In today’s post I’m reflecting on everything that happened in 2018, sharing some of my top posts and favorite accomplishments, and both my blogging and personal goals for 2019.
2018 Yearly Reflections and New Year Goals
Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season with their families and took some time off from all the hustle and bustle. I realize I’m a little late to the New Year’s party, but trust me when I say my two week break was a breath of fresh air. Over the break, I spent much needed quality time with my family, baked our favorite cookies, had the best 29th birthday celebration, watched way too many Hallmark Christmas movies to count, checked out of social media, and for the first time in a long time officially logged off my laptop.
Yep, that’s right- normally I spend my blogging break doing tedious behind the scenes work and a whole lot of planning, but this year I chose to truly take a break from it all. And I’m so thankful for it. I really needed a chance to step back from everything so that I could have more clarity moving into 2019.
During my break, I also spent time reflecting on the past year and all that happened in 2018. As I shared in my 3 Year Blogiversary post, this past year was definitely a rollercoaster at times with both rough patches but also amazing moments. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned through it all, it’s that in the hard times that we sometimes find ourselves and realize just how strong we really are and how much we are capable of accomplishing.
So today I want to share some of the accomplishments I made this past year that I’m really proud of, and if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to do the same. (And remember no accomplishment is too big or too small)
2018 Accomplishments I’m Proud Of
Becoming a Full-Time Blogger
As a whole, I’m just really proud of the fact that I actually accomplished making blogging a full-time gig and that I was able to exceed my income goals from the previous year. Taking the leap to quit a secure, full-time job with benefits for one that had no guarantee couldn’t have been more scary, but I’m so glad that I took a chance on my dream and went for it.
I heard this quote the other day and it truly resonated with me and my life – “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”. If there’s something you want to do, then go for it. We’re not promised tomorrow and life is too short to spend it unhappy doing something that doesn’t bring you joy. Use your talents, share them with the world, and stop belittling your successes.
Partnering with Dream Brands
In terms of partnerships, I worked my tail off this past year when it came to pitching directly to brands and developing long term partnerships with companies I truly love. Although I loved every single partnership I took part in, some of my favorite partnerships of the year include Physicians Formula, Kohls, Dr Pepper, adidas, and of course Walmart.
It was a total dream come true landing a multi-post holiday partnership with Walmart and getting to take part in an exclusive Black Friday sneak peek in October with their corporate office in Arkansas. This was a huge accomplishment in my book, as I’ve been a huge fan of Walmart my entire life and it was one of those pinch me moments to have them want to work with me.
Fun fact- Walmart was one of my very first jobs in high school. I worked as a cashier and customer service rep there for over 2 years and have always genuinely loved how they care about people first and that they offer affordable prices on everything you could possibly need or want. Having worked at Walmart when I was younger made it all the more special to get to partner with them in a professional marketing capacity, and I’m so excited to continue to partner with them this year.
Growing a Closer Relationship With God
This one might not be blogging related, but losing my father-in-law tragically and unexpectedly this past March really hit all of our family hard. And I’ll be honest, there were moments where I went through some serious bouts of depression and didn’t know what to do or who to talk to. Grief is really, really hard and it comes in waves.
Thankfully, I relied on my faith as a Christian and realized that God is always with me even when it seems like I’m all alone. We also found a new church family to call home and just yesterday I auditioned and was selected as one of the lead singers in my church’s worship team. It had been years since I had performed in front of anyone so I was definitely nervous, but I’m proud that I had the courage to go for it.
This is something I don’t necessarily talk a lot about on the blog, but singing is something I’ve always been very passionate about and I’m so excited to finally be putting my talents to use again, and this time for God.
Being Part of an Amazing + Kind Blogging Community
Last but not least, I’m thankful each and every day that I get to be part of such a great blogging community and I’m eternally grateful for each and every person who follows along with me on Kindly Unspoken. It’s because of you that I get to be my own boss, work in my pajamas from home (haha), and do something that I love.
Who knows where I’ll be 10 years from now, but for now being a blogger is what makes me truly happy and I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.
