Looking back at 2018 (And what's in store for next year!)

I can’t believe this is the very last post of 2018! I’ll be taking a break from the blog for the next few weeks so I can focus on prepping for next year (and because let’s be honest, we’re all too busy and full of food to care until January).

So I thought I would wrap up this year like I usually do - and the way I do in real life. With some reflection and a peek into what I’m planning for next year. Because I’ve been planning next year since early November… obviously.

First things first… a look at what’s been going on this year.

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My word for 2018 was Uplevel.

And even though I had forgotten it by June and had to dig through last year’s Shining Year goal book to remind myself, it still fit.

I upleveled in business by hiring a coach, tweaking my branding to better reach my ideal clients, and focused on working only with the clients who light me up.

All of that, along with a lot of consistency in how I was showing up (both for my clients and putting out valuable content) helped me grow my income by about 30% this year, while working with the most amazing women.

Other areas got upleveled too - I invested more in my own health and my partner’s and we’re ending the year feeling much better than it started.

We also built regular workout routines, made improvements around the house to make it feel more like home, and I finished two daily illustration challenges and opened a new Etsy shop.

I actually started a third daily illustration challenge earlier this month with the intention of running it through Christmas, but after a few days I realized I couldn’t maintain the level of creativity I wanted/needed and also get all of my end of the year tasks done and six months worth of content prepped for 2019. I had to let something go in the interest of having a peaceful season, and unfortunately daily drawing was that something. Only temporarily though - I have plans to bring my creative habit back after the holidays.

All in all, it’s been a good year with a lot of learning and growth.

It wasn’t always the smoothest year, and it didn’t start out fabulously. But I feel like I’m going into next year in a really good place, with a lot of the roadblocks from this year either worn down or torn out completely.

For 2019 my word is Intentional.

That’s going to show up in a lot of areas...

For one, I want to be more intentional about scheduling time to step away from my desk and play.

One thing I realized working through my goals this year is that because I’ve been so focused on the tasks at hand lately I haven’t been taking the time to rest or just enjoy myself as much.

Taking time to rest and just be is far more beneficial than it feels, and I need to relearn that for myself.

I got much better at boundaries this year - I quit working nights or weekends, started answering emails on my schedule instead of being at the mercy of my inbox, and cut out working with people who weren’t a great fit.

But I’ve maintained a weirdly 9-5 mindset that causes me to feel super guilty if I step away from my desk for the afternoon or *gasp* take a day off without an appointment to justify it.

This is causing me to feel a low level of burnout, even when I’m taking care of my physical health and taking off on weekends. My current theory is that it’s because I’m always focused on a goal, always looking for the next important thing I need to do to get there. Not *truly* resting.

It’s mental tiredness, and it’s hurting my inspiration and creativity. So I’m learning how to rest.

(Note: I don’t mean scroll Facebook and binge Handmaid’s Tale… I’m excellent at that. I mean really rest.)

Next year I’d like to take at least one day a month off just to show myself it’s okay.

Figuring out what to do with that time off has been fun, and much harder than I expected.

I want to be intentional about taking time to create (without accidentally turning it into a business, as I’m known to do). I’ve started by making a list of fun things I’d like to learn or play in - flower pressing, making a big chunky blanket by hand, quilting my old t-shirts into a throw, making some fun art for the house.

I’m picking 12 specific projects, and designating one each month, so that I’m not all over the place or buying all the supplies at once, but I have something going at all times.

Planning crafts to that extent sounds super nerdy, I know, but it will make it easier for me to actually do these projects that have been rattling around in my Pinterest boards for years. I absolutely love getting lost in a craft and having something beautiful to show for it, but it’s easy to let a whole year go by without doing much of that when you aren’t intentional.

I’m also going to go back to a habit I cultivated a few years ago but have fallen away from, which is searching out fun things to go do in our area and actually putting them on the calendar. Again - if I don’t have plans in place ahead of time it’s easy to just sit at home on a Saturday instead of getting out and living.

Being intentional about my play time means being intentional about work time too.

I just hired my first VA (Hi Liane!), and will be practicing delegating repetitive tasks so I can focus on the creative and business growth side more. I’m hoping that will also help cut back on some of the burned out feeling I’ve had.

2019 is also going to bring a LOT more intentionality around growing my email list and making sure I’m serving them incredibly well with free resources and a new program I’m working on.

Another area I’d like to be more deliberate in is my mindset work.

I’ve realized this year just how much your mindset affects your trajectory, and I want to focus on actually putting into practice the tools I’ve learned from my coach and other mentors. Daily tapping and affirmations are at the top of the list.

That’s a few of my goals for 2019… I won’t bore you with the whole list, but some of the others include fun house projects, creating better financial stability, tending my creative side, and drinking more tea and less coffee. I also have some pretty big personal goals that we’ll probably talk about as they happen.

One theme that kept popping up in my Powersheets Prep Work was the need to listen to myself more and look outside myself for answers less, so that’s something I’ll be paying attention to as I move through the year in all these areas.

That’s enough about me though. Happy holidays friends, I’ll see you in 2019! (Or you can go find me on the Instas @heylenadesigns, where I’m at all year. ;))

I want to hear your list too! Tell me about your year… what went well? What could have gone better? What’s in the plan for next year? Do you have a word or theme? Let me know in the comments!

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