PC: Rifle Paper Co.
This year, our winter break was a true break. We enjoyed time with our family and friends, we traveled, and we have returned recharged and rejuvenated. Now, it is time to get back to work.
Every new year, I like to set goals. Sometimes I reach them, sometimes I do not, but for me the start of a new year is a good time to start fresh and think about the things that are important to me. This year, my goals are both personal and professional. If you follow this blog, you know that 2017 involved some big changes for us. The biggest change was my move from San Francisco to Chicago. Now, as a dual-city business, Ariana and I are working together as bloggers but working separately on our own design projects. Over the break, I had time to consider how I want to work and how I want to spend my non-working hours. This year, I came up with four goals for 2018.
Goal #1: Organize, organize, organize. This first goal spans my personal and professional lives. As a working mom, I juggle a hectic schedule. In my home, having an organized space is critical. I like having my kitchen pantry and closets in order. When everything is in its place, it brings me a sense of calm. The same is true for scheduling. The only way to keep everyone on track is to have an organized schedule and make sure everyone knows what to expect on a particular day. It goes without saying that the same organization is critical for me professionally. Keeping our blogging and design schedules organized allows us to plan ahead and avoid procrastinating. But, when things get crazy, it is easy to let some of my personal organization fall away. This year I would like to work hard to keep my personal life as organized as my professional endeavors.
Goal #2: Achieve a “less is more” lifestyle. When we moved to Chicago, we were able to pare things down quite a bit. But, we could do better. On a recent 10 day trip to San Francisco, each person in our family brought 3 pairs of pants, 5 shirts/sweaters, and my kids brought only the toys that would fit in a small backpack. Granted we did laundry while we were visiting, and my kids played with friends’ toys, but it proved to me that we do not need most of what we have. Nevertheless, we somehow accumulate many, many things, especially kids’ toys, without even trying. This year, I would like to be more mindful about our purchases and more actively get rid of the things that we have held onto past their useful lives.
Goal #3: Celebrate the small things. As I set up shop for my Chicago-based business, I am reminding myself to celebrate the small victories. As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day.” It is easy to feel like a new endeavor is failing when you don’t have immediate and huge success. But, when you are starting something new, it takes time to get your footing. This year, I would like to keep reminding myself that each of my baby steps will take me further down the road to success.
Goal #4: Make personal time count. Sadly, most of my personal time will not be spent lounging by the pool in the image above. This year, I would like to concentrate on just a few of the most important activities and follow through. For example, I started taking pilates last year following a running injury. I’m back to running but I’d like to continue doing pilates a few hours a week to bring some balance to my exercise routine. At the end of last year, I also decided to learn how to play the piano. In 2018 I would like to commit to continuing my lessons. Another thing I focused on in 2017 was reading more actual books (as opposed to iBooks) and in 2018 I would like to continue the trend. While I won’t give up the electronic version entirely, I do find reading a physical book to be very gratifying. Finally, when we do have time for a vacation I would like to make sure we make our family time count. Whether we are lounging by the pool or exploring a new city, I resolve to make sure we are unplugged and focused on each other. My “personal time” goals are probably my most ambitious. The bottom line is that I do not really have as much personal time as Goal #4 would require. But, I guess that is why these are goals and not resolutions.