Top 10 Blog Posts on Kindly Unspoken for 2018
Call me nosey, but I always love seeing which posts perform the best each year. Below you’ll find the Top 10 Blog Posts on Kindly Unspoken for 2018 according to Google Analytics.
10. 10 Best Affordable Highlighters | All my affordable makeup posts always seem to do really well and this post on the best highlighters was no exception!
9. Best Colourpop Lipsticks | This was a fun post to put together and it’s one of my top referral pages from Google.
8. 10 Beauty Hacks You Need to Know | I put this post together on a whim a couple years ago and it still brings in tons of page views daily. I guess we all love a good beauty hack, am I right?!
7. How To Best Clean Makeup Brushes | I loved putting together this guide on the easiest way to clean makeup brushes. Check it out if you haven’t yet, and make your 2019 a little easier.
6. Best Affordable Makeup + Beauty Products of 2017 | This was the second post published in 2018 and it’s still holding strong on both Pinterest and Google. Stay tuned for the best drugstore makeup products of 2018 which I’ll share later this week!
5. The Best Drugstore Makeup Products – 21 Beauty Blogger Must-Haves | This was my first ever round-up post and one of my most successful posts this year. I loved getting to collaborate with 20 other amazing beauty bloggers and hearing their favorite drugstore makeup products. I foresee this post continuing to do very well in 2019.
4. Mom’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies | By now it comes as no surprise that my Mom’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies would rank in at #4 on the list, because it’s remained one of my most popular posts and homemade recipes since publication back in 2016. Not to mention, they’re epically delicious, so give em a try!
3. Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl Brownies | This was a fun partnership with Save-A-Lot where I was asked to create an easy and delicious dessert using boxed brownies. Obviously, peanut butter and cheesecake were the way to go, and considering it’s been shared over 43K times, I’d say it was a success. P.S. They’re truly amazing.
2. Hottest Walmart Black Friday Gifts For Her | This post in partnership with Walmart performed highly well during the holiday season, and was one of my favorites to create. I loved highlighting all the cute and affordable Black Friday deals for her.
1. 6 Tips for Healthy Glowing Skin | This post is one of my favorite partnerships with Physicians Formula thus far and it’s been super successful with over 14K shares. It’s chop full of helpful skincare tips and affordable drugstore products you need to add to your regimen this year.
My Blogging + Personal Goals For 2019
For 2019 my main goal is to create content on my blog that is 110% helpful to my audience and I really want to focus on creating posts that you love. That means more drugstore makeup round-up posts, easy makeup tutorials, beauty tips for beginners, and affordable fashion finds. These are the types of posts that seem to resonate the most and I really want to be intentional with each and every post that I share on here.
Another goal of mine is to focus in on doing more video content consistently. I always seem to post video tutorials during Halloween time but then fall off the wagon the rest of the year, and I really want to change that. It honestly comes down to time, as there’s only so many hours in a day and I’m a one woman show running my blog full-time.
I’ve actually toyed with the idea of potentially bringing a part-time assistant on board later this year, and if that happens then maybe I’ll be able to dedicate more time to regularly creating video content on Youtube.
On the personal side of things, it is my goal this year to really buckle down and create a better work schedule that allows me to spend more time with my family. I’ll be honest, last year I often worked 50-60 hours a week on my blog and while I definitely accomplished a lot, it’s just too much. My kids are growing up so quickly and I want to be part of their lives as much as I can, so I will be implementing a new work schedule and plan to start using time block techniques to be as productive as possible during my work hours.
Last but not least our family goal this year is to travel to at least 5 new places. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we actually didn’t go on vacation anywhere last year other than a weekend in Atlanta, and we’re more than ready to remedy that. Over the holidays we received our passports for the boys and have already planned out two vacations, including our first cruise. It will also be mine and my husband’s 10th wedding anniversary this year, so we’ll definitely be planning a special trip for that. I can’t wait!
That about wraps up today’s post on my 2018 Yearly Reflections and New Year Goals. I’d love to hear from each of you – what are some accomplishments you made in 2018 that you’re proud of? What goals have you set for yourself this year? Let me know below!
Thanks for stopping by!- Cara