Day 129: January Recap

How on earth is it almost February? It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating New Years Eve and I was writing blog posts like Dreaming Of A New Year. Now we are already one month into this year, we’ve begun to settle into routines and transition of holiday season back into real life.

When I was coming up with goals for this year I was working through this planner called the Elegant Excellence Journal. There’s a section in this planner that has you go through each month and write out a general since of what happened that month and sum up that month in a word. I found this exercise really helpful when trying to see how the year honestly went on a smaller scale.

But I also realized it was quite hard to look back on January in December and remember everything that happened and then sum it all up in a word when you’ve become so removed from those experiences. In order to make it easier to look back upon the year and see the progress and setbacks as they were in that moment, I want to write a monthly recap. So I give you January’s Recap.

The month and I guess I should say year, began like many others, I was excited and ready to start accomplishing the goals I had put together in December. Everything was planned out, I knew what I wanted to accomplish and I was ready to give it everything. After a very disappointing year for my business last year, due to so little time because of college, I was ready to be try and shift the tides. Yes I would still be doing classes, but I would try and divide my attention between the two things evenly.

January 1st-6th felt pretty magical because I literally had nothing going on. I spent time with friends who were home from college, facetimed long distance friends, went shopping at goodwill too many times, and really enjoyed not having responsibilities. On the 7th dance started back up again, for those of you who do not know I have been doing ballet for sixteen years and in the past have danced 10+ hours a week. However, this year, I cut back one class and am now only dancing seven and a half hours. It was a much needed change I have been loving it.

During these first two weeks, I was working on my daily habits, editing photos, writing blog posts, and really just feeling like everything was settling into place wonderfully, even with the approach of college classes starting on the 13th. Then on the 6th, my dad suggested an idea and it quite literally changed everything.

Suddenly I was choosing between the plan I’ve had for literally years and a completely new path that I’d never considered before. I won’t go into the specific details at this point, but on Friday the 10th I made the decision, with a lot of guidance from God, to throw the previous plans out the window and go down this unexpected fork in my road. Suddenly all my plans for this year, the next two years, and even the next ten years really, were in need of being rewritten.

And boy, being a goal oriented and forward thinking person on a path of not knowing what to do next is kind of scary. I began rewriting my goals and my plans. I changed my perspective on what I wanted to focus on, chose to really look into developing my business, and went with it. It was pretty exciting too, I had more free time and I wasn’t stressed. It was beautiful.

I began creating an image every week again and shared the next photo in my series “Fragments of Decay“. I engaged more on my Instagram story and felt really proud of myself for jumping back onto my business bandwagon. In addition to that, I was engaging in my personal interests in the town I live in and being active on my personal Instagram profile. My morning routines and night routines were rock solid, it was all going really well.

Then I made a mistake, or rather a foolish decision. I love reading, always have, but I haven’t had time to do it recently because of all the things going on in my life. One of my favorite authors published a new book in one of her series in November and I hadn’t had a chance to read it yet. So I started reading the one before it remind me of what was going on before I started the new one. It was wonderful to be reading again, but when I got to the new book, I made a poor choice.

This book is almost eight hundred pages and I finished it in three days. I read over half of it in one night/morning. I was reading it one night and wanted to read around a hundred pages before I went to bed. I got through those and it was a little after midnight, I went that’s not that late and kept reading. I didn’t glance at the clock once until I looked up and it was five in the morning and I had read half way through the book. That was the first step in the wrong direction that threw off the rest of my month.

From there my sleep schedule was whacked after a late night the next night and then a super early morning (3 a.m.) a few days later. My morning routine kind of fell apart along with a few other habits I was trying to form. I began to realize the goals I had set weren’t that amazing because they weren’t tangible. Like sell more prints, that’s a great goal, but it relies on another person’s action that I can’t control.

Basically I felt tired most of the time, my daily habits went out the window, I stopped sharing as much on my Instagram story, I felt like my goals needed to be changed again, and honestly felt like life was pure chaos. In all of that I was still able to create an image every week and write a blog post everyday, but felt disappointed in the amount of engagement I had lost in a year of almost complete silence.

The last five days or so have been much better because I made the realization I was basically flying out of control through the remainder of the month. I began implementing my habits again (including a new one which I want to dedicate an entire blog post to), readjusting my goals, brainstorming new ideas, and lessening the amount of time spent endlessly scrolling through social media. And it has helped so much. I finally feel like I’ve gotten closer to being back on top of things. I know now not to stay awake till five a.m. reading or waste two days watching the TV show Victoria.

This month has been about learning my limitations, my needs, and my level of self-discipline. This month did not go as I had planned, in fact it was probably the furthest thing from my original plans which has led me to creating completely different plans. This month has been about working on my business and facing realities. This month has been half productive and half chaos. This month has felt like a trial run for 2020 and has taught me many lessons that will be vital for the future.

All in all this month has given me insight into how easily things can get out of balance and out of control. I am looking forward to what will happen not only next month, but in the next eleven months. Tomorrow is another chance and another beginning, here is to all the wonderful things we will accomplish then.

Biggest Lesson Learned: You have to be very disciplined to keep chaos at bay.
Favorite Moment: Choosing a completely different path.
Summed Up In One Word: Adjusting.

Until Next Time,
Lillian Merritt

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