2014 is finally here! I could not have possibly been more excited for this year to begin! I was literally counting down the days. While the world seemed to be counting down for Santa, I was counting down for the clock to strike midnight on December 31st. 2013 was not a good year for me, or my family.
I lost a few loved ones, many around me lost their jobs, and a few other trials and tribulations along the way. But they say these tough times make you tougher, smarter and more appreciative of the good moments. That’s not to say there weren’t good moments. I was consistently freelancing for a local magazine and website all through 2013, I was able to enjoy my niece grow up into a beautiful one-year old, this blog had wonderful readers, and I experienced some great relationships no matter how long or short some were. So though there were more hard times than good times in 2013, that’s not to say some small moments weren’t enjoyable. The losses and tough times have made my family, that much closer. It’s always great to know who the real people you can count on during good and bad times are. This past year also made me realize who the friends are that matter. The people that sense something might be wrong because you aren’t yourself and text, email or call just to check in. The people who though have insane lives of their own, worry about you. This year taught me who the real people are, and that’s what I learned from 2013.
I began 2014 calm, reflective and looking for a brighter future and a 2014 with more highs than lows. Every year I start a new journal. Not a diary, but a place to gather my thoughts. As a writer, it’s the best way for me to gather my emotions and thoughts and make sense of things. I need to write things down to understand, grow and move on. I also start a new agenda every year for planning and goal setting. Though technology makes this easy on our phones, e-readers and iPads, it’s just not the same to me if I can’t write it down, decorate the good days ahead and scratch things off my list when I’m done.
I’ve read a lot about vision boards and have always sort of done one. I’ve never created a full vision board, but I’ve cut things out that inspire me and glued them to the first couple of pages in my journal for the past few years. In 2012, I have to say almost half of the things I pasted on those pages were fulfilled. These weren’t conscious efforts – I cut, glued and turned the page, rarely reflecting back on it. I had things on there I wanted to do more of like write, be a features editor/writer, blog more, pick up photography and a few others that came about. In 2013 my pages weren’t as full as in years past. I think I just wanted to do things different. And since 2013 was so bland, I decided to fill the pages for 2014 with inspiration and love. I might have gotten a little carried away because I filled up SEVEN pages with inspiration, uplifting words, and images of things I want to accomplish.
As I sat on the eve of the New Year cutting things out of magazines (and not pasting til the clock struck midnight, it’s the believer in me for luck that prohibited starting early), I realized that many of the words I was cutting out seemed to fit together. Without realizing, as I was sipping my champagne and enjoying my country songs, I kept cutting out words of inspirations, uplifting words and words pushing me to do more for myself! I tend to have a flaw (or asset) of putting other’s needs and wants above my own, sometimes I think if I worried about myself like I do others, things would be different. So this year one of my resolutions is to put me first. It was nice change to welcome the year in peace, quiet, in company I enjoy – my own HA! – reflect, plan, dream and get inspired. I had never spent a 31st this way and I have to admit it was quite enjoyable. I bought myself some comfy flannel PJs (thank you Target for your sales!) and settled in for the night with my magazines, journal, washi tape, country music, candles and champagne. All things that bring me joy and peace. Not to sound like a complete introvert, because I’m anything but, but I have to say I felt like I walked into 2014 on a brighter, more peaceful, note.
Though for the most part, I like to keep what’s on my vision board/vision journal private and all my own, I can share some things with you and a few of my resolutions. (The personal ones I’ll keep between me and those pages).
2014 New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Put myself first. Make time for things I ENJOY!
2. Start my children’s book idea… and novel idea in 2014.
3. Make more real-life connections.
4. Say YES more to things outside my comfort zone
5. Learn a new craft: editing in photoshop and making gorgeous things – not just fixing photo resolutions, etc, learn to PROPERLY use my DSLR camera, calligraphy, sewing a pillow… anything that’s fun and different and crafty.
6. Take a birthday trip to one of my dream road trip destinations: St. Augustine, Savannah, or Charlotte. Plan to visit Nashville (plane might be ok for this one) in 2014.
7. Have a TANGIBLE moving plan by the end of 2014… or move.
8. Increase blog viewers to 25,000. Redesign blog. Post at least 2x a week.
9. Don’t waste time on gossip, fake friendships, toxic relationships, or things that just don’t move forward. People, jobs, relationships.
10. Work somewhere other than home while freelancing – get out in the world more. (Freelancing can be lonesome when you don’t see people on a daily basis.)
11. Attend Lucky FABB Conference.
12. Go back to 9-5 employment.
13. Do more active things – keep walking Key Biscayne bridge, kayak, just keep trekking.
14. Redecorate. Even if it’s not drastic. De-clutter.
15. Pay it forward with at least one act this year.
I know this is a long list, but some of these things should just come naturally or are simple changes in my personal behavior. I think most of these are pretty tangible. Let’s see how many of these I’m able to cross off by December 31, 2014. And since 15 is one o my personal lucky numbers, I’ll stop here.
If you don’t have goals or resolutions of your own, I stumbled upon this great list today via Danielle Moss at Breakfast at Toast, which was originally posted on Elite Daily. If you don’t have your own list, well, then I suggest you just follow EVERYTHING on this list because it’s pretty great, so here are 25 Resolutions Every Person Should Make.
Do you have New Year’s traditions? What inspires you? What do you do to get the year started right? Do you create a vision board? What’s on your vision board? What are your New Year’s resolutions? Share your vision board with us if you’re not shy!