursery, I had to screech the brakes and ended up resigning from by role as the buyer for their online shop. It was a job I adored and loved my co-workers even more, so it was a really hard decision, but I knew it was the right one. I also have always taken Holiday Portraits for friends and family and also had to turn all of those down this year. Nothing is harder than telling your dear friends “no,” believe me! Saying NO has been the most liberating thing that I’ve done this year. Taking my time back and using it to snuggle Landry, work on a project that I’m passionate about, dive in to my faith, or cook a meal for my family has been SO rewarding. The little word “NO” is now no longer a negative word for me, yet it’s now a declaration that the 24 hours I’m given in a day is precious and I will use it how I see fit for myself and my family. Knowing My Limits: Very related to the whole taking on too much thing we talked about too much, but I’ve never really given myself boundaries. I’ve always tried to do everything. I have so many interests and so many passions and I want to know and do all the things. This year I tried so many new things and, well, I ended up being about 50-75% good at each of them, always feeling frustrated that I couldn’t get to 100% (being a mom and wife included in this). It’s the most frustrating feeling to just fast forward through a day and just try to check the boxes off. I was cutting corners in all aspects and it weighed on me so much. I had to step back and set limits for myself. Learn how to be content. Focus on what I wanted to be 100% at. I want to strive to be 100% (and I say strive because I know full well that’s totally unrealistic) at being a wife, a mother and a blogger. Those are my three. I want to do them to the best of my ability each day. I want to pour all of my efforts and creativity into those things each day and lay my head down at night feeling like I gave them my all. Of course, I still want to play the roles of friend, daughter, sister, etc but thankfully those are all a little less maintenance and don’t require daily warm meals, baths, booty wipes, and so on…. Not Everyone is Going to Like You: Okay this one was the hardest pill for me to swallow. It’s been 30 years in the making and I think that this year was finally the year that I embraced it. We were not put on this earth to share the same interests, tastes, personalities, etc as everyone else. Each person is obviously unique and noone is required to please anyone else. Since I put my life out there voluntarily on this blog and Instagram it opens me up to judgements, comparison and opinions. I’ve had to step back and understand that I cannot possibly make everyone happy and I’m learning to be okay with that. I have to do what’s best for me, my family, my business and what fulfills me creatively and do it with kindness. All of that being said, I’ve never believed that one should dull their shine to please others. So, shine on, friends! What I want from the blog in 2016: Work Smarter, Not Harder: When I tell my friends that I work on the blog for nearly 40 hours a week, they are always shocked. There are so many things that go in to ONE blog post that each one written takes anywhere from 5-8 hours…DIY posts are sometimes double that and fashion posts are usually a little less. Then there’s also keeping up with Instagram, emails and business stuff…it’s definitely a full time job and it’s the best job I’ve ever had. All of that being said, I think that there are some things that I can do a little smarter and free up some of my time to try new things that I think you guys might like. A big part of this will be a weekly schedule. I’ve always strived to do this, but I think that I can finally nail down a framework for 4 posts per week that you guys have always been interested in. Will share tomorrow! Be More Relatable: I’m a total goober, like for realz. I’m oddly uncoordinated, as in I currently have a huge shiner on my left cheek because I fell UP a flight of stairs. And I NEVER have matching socks on, in fact, I’m not sure I even own a matching pair anymore. These are all things you’d never know because I can share as much or as little about myself as I want. I have realized that most of you following along are only seeing photos taken by a professional photographer in great light when I have a full face of makeup on and am dressed to go to a cocktail party. I also realize that many of you spend your days in the trenches (just like me), covered in pureed bananas and on your 3 cup of coffee and, well, ONLY seeing that “Instagram” side of me is a little unrealistic. I want to learn to open up a little more and be vulnerable. Show you guys quick snaps of what I’m wearing for a day full of errands or for a new workout class I’m trying, new products I like or things that make my life a little easier. Real life stuff. Is that okay with you? I’m still planning to do one styled and photographed outfit post a week (mostly because I really enjoy them) but everything else will be taken down a notch. Things will still be fashion and home decor focused, still be shoppable, and will definitely be things similar to what I’ve been doing, but just a little more relatable. That cool? (See even more of this on Snapchat where I’ve been sharing silly pics and videos and more about what we are up to on the day to day @styleyoursenses) Slow Down the Hustle: I’ve hustled this year. I’ve gotten lost in it all at times and have lost sight of what my goals were in the first place. Blogging is a funny niche…at times it feels like a very public popularity contest and any blogger would be lying if they told you that it was always easy to navigate. It’s often REALLY hard and it’s a really competitive space. It’s easy to get caught up in followers and like and page views and it’s exhausting. I want to slow down, step back and understand that I never set out to be insta-famous or to earn a full time income from this blog. If either of those things come my way, awesome, but that’s certainly not why I come here each day. I come here because it fulfills be creatively. It’s my personal space where I can share any and everything that inspires me…and most importantly, I come here for you guys. It’s so fun to know that YOU take a few minutes out of your day to see what I’m saying. So I’m striving to be okay with the fact that my path is not like any one else’s, but if I’m having fun, that’s all that matters! Get to Know YOU: Honestly this is one of my most exciting goals. I want to know who YOU are. I see you come and go each day, but I don’t know your name or where you live or what you like. Our relationship is feeling a little one-sided, friends. Whether you like to follow along via coming to the blog every day or seeing things on Instagram, don’t be shy, let me know who you are and what you like seeing! I truly want this little space to feel more like a community and would love to get to know you guys!!! Do share! Whew, that was wordy and honest and I feel naked. If you made it all of the way through, major kudos! I hope that gives you a little insight in to what’s happening behind the blog, more of what’s been on my heart and mind and how I’m going in to 2016. Honestly, I feel so excited and motivated, eager to get back to a routine and dive in to this new year. What do you guys think?? Have a great Monday!