Monday, January 01, 2018

10 Questions for 2018

Happy New Year! 

(Those glasses made me go cross-eyed. Too much plastic! But a great shot nonetheless.😂)

2017 is in the books and a fresh start is upon us!

2017 wasn't too shabby for the Baker fam. We saw some highs and lows, but in retrospect, our lowest lows were fairly easy to work through and we had some pretty awesome highs that are worth noting.

  • After a miserable 2016 with the loss of my closest friend and a career struggle that made me want to crawl in a hole and never come out, in January 2017 I launched my freelance social media management business And now I work from home, alongside one of my oldest and dearest friends Helen at {who builds some pretty amazing websites, BTW}. With the faith she and Shan have put into me and taught me to put in portfolio is growing! Teamwork makes the dream work, y'all.
  • In May Shannon decided to kick a miserable career situation to the curb and follow his heart back to a company where he's truly happy. While the intense traveling isn't the greatest for our family, we've found a way to manage it with the help of our fabulous counselor
  • In October I made my very first visit to NYC! If you follow me on social media then you know how amazing that was for me.
  • Also in October, I celebrated 3 years with my wonderful side hustle with Beautycounter, and had my best month ever!
  • The boys? Sam's Crohn's disease has been well-managed for over a year now. No hospital visits! A transition that terrifies me, has me happy to report that Fulton has taken to middle school like a duck to water. Oliver? Well, everyday is a high with Oliver. 

2017 was a time of great personal growth for me. It only took me 43 years to gain some really good perspective, but hey! Better now than never.

In an effort to continue that personal growth, I've decided not to set resolutions for 2018. I don't do well with resolutions and I think the only way to get off the defeating spin cycle of life is to start asking yourself questions. Questions that make you think...that make you uncomfortable. I've said before, if life was always comfortable, we'd be JELL-O! Spiritually, physically, mentally, professionally...all the -lys. So I've come up with 10 questions I'm asking myself as I approach this new year, to continue my growth.

1. What are my priorities? 
I recently posted these little slips of paper all over my house that read "Your priorities are your character", as a reminder to my whole family. One child was embarrassed because it makes me look like a "psycho mom", but it made him ask me what it meant and why I was posting them. So now we have a great on-going dialogue between us about priorities and character. So really...what are my priorities?

2.  What am I looking forward to?
What am I looking forward to? Life isn't a whole-lotta fun without some type of joy at the end of the day, week, month, year. I'm making my list of things to looks forward to personally, as a family, and professionally. Even if it's coming home after a long day and putting on my robe and PJs, I'm looking forward to some kind of joy. And who doesn't look forward to their robe and PJS?

3. What makes me well?
As a mom I always put myself on the back burner. I may or may not exercise everyday because of some else's schedule and obligations. I often skip or postpone check ups because it just takes too much time. I don't get my prayer and devotional time in because I'd rather have 30 minutes more sleep. You get me. I feel good now that I've acknowledged what it is that makes me well in all the "-ly" aspects of my life. In 2018 I'm making a point to take care of all that makes me well.

4. How do I leave others?
Is my time with others well-spent? I think we often go through the motions with the people we interact with in our jobs, our family, and strangers. Do we leave them "feeling" anything? I think about the times others left me feeling good, as well as not so good. Positive, negative, or nondescript...we remember it. So I'd like to focus on leaving others better than I found them.

5. What {Who} am I putting too much stock into?
This is a deep one. You know the people and things that you put all your energy into? Sometimes it's mentally and sometimes it's physically. I've discovered that there is healthy stock and unhealthy stock. Relationships and duties have a time and a place in our lives. They are things/people that we once loved and now need to give up. I've never really struggled with taking them on...because I am a bit of a sucker in that aspect. However, once I take them on, I struggle with letting go.
I often find myself still wanting to put stock into friendships that are no longer and I try to keep obligations, for which I once had a fiery passion, burning. When really...they have fizzled. It is important to recognize who and what you're putting stock into that's really worth it. Because it gets exhausting trying to keep something alive that has run its course. So I'm not doing it anymore. Particularly when there are true-blue relationships and new opportunities to fuel my passions in life. Just say no to unhealthy stock.

6. Who {What} inspires me? 
I love reading fashion, lifestyle, and entrepreneurial blogs. I am also a self-help book junkie. Those things are awesome for a little jolt of inspiration. But I find myself wanting inspiration from people I can talk to and meet with. I crave people who make stuff happen. So I'm on the hunt for live-action inspiration!

7. What promises to myself have I fallen down on?
This doesn't need 'splanin'. It's just time to make those promises a priority.

8. What does a realistic day look like, compared to an ideal day?
When it comes to time management, I not only fell off the struggle bus, but I also got backed over.  Ideal days are very few and far between, so this is a challenge for most people, I would imagine. Especially those of us with time management issues. Working from home takes those issues to a whole new level. Taking all must-do responsibilities and would-like-to-dos into account, I must take my excessive and random list making a step further and actually put them into a schedule. Then I need to learn to master the art of making a real day as close as possible to an ideal day. Wish me lots-o'-luck on this one.

9. What is "success" and how will I celebrate it?
I'm not great at acknowledging my accomplishments - big or small. Yet, I find motivation to keep going when I celebrate small victories. So you'd think I'd do it more often. I think success looks a little different to everyone, but celebrating our successes is uber important. Did I keep my children alive today? Then, let's celebrate! Did I finish that proposal? Celebrate! Did I have a great month in retail volume? Boom...celebrate! Defining what success is to me and patting myself on the back for a job-well-done is vital and I am going to start putting it into practice...on the daily.

And finally...

10. What does my life look like in a year?
We aren't promised next year, next month, or even tomorrow. So I can only take life one day at a time. But success doesn't happen in one big chunk. It's all the little bits and pieces leading up to the end result. So when it comes time to reflect on all the "-lys", these are the questions I can ask myself at the end of each day and again at the end of the year.
How am I contributing to my church in a way that I wasn't before? Have I made time for devotions and prayer? Have I started or joined a regular study? Have I been an example to my boys?
Have we made us a priority?
Have I done all I can to reach fitness goals? Have I checked all my wellness boxes?
CBVivid: How many clients do I have? Have I expanded the services I offer?
Beautycounter: How many clients do I have? Have I grown my network and achieved a new title?
Have I maintained accountability with my counselor and myself? What have I done to manage anxiety? Have I prayed about it as much as I've worried about it?
Have I managed our home well? Am I holding my boys accountable? Have we checked off our up-fitting and maintenance priorities?
Have I found my new passion for serving others? What/How have I contributed?

So that's how I plan to get through each day of 2018. And I wish anyone reading this great joy and good health in this new year.

So...Do you set resolutions?  Do you have questions that help you navigate life? I'm curious to hear.

Now off to prepare my collards and black eyed peas!