Chasing Davies: 3 Ways I Failed in 2016 | A Look Back for a Fresh Start

January 5, 2017

3 Ways I Failed in 2016 | A Look Back for a Fresh Start

Every new year, I think about new ideas, goals and resolutions for the new year. I don't formally like to make an acclamation of these to avoid falling on my own sword later. And while most years, I strive to be better than the last, I don't mark my progress.  I'm sure I do actually improve somethings, but I wouldn't really know it.

 So, this year I'm taking a different approach and instead of looking ahead, I'm starting fresh this new year by looking back on 2016.  I'm looking back on the areas, the weeks, the months that I was more stressed, less happy, more frazzled and I'm trying to figure out what subtle changes I can make to avoid those extra negative moments (note: not looking to eliminate them, I know the downs are part of life, but this year seemed a bit more excessive then necessary).

After looking back - and looking around - I identified 3 ways I totally failed at in 2016:

1. Work/Life Balance. I let work rule my life last year (and to be honest, the several years prior, but last year it culminated and felt heavier). And honestly, sometimes I liked it. I love working, I love learning new things, I love solving problems , I love getting creative on ways to approach challenges, I love to work. But that became a problem this year. I loved it too much to the point I never said no and I let it take priority.  Then, one day, I didn't love it as much. 

Solution: This year, I want to get back and keep loving my job - but I won't let it beat me up. I will plan ahead to use my vacation days, I won't work at night from home everrrrry night, and, while I will stay passionate about my job, I will learn to let things go and move on quicker and improve on enabling and relying on my capable team to do their jobs.  I will let go a little bit.

2.  A Point of View on the Blog.  I was more distant this year here in this space. Some of it was due to the above work schedule, some of it was a lack of passion for this blog, some it was me being lazy. I wrote less, posted way less and when I did either, I didn't say anything unique or open up. This blog is not just about outfits and shopping sales, or even documenting my family adventures just with photos. It's some of that, but needs to be more, more about sharing experiences, recommendations, struggles, the good, the bad - and the why. 

Solution: I want to try to be more open here in this space.  I will ask myself why with every post, I will establish a stronger purpose for each post, it will be clear why I am spending time on each post. I still may not post as much, as I will aim for quality of quantity, but I will try to write more with more reason (and not for just more words). I hope that this will make this space more rewarding in the long run - not just for readers, but for me, too. I hope you will keep me accountable by asking for what you might want to see or engaging with me and other readers with your own stories/experiences, as I love learning from you all.

3. Have More Fun with Motherhood.  I'm not sure I have the right words for this one.  But as I look back on 2016 and focus in on the moments of stress and/or anxiety, no matter if it was work, or lack of sleep, or kid tantrums, fear of parenting was at the core of it all. Guilt over working too much and not being home, worry over not being the best mother for my kids - even when I was home/present, fear of my kids' behavior, constant scrutiny over my parenting skills, and concern they were not getting enough of what they need (sleep, right foods, discipline, etc). I focused too much on the negative. We all deal with that stuff in one way or another. I was so focused on what could be wrong, or what wasn't going well, or the days that weren't great that I missed so many of the good.

Solution: I think the two first points and solutions will definitely help here.  Managing my stress and anxiety around work will help me be more present at home when I'm supposed to be off the clock. And opening up more here, will help me vent, connect and relate to others going through or thinking about similar things.  

But I know motherhood is hard. Every day is a new challenge, and no kid is the same, no kid requires the same things or type of parenting, and no day is going to be perfect.  I will take advice and articles with a grain of salt. I will ignore the nay-sayers, I will trust my gut.  When it comes to my children - I will trust that I know them best, and when in doubt or unsure - I will just hug them instead of "Googling" or stressing out.  I will take deep breaths. I will lean on my husband when I am at a loss - and know that is ok. I will find at least one small moment as often as I can to connect with them. 

I will stare at each of their faces for at least 30 seconds a day (like during dinner or while putting them to bed) to soak in the details as they grow so fast. 

And while I have never shamed another mother for something they may be doing that I might not understand, or made another mother feel guilty, I will make sure to be more aware in giving other mothers more smiles when they need it most, encouraging words when they ask for advice or help, or support in any way I can when wanted. We all need support, and not guilt in how we parent/work/live/connect. <3

Do YOU have any failures or solutions to areas of 2016 you wish to improve upon this new year? I'd love to hear any advice for any of mine, too! xoxo

^^ This necklace + anything from this fab jewelry/accessory shop, Happiness Boutique is 10% off with code 'chasingdavies' at checkout now through 2/8! 

{My Outfit Details: Sweater Blazer - J.Crew (same style here, sweater option here), White Tee - ASOS (similar here), Necklace c/o Happiness Boutique - get 10% off with code 'chasingdavies' at check out now through Feb 8th, Jeans, Booties - old (similar here), Bag - Madewell (similar here), Lips}

 Photos by the talented Elizabeth of Elizabeth Ladean Photography.  
She shoots portraits, engagements/weddings and lifestyle sessions all around Kansas City.  You can follow here on Facebook here and on Instagram here to see more of her work!

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