2017 Recap and 2018 Goals

2017 was a year of personal growth and focusing on my long-term goals. I’m so excited to be starting 2018 where I’m at right now… More on that in a minute.

Back to 2017. When I started writing this post last week, I thought I’d have even more to talk about than last year because I’d experienced so much more growth. Until I pulled up last year’s recap for reference. I saw that I had achieved much more clear milestones in 2016, which was discouraging. I know that my personal growth is just as important as experiences, but it was difficult to remember that.

Now, I’m excited to share my 2017 highlights with you.

I started strength training

Cringey gym selfie in 3, 2, 1…

Gym selfie
At the end of January, I found a six-month strength training program. I got off schedule and recently had to stop, but I got nearly all the way by November. I learned so much about developing habits, being consistent over being perfect, and showing up for my dreams.

I’m out of a workout routine now, but I’m looking forward to getting back to it. I feel so much better about myself and my body when I exercise, even if it’s only a couple times a week. I’ve found that seeing physical changes is exciting, but being tuned into my body is a much bigger confidence-builder.

I turned 25

Birthday photo
25 feels like an important milestone, and I definitely notice how much more confident and stable my mindset seems to be as I mature. Quarter-life crisis aside, I feel like I’m starting to figure out who I am and what matters to me.

I celebrated a year of being a dog mama

I adore my dog, Maya. So much so that I convinced my boyfriend to celebrate her adoption anniversary in March with me. We took her on a grand adventure, which I filmed and posted to my non-beauty channel.

I traveled (within the US this time)

The locations weren’t as exotic as last year, but we went to a vegan food and beer festival and then to Harry Potter world at Universal studios. We also went to Virginia Beach for a wedding, to Ohio and Pennsylvania to see family, and to Palm Springs to visit my dad’s new house.

I got a promotion at work

I’ve been working hard in my full-time job as a technical writer, and I was promoted to the “senior” level. I work with some great people and have made awesome friends. Plus, I’m still learning a ton every day.

I became an aunt

Holding my niece
My niece was born in August, and I’ve gotten to see her in November and December. She’s a cute little bean! She loves watching dogs, and Maya accepted some pets as well.

I got LASIK

My dog helped me during the recovery
This is sort of a weird thing to announce as a highlight, but it’s something I’d been thinking about doing for a few years. I was scared, but the surgery went well and I have better than 20/20 vision!

I wrote a book and got ready to start a publishing company

Sneaky, sneaky! I’m so excited to announce that I wrote my first book, which I’m releasing as a beta draft for free. And, I’ve just sent off the paperwork to form my own publishing company so I can self-publish my own work, put any income from my blog and YouTube channels back into my content, and eventually (hopefully) offer services like coaching and publishing others’ books.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ve seen that my 2017 focus was to pare down my space, time, and mind. I wrote updates every month to let you know what I’d been doing to pare down, and what I still needed to work on. The original post (linked above) also has links to the monthly updates, so start there if you want to read through them.

When I set this theme for 2017, I expected to end the year with a more tidy space and some new experiences. When the time came, the year ended with a very messy space (oops!), a whole lot of personal growth, and the paperwork to become a business owner. I had no idea that this is where my “pare down” focus would take me, but I couldn’t be more moved and humbled by the way things turned out.

I’ve wanted to become an author for the last ten years, and in 2017 I finally started to put in the work to make that dream come true. I started learning about self-publishing in February, and since then I’ve been researching and planning and wondering how I can venture into this incredible but scary turn in my life.

I’m not an author quite yet, but with some beta readers (like you!) and lots of feedback, I think I can get there in 2018. This book isn’t a recap of my blog posts–I share my best tips and lessons learned from my year of paring down, and I walk you through how you can apply some of these principles to your own life.

Pare Down book cover

Download the epub here

I really hope that you enjoy the book and share your feedback with me. There’s a link at the end of the book that will take you to where you can share your thoughts anonymously. But if you don’t want to be anonymous, I’ll include your name in the acknowledgements of a future edition of the book.

2018 Goals

Yay for planning and goal-setting!

In addition to the Pare Down beta testing, I have some other projects that I’ve been working on too, like the 100 Days to Write a Novel series I’m doing right now on my non-beauty YouTube channel. So it seems fitting that Create be my focus/theme for 2018.

My 2018 goals:

  • Create fun and compelling content on this blog, my beauty channel, and my non-beauty channel. I’d like to make 80 videos between my two channels and 40 non-video posts to this blog (a bit less than once a week).
  • Become an author – I want to keep shaping up this Pare Down book and publish my first book for real (whether it’s this one or another one I’m working on).
  • Start my own company – The paperwork was sent off on January 2nd, and that was only the beginning. I want to set everything up and see some measurable progress in my content and revenue.
  • Complete two 100 Days projects – These projects have been on my mind for a few months, and I’ve started my first one. 
  • Start a podcast – I’m still thinking about what I want to talk about, but podcasting is something I’d love to get into by the end of the year.
  • Exercise an average of two times per week.
  • Read eight books.
  • Take one international trip – I’m itching to go somewhere new.

There’s a lot on this list, so I’m hoping to hit at least 6/8 of these goals or make about 80% progress on them overall.

I feel so lucky to be able to create content outside of my job and spend so much time doing what I love. It seems silly that I was so discouraged by the less impressive highlights of this year. Change takes many forms, as I learned last week. It doesn’t matter how visible or impressive this change is. It’s much more important that you’re able to recognize that you’ve changed at all.

Do you have any questions for me or suggestions for what you’d like to see? Go to brokeforbeauty.com/ask and let me know!

I’ll be back with regular reviews and videos soon,

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