Admittedly, 2014 was a pretty tough year for me. I worked really hard, loved on others really hard, and at the end of each day, I was exhausted from giving; and just being. Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever had days, weeks, or years like that? At the risk of sounding negative– but with the certainty of being real– 2014 was one of my least favorite years. My dad died, after four years in a coma. My grandma died shortly after, of cancer. I was passed over for awards I ached to earn and features in magazines in which I yearned to be published, and I heard “No” a whole bunch. My barn studio renovation didn’t happen. It was another year of infertility, for my husband Adam and me. All in all, it was a year of stagnancy, loss, and soul-seeking.
As I write this– one week later than I had planned to, but exactly on time– I am encouraged. I have decided not to place my future in the hands of the past; nor am I placing it in the hands of others. A liberating thought is taking the future into my own hands; and more freeing yet is the thought of placing it in God’s hands.
Every year, on my first ‘office day’ after Christmas break, I spend hours mapping out my goals for the year and beyond; what my goals look like, how I can get there, when to check my progress. In the past, I’ve kept this list to myself; perhaps out of fear of failure, or rejection by others who don’t dare to dream big. But there’s something to be said about taking our hopes and dreams and tossing them into the universe like stars for all to see. Because sharing our goals with others is what makes them real. It’s what makes us accountable.
And this is why I am posting this list here. It’s bits and pieces of dreams and goals; the business-related, the personal, the downright crazy. After reading it through, I decided on New Year’s Day that my word for 2015 is “build.” And I bolded all of the words that jumped out at me after I realized my list so strongly supports that. To build my family, business, and home. My friendships, my church, His kingdom. I don’t know what’s in store for me over these next few years; but I find solace in a God who does.
What are your craziest, loftiest goals? Are you daring enough to put one out in the open, and share with me here in the comments? I’d love to be your accountability partner and encourage you along the way. Here are mine:
- Give birth to a beautiful, healthy miracle baby someday
- Renovate our barn into an ethereal, inspiring design studio with great light
- Teach classes and create beautiful things with others in this barn studio
- Raise sweet and sassy chickens who lay (blue) eggs
- Construct a charming, comfortable chicken coop for them
- Grow a well-appointed garden with roses and other blooms
- See one of our weddings featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine
- Improve the exterior of our home by painting it a soft white
- Create an arched entrance to the garden that will guide vines of wisteria in later years
- Build a bright and inviting wrap-around front porch
- Add classic, natural wood rocking chairs to said porch, and double front-doors that show weather and age
- Share the beauty of our old farmhouse through a home tour in a major magazine or blog
- Earn a spot on the Martha Stewart Top Wedding Planners list
- Create a bouquet or centerpiece to be shared in Martha Stewart Weddings, BHLDN, or JCrew
- Host a Christian women’s retreat at our home
- Acquire a floral truck
- Work with Jose Villa, KTMerry, Rylee Hitchner, Erich McVey (Bryce Covey)
- Share my heart as a speaker at the Engage! Luxury Wedding Business Summit,
Trouvaille Workshop (Yes!! Doing it, and crossing it off!), AH Inspired (Yes! It’s happening!), and Bliss & Bespoke
- Be fit and healthy via diet, exercise, sleep, and laughter
- Plan, design and create flower arrangements for weddings at Riverside Farm, Alder Manor, Wythe, Glen Foerd, Ham House, The Metropolitan Building, The Foundry
- Travel to plan and design more weddings in the south, California, Arizona, New England (my home turf!), and abroad
- Organize and design a social event for one of my faves: Zooey Deschanel, Lake Bell, Blake Lively, Whitney Port, Tina Fey, Emma Stone, or Jennifer Lawrence (because HELLO.)
- Extend my design services into the field of interior design
- Perform in a musical or ballet once again
- Become part of the worship team at our church
- Write a wedding-related book that not only inspires, but educates
And there you have it. My Honest Goal List. As I release these goals out into the world– goals that were previously held tight to my chest without being shared– I feel both liberated and vulnerable. If you’re a dreamer, a believer, a planner, a doer, with your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground– you can relate.
“I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. And this is one: I’m going to tell it – but take care not to smile at any part of it.” Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights