I think it is always so interesting to see and read about how people choose a word that represents what they hope the year will encompass. We are a few weeks into 2017 and I thought today would be the perfect day for sharing my reasoning behind choosing this one for the year. I've already noticed a difference in my general day to day and what I pay more attention to, so I am excited to have an entire year devoted to this, both personally and in my business.
Last year was a really big transitional year - from moving away from wedding planning to creating loved custom wedding invitation collections for so many amazing couples and also building my shop into what it is now (let alone raising two small kids + a teenager at home with me while all of this was happening too), it was filled with a lot of hectic, a lot of busy, and a lot of exhaustion, honestly. Even though my business turns seven this year (which is my lucky number, so it's got to be a good year!) in a lot of ways because of making the change from primarily wedding planning to wedding invitations + encouraging items, there were a lot of new things I had to learn last year. Every day I worked on new ideas, new systems within the business and different details that I hadn't before.
And as amazing as it all is to look and see what was completed now, a lot of things went un-nurtured. A lot. Because there is only so much time in a day, and in addition to this business I also have my family to take care of, priorities were made different and I had to choose between what should be done first and what could remain to do later. And for quite a few things, that "later" time is still waiting. So in a way, I feel like this word actually chose me.
I started my annual Powersheets with these incredibly goal-setting posts by Lara Casey guiding me along in the end of December and devoted a few days to working on the preliminary pages before I even got to the Tending Lists for the month, and the one thing that I noticed that popped up consistently that I wanted to change was with relationships - both with people and with business details - as just one example that came to mind, so many times, I would get a text and see it but not be able to respond at that moment, planning to reply later, and sometimes that later would be three or four days later, or even later than that. (I know I'm not alone on this one! Can Apple please make an iphone update that you can mark a text unread after you've seen it? The technology has to be there somehow as an option!) Or, I would be working every minute that my kids were napping and never take anytime for me - I was so concerned about having every single minute to work on things while they were sleeping that I never took any minutes for myself - I even would get a large glass of water and make a cup of coffee and sit it at my desk before they went down for their naps so that it would be waiting for me and I wouldn't have to use any time to do that in the five minutes of quiet after they went down.
What? Note to self. Kristin, that's a sign you need to make some changes to take some time to slow down. Seriously.
So! I am determined to make some changes this year, and so far it is going pretty well! I have included a few places below that I am planning on nurturing all aspects of my life, and it's a question I find myself asking a lot ... what aspect of my life does this nurture? Can I nurture it more than it is now, to care for it and encourage it to help it to grow and develop into something amazing? I think that is absolutely a yes.
The very definition of nurture is what I want this year to hold. I want 2017 to be filled with moments that I am caring for and encouraging the growth of development of so many things - from my personal life to my business and everywhere in between. The moment that word came to me (and I'm certain this was also a God-thing), I knew that it was exactly what I needed. So I've shared a few places below where I am focusing on nurturing - and plan to do throughout the entire year.
building my Faith.
I love starting the day with the Lord. I love reading the Bible and learning so many amazing things, and think that the power of prayer is incredible. However, more times than I care to admit, I would put my time with the Lord on hold until I completed X or Y or Z, always planning to come back to it later in the day, but it didn't happen. So, now every evening before I go to bed, I come into my office, open my bible, and put it in front of my computer with my devotional right next to it. This way when I first step foot into my office in the mornings, that is what I see. Not my to-do list, but my Bible. Choosing to spend time with Him instead of pushing it to the side is a given now - because if I close the bible and put it aside to open my laptop - the guilt I feel that I chose spending time on work instead of time with Him is enough. I am nurturing my relationship with Him tremendously this year because it simply is the life I want to lead. with Him right there at the forefront.
loving on Family + Friends.
My daughter starts Kindergarten this fall. (cue for the crying mama alligator tears rolling down my cheeks) This means I have (right now) only eight more months with her at home with me during the day before she is gone at school for the next eighteen years. Eight. More. Months. That's it. That makes me so sad, that this season in our life with her home with me will be over and will have to get used to her being at school full time, but you can bet that I am going to nurture as much time as we have making memories before she goes. Also, this year my husband and I are celebrating eight years of marriage together, having been together for thirteen - that by itself is incredible and I know we have an amazing lifetime ahead of us together still, but we rarely do anything just the two of us anymore. I think I honestly can count on one hand how many dates we went on last year. I want us to take time to nurture our time together as well, to grow an even stronger marriage than we have now. In addition, I would love to build stronger friendships with the people we are blessed with in our lives. Days are simply better with people around you that you enjoy doing life with, and there have been many people who I can honestly say it has been way too long since I got to see their face and hug their necks. These relationships need to be nurtured too.
making Me Time.
