Ahh…2015 is over and now it is time to say good-bye to my One Little Word. For me, 2015 was all about PUSHing myself! I wanted to advance my business and my life. My baby had become a toddler and I was ready to PUSH myself a little more.
For those of you who don’t know, One Little Word is an idea from Ali Edwards that she turned into a workshop. 2015 was my first year participating and I was very happy with the results. The word guided my year and helped me to get all the things that I had been dreaming about done (or at least started!) I looked to my word for inspiration and strength. PUSH is very much a part of my personality, so I think, regardless, I would have PUSHed myself this year. However, having the word to focus on and having Ali’s monthly prompts to hold me accountable truly allowed me to reflect and re-evaluate.
In January we defined the word. Right from the start I connected with the word more than I had expected. My favorite definition of PUSH is “A vigorous effort to do.” Hello…is that me or what?
In February we got creative and made vision boards. I loved prioritizing this word. I took one Sunday afternoon - my husband took the kids to playground - and I had a couple hours to myself to create. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was foreshadowing what would come in September when our son started school two days a week. I can’t tell you the joy I find in a quiet apartment and the TIME to get creative. Sometimes it’s exactly what my soul needs! From March to May I spent most of my time focusing on The National Stationery Show (NSS), so there wasn’t much time left to actually get my work for One Little Word done and in my binder. I would listen to Ali’s videos every month and mentally reflect on my word. In the summer I caught up a little more. Then in October I took two more weekend afternoons to look back at the whole year, finish the prompts I had skipped, and refocus one more time. It was very beneficial to read the worksheets and my thoughts from the early part of the year. Now, with the year over, I am excited to begin 2016.
My main goal for my business was to refocus – take all the ideas bouncing around in my head, get them on paper, and make them happen. Being a mom is a fulltime job 24/7 and it takes up most of my time. PUSHing myself to get more help and make time for the business is how we made the progress we did this year (actually, it’s the only way I have managed to maintain a successful business to date while being a stay-at-home mom). My daydream list was LONG, but I put it on paper and I prioritized things. There are three things that make me extremely proud.
#1 – Artists & Crafts. At the beginning of 2015 I was informed that the company where I had been teaching my class, “Brooklyn Arts & Crafts,” would no longer be facilitating classes. I was determined to look at this as an opportunity and not a set-back. We rebranded the class “Artists & Crafts” – since we focus on famous artists & then make crafts!! Georgia and Conroy helped me design the logo and I spent many days researching spaces to hold the class. Not gonna lie, there were many sleepless nights and lots of praying – and in the end… it happened. We found the perfect space where I was able to decorate the classroom. In the fall – that space was no longer available and the anxiety started again. However, I PUSHed through and found our current location – Brooklyn Music School. We love this location and now after all is said and done, you could say, “Everything happens for a reason.”
#2 - The National Stationery Show (NSS). This year we attended NSS for the second time. What a breath of fresh air! I am so happy we didn’t give up after year one. A trade show is no joke. It takes a ton of work and a lot of money. This year I joined Trade Show Boot Camp, which not only provided valuable information, but also introduced us to many wonderful stationery companies. NSS also gave me a deadline to upgrade our website. We shot and edited two videos to help explain our company.
#3 – Inkable Envelope Stamps. These had been an idea of mine for a while now and I can credit my One Little Word for making it happen. I spent weeks designing these in many different 10-minute pockets of time I would find in my busy schedule. All the hard work paid off because Inkable Envelope Stamps were selected as a Best New Product Finalist at the National Stationery Show!
My goal for 2015 in my personal life was, “to PUSH myself to figure out how to do more. I want to plan out the week’s meals ahead of time, develop a better cleaning routine, and schedule in more date nights.” In the case of my personal life, I would say PUSH was quietly in the background making things happen. I wasn’t exactly sitting down making meal plans or cleaning routines, we didn’t have a plan to go on X number of date nights throughout the year, but somehow all these things happened. Yes, there is still room to improve and ways to be more efficient, but overall – we do have more regular go-to meals (my famous chicken – which I found in a magazine while I was getting a pedicure), our place is less cluttered and cleaned more regularly (thanks KonMari & Mira!), and we went on many wonderful dates!!!
Also, over the summer I read two books, The Fringe Hours & The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up!! Both books fueled my word. I wanted to PUSH more!!! I made lists and continued to tackle the year.
Then this October I PUSHed myself personally and signed up for Jess Lively’s online workshop, Life with Intention Online – talk about life changing magic!! This workshop made me take the time to focus on myself and what truly makes me happy. PUSHing myself was the only way I got it done - hiring a babysitter so I could attend the webinars without distraction and taking time out of my schedule to reflect and complete the worksheets. It truly changed my outlook on life!!
At the beginning of 2015 I accepted the fact the double-stroller would be my life. Man, did my word play a big part in the literal version as well. In February one of the wheels broke off because we hit a huge chunk of ice. Getting around Brooklyn in the freezing cold with a single stroller and two kids almost did me in. Then – a wheel broke off the single stroller. Oh, man! It was not the best time for me. Somehow I PUSHed through. We ordered a new wheel and were even more thankful for our means of transportation!! As this year comes to an end, we are slowly transitioning into Georgia either scooting or walking. I can see our days of pushing coming to an end – literally.
WHAT PUSH MEANT TO ME
For me, PUSH meant not getting stuck. It meant figuring out the time to get stuff done. It also manifested into a motivator. The difficult times…the difficult moments. I looked to the word to help me PUSH through. On several occasions when the double-stroller was heavy and no one was helping me hold the door open – there was my word “PUSH” to motivate me. I can do this!!! Yes, I know that almost every door has the word push on one side or the other, but I felt like I only noticed it in those times I really needed to see it. It was like a high five from the universe “You go, Jac, you got this!!”
Looking back at my binder gives me such joy. It makes me proud. Writing down my thoughts in the binder was very therapeutic. Before kids…before I was married, I used to journal ALL the time. For some reason over the years I have stopped journaling – I blame the Internet. But having this workshop in my life – and this binder- I have thoroughly enjoyed just writing – pen and paper – my thoughts, no one else’s comments!
Overall, I’d say taking the time to myself was the best part of this project. I believe without the word, or possibly without the workshop, I would have still done most of the things I did – because it’s who I am. Taking an hour a month to listen to Ali, get creative with her prompts, and have some un-interrupted “me” time to refocus was the most valuable part.
For me, PUSH is going to be a “life word.” I know it will stick with me. I want it to stick with me. I want the high fives!! I want the advancement. I want to keep growing and moving forward. In 2016, my word is a little more cozy and I love how it contrasts with PUSH, but at the same time complements it. Here’s to another year of this amazing life!