Tuesday Tea: A Year of Living Lovely

Bonjour! I am sitting here with my cup of tea by my Christmas tree and wondering how in the world it can be the end of December already. I have a very strict personal rule to enjoy each holiday as it comes, so in November I did not place out any Christmas decorations. November is for Thanksgiving and gratitude only. But now it is December, it has been game on all month long. My Christmas tree scented candles are lit and the twinkle lights are glowing.

Another full year is coming to a close. I am sitting here feeling thankful for all the positive things that have happened this year, but also disappointed that so many of my goals are still above me.

I did not achieve everything I set out to do.

Can you relate? If you are in the same boat as me, promise to be kind to yourself.

I am proud of my 2016 achievements. How amazing it is that I have photographed a destination wedding in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and had the adventure of a destination engagement in Disney World! I may not have reached all my goals, but I have certainly surpassed even my own imagination. I have also decided to turn the leftover disappointments into motivation. –Motivation to live a lovelier life. If you are familiar with my photography or my blog you know that “Live Lovely” is my motto, my manifesto for making the most of every day and this beautiful life we are given.

In November I discussed crafting your life and I fully intend to live out my own advice all year long.

In 2017 I want to spend a year living lovely. I try to do this everyday, but somehow I fell short and lost sight of simplicity. I took a look at how I am living now and compared it to how I really want to live. If you find yourself wishing your life was different or wishing to change one thing, this project may be for you too.

My life right now:

  • I wake up earlier than my body wants to, but still only twenty minutes before I have to run out the door for work in the morning.
  • Not enough sleep!
  • I feel exhausted all the time.
  • No quality time with Matthew, my fiancé, during the week. We work opposite shifts.
  • I get home late and feel too tired to cook all my own meals.
  • I spend hours every night after work editing photos, talking with clients, and working on my website and materials. It is a lot to keep on top of with my full-time job taking up all my daylight hours.
  • Not enough time with family and friends.
  • My home is always messier than I want it to be.
  • Even my cats miss me! (And I miss them.)
  • My weekends are marathons of running errands I didn’t have time for during the week, cleaning, editing photos, and running to multiple commitments.

This isn’t living right there. This lifestyle is not healthy, it is not happy, and it is not sustainable. Did you find yourself nodding along to some of the items on my list?

What does your life look like right now?

How do you want it to look?

I know what kind of life I want right now. It is simpler, it is happier, and it is attainable.

I want…

  • To work enough hours to pay my bills and have some savings, but cut back on hours so I can focus on my health, my relationships, my business, and the people and activities that make me happy.
  • To spend more time with people who matter.
  • To cut out toxic relationships.
  • To spend more time outdoors.
  • To wake up when I want to wake up and feel well rested.
  • To make my mornings count.
  • To be and feel healthier.
  • To become part of my community.
  • To live in a clean and minimalized space.
  • To simplify my life.
  • To learn French.

Are any of these goals similar to yours?

Some of these can be implemented right away, while others may take more planning.

For 2017 I plan on achieving simplicity and focusing on living a lovelier, healthier, and happier life full of meaning by making changes and improvements all year long.

Will you join me? If you are feeling at least partially similar to how I am feeling, then we have the power to make better choices instead of staying complacent (or just complaining).

I have decided to focus on one goal each month:

  • January: Make mornings count
  • February: Have a happy career
  • March: Love is life
  • April: Maintaining relationships (romance/family/friends/networking)
  • May: Make others happy
  • June: Ban busyness
  • July: Energize & Exercise
  • August: Try new things
  • September: Learn new things
  • October: Make home sweet
  • November: Use money wisely
  • December: Imagine

During my Year of Living Lovely I will be sharing my goals, my projects, and my process in the hope of striking a conversation with my readers to create positive change in our lives. I hope that these posts not only give me the accountability to achieve them, but also inspire, motivate, and spark positive action in your own life as well.

Join me for a year of living lovely starting January first.

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