I entered last year with a list of brands that I wanted to work with for my photography but I had no idea how much my life would change in a year. As I mentioned in my recap of the year I didn't make any plans for the year. I can't say that this hurts my growth for the year but it definitely slowed me down.
When I was laid off in 2008, I had some ideas about what I wanted to do with starting a business but I had no clue how to get started and what worked. I call 2009 my an exploratory year where I literally taught myself how to market and sell on Etsy through trial and error. By 2010 when I left for Paris for ten days I had a better understanding of the business. This helped me so much.
In regards to the blog, I would call 2016 my exploratory year. There is so much that I learned through reading and watching webinars online to get to where I am now. There is so much more growth that will continue to happen over this next year. I still have a lot to learn. I will also say when I sat down with my friend Alexis in 2015 and dreamt up the plans for this blog things have taken different directions that I originally planned which is totally normal and good. Nothing is ever set in stone.
I don't believe in new years resolutions as I think they are easy to break and once you break them most people don't get back on the horse and try again they just let go. When you create goals you have 365 days to work towards them. Some may have a lot of progress and some goals may make slow and steady progress but as long as you head in the right direction.
Goals for 2016
Something very exciting that I have been planning since last year is to start a book club. This isn't just a book club with a few of my closest friends it is with YOU! Each month I will be sharing one francophile themed book for us all to read together. Download it on your kindle, rent it from the library, borrow/share or purchase this month's book club selection here. I will be sharing more details in tomorrow's post so stay tuned.
SLEEP. I have mentioned I am not the best sleeper and I swear the days I get a good night's rest I feel I can conquer the world. I have to work on unplugging before bed from technology and reading.
Since living in Paris in 2013 I have really wanted to learn French cursive. In the States, we don't write in cursive much at all but I think it looks so much more sophisticated and beautiful. So I bought this book on Amazon and I am hoping to practice throughout the year. You never know my next thank you note from Etsy could be written in cursive. That's where I plan to practice.
Work/life balance. I work a lot. When you run two businesses I think that is just about normal but being the solo person is getting to be too much. This year I am hiring my first employee! I am so excited to bring someone on and create a team. There will be more about this soon but if you are in Chicago feel free to reach out firstname.lastname@example.org
Eat lunch before 4. Okay, so you may be sensing a theme. If I am not having a working lunch I typically don't eat until late in the day which is terrible. I need to really work on this and having an assistant will help in 2017.
Travel more. I love Paris as you all know but I want to see more of the world so this means I am going to have to break out of my comfort zone and explore a bit. I will be in Paris this year not to worry but taking a weekend trip to Switzerland, London, or a flight to Australia may be in the cards this year. Stay tuned!
Practice my French. After all these trips and time in Paris, I should be fluent but I am far from it. I am so shy when it comes to speaking French so this year I need to get out of my comfort zone and start practicing. This also means not being afraid to make mistakes.
Learn 12 new recipes. This averages out to one per month which shouldn't be too difficult. I am getting a Kitchenaid this month and I cannot wait to start creating in the kitchen. What would you like to learn to make this year?
Purge my closet. Since moving back to the States and having four closets instead of one I have started collecting more than I wish I owned. I need to get rid of some clothes I don't wear by donating them and picking out some key important wardrobe pieces for the year. I have been loving this book to help me with the process.
This year will be filled with exciting projects, collaborations, and going outside my comfort zone for some pretty amazing opportunities. I can't wait for you to join me as we grow in 2017! I would love to know your goals for this next year. Feel free to share them below in the comments. Put your dreams out into the universe and make big things happen!