happy new year! as a super interesting introduction to 2018, i was hoping to lay out a few of my new year tips, intentions and "better me" ideas for the new year. please, don't fall asleep bored yet. there are nuggets of great suggestions, i swear.
RESETTING FOR THE NEW YEAR
2017 was a huge year for us. the idea for this company came about around the summer of 2015. while i started working on the brand then, i had a baby in 2015 and another in 2016, so you know how those things go. we were also renovating a house during my two year pregnancy and since the universe (God) so clearly wanted me to focus on bigger and better things, that's exactly what I did. i had my babies, carried on with regular work (and whatever was coming through at that point), and enjoyed the endless time with them as infants. cristie became a full time hire around one year ago this month (happy anniversary, cristie! you are appreciated times a million) because, well, i had a one month old and yes, we still had work coming through. once margot was somewhat cured of her reflux (around march/april of last year? it's all one big blur) and my post partum state was well on its way to dissipating, i started to refocus on the company and THINGS. TOOK. OFF. in a nutshell, we hired our driver around june, hired an intern towards the end of the summer, and around the holidays, brought her on full time. at this point, there are marketing subcontractors, photographers, sales people, bookkeepers, lots of people that help house of lilac function. so what i'm trying to say is that yes, this year was huge in growth (and stability) but also huge in uncovering mistakes we were making, stagnant ideas we were focusing too much on, great ideas we weren't focusing enough on, financials we weren't considering, you know, all that good entrepreneur buzz word stuff. because you gotta take the positive with the negative in every business.
so, the new year for me consists of running through our financials and the entire year, figuring out what ran smoothly, what didn't, what was working, what needs to work better, how i want things to look like in the new year, and what we could do to further define this vision of mine. it takes this mother of two some time to get it all out on paper and i'm nowhere near done. but our official FIRST DAY in terms of "new way of running things" was this past monday so i wanted to share a little bit of my new year tidbits on here, in the hopes that maybe they help all of you.
i think that there are two main self-improvement topics most people can follow:
my first general suggestion is to "do things that work for you." i wake up around 5am every week day (it's been 5:30 since the new year after letting myself sleep in but i'm getting there). and this works for me because i meditate every morning. might sound totally off the wall to most people but i'm very spiritual and will honestly tell you i work most creatively and effectively (and am MUCH NICER and less anxious) when i take the time to quiet the mind. i pump myself up, get ready for an AMAZING DAY, and around 6:15am make milk for my babies and coffee for me and my husband. all in peace. i sit down with my coffee around 6:30 and have a whole 30 minutes for positive affirmations before one of my kids is up and terrorizes the peace of dusk. but at that point, i'm so pumped about life and work and zenned out, nothing shakes me. if you're not a parent, this won't seem like a necessity because you have LOTS OF TIME for yourself (jealous). but if you are, if you don't do this already, waking up before the chaos ensues has helped me find so much peace within myself. it's truly everything.
*by the way, this is an unrealistic expectation if you have children that don't sleep the night. please don't be hard on yourself either. and maybe this extra time of yours is actually spent on afternoon walks, or during your workout, or in the bathtub every night. seriously, whatever works and helps you remember who you are and why you're here on this earth.
my employees and my husband love/hate me because 2018 melanie is making time for herself by SCHEDULING EVERYTHING. from child pickup/drop offs to meetings with my husband in our home over finances to working out schedule from today until december. and house of lilac's schedule is on the calendar, minute by minute. because if i want to lay in bed at 8pm when my kids are asleep and watch chef's table until my eyes are glazed over, i should be able to without having to draft 57849 proposals until midnight because i was putting out fires throughout the day (you live, you learn). i deserve that time for ME. and plus, a human brain that's been functioning since 5am doesn't work effectively after 9pm. trust me, you don't want to hear from me at that time.
make a list of ways to love yourself in 2018. here's mine:
- work out once a week
- read a book a month (two is possible!). on the list:
- the journey of souls
- the female brain
- the luck factor
- money mastering the game
- a simplified life
- the life-changing magic of tidying up
- helping your child with extreme picky eating (page turner)
- raising a happy, healthy eater (another page turner)
- i need to get some fiction on here so any suggestions are very much appreciated!
- make time for personal and doctor appointments (it's sad that this is on a new year resolution list, i know)
- relax more, especially at night
- mandatory date nights
- mandatory shopping budget (limited time, limited shopping. this is also a sad reality)
this is different for everyone, but important all the same. this could mean flossing, being nicer, more relaxed, or more organized. personal improvement for me includes anything and everything that will make me a happier person at the end of the day. so that includes being more organized, more flexible to changes and opportunities, less controlling of my surroundings and situations and therefore more open to life. i spent a lot of this year forcing certain outcomes and situations to happen (both personally and professionally) because "i felt like they were right for me and the business" and inevitably, still got pulled in other directions because that's what was meant to be. so this year, i'm for the most part, building an organized structure for my family and my business to thrive in, and i'm really just along for the ride. i've learned that we miss out on a lot when we force certain things to happen. it's like tunnel vision. opportunity or moment x came about and you were too busy focusing on y and making it happen that x went on its merry way. it's sort of like that saying, when one door closes another opens but if you're stuck starting at the closed window for too long, you'll miss out on the open one.
make a list of ways to personally improve yourself in 2018. here's mine:
- throw away clothes not worn within 6 months
- keep kids toys and drawer necessities in bins
- keep my car and garage clean (NEXT LEVEL YOU GUYS)
- pick up clutter
- hang the clothes on the ottoman in my closet every weekend
- meal prep on sundays (diversifying recipes)
- i will write a whole other blog post on this and my suggestions but we cook on sundays for sunday-tuesday and wednesday for wednesday-thursday. when margot was still eating purees, we used to make a week's worth of purees every sunday, too. this is the only thing that's worked for us so far. cooking every day does NOT WORK (for us). we both work and would rather come home to our kids than an all clad saucepan. so i'm hoping to continue this progress through the new year. might need some new recipes and cookbooks soon.
- i'm the parent of a picky eater and vow to do anything and everything to make him eat food other than annie's mac and cheese (yes, annie's, not velveeta or generic box brand, annies) and chicken nuggets. and no, parents of picky eaters are not at fault for picky eaters. i spent way too much time exposing him to different foods because my husband and i love to cook at home and he'd cry for hours every single time. the watermelon mixed with dinner worked up until he became a toddler. now he just throws the food, gags, the more dramatic, the better. it's every parent's dream. thankfully, my other toddler will eat snail if you place it in front of her so silver lining, i've won half the battle. i want to start cooking foods he'll eat that will help him transition out of this phase. because it's a phase, right?
- wake up as close to 5am as possible during the week
- i'm looking for some spiritual structure, i.e., group settings. need to focus on this.
- transition to mushroom coffee or tea? i'm thinking of cutting coffee guys. it's been on my mind for a few months. might just pull the trigger over the next few weeks. i've heard great things about this so i'm going to try it.
- go with the flow of life, surrendering and having more faith
- really, i don't think they make them more controlling than me. i mean, it's obvious i came to this earth to learn to be less controlling. and, hallelujah, not sure what koolaid i drank, but i'm all for it this year. i'll keep you posted on my progress.
and there you have it. hopefully this helps you write your own list of new year intentions or at least gives you a three hour reading break at work! as always, any comments are appreciated.
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