Well.. I can’t believe January is almost over!!! We celebrated my Mom’s birthday all weekend, which was a blast! She’s easily one of our favorite people to celebrate.
I know this post is long overdue.. but I wanted to put a lot of thought into it and be intentional. After coming back from our holiday vacation in Cabo, I finished all my grad school applications, set up a new fitness routine, and decided to take a few weeks off blogging. I needed time to get inspired to create new content for y’all. It’s not a secret that writing isn’t my forté.. I NEVER claimed to be a good writer, and I don’t even particularly like writing. That’s probably taboo to say as a blogger, but it’s true. I get the worst writer’s block.. so I’ve felt that this “me” time has allowed me to come up with several blog topics I want to write about for y’all!
Since I didn’t get to share my resolutions when I made them, I decided to write this post as an honest and transparent “progress” post.. how I’m REALLY doing with the goals I set at the beginning of the year. Some people don’t like the term “resolutions”, or think that they’re overdone. I couldn’t disagree more. I say let people set their intentions and goals for the year!! While I do believe you can “turn your life around” or have a “fresh start” at any time of the year, the beginning is always a great time to hit the reset button and reflect. I started by looking at my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions. 2017 was a challenging year for me, but I also accomplished a lot of my goals (and yes, I lost my way a few times too). But I’ve turned a new chapter and we’re well into the new year!! Here’s what I’m thinking for 2018.
1. Whole 30 and StudioHop. I’ve been consistent with StudioHop this month and have been SO HAPPY with it. I have gone to a class every single day, rain or shine, even on the weekends, NO EXCUSES. On my “rest days”, which are typically weekends, I do yoga. To be 100% honest, I don’t particularly enjoy yoga. I guess I’m full of “taboo” things to say today.. haha. I’m one of those people that has a constant stream of thoughts in my head AT ALL TIMES, and I’m extremely motivated by numbers. This is why I like cardio classes (HIIT gyms and cycling). But I know yoga is particularly beneficial for people like me who need to relax.. so I do my best and am starting to warm up to it! By the way, StudioHop is available in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and New Orleans! If you want to try it out you can get 15% off your first month with my link here. In addition, I partnered with TIEM (the brand of the cycling shoes in these photos!) to give away a FREE pair of cycling shoes to one of my readers! Be sure to follow along on Instagram for all the rules. [P.S. I’m also Whole 30-ing which I’ve been really good about, with a few exceptions.. popcorn being one of them. Haha!]
2. Read more business books. I wrote that I wanted to read more in 2017, and I did a little, but not quite enough. This year I mostly wanted to read business related books, books on advice about success, innovation, and entrepreneurship. I’m almost finished with Tim Calkins’ “Defending Your Brand” and next up I have Tim Ferriss’s “Tribe of Mentors.” If you have any recommendations PLEASE let me know. [P.S. I haven’t been reading at all the past few weeks.. ugh. This one is always the hardest resolution for me to keep up with.]
3. Watch more TV. Yes. You heard me right. I did not watch even ONE TV show in 2017 besides The Bachelorette. I literally had ZERO time. I’ve missed out on seasons of Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, House of Cards, literally all of Stranger Things (NOT EVEN ONE EPISODE!), Once Upon a Time, and more. I didn’t give myself enough “breaks” in 2017. In 2018 I’m going to be a lot kinder to myself mentally. And I got to binge Stranger Things last week finally, which made me very happy! HAHA!
4. Be at peace with grad school decisions. Every night before I sleep, I lay and stress, stress, stress about grad school. I have no idea where I’m going, where I’ll be accepted (if it all!!), what city I’ll be living in 8 months from now, etc. It has caused me so much anxiety, I can’t even put it into proper words for you. Lately I’ve been praying for God to just give me peace with whatever happens, despite my pride and my convictions about my “top choices”. At the end of the day, I really did the best I could. I used my network, I studied for the GMAT in addition to running this blog AND my full time job.. at times, it was so debilitating. I want to be at peace when all the decisions come out knowing that NO MATTER WHAT my future is bright, and that even going to grad school at all is a privilege that not many people are lucky enough to have.
