Hey everyone and Happy New Year!
I hope each of you had the BEST Christmas break with your families.
I’m personally feeling recharged and super refreshed from my annual blogging vacation, and I truly had the best holiday season with my family celebrating my 32nd birthday and enjoying our first family Christmas together at our new home in Kentucky.
With all the chaos and craziness of 2021, I made sure to really prioritize unwinding and relaxing with my family over the past few weeks and let me tell you – I needed it.
As I always start out the new year, today I’m sharing a look at my personal reflections from 2021 with some of my favorite moments over the past year, as well as valuable lessons I learned along the way.
I’m also excited to share my 2022 goals – both in my personal life and for my blog/business.
2021 Reflections + 2022 New Year Goals
2021 Reflections – The year that was HARD but helped me GROW
I haven’t really opened up about it a lot on the blog, but the past couple of years have been really rough on my mental health and mid-year I experienced a level of burn out I never had before.
I talked a little more about what our family dealt with over here, but as a whole 2021 was not always rainbows and sunshine.
Even though I tried to balance all my stress as best I could, being apart from my husband and dealing with a stressful moving/home-buying situation really took its toll on me, and there were several times I found myself 110% tapped out both physically and mentally.
Combine that with becoming the sickest I’ve ever been in my life at the end of July (mid-move to a new state, of course) and it definitely was not a fun time for me or my family.
All that to say, with God’s helping hand I thankfully came out on the other side much stronger, and today I’m genuinely the happiest I’ve been in a long time.
2021 was hard on me, but it didn’t break me and instead it made me grow and change in ways that I’m so grateful for.
This year I truly realized how precious life is and how important it is to not take things for granted.
Your faith, your family, your health – those are the things that matter most in this life.
Even though this year was hard, there’s always SO much to be thankful for and as we enter a new year, I feel SO incredibly blessed.
3 Biggest Lessons Learned from 2021
Self Care Is Not a Luxury, It’s a NECESSITY
As I’ve said many times before, it’s SO important to make your health, mental health, and self-care a priority, and this year I realized more than ever that it’s a DAILY necessity.
Self care is also more than just bubble baths and facials and it’s okay to ask for help and talk to others if you need to.
This hasn’t always been easy for me and I still sometimes have to basically force making my well-being a priority, but YOU are worth it.
Remember, you can’t fully take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.
Progress > Perfection
I’ve always been a struggling perfectionist and for many years of my life I unfortunately thought that every little thing in my life had to be absolutely perfect. I also used to think that everything had to be JUST right before I could even attempt trying to do something.
But as I get older, I’m thankfully learning that what’s more important than being perfect, is simply doing and trying.
This past year I finally took the leap and launched a new Youtube Channel – Cara’s Recipes, and it was the BEST decision I ever could have made for myself.
Instead of listening to all the perfectionistic voices of doubt in my head that said “wait until you have the perfect kitchen, camera, set-up, etc. before starting”, I just literally went for it, and it’s been amazing.
I actually ended up crushing my first year goal of reaching over 1,000 subscribers and I’m so excited to keep creating content and watch where it goes this year.
At the end of the day, life is a JOURNEY, and it’s not about being perfect.
Instead, it’s about trying, progressing, and taking small steps every day to achieve your dreams.
Remember –> “In the end you only regret the things you didn’t do.”
Make MORE time to do LESS
Last but certainly not least, one of the biggest lessons I learned in 2021 is the importance of setting aside more time to do less.
After dealing with burn out and sickness, I knew things had to change in my life.
So for the past several months I really shifted my schedule and made it a priority to do less.
Now was this hard on me initially? Absolutely.
I’m a workaholic at heart and it’s hard for me to not always want to be doing something.
And it certainly doesn’t help that we live in such a hustle, “do this, do that” culture nowadays.
But at the end of the day, we’re only human, and we’re not meant to work 24 hours, 365 days a year.
Unplug more, relax more, make shorter to-do-lists.
Your mental health, your family, and your happiness will ALL thank you for it.
