Ann Taylor graciously provided some of the clothing featured in this post, but all opinions are my own.
Happy 2019! I can hardly believe it. I still remember writing this post and being completely candid on the topics of stress, weight, and feeling tired. For the past two years, my focus, or dare I say “New Year’s resolution,” has been to prioritize my health and fitness. You can read more about it here.
People rarely take time to reflect on their accomplishments. Most choose to focus on their shortcomings and forget about their successes. I am also guilty of this and decided I’d like to start this post off by sharing my accomplishments. I encourage you to do the same, no matter how big or small a win—every bit counts in terms of getting you closer to your goal!
So many strides were made on the blog front. First, I finally got in the habit of posting on Instagram stories (videos) and not just posting photos. I love seeing my favorite bloggers share their day-to-day lives and hope to continue sharing more of mine in 2019.
This year, I had the opportunity to work on a handful of brand collaborations and earn money doing what I love! If you told me four years ago that brands would reach out to me to collaborate and share their products, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Who, me?! The girl who is scared of everything? That’s a story for another time. 🙂 I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that have come my way, and these were some of the highlights in 2018 (brand and non-brand related):
- I worked with TEMA Athletics on multiple collaborations. (You can check out video 1 and video 2, and see blog posts here and here.)
- I maintained existing partnerships with J.Jill and Pixi Beauty.
- I became an ambassador for Peach. (You can shop the site here.)
- Cuyana supported several Instagram collaborations! (See posts here and here.)
- I hosted a style event at the Bellevue Square J.Crew—my favorite brand of all time!
- My blog turned four years old on October 6th!
- I started working with a new photographer whom I adore, and he has created a special look and feel for my photos.
- I shared a collaboration with Karina Dresses. It was fun!
- My recent maurices campaign—my biggest partnership yet—went live! (See my full blog posts here, here, and here.)
- I participated in an Ann Taylor holiday campaign. I’ve shopped at Ann Taylor for a long time and love this brand. (Check out posts here and here)
- I procured two stockists: Barre 3 in Ballard and Clementines in Seattle.
- I applied to a handful of craft shows and participated in 13. (Many of the shows were multiple days, such as Enchant Christmas which lasted six days.)
- I hired my first contracted employee to run the Lace & Pearls Jewelry’s Instagram.
- I launched a handful of new arrivals—have you seen them?!
- I worked with a new photographer who is amazing!
- I learned how to best manage my bookkeeping, price structure, quarterly taxes, etc.
- In 2018, I started working with a nutritionist and am finally making some headway in terms of better understanding what I need to do for my body and digestion. I’ll hopefully shed a few pounds.
- I was promoted at work from a Project Manager I to a Project Manager II. This was a huge accomplishment for me! I asked for the promotion and had to prove that I was eligible and deserving of the additional responsibilities. I was given the opportunity when it came to my annual review. I feel so grown up, and the increase in salary was the icing on the cake!
- We finally paid off all of our credits cards and now only have a mortgage. This is something my husband and I have been working towards for several years and finally buckled down and just did it. Surprisingly, when we cut back on our expenses, we didn’t really notice and were fortunate to pay off our debt sooner than originally projected. (Read this post for 6 Debt Reduction Tips.)
- Establish more brand partnerships
- Increase blog traffic
- Work ahead of schedule on new blog content
- Create two blog post a week instead of one
- Make a larger profit with my jewelry business in year two
- Get more stockist/stores to carry my brand
- Learn what was the most profitable in 2018 and what to omit in 2019
- Do a better job at balancing three jobs and spending time with my husband
- Continue focusing on my health and getting exercise and watching what I eat
- Get more sleep, but if I’m being honest, I don’t see this happening 🙂
- There are so many lessons I could share, but this post is already getting a bit lengthy. I will say, that in order to have a successful blog, you don’t need to have a lot of followers. It’s all about engagement and being authentic. Don’t focus on what other people are doing; focus on creating quality content.
- The other thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to post on Instagram daily (or even weekly). It’s not ideal, but I sometimes I skip several days. The only difference is that my analytics seem to take a nose dive.
- You don’t have to blog as often as you think. When I first began blogging, I posted three times a week. Soon thereafter, I reduced my schedule to twice a week and now, I’m down to once weekly. I’m more successful now by posting one day a week then I was when I was posting three times. It’s all about the quality of your content. Some weeks would get so crazy, I would skip a week (or two) and the world still turned. Don’t beat yourself up, and cut yourself some slack if you aren’t able to be as consistent as you’d like. Overall, I recommend having some sort of schedule that you stick to, but as life happens. It’s ok to have breaks in between!
Just keep on keeping on! Seriously, it’s all we can do. If there’s something you don’t like in your life, change it. It doesn’t matter where you are—you can still create the life you want. Just remember, what you want most is often the most difficult to accomplish. Nothing happens overnight, even if it seems that way on Instagram. 🙂 I promise. Everything I’ve accomplished has taken me years to do, and once you’ve accomplished that one thing, the maintenance is just as hard. Keep your head up and remember every day is a new beginning to start over and finally make that breakthrough.
Wow! This is the longest post I’ve ever written. I guess I had a lot to say. I must be getting wise in my old age, LOL! For real though, if you’ve read this entire post, please leave me a comment and let me know what you liked about it, or share what you’re hoping to accomplish this year. I would love to hear from you!
Thank you to everyone who supports my blog—whether you’ve simply read, liked, or commented on my posts, I appreciate you! Without you, this little blog wouldn’t be possible. So much gratitude, and blessing upon you in the New Year!
Shop the post:
Jacket: Ann Taylor c/o | Blouse: Ann Taylor c/o | Necklace: Ann Taylor c/o | Ponte Pant (similar) | Shoes: Naturalizer (similar) | Purse: Cuyana c/o | Lipstick: Burberry c/o
*c/o: courtesy of or gifted
Photography: Nicholas Mercado