At the beginning of 2016, I didn’t write down many specific goals. After going through all the places I could think of that I might have written something down, I found a short summary stating a few big purchases I knew I needed to save up for and that I wanted to be a ‘branding expert.’
2016 brought an awareness of how much I need wisdom in handling life’s daily challenges. Our family is in an interesting season. There’s 3 of us out of high school now, but also 4 that are still school age. And because all of us girls work at home–finding routines that work, especially during the school year, can be difficult. My Mom also deals with chronic health issues. And we all live in this cute little house that sometimes seems like it’s bursting at the seams! :)
Needless to say, there’s lots of love but also challenges.
Even if I haven’t gotten as far as I pictured in my head (although wiser goal-setting will hopefully help with that in 2017) I’ve done the best I could with what I had.
And, I think the thing in spite of all the things that has kept me going the most this year is a confidence that I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be right now.
Things that went well:
1) Working with more clients. Obviously this is a good thing, but I tried to intentionally refine how I did things each time.
2) Starting a weekly newsletter. I wanted to build engagement with my audience in a meaningful way, which it did. It also forced me to blog more, so that was a win-win.
3) Investing in my skills. I spent lots of time refining my work + skills this year and that was definitely time well spent. Mastering InDesign, Illustrator, continuing to get better at photography, project management, and finding my limits with coding (and realizing that is not something I ever want to spend a lot of time doing ever!)
4) Forming a LLC, separating my business from my personal accounts. Everything feels far more streamlined and professional now.
Stuff that was harder:
1) The weekly newsletter. I originally wanted to do a lot more videos to go with the newsletter, but adding a brand new set of things I’d have to learn was too much.
Solution for next year? Streamline process, be more organized and add videos when you think it would make the most impact in sharing information.
2) Working space. My sister and I share an office/bedroom that very small. In my dreams, I have a lovely desk with tons of space to sprawl out and spread everything, but the truth is, I have about 4X2′.
Solution for next year? Work at the library more.
3) Burn out. In early August, I was working too much between client hours and trying to build my stuff on the side. I started experiencing symptoms (vertigo, nightmares, asthma) that WebMD promptly diagnosed as sleep deprivation and stress. Thankfully lowering my expectations and getting more sleep made the symptoms go away and I was feeling a lot better by October.
Solution for next year? Sleep and working out are not negotiable. Find stress triggers and avoid them. Don’t take on too many obligations either personally or professionally at once. Learn how to ride the entrepreneurship valleys and mountains better.
Takeaways/Life lessons from 2016:
- It is not healthy to expect myself to do the work of 3 people. In order to move forward I have to focus on a few important things and discard the rest.
- Spending time on improving your skills is always worth it!
- Don’t live for approval. It just takes up valuable mental energy that could be spent on something productive. Seek advice from those it matters from and move on with life.
- Family makes the best friends.
- You will not change anything by being discontent. Either take action if it can be changed, or be content with the current season God has for you if it’s an ‘unchangeable.’
A few fun things to wrap up:
Best purchase? My vehicle. Love that car. And my new iMac. Even though it hasn’t arrived yet.
What worked better than I thought it would? Setting up a Pinterest scheduling app.
What do I wish I would have done more of? Photography.