I have spent some time over the past week or two reflecting on the year that has been and making new promises to myself for 2017. I’ve been thinking about the wording around New Year’s “resolutions” or “intentions” and I kinda figure, if you’re using language like that before you’ve even started, you’re effectively setting yourself up for failure.

My 2016 was full. In summation, it was wonderful. So much excitement on the work front and more importantly, many new learnings, adventures and challenges in motherhood. My heart is full but so is my life. Up to my eyeballs full. In fact, last Friday was the first day that I didn’t work when I had a free day/hour/second in at least 2 years. What did I do with my new found freedom? I took everything out of the kitchen cupboards, cleaned them and sorted everything out. Why? Well, firstly, it desperately needed to be done. 2-years of life admin really adds up. Secondly, decluttering is highly therapeutic.

This year, in setting “promises”, I find myself in unfamiliar territory. Historically, my reflection time focused on my career – more specifically, how I was going to get myself off the corporate path I had chosen. Coupled with completely unrealistic health + fitness goals … every January I was suddenly going to transform from someone who doesn’t do any structured exercise and pretty much eats whatever they want (within reason) to Kayla Itsines. I mean seriously. I was pretty much failing by Jan 3rd.

Ironically, with my new found career freedom, type-A personality and serious case of FOMO, I had just gotten so damn excited about my new life that I decided I was going to fit everything in, all at once, whilst raising a 2-year old. Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually believe that women can have it all and even all at the same time but not in a meaningful and sustainable way. It’s just not physically possible. Or joyful. So in an ATTEMPT to run 2 businesses (Sneakers and Project You + Me), start up a third (The Kindred List), be completely hands on and present for Mr always-on-the-move, curious, starting-to-throw-tanties 2-year old, running a household and maintaining relationships, there is one thing that was seriously compromised… ME. My wellbeing, sleep and rest was absolutely my last priority. I more often than not worked until 2am every night 7 days per week, running on coffee, adrenalin and sarcasm. And we managed. In fact, we did better than that. I grew both businesses, launched the third, we have a dead-set legend of a son and I’m still alive. High-fives right? Kind of. I spent much of the year tired, mal-nourished, over-committed, fuzzy, forgetful and for what? There is really not anything that couldn’t have waited. That is the immense weight of the pressure we put on ourselves.

I’ve recently read a lot of quite negative 2016 reflections on social media – it seems many of you had a shocker. When I sat down to reflect, firstly I am so grateful. For my family, health and the opportunity to follow our dreams. When I turned my thoughts to what I wanted more of in this New Year, the answer was actually less. I want to do less and live more. It’s pretty much that simple. On a tangible level, that’s much easier said than done so I took quite a bit of time, using Marnie McDermott’s “Blissed” journal to  set goals across the different aspects of my life and am focussing on what I want to do more of, to bring me joy and rejuvenate me. One of the tangible pieces, is consolidating the Project You + Me business into Sneakers + Soul so I am not doubling up my time and energy on a similar purpose. Other core promises include;

  • family first, always
  • focus more on being active and eating well with my family to instill those values and lifestyle into my son
  • enjoy the process of renovating our home this year (much more of this coming to the blog in 2017)
  • more rest and time for reflection
  • practice of daily gratitude
  • learn to meditate
  • read more books

In a nutshell, do less. It’s all good and well being all zen and writing these reflections sitting in the sun under a palm tree at the beach house drinking a pomegranate crush cooler. The real challenge is in the discipline to stick to these promises in the thick of our busy lives and daily grind. So here’s to giving it a crack – I promise keep you posted on how I go and hope you will do me the kindness of sharing some of your goals too.

ps – in this spirit, we are updating our Sneakers + Soul website with a fresh, new look so it will be under construction from Monday 9th Jan – Monday 16th Jan x

Featured with Lilian Dikmans (@liliandikmans) for Yoga 2013 Apparel. Photography by Steph Brown (@_stephbrown_). Flat lays styled and shot by me x