5. Travel to more new places! This one will ALWAYS be on my list. Every year. Traveling stretches your mind and enriches your soul and helps you learn about people that are different than you. In 2017 I was lucky to visit for the first time: Charlotte, Sydney, and alllll over Italy. In 2018 I have plans to see Montreal, Niagara Falls, Bordeaux, and Southern France for the first time! Of course, I’ll take all of you along the journey with me via the blog and Instastories 🙂 .
6. Be WAY better at checking in with my friends. It horrifies me how many birthdays I forgot in 2017. Now I’m keeping up with 3 calendars and I WILL NOT FORGET!!! Also I should really happy hour with them more. I miss GNO and quality time with my bests! [I’ve been catching up with old friends a lot this month! Makes me so happy!]
7. Improve on photography. Learning to edit and shoot in manual is one of my biggest goals for 2018! And mastering Lightroom as well. There is SO much to learn, and I already know that Google and YouTube will be a wealth of information. By the way, I started a photography account. 🙂 Towards the end of 2017 I was looking through my camera roll on my phone and ALL I saw were pictures of myself. It disgusted me. I was feeling so uninspired between my Facebook, my personal Instagram, and my DWTO Instagram.. me, me, me. I created @ymacphotography_ as a place to post pictures of the people, places, and things I love the most. Things that inspire me, my current travels, etc. I ADORE that feed and want to keep it going in 2018!
8. Keep it organized. I’m usually pretty good about this. But as I stretched myself thin at the end of 2017.. I feel like I really fell off the wagon. Both my corporate job and DWTO have so many moving parts, and I want to keep up my social life and my travels. Earlier in January I went to Target and bought file boxes (no more messy desk!), marble dry erase boards and a LARGE desk calendar with rectangular sticky notes. I learned from Leanne Barlow at Elle Apparel to color code blog posts, sponsored Instagram posts, and other content-related items on this desk calendar with sticky notes, that way they can be moved around when my schedule gets shifted. SO GENIUS. Do you know how many content calendars I DREW for myself in 2017? And had to redraw and redraw because there were so many things scribbled out and arrows and shifting? This organization tip is a game changer for me as a content creator.
9. Go back to a consistent blogging schedule.. and pitch to more brands! I used to be super strict with my blogging schedule. In 2016 I posted Monday-Thursday every week, and never missed. The first 8 months of 2017 I posted every Tuesday and Thursday, and also never missed. Towards the end I knew this was no longer achievable or attainable and I was making myself miserable trying to upkeep the schedule while studying for the GMAT. But now I have a lot more free time and will go back to posting 2-3 times a week, which I’m very happy about! And I’m also going to reach out to more brands in 2018 because I really didn’t do that much in 2017. You have to go after what you want! I already wrote a laundry list of brands I want to work with and I’m excited to see where that takes me!
10. Make 2018 the year of hair care. I’m still debating on writing a long post about this later.. but I started to lose an alarming amount of hair in 2017. At first I thought it was because of my relaxer, but in hindsight I think it was mostly because of stress (or a combination of the two). Throughout the year I kept getting questions, “Oh, did you get a haircut,” and I would lie saying that I did.. even though I didn’t. My hair was just shrinking and I couldn’t figure out why. And just to clarify, it’s not like I ever neglected hair care or heat protectants, or anything of that nature. But now I’ve decided to pay A LOT more attention. I’m actively trying to reduce the number of times I wash my hair to once a week, started taking hair vitamins, I only use T3 Micro styling tools, and have invested an embarrassing amount of money on Oribe hair products. I’m starting a lot of deep conditioning and hair mask treatments as well! If you have any other tips and tricks for strengthening or hair growth, I would so appreciate them!
I know this was a long post, so thanks for reading through! 2018 is going to be great for all of us and I wish you each so much success and happiness for the rest of the year! How are you doing on your resolutions?!