December 30, 2019
I know, I know – New Year’s Day is “just another Wednesday”, but there’s always been something so powerful to me about new beginnings. With a new year (and a new decade!) just a couple of days away, I’ve been daydreaming up a storm as I set goals in a way that’s truly intentional.
Every year I set a new “Word of the Year”. In 2019, that word was Focus. To set focus, to stay focused, to keep myself on track while staying motivated and driven. Can I be honest? I can’t say that I stayed particularly focused this past year. I found myself adopting a more “go-with-the-flow” attitude than a life truly lived with day-to-day intention and drive.
As a self-proclaimed perfectionist I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…. I’m okay with that.
Hear me out. After a tumultuous decade spanning my entire 20’s, I think I needed just one more year of learning to rest and how to care for myself and how to set a foundation for a life I love. This past decade has been a roller coaster to say the least. Let’s take a ride, shall we?
High: I’m the first in my family to graduate college with a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University.
Low: I have no idea what my next step is after graduation, and I panic when I graduate with no job, applying for positions in every type of role/state/company imaginable.
High: I finally get a job offer and take on a role with a team I love that remain my closest friends to this day.
Low: My mom’s cancer comes back for the second time. I watch her body and soul deteriorate before my very eyes. I hope and pray but prepare myself for the worst. I grapple with the idea of loss for the first time, and all of the challenges and complicated family dynamics that come with losing someone way too soon.
High: I move in with, settle down with, and grow more in love with Anthony.
Higher: We welcome our pup Wally into our family!
Even Higher: A surprise proposal! We’re engaged!
Lowest of lows: My mom passes away one month later. My life and my family’s lives are shattered. It’s taken me the 5 years since to feel like I’m finally coming back into my own self, whoever that is, still with what feels like such a long way to go.
High: I accept a new job that gives me more time and freedom and space to grieve, but also to identify and nurture other passions outside of the workplace.
Highest: We plan our wedding. We get married. We celebrate the start of our married life together surrounded by friends and family. The best day of my life.
High: The trip-of-a-lifetime honeymoon to Italy. Falling in love with a new country, with Rome, with the Amalfi Coast, with Venice. Feeling inspiration and clarity beyond what I could have ever imagined.
A delirious, somewhat naive High: The makeshift “launch” of a business, with no idea what I was doing, but a passion and excitement I had never quite felt before, having recently discovered that life is too short not to do what you love. I feel the pull of wanting to make my mom proud. I finally feel like I’ve found the thing that fulfills who I am at the core of my being.
High: My first full planning wedding in Charleston, SC – a place that quickly became so special to me.
High: Leaving my “day-job” to pursue my business full time! Working with clients I truly love, that welcomed me into their lives and families…
Low: …when sometimes it felt like my own family was crumbling behind the scenes.
Highs + Lows + Highs + Lows: The general ebb and flow of being a business owner, especially as a 20-something woman.
High: We bought a house! It’s our dream home – a cozy, 200 year old farmhouse we can make our own. As someone whose parents never owned their own home, I’m filled with pride and hope to create a space here where everyone we love can feel welcome in the coziest way.
High: Ending the decade with SO much in store for the new year. Home renovations in progress. A beautiful new brand and website about to launch. Travel planned. A year of weddings for truly wonderful couples.
Phew! Is your stomach turning after that roller coaster ride? Mine kind of is, but in a really exciting way. Like in a, “Wow I just did that! I survived that! ” kind of way. Like I can take on anything. And you know what? I’m really ready for the next ride.
So that brings me to now. To looking forward into 2020 and all it has in store. To my word of the year:
Forward. In the direction one is facing or traveling. Onward so as to make progress.
To me, this means a motivation that comes from within to always push ahead. It means trust in the future I can’t see, and faith in my own path. It means learning and growing from the lows and mistakes and hardships without dwelling in them for longer than necessary. It means taking accountability. It means doing one thing every day that propels me towards joy and contentment. In 2020 and beyond, I choose to boldly go forward.
With this in mind, I’ll be spending the next couple of days doing my best to live thoughtfully and with intention. I’m going to curl up in our biggest, comfiest chair with a cup of coffee and a pen and paper and start dreaming. Dreaming up ways to make the most of our upcoming travel, planning to introduce some healthier habits after too many Christmas cookies, dreaming of how to best love on my 2020 couples as we enter into their wedding year (!!!), and making room for bigger goals I haven’t even dreamed of yet.
If you’ve got some big dreams too, let’s plan together. In case it might help you out, I’m sharing a little goal setting workbook I put together for myself. Download below, and happy dreaming friends.
Download your printable 2020 Goal Setting Workbook here.
Wishing you a joy-filled new year,