Brooke & Lou Lemon Wallpaper c/o / Pottery Barn Desk and Sconces / Serena & Lily Chair, Diamond Jute Rug and (old) Lamp c/o / Caitlin Wilson Mouse Pad / Gray Malin Artwork c/o / Ballard Designs Chippendale Chair / iMac
As far as I’m concerned, today is the first day of 2020. :) Over the last week, we put away Christmas decor, cleaned up the mess from the New Year’s party, unpacked from our holiday travels, did a month’s worth of laundry, transitioned Emma back into her school routine, put out a few work-related fires, and covered the Lilly sale. But today marks the beginning of my fresh start! And I’m sitting here in a coffee shop, feeling motivated and inspired and alive, but also mindful of the fact that these feelings are usually short-lived for me. 😉
The concept of New Year’s resolutions dates back over 4,000 years, though it’s obviously morphed over time. Isn’t that crazy?! And how interesting is that humans are seemingly programmed to want fresh starts? To think about and create goals; to improve one’s self.
I recently read in The Atlantic that only 8 percent of people achieve their resolutions, which makes me feel a hell of a lot better about how 2019 went for me. 😜 Looking back, I kind of accomplished two of my goals. But two out of three ain’t bad.
So yeah. I’m of two minds when it comes to resolutions. On one hand, they provide people with motivation, and often get them through the most seasonally difficult part of the year. On the other, though, they’re rarely achieved for a variety of reasons, and I wonder whether the disappointment and feelings of inadequacy that comes from that outweighs the motivation part. Still, I find value in sitting down and thinking about the trajectory of my life every so often, as clichéd as it is to do so in January. No, I’m not going to list 20 resolutions like I used to, because I realize that expectations like that are unrealistic. But jotting down a few things I’d like to make some progress on? Yes! That seems like a worthwhile activity.
2019 was one for the books. And while it was undoubtedly our craziest year ever, it was also our best year ever… because the newest member of our family arrived and we found our forever home. Life has never been better! We’re deeply happy. (And also deeply happy to have 2019 behind us, haha. That was nuts!)
Below are my 2019 goals, and how they went:
- Complete a full KonMari clean-out challenge in the first quarter of the year: I DID IT, albeit in the second quarter. I’m going to write a much longer post on the experience and how it changed our lives, but I cannot recommend it more if you follow the rules. (I’m stubborn, and didn’t in the beginning and subsequently failed, haha.) I won’t lie: it was a lot of work, it requires maintenance, and I personally still have room for growth. But I’m extraordinarily grateful for this new mindset, which I do think we’ll always have. We learned so much and are far happier people because of the clarity that it’s brought.
- Move without freaking out: I feel like I should get half credit for this one. 😉 Because WE MOVED! Sure, I freaked out. But, I mean, I literally had a baby on moving day. So ya know. 😂 In all seriousness, moving was a nightmare. Still, I’m so glad we did it. Life is great now! And all the hard work paid off. We now space to let the kids be kids and we managed to find a house in the school district we wanted. Mitch did have to sleep outside the school in order to get Emma in, but we did it. I can’t believe it!
- Cap my months and get ahead: FAIL. Seriously, I get an F on this one. 😜 Looking back, though, I do realize why this was doomed from the start, and I’m proud of myself for making some big changes–which I haven’t shared yet but will soon!–in order to actually do this. It took approximately 11 months, and I’m only now starting to feel the effects of the decision. But we can already tell that it was a good decision, and my hopes are high for 2020. While I might never be super ahead, I just might feel a sense of balance!
And now here we are! These are my new goals:
- Embrace the newfound balance in my life: Building off what I said in regard to that last 2019 goal, this is the problem area of my life, and it always has been. I know it must have been horribly annoying to hear me talk about balance all the time and watch me seemingly do nothing to achieve it, and for that, I really apologize. 🙈 (#sorry) But 11 months later, I finally have a real plan, and it’s in place and working! And while it’s been extraordinarily difficult to implement, it’s allowing me to spend more quality time with my family and friends, engage in leisure activities, become more involved in our community, and focus on self care. I’ve even started to rekindle relationships and friendships that fizzled out back when I was dropping ALL the balls! It feels good, and I’m extraordinarily excited to drop fewer balls and live my best life this year. Old Kelly is BACK. And she’s even older! (Oy, haha.)
- Plan fun crafts and activities for the girls: This is so, so important to me. Emma loves crafts, and conveniently, I do, too! There’s something so calming and cathartic about it, and I love chatting with her while we paint turtles or make miniature princesses or design our own headbands. I want to do WAY more of this in 2020, and also try some new activities in and around Chicago with Emma and Lucy. The girls are getting older, so there’s so much more that we can do with them, and I really want to take advantage of what our city has to offer. I’m ready for all the fun!
- Enjoy my work more:
- Take pride in doing my best: Right now, I’m just happy that Kelly in the City still exists. Blogging and mommying at the same time has been very demanding, and I’m proud of myself for chugging along. :) Very often, we’re made to believe that a year is only good if we “moved forward,” and we have something tangible to show for it. But I don’t see it like that anymore. If I worked hard just to stay alive, I should pat myself on the back!
- Get digitally and editorially organized: Now that my home is organized (thanks to Marie Kondo), I think it’s possible get my blog organized, too. Mitch actually did an amazing job tackling the business side of it last year; he developed functioning systems and procedures and streamlined a lot of stuff. Now, though, it’s my turn to develop some editorial and digital systems and procedures that’ll maximize productivity, allow me to spend more time on the parts of blogging that I love most, and help me feel more on top of work.
- Work toward starting a different career: I’ve been pretty transparent about this, but I’d like to move away from blogging as my primary career over the next few years. I do think I’ll always blog; I really love it and can’t imagine not having the creative outlet. (I’m also ridiculously grateful for all that it’s done for my family, and all the opportunities it’s presented. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT, FRIENDS!) But I’d like to try something different, and I have a couple of dreams I’d like to see through. This is a few years down the road, probably when Lucy starts pre-school or kindergarten, but Mitch and I recently began the legwork so that it’ll be a viable option when the opportunity presents itself!
- Aggressively work to meet our financial goals: A couple of years ago, we started working with a financial planner, and he’s been instrumental in helping us enjoy the present while also planning for the future. I can’t recommend meeting with one more! My best suggestion would be to ask friends and family whether they have a good local recommendation; chances are that someone has one!
All of this said, though, loving and keeping our two miniature humans alive and happy is the most important. Our girls are our reason for everything. So if 2020 comes to a close and this is the one goal I’ve met, I will be proud and content and know that the year was a great one. Above all else, family. ♥️
What do you have planned for 2020?!