Even though I am generally a cynical person, I can’t help but get invigorated and inspired by the fresh slate of a new year. I started thinking about what I wanted to do differently in 2018 about a month ago, and I’m hoping that by sharing some of my ideas, it’ll keep me accountable to them. Putting these ideas out there feels really vulnerable, even though I've gotten pretty personal on the blog before. I think it's because I'm afraid to admit that I have aspirations to do things better, in case I fail. But here goes!
My top goal for 2018 is to work on listening to my inner voice. I’ve realized lately that I depend heavily on external validation to make choices. This could mean asking a bunch of people for advice, imagining what people might think of me if I made one choice or another, or constantly checking on social media to see if an idea I posted about has been validated by enough “likes”. None of this has anything to do with what I actually want or need. When pushed to express what I want, I am at a loss. I want to get in touch with that.
In order to get in touch with my inner voice, I need time to work on it. I’m going to work on it by taking time to journal (Sarah K. Peck - if you're a woman, or a mom, or you work, you should follow Sarah - recommended this book) and meditate. That time needs to come from somewhere, so I’m going to do to draw more boundaries in my life to create it.
BOUNDARIES AROUND EMAIL:
I’m setting limits on checking email. No checking email before the work that needs to get done each day. I can check in after that work is done, but am going to limit my response times to twice a week. Not only that, but I’m going to have an auto-response on my email that lets people know I won’t be responding until one of those days. This feels super scary for a people-pleaser-fast-email-responder.
I’m unsubscribing to as many emails as I can. Self-explanatory. Also, I love getting newsletters from my favorite online entrepreneurs, but I’m setting up an email filter so that they all go to one place and I can read them when I have time, and not when I should be making progress on work.
BOUNDARIES AROUND WORK:
I’m going to look at my week each Sunday night (my husband and I already do this since we each have irregular schedules and need to know what’s going on with childcare) and plan a few blocks of time to work “on” my business (as opposed to when I work with clients, which is working “in” my business). I will then work hard to remind myself whenever I’m tempted to try and squeeze something in when I should be doing something else, that I have that time allotted, and I can wait until then. Basically, I shouldn't be working unless it's during one of those scheduled times. This is for my own mental clarity.
I’m going to start offering virtual styling, which will allow me to work with people outside of St. Louis and will save time and resources on travel. I love getting to know people intimately in person, so I haven’t pushed into this area much yet. However, I have done virtual styling sessions on request and have had success with them.
For 2018, I also made a “To Don’t” list. I’ve decided to focus on doing in-person and virtual styling and delivering the Making Space course each season. Nothing else. That means that I won’t be doing store events, partnerships, or speaking gigs, unless someone wants to make me an offer I can’t refuse ;)
BOUNDARIES AROUND SOCIAL MEDIA/PHONE USAGE:
It’s hard to be constantly trying to come up with ideas for something to post on social media about. It really takes you out of the present. You’re constantly scanning to see what around you would make a great photo or caption. Even though it feels weird, I’m going to try and write most of my social media posts on one day of the week (this is pretty common practice for people who do social media for their businesses). Again, this will help me stay in the present while telling myself I have time allotted to planning posts.
I’m going to try to resist the constant impulses to look something up on the internet. I’m going to keep a running list of things I “need” to look up in my bullet journal and on my nightstand. Often, you open your phone to look up something random, like the name of the actor who was in some random commercial, and 20 minutes later, you realized you got sucked into checking every other app on your phone.
Basically, I want to stop mindless scrolling. I’m going to try to make an effort to catch myself doing this, especially on Facebook. I’ve found that other than a few groups that I’m in, Facebook offers very little value for my life. If I’m not participating in a meaningful discussion in one of my business or mom groups, I really don’t need to be there. My friends and mastermind group members Kourtney and Becky use the News Feed Eradicator for this, and I need it too.
So, that's most of it. It feels like a lot, and I'll give myself a break if things don't go as planned, but I really think putting these habits into place can help me be more present in work and life. What are your New Year's resolutions?
(photos: Celeste Boyer)
P.S. Luckily, one area of my life that doesn’t need much refinement is the process of getting dressed. Since I’ve reduced my wardrobe to only things I love and wear, I spend 2 minutes, max, getting dressed each day. If you want to get to that point too, sign up for the waiting list for the Making Space course - launching in ONE WEEK!! eeeep.