Christmas Wishes + New Year Kisses!

It’s officially the holidays! I’m here to bid you Christmas wishes + New Year kisses, and if those aren’t holidays you observe, well, Merry Everything + Happy Always! I love this time of year for all of its thoughtful surprises, reflective silences and the underlying excitement + appreciation it holds. Before I go into holiday mode …

I want to thank you for the gifts + creativity you’ve bestowed on me this year.

I used to think “God-given talent” was something extremely rare and uncommon, such as a singer with an amazing voice. I’ve always admired people who were born into such voices because, no matter what I do, my voice will never sing like that.

But through this work, I’ve come to realize that we’re all as amazing at our own unique things as those singers are at singing. I think we’re all made to be brilliant at something, and it’s often a greatness we don’t even realize we’re creating.

I won't regret when the sun sets

More often than not, people lose their way. We’re steered in another direction, or we stubbornly try to do what we think we should be doing, and we ignore our calling. People don’t always go inward to find their true north. Oftentimes, we try to think about what would be right, rather than do what feels good. And more often than not, thinking and trying are the main ingredients of an unhappy life.

I have a talent for inner-expression. Wherever I go, I imagine how everyone else is feeling. I’m very tuned into how I’m feeling. I mirror moods. I cry easily: I shed tears through arguments, songs I love, football games (or, winning moments in general), prayer, laughter, and when I see babies being born on TV. Events, people, and nature move me; I care very deeply about the the things I care about. And I can’t not process my feelings.

One of the things that I care very deeply about is you. I love that you’re putting yourself out there, taking a chance, and exploring your true potential. I love that you create because I really love creators. I think we are all, each one of us, put here to create and play and explore this beautiful playground of a planet.

New Year for a New You

I want to help you showcase your unique talent and birth your miracles in 2016. I want your spirited creativity to take center stage. It’s time, and this is going to be your year.

7 days of reflection and review

Sunday, December 27 – January 2 on Marketing Creativity

Before I break for the holiday this week, I thought I’d share a recap and the results of my 16 before 2016 challenge. Did you make a similar list? How did it go? Please share and/or leave a link in the comments!

16 before 2016: A goal-setting challenge

#1 Clean up unfinished businessI’ve had a most productive three months, but the big projects have left piles of small, unfinished business around. Thankfully, I left plenty of white space in my calendar for admin days, but there’s still a list of small to-do’s and spots of clutter I’d like to clean up before the year’s end.

DONE! I’m ending the year feeling de-cluttered + restored. I need to clean out my office and ready some projects for January, but I’m all caught up for the most part.

#2 Deliver a hot lunch to each of my children at school. I begged for a McDonald’s lunch delivered for me, and I’ll never forget the day my Mom came through. I told my children about the fond memory, and I’ve promised to take their orders and deliver the same treat to them this year.

DONE! You guys, I have four children + it took 2 hours to gather all of their lunches (they each picked a different fast food place!) and deliver them to them to their 3 different schools, but THEY LOVED IT. This was a particularly fun one to cross off.

#3 Wrap Illuminate: The Creative Business CourseI have two modules left to create and film for members of The Luminaries Club.

DONE! So nice to check this one off, but I’m already planning how I’ll improve on it!

#4 Do a 3-week cleanse. I’m eager to start this Clean Gut program.

I couldn’t even get started on this clean-eating diet with so much good food around this season! Revisiting this one in the New Year.

#5 Try not to finish the entire Outlander series before the new year. I’m obsessed! I literally have to shake myself out of this story. There’s a reason every single book in the series has thousands of five-star reviews. I can’t put the books down, and it takes every ounce of willpower to  stop reading and get some work done!

DONE! I actually held myself back from getting too far in the second one. I know that when it takes off, I won’t be able to put it down, so I’m saving it for holiday break.

#6 Get back in shape.

Regular workouts and good progress.

#7 Schedule monthly dates with my husbandWe have so much fun trying new foods and enjoying a relaxing evening together.

DONE! Taking December off, though – my bank account needs a break!

#8 Post a want ad for my first hire. For about a year now, I’ve been acutely aware that I am bottlenecking my business by being the person who does all the writing, designing, production, marketing and customer support.

DONE! It felt so good to check this one off, and more than 50 qualified applicants have already responded. Can’t wait to start working with my new hire in January!

#9 Create a memory book for the year. My family loves picture books, and with digital storage and Facebook, I haven’t created a physical memory book in years. I’m going to surprise them on Christmas Eve with a photo album looking back on the year.

Some progress was made until another project bulldozed this one. I think I’ll turn it into a school vacation activity for us all.

#10 Schedule and perform an end-year review. Of course I’ll be using my copy of Your Best Year 2016 for this! I’m also going to write the annual 7-days of review and reflection for the blog, and carve out some time to journal and look back on the year.

Join me on Sunday, December 27 for the annual 7-day series!

#11 Build and offer a course based on Your Best Year 2016. In December, I’m launching a complimentary course that will compliment the system inside Your Best Year 2016. It’s going to be designed to add accountability, time management, productivity and follow-through to your business plans.

In progress.

#12 Sell 5,000 copies of Your Best Year 2016. I have modified and improved on this planner every year, but this year’s edition is leaps and bounds beyond any goal-setting resource ever created for creative businesses. I share the goal-setting system I developed + used to host a successful offline event, get the gig on CreativeLive, and more than double my income this year.

I’m telling you with absolute confidence, creatives need this book and I intend to get it into at least 10,000 pairs of hands by the end of its season.

Almost there! Projected to surpass this goal by December 31, 2015!

#13 Learn to sew with a sewing machine. My daughters and I are going to tackle this in November because there are several things we’d like to create. A new Singer is sitting in our study!

Image credit: Love the sewing projects offered by Little Pincushion Studio

Still sitting in our study, waiting to be tackled! I found some of that super-huge, unspun yarn at my local Michael’s, and knitting a big fat blanket trumped all.

#14 Learn to ski with my family. I started the year with this goal, and I was hesitant to put it on this list because we don’t typically get a lot of snow in my area until after Christmas. But I must admit, I’d love to get in a day of learning on the slopes before 2016.

Not done, but scheduled for February 16, 2016! Wish us luck 🙂

#15 Enjoy my annual wrapping day! This is my favorite to share because, each year, more and more readers adopt this tradition. It’s so fun! I block my schedule for a day in December when the children are in school. I play Christmas movies and music all day, drink wine and eat delicious breads and cheeses for lunch, pull all of the presents out of hiding and just wrap! It’s one of my favorite days of the whole year.

Image credit: Chalkboard packaging tutorial by Going Home to Roost

DONE! And it was so fun.

#16 End strong. In the #1 goal, I shared how much I’ve accomplished recently. Truth be told, I’m struggling to keep up the pace. I’d like to do a whole lot of nothing right now, but my life feels busier than ever before. I feel as though I’m being challenged to grow, and I would like to accept that challenge and handle it gracefully.

Having more things to do in a day doesn’t have to equal stress or frenzy. It just means an hour of overtime versus punching out early. It’s the extra mile, and it’s calling my name. I want to finish strong to truly set the stage for my best year yet.

In progress. 

And that’s my progress on the 16 before 2016 challenge! I’ll be popping in here on Saturday, December 26 to get you set up for our end-year review. Until then and all the best,

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