This is it. I’m feeling it for 2018. I’m also biased because the number 18 is my favourite number (pretty predictable, it’s my birth date). I’ve also seen an upswing from others being more mindful and striving to be better individuals overall. Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes anyone? After so much bad news in 2017, global politics and those heart wrenching social stories about the amount of plastic in our oceans, it seems like people are looking at themselves and their own micro decisions as a way to make change.
Heather and I sat down this week to plan our 2018 goals. Not just our marketing plans, and sales strategies (which we also did), but even on an individual level. Instead of an unrealistic laundry list, we boiled it down to three, a solid and respectable three.
#1. Living more conscientiously
This one is a pretty encompassing, but it includes two key parts. The first is to be more mindful of purchases and what we bring into our homes. The whole less is more is really a thing. Especially after the holidays I know I’m not alone here. I have two young boys, and with them come the constant job of rotating their clothes, by season and size, toys they’ve outgrown and finding them a new home, and the blessing/burden of hand me downs from cousins that get dropped off in what feels like industrial sized garbage bags. I keep about a third and donate the rest. Hoping and praying they actually find a home for someone that needs them, but secretly scared they’ll end up in one of those social stories about clothing being bulldozed into a landfill. The burden of how much we carry around can be suffocating at times. It will take some will power to say NO to fast fashion trends. But, instead of that $35 sweater that will get a pull in it by next week, we are going to make an effort to shop thrift stores, or pay a little more and find a quality garment that will stand the test of time.
I know what you’re thinking, you don’t always want to be seen in the same sweater, or same black dress at every event. But honestly, what’s wrong with being known for that sweater, or to be seen in the same dress twice? You don’t want people to think “not that dress again”, but why not that dress again? I have fond memories of my great aunt Margaret who was a nun, and when she came to visit us she wore the same dress (because she only had 2!). It was burgundy with white polka dots, and every time I see a picture it makes me smile. So we are going to rock our signature style, and that sweater.
The second part of living more conscientiously is gaining perspective. This one is huge for me. And very personal. I’m naturally a very sensitive person (and sadly I think I’ve passed on the gene to my son!) which I’ve learned to embrace as a superpower, not a hindrance. However it also shapes the way I view situations and relationships. Instead of struggling with angst and getting people see my perspective, I will aim to make peace with it, and venture to see it from another perspective – and not take it personally! There is one reality, but endless options of the truth depending on how many individuals experienced it.
#2. Being authentic
Authenticity is showing your not-so-perfect side. Your not-so-together side. Because that’s part of what makes you human, and trying to hide that aspect of yourself is a bald faced lie! We all have things to work on, and we all have things to celebrate. Come on, isn’t anyone else sick of stock photos and images of fake shiny happy people?
Being authentic is showing that we haven’t got this entrepreneur thing figured out yet. We plan to talk about our challenges, fears and perhaps getting them out there will find an answer to a problem. Maybe there is someone out there with a similar story that’s also been struggling, and you can figure it out together.
Here’s my first go at being authentic. It’s been three months into our new business and I drastically underestimated how much of a sales hat I would have to wear. And in general how much energy it takes to keep the gears moving forward. Oh, and fear that no one will know about us or want to give us money. But from what I’ve seen and heard that’s all normal, and will take time, patience and perseverance to make a dream a reality. Phew, felt good to get that out there.
#3. Finding our niche
We’re still working on narrowing our product focus. We’re in the precarious “we can do it all!” spot, but we plan to hone down our specialty with lessons and learnings from this year. In 2018 we will focus on finding our crew, getting out there and meeting people, talk to them about their challenges and help overcome them. The more we do, the more we’ll uncover who our target audience is and what we can do to help move them forward.
One goal we’re both perusing and worth a call out, is spending time on our own personal health and well being. Which means prioritizing a yoga class or a bubble bath over work at times. Instead of feeling guilty about it, it’s all part of the cause to feel stronger and healthier. Both mentally and physically. Mind, body and spirit. It’s a thing.