Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Goals!

Pigeon Point, California

 Hello, friends!! I hope you all had a Merry holiday season. Ours was fantastic. We spent about 9 days in North Carolina, getting to visit families & friends. We were so grateful for each visit, though, they were all too short! I neglected my place here before the trip as holiday festivities and shopping were in full swing, and in coming back, Steven and I both caught nasty colds after a day long flight delay & spending entirely too much time at Raleigh-Durham International & on planerides. We barely stayed up to ring in the new year, cozied up on our couch! (And we were still on east coast time, so we celebrated at 11 in Amarillo-ha!)
I will say, while having the crud sucks, sick days force you to rest and reflect a little. I ignored the suitcases and Christmas decor in order to think about setting goals for 2014 and looking back at what didn't work in 2013 and also what did work. 

I set some pretty lofty goals for myself in 2013. Some were WAY too specific, but I think in each area, I will try a little harder to improve. We had a VERY busy year as far as traveling (Santa Fe a few times, Albuquerque, North Carolina three times, California twice, Denver twice, Austin, Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, and Lubbock were all trips that we took! Not to mention, we moved into this house last November and we hosted my family for 10 days and Steven's mom/sister/our nephew for 10 days--whew!), socializing with new friends, and joining various causes. I think immersing into a new place is important, and we certainly made a big effort to do so, but we lost sight of a few things along the way. The transition to living in Amarillo for both of us has been tough, so staying busy/out of the house seemed really important to me. It's a small city that really hasn't really progressed in the way say, Raleigh or Austin has. Not a ton to do here, unless it's a dinner/event/fundraiser that costs $$. The local restaurant scene is minimal and the weather is extreme! The people have been wonderful, though. I think that's the saving grace for us here. We sort of find ourselves wishing we were back east or in a large city all too often. But, we're here and we have resolutions that will help us cultivate a happy life wherever we are in a better way than we did this past year. Everything has been a learning curve.

A few things that didn't work:
I rarely woke up very early and did any sort of devotional or journal exercise or blogging. Working out was hit or miss. In the last half of the year, I did start going to the gym because I found one I love, but between Thanksgiving/Christmas/being sick, I've fallen off the wagon a little. Luckily, I'm excited to get back on because the classes are something that I enjoy (TRX, barre, and metabolic/circuit training)! I'll work on those goals after I talk a little more with Suzi, who is a personal trainer. I'd feel really good about going 3-4 days a week, which I had started to do. 

Working part time. It's really hard for me to admit that because, I really didn't like my old 8-5 job back in NC. I worked in insurance. Enough said! You couldn't pay me to go back to it, but I need something more fulfilling than retail. Having a part time schedule has allotted almost too much free time in my daily routine. Though, I was able to meet some great friends through retail. I'm somewhat of a mix of a type A & B person, so it takes a bit of hardcore self discipline for me to get things done, and when I don't have a job that I have to be at or a huge project on my hands, I, sadly default to waking up leisurely, working out sometimes, watching tv, and getting sucked into social media/pinterest--Which is totally OK, but not every single day. I also keep up with our house (with some help from Steven!). In some of this boredom, I start to miss my family/friends and find reasons to socialize like a socialite with new people in town. I'm giving myself a little bit of grace here, because, this last year was a huge transition and I've been putting efforts out to find my way.  In exciting news, though, I was hired on two design projects and recently I accepted a position with a residential developer to be an in-house designer!!! Hooray!!! My biggest realization this past year was, in most part, was that I didn't quite feel confident enough to "start a business" and put myself out there as a designer....yet. I need experience first. I think forming a brand and better blog needs to go hand in hand with a business, but maybe now I'm on the right track. I think financially, since I'll have a little more leeway with the new job, more money can go back into this arena. I'd love to attend another conference (Pursue looks awesome) and I wanted to sign up for Authenticate with Whitney English, but I feel like these opportunities popped up right around/after Chrstimastime and it's just not happening in the budget.  What I can do more of, which is a bit more cost effective, is to remain in contact with my design friends from Blissdom (Whitney, Chrissi Shields, Holly Mathis, Jana Hunter) who all get this blog world/entrepreneurship arena that I find myself getting into). I can also try my hand at Wecora boards and networking with designers. I'll have to work my way up into affording those extra opportunities. 
Perhaps, I'll plan ahead better for later this year and 2015!
Our trip to Williams Selyem Vineyard,  Healdsburg, CA

 Traveling took a front seat for us because it's important to Steven and I to carve out experiences and to explore new places. In 2014 we're heading to the Caribbean with my parents (!!!) to celebrate the big 30 & 5 years of dating/3 years of marriage and my dad's 60th!!! I'm so pumped.  Other than that, we're hoping to sort of chill out a bit in this area, though, a part of me has a "why wait" mentality. I'm grateful we can just up and go! Though, I'd really like to get a few things done around our house that we ignored in the past year (painting our walls, the bathroom, and finishing our den-I just need a rug and a mirror!). We also want to make a better effort to really enjoy Amarillo, and try to not be bored here. Traveling is fun, but it's exhausting. Between getting the house spotless/packing/running errands before any trip and then the laundry/unpacking/errands after a trip, it seems like it takes me a couple of days to get back into the swing of things. And that was constantly happening this year. Also, our trips in this past year were long ones. For me, I traveled sometimes before or after Steven because I could do so.

