If I didn’t know that it really was, I would have a hard time believing that it is the middle of January 2016 already. 2015 was a great year, so great, that I was not quite ready to say goodbye to it. Off the top of my head, nothing big stands out about 2015, but I can tell you that I was happy and life was good. The last few years have been full of transition so it was nice to be able to just be present and grounded for a little while. (This will change next year, we are moving houses to finish out this tour and then we are moving again in 2017. We should know where around this time next year.)
I spent the first few days of the new year sick as a dog. I actually slept through Saturday. When I woke up and felt human again I was ready to do some reflection, long term planning, and goal setting for the new year. I am a big fan of Laura Casey’s Powersheets and used them again this year. It takes a few days to get through them all (I just did it 6 months previously, so for full disclosure I glossed over a few parts) and when you are finished, it feels like you have a clear vision of what you want out of the next year. It’s a good feeling.
WHAT HAS BEEN WORKING THIS YEAR //
Scaling back. I have taken on more projects with brands and people that I admire and said no to ones that don’t fit my brand or vision. It freed me up to work on personal projects and spend more time here in this space.
Merging my websites. I wish that I did this from the get go. It was an expensive mistake, but I learned a lot from it and now know that I’m heading in the right direction. It feels like home, and I so happy with how everything turned out.
Pulling my ads. I feel like I took back ownership of my blog and I enjoy spending time here again. The user experience is so much better and I don’t get annoyed to actually use my own website.
My Friday Happy Mail. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have gotten from sending this email every week. The connection I’ve made with readers, the friendships, and the insight that have come from it have been nothing short of amazing.
There are times when my job and growing my business are the priority and there are other times when Wes’s career is the priority. Right now, it is his turn and I am happy to be the one that is stepping back for a bit. Our kids really need us around right now, I feel that even though they are older, we need to be more present and available. (They just don’t tell you exactly that is what they need, you have to guess.) I’ve cut back on a lot of travel and taking on projects that don’t fit into our lives right now.
Shooting for myself and learning to shoot and edit video. I remember why I picked up a camera in the first place. Learning video is the most fun, and I absolutely love being able to create little movies that my children will have forever.
WHAT HASN’T BEEN WORKING THIS YEAR //
I work from home, have an online business, and am alone for a large chunk of the week. It can be lonely and make it hard to stay motivated. I need to get out more and meet more people. I need adult interaction. (I’m writing this from a coffee shop, I’m trying.)
Pulling ads was the right move, but I did lose a source of consistent income. I need to make that up somehow, I just haven’t figured out what exactly I’m going to do. I love teaching, and that is most likely the direction I will go. The subject matter – TBD.
I will always be glad that I became a holistic nutritionist. I learned so much about food and healing yourself with nutrients. I’m not sure if I will ever do anything with my certification,
Eating out, eating crap, and not paying attention to what I’ve been putting in my (and my family’s) mouth. I think I sustained myself entirely on cookies during the month of December. Enough is enough, I don’t feel great, I’m tired all the time, and it is not working for me. In some ways I think that I learned so much about food in school that it freaked me out. I threw my hands up and didn’t even bother anymore.
Spending money on things that I don’t need. I think that this is mainly boredom and Amazon Prime. We live in a fairly remote place so I have found that I am becoming a bit of a late night online shopper.
Not planning blog content. I’m terrible about looking ahead, I’m always working in the moment. By the time I get Valentine’s Day ready to go, I’ve almost missed the window. I need to plan out content more and be mindful of what is coming up in the calendar.
// 2016 GOALS //
Shoot more. Very few things make me happier than taking pictures. For awhile I associated taking pictures with work, and some of the joy was gone. I am making it a priority to bring my camera with me and take pictures just for me.
Video. How I love video. The learning curve has been steep, but shooting and editing video is so rewarding for me. I love the time spent doing both. I cherish the little films that I’ve made and want to make many, many more.
My word for the year is THOUGHTFUL. I want to be a better friend, wife, mother. I want to remember birthdays, write thank you notes, and give more than I take from my relationships.
I will be 40 in a few months and I would like to start this new decade healthier than when I left it. I want to clean up my diet, move more, take care of my skin, and treat my body well. Be healthy in body and mind.
Plan content instead of “fly by the seat of my pants”. Create an editorial calendar, and ACTUALLY write about the things that I put on it.
Create one family video per month.
Create one personal video per month.
Finish all of the courses that I have started. I’m an e-Learning junkie and I’m not so awesome at finishing a self-paced course. I will finish them all.
Post 3 times a week.
Continue to grow the photography side of my business.
Create an online course or mentoring package for photographers and bloggers.
Learn how to use Lightroom. I’m way behind on this one, but I’m going to give it the ol’ college try.
Learn to use an external flash. I am terrible at this, and want to be comfortable shooting in any lighting situation. I need to embrace the flash.
Go beyond the basics in Final Cut Pro. I am barely scratching the surface right now.
JANUARY GOALS //
– Create editorial calendar for Baked Bree
– Create one family video
– Create one personal video
– Finish The Inside Story (this is a GREAT course, BTW.)
– Eat at home 5 nights a week
– Less sugar, less caffeine, and less processed foods
– Website maintenance – update pages, sidebar widgets, and complete a few random things from the redesign.
– Bake 3 things for NEXT Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
– Finish 1/2 of December Daily
As I am writing this, it is the middle of the month, and I am on track to cross these items off of my list. I started the new year with a clean system and I have managed to cut back significantly on caffeine. I am embarrassed to tell you how much Diet Coke and coffee I was drinking. When I decided to cut back on sugar and processed foods, it eliminated my beloved coffee creamer. After the first few days I didn’t even miss it. Instead of my afternoon cup of coffee, I’ve been having a pot of tea. (I am loving the new Wellness teas from Teavana, Serenity is my favorite.) I haven’t cut out Diet Coke completely, but I have cut waaaay down. It’s a start. Little changes, slowly, are what work for me.
I am on week two of eating super clean and I feel amazing. I skipped a lot of the detox because I slept through it, and I began to crave vegetables and salads more than cake. But when I do have a craving for something, I indulge it. I NEEDED a chocolate chip cookie and instead of eating a crappy one, I went to a bakery in town and had one perfect cookie. It was exactly what I wanted, and I was satisfied after three bites. I’ve also been cooking at home a lot and not only do we eat better, I like being at home after a busy day.
I am never going to be one of those people that eats perfectly all the time. I think that is just as unhealthy as eating like garbage. I love sweets, and if you haven’t noticed – I’m a baker. I love to bake. Sugar has a place in my life. My relationship with it needs to change. I need to counter the cake and carbs with some protein to balance it all out. It’s all good.
What are your goals for 2016? How do you plan your year? What’s working or not working for you? I’d love to know in the comments.