Thank you to my clients, friends and family for helping me achieve my most successful year so far! 2015 was so great. I reached many goals I set for myself and am so happy with how the year went. Last January, I fully intended to do a personal post summarizing 2014 but only managed to get out a best of 2014 weddings and engagement post. I have some catching up to do! I’m going to talk about some of the goals I set for myself at the end of 2014 and the progress that was made on each of them in 2015 before I get into my goals for 2016.
1. Find a better work/life balance. SUCCESS!
First, I found a great part time nanny to help take care of Heidi and enrolled her in a fantastic morning program at a brand new Montessori school. I also hired a wonderful office assistant (Carol) to help with editing. Best business decision ever!!! I’ve been amazed how much more efficiently I’ve been able to work. I have set work hours and when I’m not working, I can truly relax and enjoy my time with my family and friends. It’s wonderful being able to be fully present in the moment when I’m with Heidi and my husband, Aaron, and I don’t have to stay up until 2am editing photos anymore- woohoo!
I reduced my turnover time for wedding clients from 4-8 weeks to 1-2 weeks, sometimes less. This makes me SO happy because I really do not like to keep people waiting on their images. I’ve been able to take on more work, stay on top of everything, and build my business this year. Teamwork = success!
Yay for balance. I really try to focus on balance in all areas of my life.
2. Improve my health. SUCCESS!
2014 was a really challenging year of tremendous change. To say it was a stressful year would be an understatement. You can read more about what I went through in 2014 here. Anyway, grieving, a lot of sleep deprivation and working crazy hours caught up with me. I’ve always eaten a healthy diet and exercised almost every day, but I realized I had a lot of improvements I could make. I committed to eating a gluten-free diet of mostly organic, non-GMO, very few processed foods, and very little sugar and dairy. I also completely cut out caffeine. All of the meat and eggs I eat at home are organic and pasture raised or grass fed. Aaron and I decided to do a CSA from Two Pigs Farm here in Salisbury, so we’ve had a constant supply of local, organic, fresh fruits and vegetables. So yummy! I also get amazing organic, free-range chicken and duck eggs and duck meat from my dear friends at Kuska Winasun Homestead. I prioritized sleep, minimized stress, and walked most days and have seen huge improvements. I am so thankful for my health!
3. Get Heidi sleeping through the night. SUCCESS! Thank. goodness. I achieved this early in 2015 just before she turned a year old. I can only handle so much sleep deprivation before it starts to drive me a little crazy. I’ll do it sooner with my next kid!
4. Breastfeed Heidi for 2 years. So close! It’s been almost a week since the last time I nursed Heidi… so our nursing relationship seems to be coming to an end. It’s the right time for both of us, and I feel good about it! I feel lucky to have a flexible job that has allowed me to continue breastfeeding Heidi for this long. She’ll be 2 next month.
5. Limit screen time on the computer and phone. 50/50
I feel like this is a constant struggle. I did pretty well staying off the computer in the evenings, but the phone is another story. Facebook and Instagram suck me in. I aim to do better in 2016.
6. Read more. Partial success, though I might have been able to do better with this if I could limit my screen time a bit more.
My favorite book of the year was Unbroken. Seriously incredible. It’s not a light read, but it’s the most inspiring story I’ve ever read. Truly fantastic. I love a good nonfiction book. Any recommendations?
Ok folks, help hold me accountable!
1. Continue improving work/life balance.
-Streamline work flow to run my business more efficiently and consistently.
2. Business rebrand.
-new logo (underway!)
3. Continue improving health.
-Get back into running and weight lifting.
-Work toward going completely dairy-free. This is so much harder than going gluten free!
-Earlier bed time.
-Cook more fresh, healthy meals. I think we’ll do the CSA again this year so we get ripe, local fruits and veggies spring-fall.
3. Encourage and support my husband.
A little over a year ago, Aaron quit his job as an attorney and decided to start a malt house to supply malted barley to local breweries. Carolina Malt House was born. I’m so proud of him! The last couple of years, I’ve been so busy trying to balance everything I’ve had going on that I haven’t had as much time to help support my husband as I would like. We are both business-owners, and our lives are super busy, so it’s not always easy supporting each other as much as we would like.
-Schedule a date night every couple weeks or every month.
4. More face time, less phone time.
-Get together with friends and family more and spend less time on social media.
5. Cultivate other hobbies and interests.
-Learn to use my sewing machine.
-Plant a spring garden.
-Go on more hikes and adventures.
6. Get Heidi potty-trained and transition her to a big girl bed. She’s doing pretty well potty training but it is taking longer than I anticipated.
7. Consistently write in my journal. I think I wrote a total of 2 entries for all of 2014 and 2015. Writing helps clear my head and I want to do more of it in 2016.
8. Organize the house and clean out the junk room. This has been on the to-do list for a while!
I think that’s about it! Here’s to a great 2016 for anyone out there who read all of this! I’d love to hear what your goals are!