Fresh Start

January is notorious for two things in my world: A fresh start and the inevitable sadness that sinks in after the holidays are over. Factor in the settling excitement after getting engaged and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a full-on wave of depression. Determined to embrace the ordinary, push those uneasy feelings aside and focus solely on the new beginning January 1 brings, I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, rather) and set a few goals for the coming months to keep me moving forward.

j crew parka

My main focus this year is going to be growth. Growth when it comes to this blog, growth in my relationships and most importantly growth within my personal self.

Growth, by definition, means the process of increasing in physical size. While this is pretty self-explanatory on the blog front, the other areas I’m focusing on deserve a breakdown.

I’m going to be more proactive in my relationships and generally, put forth more effort with them. My best friend Meg is the best at calling me up at random just to talk or suggesting we get together for lunch to catch up on life. I’m going to be better about being the one to reach out. I also want to continue to strive to be as present as possible when I’m spending time with family and friends.

Growth within my personal self simply means giving my body the love it deserves. And less negativity when it comes to the way I perceive my body to look.

I’m also going to pay people more compliments. Often times I’m thinking in my head, “she looks so good with her hair like that,” but I don’t vocalize it and hopefully doing so will make someones day a little brighter. (Side note: Shanley, I loved that bun you were rockin’ at Health House last night!)

Decrease the noise in my everyday by unfollowing people on social media who don’t inspire me, motivate me or bring anything positive to my life.

Create a filing system for all of our paperwork which is piled sky high on my desk.

See someone about my recently acquired back pain and spend more time stretching/focusing on my posture. If I had to narrow it down, I think a 12-hour drive to Houston (and back), followed by a half marathon I was extremely unprepared for, did a number on my body and it hasn’t been the same since. I woke up on Christmas morning after sleeping on an air mattress and I could barely bend over.

Make an appointment to see the dermatologist (again). This time I’m looking to figure out what’s causing the acne (which could give my teenage years a run for their money) I’ve been dealing with since early last spring.

sweater dress

Last, but certainly not least, wedding planning. I actually googled “how to plan a wedding,” innocently clicked on the first link at the top of the list and immediately closed my browser. Why are there so many steps?! Pete and I decided from here on out any wedding talk will include a bottle of rosé – so as not to lose our sanity.

And because we all know the ebb and flow of life doesn’t always play nice, these could change. I definitely see myself adding to them, too!

If you’re interested in reading last year’s posts, you can find them here and here (and a look at how these panned out here).

What are you working on this year?

SHOP THE POST:


J. Crew Coat (more sizes in the J. Crew Factory version) // Sweater Dress (similar and here) // Fringe Booties // Crossbody Bag // BaubleBar Necklace

Photos by Kyndall Durkee. For all of you thinking I started drinking coffee, that’s hot chocolate in my cup 😉

36 comments

Join The Discussion

  1. Erin @ Loop Looks

    Congrats on your engagement!

    When I was planning my wedding I found a “to do” list and promptly went through and crossed off all the things I didn’t care about. It helped me figure out what I really wanted and what was unnecessary.

    Also, I hope your back feels better soon. Back pain is horrible!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you, Erin! I think that’s a great place to start and plan to give that a try. I feel for anyone who has back pain because it’s no fun at all!

      Reply
  2. Natalie | Natalie Was Here

    I love your goals, Jess. Especially the one about growing your relationships. I am guilty of not always being the one to reach out to friends, and that’s definitely something I want to change moving forward. Thanks for being an inspiration, as always.

    xo,
    Natalie | Natalie Was Here
    http://nataliewashere.com/

    And P.S. – CONGRATS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!! So happy for you 🙂

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      It’s easy to let things slips, especially when the days/weeks/months seem to escape us faster and faster! Thank you for saying that, it means a lot.

