I remember the excitement I felt when I first decided to start a blog. I spent weeks researching everything that went into it and coming up with a name, agonizing over getting my image just right. I tasked my brother with designing a logo and helping me set up a self-hosted site. I distinctly remember feeling like I was doing something monumentally important, and having him by my side was awesome. Every bit of time that wasn’t spent taking care of my daughter was spent creating the first bits of content. The exhilaration of crossing each item off my to-do list was intoxicating.

After three years, I shut down that blog and started this one. I launched this site on New Year’s Day 2016 with many of the same feelings.

I can’t help but smile as the memories play out in my mind. Both of these moments marked huge changes in my life and have made deep impacts on my psyche. I can’t believe I have been at this for so long, and as I look back on my journey I am astounded by the progress I’ve made.

I look forward to the coming year with much the same anticipation as I felt when I started both my blogs. So much has happened in the last year, and the promise of a clean slate is uniquely satisfying.

There are so many things I hope to accomplish this year, but the truth is, I’m not in any rush. I’ve come to respect the fact that things unfold in their own time. All any of us can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other and have faith that we will wind up where we’re meant to be. After all, life is perfectly imperfect: it’s never going to conform to our timelines. Goals are a wonderful thing to have, rigid deadlines are not.

 

new years goals, 2018, positive quote

 

That said, I’d like to take a moment to look at last year’s goals and share my progress with you, as well as take a look at the things I would love to see happen in 2018.

Let’s start with the goals I outlined at the beginning of 2017 (and followed up on in my half-year review in June.)

1. Post more often and with less fear; get better at social media.

I’d say I more or less hit the mark on this one! I haven’t always hit my goal of having two blog posts per week, but I posted way more often than the previous year! I’ve also opened up a lot more and shared more of my personal thoughts and experiences, which isn’t always easy to do. I still have a ways to go on the social media side, but I have made a point to have at least one post per day on all of my accounts, even if it’s something prescheduled. I’d say I definitely gotten better with this, so I’ll call it a win and make a plan to get even better at it in the coming year…

2. Release 2 more books in my “Instruments of Life” series.

This one obviously didn’t get completely met. I did get halfway there with the release of “Snared”, but a case of writer’s block, plus general life happenings pushed back the next book quite a bit. Still, I’m proud that I got at least one book out in the last 12 months and am looking forward to finishing the next one.

3. Work on being more mindful and present.

This is obviously something that one works on for a lifetime, but I feel like I made a lot of progress in this area over the last year. That’s not to say there haven’t been a few set-backs, but I have definitely made a point of really experiencing life. I must say, ditching the cell-phone helped immensely!

4. Create a better routine for my family, and carve out more one on one time with each member. 

Another win! Our routine has evolved quite a bit, and it has definitely been for the better. I have also been more proactive about making sure I get one on one time with my daughter, as well as one on one time with my husband, everyday, even if it’s only a few minutes before bed.

5. Take better care of my mind and body.

I’m not going to lie, there were a couple months there where this goal completely fell away. However, I managed to get right back up and refocus on some serious self-care. Of course, the pregnancy has helped me make my physical health a priority as well. This has definitely been a win for me!

6. Get finances under control.

We have definitely made some huge strides here! We finally paid off our car, made some headway in developing my husband’s business, and outlined some new goals for my career as we’ve continued to chip away at some debt. I’ve also implemented some strategies to cut down on household expenses, such as better meal planning and prepping, and making most of our cleaning products at home. I am insanely proud of how far we’ve come here and can’t wait to share some of the tips we’ve learned with you!

7. Take my music to the next level.

While I haven’t suddenly blossomed into some sort of virtuoso, I have definitely gained some new skills over the past year. Aside from developing some new skills, I’ve also increased my confidence in this area ten-fold.  Definitely another win!

 

new years goals, success quote

 

Overall, 2017 was a year of clearing away the things that were no longer serving me and finding new ways of being. There has been a lot of reflection as I have worked to refine my path.

I look forward to taking this new knowledge with me as we enter 2018. With the new baby coming, I know better than to push myself too hard in the next 12 months, so I am keeping my goals simple.

Things I would like to see happen this year:

  1. Release one more book from my series, as well as one non-fiction book.
  2. Enhance my painting and music skills.
  3. Laugh more.
  4. Grow my following on the blog and my social media accounts.
  5. Continue making progress in taking care of my mind and body.
  6. Adjust to life as a mom of 2.

I think that last one is probably the most important!

I am so excited for the next chapter of my life and I cannot wait to see what lessons and accomplishments are around the corner I look forward to sharing the next phase of my journey with you all, and I hope my story helps at least one person in some way as I continue to document it here.

Now, it’s your turn. What have you accomplished in the last year? What are your New Year’s goals? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

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