I think probably every year that I’ve been writing on the blog I’ve always done some sort of final post about how the year went. I haven’t been blogging in months, something I’m hoping to change in 2019 (again), so I thought I’d kick things off by taking a page from my favorites and sharing a quick year end review!
What went well in 2018?
When I mentally zoom out on 2018, the one thing that I can see most vividly is all of the time I spent focused on family. Most of that was time with Emma, but we had such a good year centered around each other. I truly credit the fact that my husband was gone for seven months out of the year (in total – not all at once) to the fact that we spent most of the time we had together actually together.
Aside from my little family, we also took three big trips back to Tennessee this year, this most recent trip being the longest, to spend time with Emma’s grandparents, and that was truly a blessing as well.
Creativity for the sake of creativity
One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I truly thrive on being creative for myself so much more than I do when it comes to working for clients. That’s probably taboo to say, but I’m just being honest! I really loved being able to create things for fun for this blog (so many good posts just for fun over the past year) and dreaming up things for Coded Creative.
I’m bringing my goal of “creating with joy” from this year into 2019 as well in hopes that it’ll encourage me to continue to have fun and be creative for the sake of being creative.
The Polished Designer Toolkit
In late summer I decided to take a risk and work with a coach. I really wasn’t sure going into it that it was a great idea, but if I hadn’t done that, I’d never have gotten the idea to combine all of my products for designers into the Polished Designer Toolkit and offer that as one product.
That change alone to my business brought me almost a 50% ROI in working with my coach, and I’m hoping that it’ll continue to help other designers – both new and seasoned – throughout the next twelve months.
What didn’t go well in 2018?
I’m pretty bummed about this goal. At the beginning of the year I set a goal to read just 20 books, and while I was doing pretty good to begin with I just couldn’t find consistency with reading. I wish I could blame it all on having Emma, but the truth is sometimes I just don’t have great priorities. In 2019, I’m hoping to read 24 books, so fingers crossed!
This is hard to admit, and honestly, I’m very scared that everyone reading this right now sees me as a total fraud. But I value being truthful in this space and I gain so much from my peers being honest about their struggles, so I wanted to share this with you all.
Client work this year has been tough. In fact, over the last two years it’s been hard. From difficult clients, projects dragging on long after they should have ended, and flat out not getting as many inquiries as I used to… I’ve just been taking a second look at my business and questioning things. Gosh, that’s hard to say.
Biggest surprises of 2018
Taking on Coded Creative alone
One of the biggest surprises of the year is that after just over a year of running Coded Creative together, Krista decided that it was best for her to step away from it. I know there are people who are likely wondering what’s going on and why it happened, and it’s nothing exciting, ha! She simply wanted to pursue another business venture.
I’m sad that we’re not working on it together anymore, but I’ve been doing a lot of planning over the past two months, and I’m so looking forward to all that I have on the books for next year.
Being happier than ever
This may sound weird, but give me a second. I’ve always thought I was a pretty content and happy person, but I’ve realized this year that I’m truly happier right now than I have ever been. I feel so fulfilled having my little family, a business that allows me to have fun, and so much more. This has been such an incredible thing to uncover, and I feel so, so damn grateful.
Thoughts for 2019
Shifting my focus to Coded Creative
I touched on this business a bit earlier, and right now ultimately, my goal is scale back the number of 1:1 clients I take on and focus on Coded Creative in 2019.
Saying HELL YES to fun content
I had a lot of fun writing lifestyle content for this blog this year. I have a lot of fun posting whatever I want to Instagram stories. So in 2019, I’m saying a big yes to more of that. I’m so tired of saying I’m going to do this and then getting caught up in fitting in and following the “rules”. So here’s to a great year of breaking out of the mold and having fun doing it :)
More family time
Aside from those two business things, I’m really looking forward to another year of family time. Of playing on the floor, dancing and singing while cooking dinner, watching our favorite tv shows, and just being together. I’m also hoping we’ll be able to take a short trip just the three of us (and Zoey, hopefully!).