Health-wise, a few things worked! I checked many things off of my list from last year, but one big consistent challenge was cooking. We did cook A TON, but we also dined out A TON. Mainly because of travel. I think when we did cook, we made a valid effort to cook healthy, though. We tried quinoa and whole grains and some super foods and we attempted the Whole 30 (though, I wouldn't recommend it). But, more importantly, we really try to make our meals balanced and we have been sticking to the clean eating plan on e-meals. I tend to not snack, but I could probably attempt to eat more fruit/veggies during the day and I think we could be better about planning lunch when there are no leftovers. I also don't like realizing how much $$ was spent on dining out. We both need to budget a bit better!

In the finance & life arena, we checked off several things as well. What worked? I did make an effort to shop smarter. I really scaled back shopping for clothes & when I did shop, I looked for smart pieces. I'm officially a registered Texan. We've been saving for a new car and we've focused on giving a bit more, in addition to volunteering our time. In the realm of technology-my computer got fixed and I upgraded my phone. We haven't joined a church, but we did find a small group that we are going to try out and we did find a church that we enjoy occasionally when we are in town. 

I was quite disappointed about things in the creative area of my goals. I really didn't focus on much of this. I got busy with working part time & design projects and volunteering and I lacked the motivation. Though I got my computer fixed, it runs a bit slowly so I haven't upgraded to photoshop or anything like that. It makes designing room boards difficult! This year, I may see what I can do about getting it wiped again to start fresh. While I love painting, I didn't pick up a paint brush once. I didn't feel like I had the space to get messy in our house! I'm going to push through with keeping these things in mind, but it may require more weekends at home, actually!
Don't you wish the new year wasn't so cold? Warmer weather, in my opinion, would make for a more motivating fresh start!!

For 2014, I'll be keeping many of last year's goals in mind, but my focus is going to be simple. 

I love the Day Designer that I got for Christmas! My Better Life Bag is the perfect tote for it--amazing company!

Be selfish, in a good way. THIS IS SO HARD FOR ME!
 In the realm of design, creativity, blogging, working out, and down time, I pretty much want the focus to be intentional. I think with an actual job and experience in the future, I will be more pleased and excited, rather than feeling isolated with all my ideas. I feel different than last year and maybe a year of coasting was the right motivation I needed to make this a priority--even above many things that make me happy (being a people pleaser, entertaining, shopping, & Netflix with Steven)

Be encouraging.
Especially in marriage & friendships. This past year in living 1200 miles away from those I love most (aside from Steven), I've learned to really appreciate my time with my family and friends. Though, in filling the void of missing them, I'm choosing to focus on being a better wife and better self, rather than be so "busy" for the sake of being busy. Marriage is such a great gift, and we do things to connect ( weekly date night & cooking together at home), but quality time isn't watching tv together or playing candy crush together--it's talking, getting out of the house, making valuable friendships, and giving back together. We need more of all that and a little less boredom when we're in town together. My goal is to encourage that with Steven & encourage stronger relationships with my family & girlfriends who mean the world to me, new and old.

 Get on the ball financially. 
Contribute more, spend less, attend FPU again-we're signed up to start Sunday!, give more, and feel more peaceful about our habits in general. I was not so much involved in our budget this year. Something that worked- The Southwest credit card. We saved a couple thousand dollars in flights, which was amazing! Something that didn't work? The Southwest credit card. Lord knows, I don't write down my budget/spending, and I'm not sure I even know the password to check our banking online (gasp!)--so for me, this is a huge area that needs improvement. It's hard for me to get "into" co-managing this. We were sort of all over the map in the world of finance, but Steven keeps me on track and I'm aware enough to not screw up terribly. Thankfully, we weren't in debt (other than the house) and we've built our savings up, but in the world of monthly budgets, yikes! Finn will set us straight! 

So, in January, what does that mean? I have a few goals that we'll hopefully knock out to get the ball rolling:
1-  attend Financial Peace University 
2- participate in gym classes 3-4 times/week
3- plan a couple of dates with Steven
4- set the alarm earlier than usual
5- try out a small group 
6- make plans to attend the symphony ball!
7- volunteer one evening/saturday at some point this month
8- start my new job & design, design, design!
9- head up a project for the Art museum. We're sending out "Hearts for Art", in hopes to raise scholarship money for kids who can't afford to attend art related camps/programs in Amarillo.  

There you have it, friends! Link up with your goals and recaps of this past year if you have any. 


Em said...

Love that you took the time to work through each goal category from 2013 to see what did and didn't work -- so helpful! And love that you're breaking things down into monthly chunks -- that really works for me, so I hope you like it, too! :) Cheering for you, friend!

B. said...

I am following Lara Casey's goal setting too!! It is so helpful to see how other women are doing it and what your goals are! I am still cementing mine. It is quite a process

Chrissi said...

sorry it took me so long to read this my friend! Your blog post when you are feeling it are so long but so on q- i love that you have it all figured out! what didnt work... what did work etc this is so great! Dont let anything hold you back this year! Grow that confidence "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him."-Jeremiah 17:7......and know you are going to make things happen- all I can think right now after reading this is...girl you can do anything right now! You are married with no kiddos yet- make it happen- keep planning your future on what you want your future to be! Last week in authenicate Whitney was talking about goals that line up with you values- Just always remember to not let your dreams out grow who you really are! Dont live someones elses dream- live yours and I know your DREAM IS A GREAT ONE!