Hey Everyone! Hope you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year with your families! After two weeks off, I feel refreshed and ready to kick my 2018 into high gear. I have so many plans for the blog this year and I’m super excited to get started with them!
But something I always like to do before the start of a new year is to look back and reflect on everything that happened in the previous year, so today I’m sharing some of my honest 2017 Reflections, plus I’m sharing my New Year Goals for 2018!
2017 Reflections + New Year Goals
2017 Recap & Reflections
Blog/Work– This year was really cool for me and my blog because I was finally given the incredible opportunity to work from home and pursue blogging full-time.
In August I left my full-time job of 4 years, and while it was an extremely scary feeling, I now realize how completely necessary that decision was for me at the point I am in my life. After leaving, both my husband and I quickly noticed the dramatic difference it made in my mental health and overall happiness, and it was honestly unreal to me to take note of all of the stress and drama that was no longer present in my life.
I think sometimes we don’t realize how much being in a certain situation (whether it’s a job or relationship) can really weigh you down and have a negative impact on your life, but I’m truly thankful that I was given the opportunity to move forward.
- Related: Moving Forward- a Huge Announcement
In terms of blogging, this year has been full of a lot of trial and error but I think that’s all part of the journey. Although there’s a lot more that I still want to do with my blog and improvements I want to make, I’m learning to just take it a day at a time and trying to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. At the end of the day, I’m just super thankful for each and every one of you and so grateful to have you follow along with this little blog of mine.
I’m also grateful for all of the amazing brand partnerships and collaborations I was able to be a part of this year. My goal this time last year was to work with 20 brands in 2017, and I’m happy to report I exceeded that goal in working with 25 brands!
Not only were these paid collaborations, but many of these were collaborations that I acquired through pitching to brands on my own, outside of blogging networks, and through a lot of perseverance and dedication.
I’m telling you this not to brag, but because I want you to know that it’s completely possible to set a goal, go after it wholeheartedly, and exceed it.
If you’re a blogger I want you to know that you’re worth more and good things come to those who work hard. I talk about this a little bit deeper in this post over here, but if any of you bloggers are interested in a more in-depth post on how to work with brands, let me know!
Check out a few of my favorite partnerships this year below:
- 5 Tips for Rocking the Athleisure Trend with T.J. Maxx
- Family Fun in Pigeon Forge TN with Dollywood & The Island
- Skinny Chicken Taco Pinwheels with Save-A-Lot
Social– I have to be honest here and say that 2017 made me realize a few important lessons when it comes to social media. A. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and B. Numbers aren’t everything.
While Instagram used to be my absolute favorite platform, all of the algorithm changes this year made me literally want to avoid the app completely there for awhile. (As I think most bloggers can agree on)
From only being able to see the same accounts over and over in my feed, to not being able to reach + connect with as many people, it really has made me question at times whether or not I wanted to even continue using the platform at all.
Not to mention both small and large accounts alike are using fake engagement methods to boost their numbers, which ends up making those of us who focus on authenticity feel like crap when our numbers don’t measure up. (Just keeping it real here)
But at the end of the day I realized that instead of sitting around stressing about all the likes/comments/followers I didn’t get, I should be more focused and grateful for the ones I already have and continue to build upon and foster those relationships more. Those 100 awesome people who ALWAYS like/comment on my posts? Those are the ones that deserve my time and attention.
So thank you to all of you who do follow me and are always engaging with me on IG. I appreciate it so much and just know that it makes my day every time you leave me a sweet comment.
Family- This was a big year for our family, as my husband accepted a federal job and in October we moved from Virginia to Georgia. Although it was a big adjustment and we’re still trying to get used to the change in climate (and the fact that we live in a city) it’s been really nice to settle into a home we adore and to be able to spend more time together as a family.
My husband’s job thankfully believes in work-life balance, so it’s been amazing to actually be able to see him on holidays and enjoy days off together. Plus now that I’m my own boss I can create my own schedule according to his, which is nice.
The boys are also both doing great and are loving their new school. My youngest is just starting to learn how to read and they both absolutely love to draw pictures for me all the time. It’s amazing how much they’ve both grown and I love watching them learn something new every day. It’s truly been such a blessing to be more involved now that I’m at home with them more and I know they’re loving ever minute of it too.
New Year Goals
Stop Comparing, More Doing– As a blogger I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison trap, especially when you see others in the same niche land an amazing partnership or post about how they tripled their income doing something, but honestly it’s so counterproductive to spend all your time worrying about what others are doing, when you can be putting that energy towards YOU doing something.
My goal for this year is to spend less time worrying about what so and so is doing compared to what I’ve accomplished and instead focus more solely on my own blogging goals and accomplishments. I’ve always liked the quote, “Don’t Compare Your Chapter 1 to Someone Else’s Chapter 20” and I think it serves as a great reminder to not get caught up in comparison. We’re all at different points in our journeys, so learning to stay on your own path is important.
Create More Video Content– I finally took the plunge and started my own Youtube channel in October, and I have a lot of goals for what types of videos I want to create and share with you all. Although I want to of course share beauty tutorials and fashion content, I also want to create inspirational type videos that I hope will be helpful to others. Follow my channel over here to keep up! 🙂
I also recently shared in my Instagram stories that another goal of mine this year is to start creating more video content on IG and sharing more real-life moments as they happen. As a private person, this is a struggle for me sometimes because I only want to share the pretty, “perfect-looking” moments, but that ain’t real life ya’ll. So I guess what I’m saying is if you follow me on IG, you’ll probably be seeing more of me in all my everyday gloriousness (no makeup, pajamas, un-brushed hair).
Look for mini beginner makeup tutorials, affordable beauty/fashion finds, and more regular chit-chat to start appearing on my Insta very soon! Follow me over here, if interested.
Grow My E-mail List- Although I unfortunately didn’t see the importance of an e-mail list until mid-way last year, I now know it’s an absolutely crucial part of blogging. I hope to grow my list and really engage with my current subscribers this year and provide helpful and valuable content to them. My current subscribers will be getting a super helpful post today where I talk step-by-step about the method I use in setting goals. Sign up below, if you want in on it! 🙂
- Travel to new places we’ve never been. With moving to a new area there’s so many cool spots within driving distance I want to see and visit! I have a feeling we’ll be hitting up FL and AL very soon!
- Get back into crafting/DIYing this year. It’s something I really love doing and I honestly find it really relaxing.
- Start cooking new recipes. I get in slumps with cooking the same thing over and over again, but I want to venture out and try out new cuisines and recipes this year!
- Continue to focus on being present with my family. It’s something I think we all have to remind ourselves of constantly, but it’s worth striving for. I created this post last year with some helpful tips for anyone interested.
- Push myself to do more things in this life, even if it scares me or makes me uncomfortable. You never know what might happen when you just go for it.
Whew, I know today’s post was a long one, but I hope you found it encouraging! I hope that 2017 was everything you wanted it to be and more, but if not, know that each and every day is a new opportunity to be better than the day before. Wishing each of you an amazing 2018 ahead!
What did you accomplish this year that you’re proud of? What are some goals you’ve set for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by!- Cara