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
Congrats on all your dream partnerships last year! That’s so great that you’ve been able to successfully transition to being full-time with brands you love!! So cool!! My husband realized on our Christmas trip that he really enjoys taking video to remember our trips, so I’m hoping to do more video content this year… just because it’a fun way to mix it all up!!
Thanks Sara! And that’s awesome- can’t wait to see your video vlogs!
First of all, you look GORGEOUS! Second of all, I’m so happy for you and all that you accomplished this year. I’ve loved keeping up and following along over the years and I’m so excited that you hit some major accomplishments and worked with dream brands. xoxo
Thanks so much Alexis! I love following your blog and journey too. Cheers to an amazing 2019! 🙂
This post gives me all the feels! To see what all you’ve accomplished within 2018 and to hear about where you’re headed for 2019 excites me so much! I love that you’re partnering with a company based out of my home state! I would love for you to share more about your faith and sharing some of your tips for connecting with your God given talents. (To hear you sing would be pretty cool! I bet you have the voice of an angel!)
Thank you so much! I’ve always wanted to incorporate my faith and passion for singing more into my blog so stay tuned… maybe I’ll get brave soon and sing on stories! 😉 Also- so proud of you and all you’ve accomplished too and I hope your decluttering challenge goes amazing! 🙂
you had such a good blog year in 2018! Can’t wait to see what happens this year!
Thanks Chelsea! Hope your 2019 is going great!
Good luck for your goals for this year! I’m sure you will rock them all.
Thanks so much Jenny!
Congrats on such a great blogging year! It must feel great to look back on all that you accomplished. I hear you about a better work schedule, though. I have a communications business and I definitely worked a little too much last year. Time to cut back and create more time for the people in my life.
Thanks Crystal! Yep, life is all about finding that balance and you have to learn when to stop working and when to have fun. Hope your 2019 is amazing! 🙂
Congratulations on being able to make your blog your full time career! That is my ultimate dream, one that I am hoping to take many more steps towards this year, as scary and difficult as that may be. Seeing other people do so well at it (like you!) is a huge inspiration, and it’s great to see how many awesome brands and businesses you were able to work with in 2018. Best of luck with all your endeavours this year!
Thanks so much! You can definitely do it- I believe in you! 🙂
First of all, you look gorgeous!!! Secondly, congrats on all the blogging accomplishments!!! I’m sorry to hear about you FIL. My faith is something I am working on this year. I hope 2019 is your best year yet!
Thanks Nadine! Faith was something I had to rely on this past year through tough times and I’m excited to continue to grow my relationship with Christ this year. Hope your 2019 is going amazing so far! 🙂
It’s amazing that you took the leap to become a full time blogger. I am hoping in the future that I will be able to do that as well! As far as partnerships girl you killed it!!! I can’t wait to see more of your makeup posts and tutorials! I know 2019 will be just as amazing for you girl!
Thanks so much, Mistle! I believe in you and know you can crush your blogging goals this year! 🙂
What an amazing year with your partnerships, and going out officially on your own! And yay for vacations this year, you’re going to LOVE your cruise! Hands down my favorite way to travel <3
Thanks so much Kate! I can’t wait to cruise this year and I love hearing that it’s so fun! 🙂
Oh my goodness this all makes me so incredibly happy for you. I can tel how hard you work and you 1000% deserve every ounce of success that’s come from that. I know it was a hard year and loss for you and you continued to shine professionally. Yay for a cruise- we did our first 4 years ago and would love to do one again! Here’s to a great 2019!!
Aw, Emelia! Thank you SO much. You’re seriously so sweet, and I appreciate your support and friendship so much. And we’re getting so excited for our cruise in March- it will be nice to kick back and relax in the sun for a few days! 🙂
You should be proud. You’ve made some big leaps with your blog & love that you have been getting recognition for it.
& you know I love anytime someone grows closer to our Lord! That’s the best!
Praying your 2019 is even better for you!
Thank you so much Rebecca! Faith was a biggie in my life this past year and I look forward to growing even closer to God this year. Prayers for a wonderful 2019 for you and your family!
You are truly killing it Cara!!! I read every post, even when I don’t have time to comment. I love your goals for the new year. I’m trying to make my blog my big focus this year and really give it my all. You’re definitely inspiring me to do that!
Aw Vivian, that means so much! Thanks so much for following along and I have no doubt you can crush your blogging goals this year! 🙂
oh my gosh i love your blog name. congrats on going full time blogging and i love the term blogiversary! see you around show your blog love. 🙂
Thank you Clare! 🙂
Love you Cara and glad you are singing for God. Next time you come in maybe we can go to Church and you can sing a special song . We Love you and glad we got to spend time together for Christmas. Your Singing comes naturally because I like to sing and your Mommy is really good and singing too.
Love you too. Music and singing has always been my favorite.
Cheers to a new year and achieving all of your goals!
Thanks Rebecca- hope 2019 is going amazing for you so far!
Girl you hit it out of the park this year with your collabs and I am so happy for you!! I can’t wait to see what’s to come for this year. I’m so glad you were able to lean on your faith through the hard times and how amazing you will be singing with the worship team! You should definitely share that in your stories sometime if you can. Here’s to a wonderful 2019! Sierra Beautifully Candid
Thank you so much! My faith has been everything for me this past year and getting back into singing has been amazing. Next week is my first performance and I’m a little nervous but so excited. And that’s a great idea to share it on stories! Wishing you the best in 2019 as well, friend! 🙂
You have had quite a Year but I love how you shine in good times and bad. Great goals and I have a feeling 2019 is going to be extra special for you!
You saying that means a lot. Thank you so much! 🙂
You have done so many amazing things this year, I can’t wait to see where your journey leads you next!
Thanks Sarah! Thanks for following along and being a great blogger friend! 🙂
You had such amazing partnerships! I have always been grateful to Walmart for giving me a scholarship for college. So sorry to hear about the rough patches of last year but can’t wait to see what you do this year! And congrats on being chosen as lead singer!
That’s amazing Marette! They’re a great company, and I love hearing that. And thank-you so much, I’m super excited about what’s to come with blogging this year and getting back into my singing passion. 🙂
Girl… I am so jealous you are a fulltime blogger, huge congrats! I absolutely love your posts, and I believe you’ve already accomplished your goals of creating content people love – you rock girl! I love your goal of traveling to five new places, I need to add that to my list as well!
Thank-you so much! I love your blog too! And yes to more traveling this year. 🙂
Congrats on all the success last year, girl! I’ve said it before but you work so hard and deserve every bit of good that comes your way. I’m excited to continue to follow along this year as I’m sure you’ll crush all your goals. Happy new year!
Thank you SO much! All of your sweet comments are so motivating and so appreciated. I know you’re going to crush your goals this year too. 🙂
Wishing you to accomplish all your personal and blogging goals this year!
Thanks Chloe! Wishing you the same!
these are such great goals my friend i cant wait to see where blogging will take you this year- i cant wait for some more video content bc i truly love yours! im def needing to add more fun recipes to my list this year
Thanks so much! I hope to share some new video content very soon! 🙂