Seeing as the new year is almost upon us, it seems like the perfect time to sit down and really look back at this past year. To really recognize all I’ve accomplished and then to look forward to the new year with all it’s hope and potential. I’ve been doing this the past couple of years, and I nice to keep the tradition going and use it each year to compare and remind myself of what goals I’ve achieved and where I’ve fallen short. You can see last year’s review and goals here.
So let’s get started!
What are you most proud of this year?
This year was an incredibly hard year for me but there are honestly a lot of things I’m proud of. But if I have to pick only one thing, I am proud of the way I’ve managed to place my trust in God and also myself. This year has been a long hard year of trusting him, of listening to his call for our life and willingly giving into it. Even when the adoption journey has been painful, I have tried to remember that He has a plan for our life and He is beside us through it all. I’ve gotten better at listening to myself too and what I need. When I’ve needed time to grieve, I’ve allowed myself that – even when others tried to rush me through or shame me for my feelings. I’ve allowed myself to create in the heat of those moments to express my inner most emotions too which has been both healing and liberating. I’ve also started to prioritize my health and given myself permission to take care of me by working out each day.
What was the biggest risk you took?
There three big risks I took in 2016. One I’m not released to discuss at this time but it was a huge risk for me because it involved change and I’m not a big fan of that. haha. The second has been staying true to this adoption path. It wasn’t my plan to pursue parenthood this way and it has been incredibly painful – in ways that never occurred to me. And the last risk was probably jumping head first into trying Plexus. And it was honestly the best decision I ever made. After struggling for years with my PCOS symptoms and then being placed on medications that made me feel sick all the time – I hit my breaking point in late January of last year. Desperate, I decided to give Plexus a try with the hope of getting off my medication. And within three months I was able to get off ALL my medications. Within about a 7 month window. I lost 60+ pounds! I’ve never lost weight this easily in my life! It was always a struggle – I had to be super strict and obsessive with exercise and calorie consumption. Now it’s easy! I have awesome energy, the cravings aren’t there, and I’ve reached crazy new goals with my fitness. (Just a couple weeks ago I ran 18 miles!) With results like these – I had to become an ambassador and now I’m helping others on their health and weight loss journeys too and it’s so exciting to see others achieve success too!
What did you learn this year?
I mean, do we ever stop learning? I feel like I learned so much last year! With regards to myself – I learned that I’m capable of much more than I give myself credit. This past year has stretched my limits with time, finances, and emotions. And I feel in spite of the struggles and hurdles – I’ve managed those stressors well. I learned that it’s okay to take time for me. That it doesn’t make me a bad wife if I prioritize my health over getting dinner on the table right at 5 o’clock. And I’ve also learned that sometimes the people you think will be supportive of you and your calling aren’t & that’s okay. If God places a call on your life and you choose to work with him – it will happen whether others choose to stand beside you or not.
What do you wish you had made more time for?
I wish I had more time to work on my book and my fine art series. I wish I had more time to read books, and especially my bible. I wish I had more time to go see my nephews and my niece and my friends. I wish we had the time (and money) to travel more.
What are 3 highlights (business or personal) of your year?
• Obviously, getting off my meds (and losing 60+ lbs)
• Becoming an aunt (and my best friend letting me vicariously share in her pregnancy and little guy)
• Having a dear friend print and frame one of my fine art pieces… it’s such an amazing gift! (THANK YOU JULIE!)
What “word” do you want to define 2017?
2015 was present; 2016 was attuned… I think for 2017 I want my word to be AWARENESS. I feel like this word can be applied in both my professional and personal life in a number of ways. First, professionally – I want to bring more awareness into my sessions. I’ve developed a system for shooting so that I know that I’m going to capture everything my clients will want – but this sometimes keeps me from stepping back to absorb everything around me. So I want to be more aware when I’m shooting. Obviously, this can be greatly beneficial in my personal life too. I’m already pretty aware of those around me and quick to care for their needs. But on a bigger scale, there are a lot of things I feel passionate about bringing awareness to. I had started to do this on my blog a little bit and I had to pull back for my own emotional and mental health, but I need to get back into doing that this year.
What are 3 big goals (business or personal) for 2017?
• Grow our family – I feel like this has been on my list for years… and in truth it has. For seven years, this has been a persistent hope, and we’ve continually failed to make that dream a reality. And quite honestly, I’m hitting a point where I’m questioning if it will ever actually happen for us. We have and continue to put all our efforts into this and I genuinely feel that if it doesn’t happen this year – it’s not going to.
• Put together an art exhibit – I’ve got that self-portrait series I’ve been working on and I finally have enough pieces that I really don’t have any good excuse to not put together a show. So I’m working on figuring out the specifics for printing and framing them and I’m going to try to make that a reality this year! (Thanks to my hubby for encouraging me to do this!)
• Run a half marathon? – I’ll be honest and admit I haven’t decided on this one. I’ve really been loving running just for me and the minute you add a “competition” type feel to it I’m afraid I’ll lose my love for it. So I haven’t fully decided if I’m going to sign up for one yet this year or if I’m just going to keep challenging myself at home to see how far I can go 🙂
What do you want to stop doing in 2017?
This is a hard one for me because I’m not really sure… I guess, I would say to stop waiting. There are many of you who will not understand this and that’s okay – but for seven years our life has been one of waiting. And the long and short of it is that all the waiting and the hoping and the FAILURE – it’s been incredibly painful. I’m at a point where I’m trying to accept the reality that God may not want parenthood for us. And that’s an incredibly difficult reality to accept. So this year I’m going to try really hard to stop waiting – to stop planning for a life that isn’t. And yes – I’ve cried many a tear and I’m sure I’ll cry many more. But if I’m going to stop doing something in 2017 I think this is it.
What things excite you about the upcoming year?
All of those goals I wrote about excite me. The personal projects I have going on get me excited. Seeing the improvements in my fitness is pretty awesome too. And I’ve got some possible ideas for the business in 2017 that could be really fun too! So yeah – there are certainly some things to look forward to with the new year.
What do you want to learn in 2017?
Hmmm… 2015 and 2016 was basically balance and efficiency and I feel like I got pretty good at those things this past year. I think in 2017, I want to learn how to reach more people. I’ve had God calling me to start a local support group for those who struggle with infertility, miscarriage, infant loss, and adoption. I want to create a safe place for people to get together and share their truths, their hurts, their hopes, their fears. A place where you don’t have to worry about people saying stupid, hurtful things. A place where we can also talk about God and his impact on this area of our lives. I’ve been trying to do this for a little over the past year and it hasn’t gained momentum like I would like. But I know this is an area God is calling me in and he will find a way to make it happen.
Well that was challenging and fun! I had a blast going through all those questions and answering them. I hope it was fun for those of you who read through to the end! I hope you all have a super fun and safe New Years! Let’s ring in 2017 with big plans, a lot of hope, and a bright future!