My name is Sarah and I'm so glad you're here!
This blog is where you'll find all my best tips and tricks to organize, simplify, and streamline your business and life.
If you’re anything like me, by the time the clock struck midnight on January 1st, you had sufficiently planned and prepped #allthethings for 2018.
I’ve always been a planner. It’s part of why I run the business that I do, and for the last few years now, I’ve been deliberate about setting specific goals for myself in life, work, faith, and more because I was tired of getting to the end of each year with only a vague sense of accomplishment or personal growth.
If the new year energizes and excites you about the possibility of what’s to come over the next 365 days and, like me, you woke up on January 1st having everything prepped and planned to make 2018 the best year yet…this post isn’t for you.
It’s not that you won’t get anything out of it, but really, this is a post for those of you in the opposite boat.
For whatever reason — personality, preference, sickness, or life just smacking you in the face right as 2017 came to a close — you found yourself stepping into 2018 without #allthethings prepped, planned, and ready to go.
Whatever your reason for not prepping and planning everything in advance of the new year, it’s easy to feel like you’re behind somehow. That because you haven’t picked out your word or set goals or reflected on the last 12 months, you’ve messed up, are already behind, and may as well just give up now because how are you ever going to catch up?
Okay, maybe your thought process isn’t that extreme, but in the age of social media, comparison is a tricky little bugger. In the same way that everyone in your personal life posting happy, smiley photos about the amazing things that happened to them over the holidays can make you feel awful, watching all those business owners and creative entrepreneurs you follow post about their words and goals and all the big plans for 2018 can be a little rough.
I’ll admit, I didn’t expect to come into 2018 as prepared as I did, mostly because the majority of December was utter chaos, I got sick over Christmas, and, until the final few days of the year, I legitimately felt like I was limping over the finish line to 2017.
Adding this to the fact that my word for 2018 is rest (more on that in a future post), it caused me to take a slightly different approach to my goal setting for the year.
So if you’re not as gung-ho about the start of the new year, you’re tired, you’re unsure, or you don’t even know where to start, here are three goals to consider making in 2018 (and not one of them has to do with doing #allthethings):
It’s about to get real here for a minute: 2017 was a rough year for me in a lot of ways.
Though a lot of really incredible things happened (like starting this business), I was not in a good place mentally or emotionally for a lot of it.
I had my first panic attack in a couple of years, spent a two-week period in late fall where I didn’t get through a single day without crying, and felt more emotionally fragile than I have in over four years. Needless to say, I was quite happy to see the year come to a close.
2017 may not have been like that for you (and I certainly hope it wasn’t), but whether your mental health is in tip top shape or you feel like you’re at rock bottom right now, I really do believe mental health and self-care should be extremely high on anyone’s priority list in 2018.
We live in an extremely fast-paced world and when you’re running your own business, it’s so easy to get caught up in the culture of hustle and do more/be more that we run ourselves into the ground.
Reminder: your business can’t run if you aren’t there to run it.
This means prioritizing your emotional and mental wellbeing and taking good care of yourself is one of the best things you can do for your business in the long run. There’s a time and a place for super long work days, late nights, early mornings, and hustling until you drop, but those seasons should be few and far between.
Take the time you need to eat good food that nourishes your body (hopefully away from your desk during a legitimate meal break), do physical activity to keep your body healthy (and combat that issues that come from sitting at a desk all day), get good sleep and enough of it, spend time with the people you care about and do things that fill you back up.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, so prioritize keeping that cup nice and full in 2018.
When I did my initial evaluation of how life and business things went in 2017, all I could think about was how much time I had spent in front of a screen during the year.
On some level, it’s understandable. I was, after all, starting a business and when you’re starting and trying to grow a business, a huge part of that is showing up consistently. And when your business is done totally online, showing up means showing up to a screen.
The problem is, when you’re running an online business, it’s easy to justify not having good boundaries in place for the amount of time you spend on your computer or phone and to not be particular about how you’re actually spending that time.
But here’s the truth: even if your business is run through a screen, your life shouldn’t be lived through one.
Technology and social media can do some pretty crazy things to our brains and literally change the way we think and interact with the world. It’s rare that those changes are for the better.
That’s why one of my biggest goals for this year is to set more deliberate tech boundaries that allow me to break destructive and time-wasting habits and let technology be something that adds positive things to my life, instead of compounding negative emotions or enabling bad habits.
They say simplicity is the greatest form of sophistication and over three years into my own simplicity journey, I have to agree.
Life and business get complicated fast. There are so many voices telling you what you should be doing, seeing, reading, subscribing to, and more. There are countless resources to help you with practically everything you could want help with in your business and lists galore that will tell you all of the things you must be doing to have a thriving business or life.
Many of those resources and suggestions are wonderful and they come from a genuine desire to help others succeed. But the reality is you’re never going to be able to do all the things, be all the things, read all the things, or see all the things.
As Lara Casey says, “You can’t do it all and do life well.”
So consider simplifying your life this year. Stop listening to the voices that tell you that you have to be doing this marketing tactic and using this platform and subscribing to this blog and going to this event in order to be successful in your business in 2018.
Take a good, hard look at what actually benefits your business, what brings you joy, what makes you excited to get up and live your life and run your business each morning. And cut out the rest. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to not do #allthethings.
Simple might not feel like a smart decision. It might feel boring or limiting or the opposite of what will help your life and business grow. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Simple does not equal small.
Simple does not equal mundane. Simple does not equal boring. Simple does not equal settling.
Simple is rich and beautiful. Simple is easy. Simple is refreshing.
A simplified life has an ease about it, even when life throws curveballs. A simplified life is one lived with intention, purpose, and love. A simplified life is rooted in routine, rhythm, and tradition. A simplified life has a cadence about it that is both soothing and foundational. A simplified life provides a sturdy foundation upon which ambition, creativity, and adventure are built.”
So consider making it a goal to simplify your life and business in 2018 and see what good things grow from it.