My 2022 New Year Goals
Do More Things “Just for the Fun of It”
In keeping my mental health and happiness a priority, this year one of my biggest goals is doing more things just for the fun of it.
Whether that’s trying out a yummy recipe, creating a special effects makeup look, climbing to the top of a mountain, or having the silliest try not to laugh challenge with my family ever, I want to do more things this year just for fun.
Not because I have to, but because I want to.
Focus on Quality over Quantity
Over the past couple years, I made a conscientious choice to start living a more minimalistic lifestyle, and as a result my shopping habits and things around my home have changed drastically.
As a whole, I’ve stopped buying a lot of unnecessary seasonal and trendy purchases and de-cluttered and minimized around our home a ton.
That said, my focus for 2022 is to adopt a quality over quantity mentality.
Not only in the world of shopping, but also in terms of relationships, health, and well-being.
Instead of so many unnecessary and “cheaply-made” impulse buys, I want to instead focus on being more intentional with everything I shop for.
I also want to focus on quality over quantity with my time and make sure that I’m always fully present and in the moment when I’m with my family and friends.
That means checking off of social media when I’m with family and turning off the phone when we’re out and about.
Start a Garden
Now that we’re settled into our new home in Kentucky, I’m SO excited to start growing our own food and becoming more self-sustainable.
That’s why this year my husband and I have made a goal to officially start our first garden.
As a country girl, this makes my heart so happy because we always had a garden when I was growing up and there’s nothing better than growing your own food and reaping the benefits of it.
We plan to start out small this year with a few of our favorite vegetables and fruits but I couldn’t be more excited for this journey.
I recently celebrated my 6 year blogging anniversary, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 6 years it’s that to everything there is a season and a purpose, and sometimes your journey will lead you to different paths, than what you initially imagined.
That said, in 2022 my blog’s focus and direction might change a bit and even though it’s a little scary, I’m trusting in God’s plan for me and my family.
Post More Recipes + Grow my Youtube Cooking Channel to 5K
My cooking channel has been so much fun for me and to be honest, baking has been one of the biggest de-stressors over the past year.
Even though I initially never started this blog with recipes in mind, baking has always been a huge passion of mine and in this season of life it has brought me so much enjoyment with my family.
I’m excited to continue creating weekly recipes in 2022, and I can’t wait to see where this journey leads me.
P.S. If you aren’t already subscribed, you can subscribe over here. 🙂
Find My Passion in Makeup Again
If you’ve followed me for anytime now, it probably isn’t a big secret that I stopped sharing as much makeup content on the blog over the past year.
This wasn’t really intentional, but amidst a lot of stress and chaos, sharing makeup looks and beauty content was really the last thing on my mind.
Moving forward, I’ve set a goal for myself to get back into a better posting routine and schedule and have several posts planned for the coming months that I think you all will love.
Like so many others out there, my lifestyle and routine has also changed drastically over the past few years and as I’m now in my 30s I’m excited to start creating more content with that in mind.
Think less full-glam makeup looks and more easy, practical, and everyday looks, skincare tips and recommendations, and of course all the drugstore makeup content you’re used to and love.
Feel free to drop a comment below if there’s any specific topics or products you’re interested in me posting about.
Share More Faith and Encouragement Content
Last but not least, I want to start sharing more faith-based and encouragement content on the blog.
As a proud Christian this has been something that has laid heavy on my heart for a long time, and although I’m not fully sure of the direction yet, I want to start using my platform for good.
When my 20 Encouraging Bible Verses for Anxiety and 12 Inspirational Quotes for Hard Times quickly became some of my most popular posts, I realized that there are so many people out there looking for encouragement and help.
It really saddens me that so many people silently struggle with their problems, and if I can be that voice of encouragement and person that helps show them the way to the light in the darkness, then that’s what I want to do.
I hope you enjoyed reading my 2021 reflections and 2022 New Year Goals today, and I pray that 2022 will be an amazing year for each of you!
As always, I’m so thankful for each of you who take the time out of your day to read my blog, and I truly wish you nothing but the best.
What’s a goal you have set for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by! – Cara