      And thank you for the congrats! We’re pretty excited 🙂

      Reply
  3. Caitlin

    I completely sympathize on wedding planning! I got engaged last March and I’m determined to plan most everything myself, and it is SO overwhelming! Just remember not to get hung up on the small details, and don’t listen to everyone’s opinion. It’s your wedding – not theirs! 🙂

    Reply
  4. Erin M Bassett

    This sounds like a very good plan for 2016! And congratulations on the engagement!! Being present is a theme I’m reading on a lot of blogger’s resolutions this year – I think we’re all fed up with talking to someone and then being placed second priority to a phone. I love the one about paying more compliments! I’m making commenting on blog posts from bloggers I admire a higher priority this year. I’m excited to see where 2016 takes you and to follow along on 26 And Not Counting! Happy New Year!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you, Erin! I think it’s a good goal for everyone to have, especially if you run a blog. I just told Shaheen I’m really good at paying compliments in the online world, but it doesn’t always translate over to real life. Happy New Year! I’ll be back up to Chicago this year and hopefully our paths will cross again 🙂

      Reply
  5. Jacque Lippert

    I have been going to CorePower yoga just about every day and my back has been feeling a lot stronger and I’ve noticed my posture has been a little better as well. I sit at a desk all day + scoliosis so my back will never be perfect but there must be something to the madness!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      I’ve actually got a month there I need to use! What are your favorite classes there? I’ve taken a C3 class there, but honestly, it was a little too hot for my liking.

      Reply
  6. Monica

    I actually have a suggestion for the paperwork organization; learned the hard way in 2015. I suggest you purchase the waterproof hanging file tote from The Container Store along with at least 2 packs of hanging files. These are pricey but they’ll keep you organized and doesn’t take up a lot of room.

    The waterproof tote is the key though, you never know when you’ll have a pipe burst in your home…. safety first!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Ooo, I hadn’t thought of that. We’re actually going to The Container Store tonight, so I’m going to check that out! Thank you for the tip 🙂 Happy New Year!

      Reply
  7. Karly

    These all are great goals to have for the new year, particularly taking care of yourself (sorry to hear about your back!). I think I need to take a page out of your book and start complimenting others when I’m out and about, too – my husband can attest to the fact that I almost always whisper to him about how great someone looks, etc., but I never tell the person. We all could stand for some cheer and paying it forward, right?! Also, if you need any help in the wedding planning department, let me know! I was married in 2013, and planning it was the best time of my life – I’ve even considered becoming a wedding planner because of it. My biggest advice to you is that if it stops being fun, walk away from it for a while! Happy 2016!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Yes, precisely! Thank you for that advice…I will definitely keep that in mind once we start mapping things out! 🙂 I hope your 2016 is off to a great start, Karly!

      Reply
  8. Whitney

    Your goals and outlook on 2016 are refreshing and inspiring! I know a thing or two about wedding planning and cannot wait to help 😊. 2016 is going to be a marvelous year!

    Reply
  9. Shaheen Khan

    I love the thought of paying people more compliments! I do the same thing where I think it and never say it 🙂 Hope you are off to the best start and I love that green coat on you!

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Why thank you! As for the compliments..I do it online and on social media, but I’m not sure why I don’t do it in person!

      Reply
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  11. Rachel

    Congrats on the engagement!!! I’ve struggled with acne the last few years too, worse than when I was a teenager! I LOVE Milagro Spa in downtown OP, Joann has saved my skin. I get a facial about once a quarter and my skin heals so much quicker now. They also make personal oil blends that I swear by.

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you, Rachel! I’m going to have to check them out for sure 🙂 I’ve only had one facial before and it wasn’t the greatest experience, but I’ve heard from several other people that they’re lifesavers when it comes to troubled skin. Thanks for the tip!

      Reply
  12. Katie

    Happy New Year, Jess! First off, love your coat. Second, I’m so excited to see how you grow over this coming year. Although, I do think you did a lot of growing in 2015 too – with your layoff, time to relax and then back to work. Cheers to a wonderful 2016!
    xo

    Reply
    1. Jess Post author

      Thank you! It’s my favorite, for sure. Yes, 2015 was definitely a year of growth in some ways 🙂 I hope your new year is off to a great start and congrats on your business launch!

      Reply
  13. Jessika

    First of all: I’m so glad to see you blogging again! I’ve missed your posts since you went on holiday vacation. I’m looking forward to 2016 ^.^ Side note: I plan events for a living, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to plan my own wedding! Best wishes!

    Reply
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