I have so many things that I want to learn and do for myself this year - and definitely am one who doesn't want to live with "I wish I would have learned ___ or ____ or _____." Or, even just taking time to sit quietly and have nothing planned! So, this year I have finally committed to learning handlettering because I've always wanted to handletter our Christmas cards or birthday cards that go to friends in the mail. Get back in shape, because I miss running so much - I love the feeling it gives me with the wind in my hair. Sit on the back porch and read a good book while drinking a cup of coffee and listening to the birds chirp their morning songs. I'm going to be nurturing my soul this year in a lot more ways than I did last year.
building Peer Relationships.
I know that we all get busy and have things to do for our business continually - but there is also something amazing about this community of people that we are surrounded by. We are all unique in our own ways and have such amazing things to bring to the table - but so many times, we have our heads down and are focused on what we are doing, which is great, but also, this business can be incredibly lonely. And to have people to talk to through the ups and down of business-ownership, to cheer each other on or pick each other up is something that is needed and fosters an even stronger community together. I have loved being a part of certain groups on Facebook and want to take some of the relationships that have been created there to the "next level", for lack of a better term. Reaching out to people, possibly doing collaborations together, scheduling virtual Facetime coffee dates or phone chats with the people I feel connected to and building on the relationships that are still there, and also growing the relationships gained from being a part of the amazing Society for Creative Founders community as well. I want to nurture the friendships that I have with those who are in this right there alongside me.
loving on my Clients.
This last year I developed a pretty good "flow" for my clients so that they knew what to expect and when and now I love going from one step to the next with them, however there are still a few things that I would like to expand upon and fine-tune. There are a few more ideas that I have to make the experience for my clients one that is filled with even more love and appreciation, because they are the reason I get to do what I do. I want to nurture those relationships as well so that it becomes even more amazing during the time we work together. I already love what I do, so know that this is going to make it even more incredible to get to work with those I am blessed to create loved collections with!
curating the Shop.
Last year, I had so many requests for custom designs in my shop that it kind of became a collection of unique items - I also changed some offerings halfway through the year, and my shop still needs to be nurtured in the best way because of it. I want everything to become consistent instead of pasted together, so that it all flows well together. And a big goal? Moving it from Etsy to right here on this site - because I think it's time for it to be all in one place. I have loved being on Etsy, but there's something about everything being in one place that I simply love.
writing for This Blog.
Oh, this poor blog. It was so neglected last year - to think that almost an entire year of blogging encompassed free download posts (which I loved to offer, but that's not the point here) is simply crazy. I love to write. Like really love it. But, didn't ever plan time in my day to create blog posts that made the year as amazing as it was or shared tips for weddings - so there is definitely no lack of content available! I want to nurture this blog into becoming a place for brides and fellow business owners to love to visit - as may be apparent considering that the last few weeks have included more posts than the last six months in 2016 did! #truth. My goal is to write one to two times per week. So far so good, and I think that as long as this remains a priority, it'll definitely be able to happen.
So, that leads me to my question for you - are there areas in your life that you know could be nurtured too? If so, what can you do today to nurture something or someone in your life? Could it be that we all could take a bit more time to nurture those around us?
My word for 2017 is absolutely without a doubt, nurture. I've found myself continually asking in my head if something if what I am doing is nurturing an aspect in my life - what is being nurtured - and if it's not, what I can change to nurture it to grow or be encouraged to turn into something amazing. And something tells me that if I nurture everything around me that is simply waiting to be loved on a little bit more, this is going to be quite an amazing year. I honestly think that this is something that could be done for everyone - can you imagine what the world would be like if we all nurtured people in our lives just a little bit more?
Share Your Thoughts!
If you chose a word to start your year with, which one did you choose? I'd love to hear from you and support you as well! (and if you think that nurture is perfect for your 2017, I would love to hear that too!
Have a blessed week!