I love the feeling of a fresh start at the beginning of a brand new year!
I originally wanted this post to go up at the beginning of the month but I decided to extend my little maternity leave longer than I originally planned. Although I wasn't taking on photoshoot clients I was still working on the shop, taking on a few collaborations and blogging here and there for the first 4 months bebe J was born. As a result I was yearning for some down time, free of obligations to just enjoy being ‘mom’. Everyone told me I was doing too much and expecting too much of myself (I didn’t want to listen - but they were SO right - more on that at a later date :P) I’m so thankful I eased up in December and into January. It was the best thing I did because I now feel energized, relaxed and most importantly ready to (slowly) ease back into work.
I'm not huge on resolutions but I do love setting goals. I've been thinking a lot about what I want from 2017 and more importantly who I want to be. That begins with reflecting on this past year. 2016 flew by in a blissful (and hectic) blur - when I look back there was no time to implement much of what I had written about last year. I guess my naive pre-mom self thought I’d have all this extra time being on ‘maternity’ leave - 'I'll just work when the baby sleeps' *laughs*...*bless her*
If I've learned anything the last 6 months is you can plan all you want but you have to learn to go with the flow when things are out of your control. Ko and I sat down together last week to discuss what we wanted to accomplish this year both professionally, individually and as a family. Here it goes…
Health - Back in my first trimester I had a huge aversion to coffee *gasps* Just the thought of coffee would make my stomach turn. I had to find something else to help me kick start my day and get my past the 4pm wall - and thus began my daily smoothy routine - I think I drove everyone on snapchat crazy with my daily smoothy snaps (blog post here) - but it gave me all the extra vitamins I needed. Once J was born I needed (craved) coffee again and out went my smoothie routine. It's time to re-boot not only my smoothie ways but our overall diet. I've been asking my bestie's for advice (I have the worst willpower) we'll see what tips and tricks I pick up this year to help keep me on track.
Fitness - All three of my lifelong best friends are work out fanatics - one just became a yoga instructor - the other one is 9 months pregnant and worked out the entire pregnancy - and the third well, she's basically a Victoria Secret model - and then there is me, the *going to get a McChicken see you guys later* friend. I love them because to this day they don't give up on me and still motivate and encourage me to get a move on it. Since starting my own biz I've never made fitness a priority. I haven't hit my pre-baby weight (yet) but truthfully its about more than fitting into my skinny jeans again (though I can't wait for that day). It's about being healthy to be able to keep up with my little one, and feeling strong in my body. If that's not a big motivator don't know what is!
Read More - I have a bit of an obsession with buying new books - reading them half way and the never opening them again. On the nights I do manage to crack open a book and read for an hour I always wonder why I don't do it more often. It's important to pay attention to time suckers and I have a little plan on how I'm going to execute this one. Once bebe J is on a better sleeping schedule instead of watching a little TV every night I'd like to reserve one night a week to binge watch all our favourite tv shows and then every other weeknight before bed for at least 30 minutes I'll read instead. We also just got this fabulous chair from my bestie (thank you Steph!) and it's the most comfortable place to sit and read.
Travel & Explore - We did zero travel in 2016 (thanks Zika *cough cough*). I'm so ready for a new adventure and even more excited that it will be with my family. Remember when I said earlier we sat down to 'plan' our year and also said I need to be able to go with the flow? Well from the time I originally wrote this to now our travel plans changed twice. I not only want to explore new destinations this year, I also want to explore my own city and provence! So many fun easy day trips to do around Toronto. It's about enjoying where you are - whether its being able to travel somewhere far or just a new neighbourhood!
Continue making family memories - Now that we have a baby, our conversations naturally go to our own favourite childhood memories, traditions and routines. I want to make our life full of fun memories for our children. So far we have a daily dance parties, he loves when I dance and smiles, laughs and kicks his legs along with me - right now our jam is Itsy Bitsy spider by the Wigges (he loves it!) We did our best to make the best of fall and winter now I'm just patiently waiting for spring, summer and the warmer months to come. Family picnics, walks on the boardwalk and chasing down ice cream trucks....this may be more for mama...my healthy eating goal is off to a good start haha.
Date Nights - It’s so important to schedule some couple time after you have a bebe! One of my best friends who has a toddler has been such an inspiration to me for this one. Her and her Mr. really make the time to have their nights out and enjoy each other (Jo I'm looking at you) She's totally been the one convincing me it's okay to take date night and in fact it makes everything better! I still get anxious when I leave bebe J but as he turns 6 months tomorrow (seriously where has the time gone?!) I'm going to do my best to make sure Ko and I get out and enjoy some us time often! Even if we spend the entire night talking about our kid.
Spread the love - It’s not just about your relationship with your friends and family but with everyone you interact with. Sometimes we feel we have to do these grand gestures to show people we care but really it's about the small acts of love that can change someones day for the better! Leave people better than how you found them. Following someone you think is awesome? Leave a comment on their post or email them telling them how wonderful you think they are. Leave a meaningful comment - not just emoji’s *totally guilty on this one* - Support your peers, give praise freely and appreciate the people around you with small acts of kindness. Spread the love everywhere you go! <-- 2017.="" definitely="" do="" font="" i="" in="" more="" of="" this="" to="" want="" yes="">-->
Quality over Quantity - Need I say more? Everything happens so FAST these days. New updates, new algorithms, new launches of sites, podcasts, apps etc. It's easy to feel eager to make your mark and get your work out there but I've learned time and time again quality over quantity always! Even it it means you work a little slower than you'd like to - put your best work out there and don't half-ass it. It's okay not to post everyday - nothing will happen and you know what? Even if you think people will, no one will notice and life goes on ;)
Share my Knowledge - I get emailed almost weekly asking for photo tips and tricks, business advice and social media questions. I invest a lot in continuing my own knowledge and I’ve always wanted to share what I know with my audience. This year my goal is to give back generously with what I’ve learned throughout the years. If you're reading this and have some Q's comment below and let me know what you'd like me to share!
New Collection(s) - I love launching new collections in the shop. I'm not quite sure yet if I will be adding a new destination this year but I do have plans for some new collections that don't require me traveling anywhere (have I piqued your interest?) I'm also looking forward to releasing new prints from existing collections plus getting some videos edited to give you all a fun look at the making of and behind the scenes of creating the collections.
Make time to get creative - Something funny happens when you start getting booked up and busy in your business. You have less time to create just for fun - without the pressure of pleasing clients. I've had some creative projects up my sleeve that I want to see unfold this year both in my portrait and lifestyle work and in the shop. Which brings me to my last list...
- More blooms...lots and lots more blooms
- More balloons (its been on my list for years)
- Use the smoke bombs I bought over a year ago in a fun creative project
- Dancers and Movement (this board sends my heart in a tizzy)
- Play around with Film
- Strong and passionate woman entrepreneurs
- Capture the beauty in everyday life
- People I love
Hope you all enjoyed reading & maybe got a little kick of excitement and motivation for your goals this year!
Oh and I almost forgot my word for the year is: EXECUTION
Let's do this!