Reflections and Looking Ahead

 Time to make 2017 your best year ever, creative entrepreneurs! Click through to read 7 reflections from an artist and business owner from 2016 - looking ahead to a better business and blog to make money and feel happy! Click through or repin for later!

Last year was QUITE a year for me, definitely a year of growth and realization. I learned a lot about myself, what I want for my life and what I'm willing to do to get there. I was pushed to the emotional brink often. I found myself binge eating and crying more often than any other year before. As a result, I gained some weight and was able to do a lot of reflecting.

After the launch of Create with Confidence in December, I was exhausted in every imaginable way. I was really sick and found myself napping on the couch in the middle of the day (an extremely rare occurrence for me). So when my kids had two weeks off of school, I took off with them. I did not do a single ounce of work for two weeks. And I don't even feel a little bit bad about it. I desperately needed that time to reflect on all the things that happened to me in 2016. I quite literally felt hungover from the year. 

Reflecting is such an important part of the creative process. It allowed me to enjoy my life without pressure, but also to find clarity about what went right and what I could have done better, in my business and in my life as a wife, mother, community member and friend.

I came to 5 realizations that will help guide me over the next year so that I can feel better about 2017 than 2016. I don't believe in writing off the year - there was a lot to be learned - but I want the next one to feel better. I want to cry a little less this year. Juuuust a little bit. ;)

Below you'll find some of my plans for the year ahead.. where are you headed this year? Leave it below in the comments!

Get more personal

At the end of last year, I realized that I was always holding back, afraid of judgment. I was never *quite* as honest as I could be about my life. I tend to be very protective of my personal life and I don't always share about it online. I am private. I want to find a way to come out of that bubble this year so that I can be more relatable, while still protecting my values. 

Spend time on people who matter

I love to give. I give my time, energy and ideas openly to those I believe deserve them. Unfortunately I think sometimes I did that too often last year. I spent time on some people who didn't care as much about me as I did about them. (Just saying that out loud feels really personal - progress!) I still want to give often and share my wisdom, but in ways that feel good. I need to focus this year on making sure I am getting as much out of relationships as I give so as not to leave myself feeling totally drained.

Glean inspiration from the world, not the Internet

I can do even better here. I always urge people to get outside for inspiration rather than copying something they saw online, but I admit that I often get lost in the Instagram shuffle. There is so much talent out there and it's hard not to - this year I plan to surround myself with inspiration in other ways, by spending time with people I love and adventuring more frequently, sometimes intentionally in search of inspiration. I want to feel that my work (writing, art, photography, all of it!) is an authentic representation of my life. Will I be perfect? Likely not, but I know I can do better.

More Art

I need more art in my life. When I visited NYC in October with my mom last year, I felt so incredibly alive. The city is filled with art and the museums breathed life into my soul. I want to figure out how to recreate that experience, even in small ways, here in my much smaller city. More museum visits. More making art. More experimenting. I even want to grab some art history books from the library. I took a bit of a departure from art last year and even though a lot of my audience is filled with artists, I didn't create or appreciate art as much as I wanted to last year. That changes this year.

No excuses

None. And that's the bottom line. I hope to catch myself making excuses and have the willpower to push through them and I hope to help others to do the same. No self-sabotage this year - there just isn't room for it. 

Think bigger picture

I have a tendency to get obsessed with something and really zero in on it. This year, I need to think in the bigger picture. I need to focus on more than one thing at a time, quite frankly because I need to make money. There will be a lot of moving parts in order to make that happen. The first part of the year is all about putting systems in place to make that easier. 

So how about you? What are your plans for this year? Have you spent some time reflecting to get really clear about what you can do better in your creativity and business?