At the beginning of 2017 I wasn’t ready for 2016 to end. 2016 was a great year and I was afraid that 2017 wouldn’t hold up to my expectations. I wondered if the momentum from 2016 would continue into the New Year and light a fire under the plans I had for 2017.
I had so much lined up at the beginning of last year. I was starting a business and it was an exciting time trying to figure it out, I had vacation plans to new travel destinations, and I knew I’d be busy selling my house and buying a new one. Now it’s 2018 and to be honest I have no flipping clue what I’m doing this year. I think the start of the New Year overwhelms me sometimes because it feels like there’s this abrupt end to a chapter and you’re told to start a new one immediately. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it’s nice to have a fresh, clean slate to start a new adventure with, other times it seems like you’re forced to come up with this grand idea or thing when you’re presented the first page of something new. Or maybe a new slate is meant to be a break in current flow to regroup and find direction. Right now I still don’t know, things have been flowing lately (I’m not sure where it’s flowing to). On the other hand, I had my Tarro Cards read last weekend at the bar and the jest of my 5 cards was that I’ve put the work, now it’s time to rest, relax, and enjoy things. I want to say I’m #skepticalaf, but there’s probably some wisdom in that card reading. I don’t disagree, I just don’t know how to do this rest, relax, and enjoy things.
So in true form, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to commit to doing this year. I don’t want to get to the end of the year and feel like I wasted time. So I’ve been asking myself, “What do I want to check off in 2018? What do I want to accomplish?” I feel like I’m trying to find my direction for the year. To be honest, it’s not going so well. There are so many directions I could go and a lot of opportunities I just don’t know what I want to do. I have thoughts, but nothing concrete and nothing I’m committed to.
I’ve been doing this blog thing for 3.5 years. My goal was to eventually make it revenue generating when I first started. I haven’t done that yet. I was always waiting until it was “good enough” to start putting in places for adds and other stuff. I know if I keep waiting for it all to be perfect it’s never going to get there. I get hung up on stats and how my blog/Facebook/Instagram is doing. As an accountant it’s also hard for me to not be focused on stats, I work with numbers all day long and analyzing data. It’s also hard to not focus on stats/likes/impressions/reaches on social media. It’s how the world is validated these days! But I know the worthiness of something is not determined by the number of likes/reaches/views/stats. Logically I’m having difficulty balancing just doing stuff and putting it out to the world and getting business results. It is challenging to have a business mindset for the blog. I want things to be natural, but running a business should have a purpose and a strategy.
I started this blog because I loved reading other DIY/Food/Life blogs. I’m just a single gal, DIYing home renovations, furniture refinishing, and decorating rooms. I want to show people, that if I can figure out how to do something, almost anyone can. I’ve learned a lot on how to do things from my Dad, blogs, and Youtube. But how do you measure being a how-to resource and inspiring people to take on their own projects!? There are times when I wonder if this thing is reaching anyone (Hello, is anyone out there?) I enjoy doing the projects I post about, but my least favorite part is writing the post and editing to get everything perfect for publishing. I keep asking myself, “Is it worth it?”
When it comes to my presence on social media it’s also easy to get wrapped up in the numbers. How many people did my post reach? Did those people go to my blog? How many likes did the post get? With a business Instagram account it’s easy to see all of those stats. I know obsessing over stats is not a healthy approach, but my natural instincts as a number cruncher is to analyze any and all data available to me. I’m trying to reframe my purpose for posting on Instagram. My goal is to inspire people with pictures of my work. Again, I don’t know how to measure that. I think it’s even harder to measure that than my goal for my blog. I know not everything in life has a score board that tells you whether you’ve won or lost, and I’m okay with that. I think we can rely too much on outside validation with everything we do. It’s important to have confidence in your own work. But trying to find a balance between posting things to inspire people and trying to analyzing what reaches people is hard. Internal motivation can only go so far without getting some sort of feedback. But I’m trying to remember the quote below:
I’d like to do more with my Etsy shop too. I’m just not sure what / I don’t want to commit to something. I’m afraid to commit to something and fail. I wasn’t as successful as I wanted to be last year with the Etsy shop and going to Pop-up Markets. It’s hard as an introvert to be an entrepreneur. I hate having to talk about myself. There are sometimes I’m not even sure about blogging, if it’s bragging, if I’m just being full of myself. I hate having to promote myself. I’m more of a, here’s my stuff / here’s what I did. I think it should speak for itself, but that’s not how it works. I’m not good at engaging in small talk with people that I don’t know. But I want to figure out how to stay true to my introverted personality and being a successful entrepreneur.
Photoshop / Photography
I’ve been wanting to get better with my Photoshop skills and keep putting off taking a photoshop class. I am putting this on my to-do list this year and I am going to make time for it. I am going to out Portland in the spring specifically for a tulip festival. I want to get some great photos. It’s a once in a lifetime trip (there are too many other places to visit in the world) so I don’t want to waste the trip. My goal is to take an updated class so I can refresh on everything before I go out there.
I know for certain I will be working on the new house. There is a laundry list of small/big/and GIGANTIC projects for this place. Sometimes the completion of one project prompts the addition of a new project that wasn’t necessary before. I enjoy these projects, I love the feeling of accomplishment and the results of the finished product that is better looking/functional than before. This house isn’t going anywhere and neither am I, so my to-do list will be checked off one thing at a time.
As I sit here and write all of this, my lack of concrete plans and ability to truly commit to things reinforces that I need some more time to figure things out (rest, relax, and enjoy things). I’m still a big ball of I DON’T KNOW. I don’t want to end up running in the wrong direction to only get halfway down the road and realize it’s been wasted energy. At the same time, this rest, relax, and enjoy this is not going to be easy. Can I wish for this revelation to appear quickly?