I am not a big new year’s resolution person. Something about it rubs me the wrong way in a manner that I can’t quite put my finger on. Could it be that most resolutions are lofty and unreasonable, designed to create an environment in which most people feel they must become someone new in order to fulfill them? Perhaps.
I am, however, a huge fan of goals and intentions. My method for setting yearly goals and intentions begins with looking back. I evaluate (with kindness) my current situation, and I begin to craft a general sense of where I want to go, where I want to grow, and maybe something I want to improve. I use the word “maybe” because I refuse to make a list of goals that are rooted in self-hate (see above). If I don’t fully accept with kindness my current situation, I don’t attempt to change it until I do.
In hind sight, 2022 was a year of massive growth, change, and emotional lifting. Hurley House hit some exciting metrics, I saw my role shift into a place that was only a dream when I started the company, and our team became strong and self-sustaining.
Creatively I accomplished some important tasks with Katherine Sasser Brands (fun fact, that’s the official name of the creative arm of my business) including transferring my website to a new platform, launching a collection of learn-at-home video lesson, becoming a creator with Like To Know It, and sustaining a consistent publishing calendar for the entire year. I also tried some new ideas that I though would be epic, but in fact flopped. I don’t regret trying new things, but it isn’t easy to get up and keep going when things don’t work the way you want them to. Most the work I did last year creatively was unglamorous and happened behind the scenes, but I put into place the infrastructure to support the directions I want to head.
Personally, my year was dominated by mothering Jake as he launched into the world, and the emotional toll almost did me in. I thought I was prepared, but I was not, and the recovery process dominated much of the second half of the year.
With 2023 in my sights, I have formulated my list of gentle goals and kind intentions for the coming year. I am sharing them today to model my method, but also to hold myself accountable. How fun to look back in a year and see how everything went!
Nothing too specific here except to continue reading. I have a working list of titles I am interested in, and my only goal here is it to keep going. No specific number of books…just keep reading.
I really lost the itch to stitch last year. I think I let it go because of everything else on my plate, but I have joyfully recommitted myself and am more excited than ever to bring some canvases to life. Specifically, my goal this year is to finish my completed canvases into ornaments or door hangers or whatever they are intended to be. I have been stitching for three years, have completed several canvases, but have yet to finish out any of them. That will change this year!
In the same vein as stitching, my writing practice has been dormant for many months. I have been daily journaling for most of my life, and I want to return to the rhythm of capturing my feelings and chronicling my days on paper. It is one of my favorite mental health practices and also yields a valuable way to look back on my life and recall where I have been.
LAUNCH IN-PERSON EVENTS.
I announced this on Instagram last week, but one of my creative goals for this year is to launch and execute several in-person events. I have made the plans, set the wheels in motion, and am excited to see how it goes! (PS. If you are interested in attending…my events page has all of the details!).
MAINTAIN + SUSTAIN + GROW.
On the heels of a year of building, I want to step into the structure I created and see what can happen. I want to maintain what is in place, I want to sustain my level of creative work, and I want to grow into new areas. I know this sounds vague, but these words mean something to me, and I’m not sure I want to go into more detail on the internet quite yet. Thank you for understanding.
CULTIVATE NEW DREAMS.
Also a bit vague, I want to dream new things. It’s been a long time since I have cultivated new dreams, mostly because I have been working on the same dreams for a long time, and this year I want to intentionally foster a sense of dreaming. I think it is important to keep looking forward and asking, “What do I want to do?”
When life gets hard or heavy, I freeze physically. I’m not sure how to describe it, but when I am stressed, it feels unsafe to move physically. I do what I need to do to live my normal life, but any movement beyond what is required is an absolute no. I recognize this is a trauma response from long ago, and I also recognize that it is rooted in lies and does not serve me. One of my areas of growth for this year is move even when I want to freeze. Every time I make myself move physically, even just a ten-minute walk around the block, it’s like my body remembers it’s ok to feel safe, and then I do feel safe. I want to continue to reprogram my brain in this area and push past my old engrained patterns.
My biggest goal and intention for this year? To find a location to house my creative work. For a couple of years I have operated from a make-shift office inside Hurley House, which is to say I commandeered one of the tables and set myself up in the corner. It works, and it’s fun to be in the store, but conducting creative work inside a bakery comes with some challenges. I am ready to find a place to call home for the creative side of my business. Ideally this new space would be a cute little house with beautiful light, a camera-friendly kitchen, and lots of spaces for hosting, meeting, and bringing ideas to life. I lovingly refer to this house as my content bungalow. Cute, right? Making the content bungalow a reality is somewhat out of my control, but you’re talking to a girl who now offices in the store-front that was also a pipe dream not too long ago, so I believe in the power of dreaming big. I believe in the power of picturing what you want and moving forward with the desired end in mind, trusting the doors will open and the timing will be perfect. Who knows what can happen in a year!
There you have it! My list of goals and intentions for the coming year. When I read these, I don’t feel like I have to reinvent myself or become a new person. I feel like this list encourages me to keep going, keep doing the good work, and to keep showing up as my whole self. That’s a resolution I can get behind.
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