Happy New Year to you! I must say, I sure do love a new year. I love the optimism and the readjusting that takes place.
At the end of the year, I take time to evaluate my business for the year, find out what worked and didn't, what I loved and what wasted time, energy and money. It's a time for me to re-navigate myself and make sure I'm still on the path heading towards my goal line. It's my time to set-up plans and goals and a rhythm for my weeks.
As someone who likes to have a plan and execute according to it, it's also important to me that my plans allow me to follow my heart and my vision. Any major decision I've made in my life was from quieting all of the negativity, listening to my heart and following it. Each time I've done that I've been on the path that has turned out to be the most rewarding for my life and that has defined my life's story.
I feel best when I can start out the year ready to begin my plan, and this time I was only about 25% of the way finished with it, so I started out the year feeling very behind, which is what I've been feeling for the past many months. Things have just been so overwhelmingly busy that I kept working away not taking a minute to lift my head out of the water and realize that 2014 was a few days away. I seriously don't even think I took a real vacation at all in 2013.
To be honest, I started out 2014 feeling really hopeless. I finally created my design calendar and plotted the year out and just didn't feel like I could go through it all again. Scary? Yeah. I seriously used to wake up every morning singing 'Let's get this party started!' because I was so excited to jump out of bed at 5am and get going on my day. Yes, seriously. I truly love what I get to do. I have a passion for what I do that fuels me constantly. But 2013 was not full of parties for me. In 2013 I was an explorer.
When in business for myself, I do feel like I need to take risks and try things out, to test the waters and see what's on different shores. It's important and one of the wonderful things about owning a small business - you can steer your little ship to another shore or sail among a different sea, or take a different route, so much faster than a large company can. We can react quickly....and we can quickly find ourselves in un-fulfilling waters.
What did all of that exploring in 2013 do for me? I don't believe for one second that it was wasted time. What I've discovered is that I have GOT to stay true to who I am, what I'm about, what I love, what brings me joy and to stop living out of fear. That I've got to have courage and focus and make no excuses for who I am. That I've got to stop listening to negative people, stop listening to people who tell me I'm not enough in some way, and be comfortable and unapologetically ME. That those who are telling me I'm not enough in some way, who are trying to mold me into someone else, are not the people who are supposed to play big parts in my life. We're all to find and surround ourselves with the type of people who we can both freely accept, enjoy, energize, lift-up, and benefit from what each of us brings to this world by being our true selves. Things aren't supposed to be so hard and feel so against the grain. They're supposed to be easy and fluid when the match is right.
Am I saying that life is easy? No. Am I saying that if things are hard, then that means that they aren't supposed to be for you? No. Life is a series of of both hard and easy. But there's a difference between striving for something you really want, and working really hard to get it - when you feel an energy inside of you that fuels you, vs. striving for something you think you may want, but aren't sure, and you work really hard to get it, and it drains everything out of you and you question why on earth am I even doing this? When you procrastinate not out of the type of fear that will propel you forward, should you push through it, but you procrastinate by dragging your feet because you just don't want to do it. In 2013, I did more of the latter.
This weekend my husband and I went to see 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' which was hands-down an absolutely wonderful movie, which completely struck a chord with me and helped bring me to my word for 2014 - Courage.
Courage:1) The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.2) Have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.
To me that word is powerful, it energizes and excites me, and makes me very excited and full of hope for 2014. It's going to stay on my desk all year so I can be reminded that when I'm tempted to make decisions out of fear, to be courageous, and bring back the party!
In what ways do you want to live more courageously in 2014?