coco kelley, gut check

New Year’s Words + Wishes

Last night I had the pleasure of spending the evening at a party with some good friends that I didn’t share nearly enough time with in 2012. The night alone was enough to spark some resolutions about friendship (which you’ll read about in a minute) but when I was chatting with the host about the upcoming year, we ended up talking about the overall feeling that years seem to take on. We both agreed (and I’m curious if this has been your experience too) that 2012 was a year of growth and success for many people, but also a year of perspective. Which has left us asking “Where is this going?” or better yet, “Where can I take this?”

Last year I found myself gaining ground and finding focus professionally. Successes came a bit easier and more frequently, and it seems like many of my creative  and entrepreneurial friends felt this too. It was just the boost we all needed to be able to push ourselves into bigger and even more exciting things in the new year. I remember in the beginning of the year feeling like it would be the year of collaboration, and indeed, I think it was. If not in actuality, mentally, there was such a strong feeling of support in the creative community – the feeling of ‘were all in this together’ was very evident.

At times, it was a very emotionally draining year, on a personal level. I think that the combination of the elections and then current shootings really took it out of me the past few months. That said, I felt like my priorities were put more into place as I found myself making an effort to carve out time for friends and new adventures outside of the blog realm. Put all of those ups and downs together and I’ve found myself with a renewed need for creating and contributing to a strong community this year.

One of my girlfriends does this thing where she picks a word each year that channels her intentions for the year. I’ve never done this before, but I had one word come to me so quickly and obviously that I knew I had to pick it and follow it… That word is Create.

In 2013 I want to be a creator. Create new content. Create stronger friendships. Create new ideas and directions. Create the life I want to have in the next year. Five years. Ten. Create opportunities. Create a better business. Stop thinking about it. Stop putting it off. Stop waiting for it to be the right time. Just CREATE.

Keeping these intentions and focuses in mind, I’ve come up with ten resolutions – or as I like to call them, promises – for 2013. So here we go…

1. Last year I swore to myself  that I’d get out more in my city – making connections, attending events, broadening my circle of friends – but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about all of the amazing, creative people here who I love spending time with, and I want to expand that promise to include working with some of these people, but also playing with them more too. Time to throw some dinner parties, put on a few events, and create some cool collaborations with my Seattle peeps. Bringing all of my favorite people together this past summer for the coco+kelley anniversary dinner made me realize now powerful and wonderful it was to make these new connections amongst my friends, and I want to keep doing that for work and for fun!

2. A few months ago I realized that I’ve been lucky enough to start traveling internationally more again, and I want to keep that up. Two years ago I went to Italy with my family. In 2012 I hopped a plane to Iceland with some of my best girlfriends for a quick little getaway. This year? I’m thinking I might need to travel Paris for my birthday. Or anywhere, for that matter. I’m going to start saving my pennies for October.

3. And speaking of saving pennies… time to start doing that again. This was the first year in a very very long time where I felt like I was finally making money again, and it was wonderful to be able to indulge a bit in some new wardrobe pieces, decorating my apartment, and (quite honestly) investing a lot of it back into the blog. But I’ve also realized that in order to get where I want to, I need to reign in the frivolous spending a bit this year and make more focused financial goals and decisions. I know that in the long run it will grant me more freedoms if I do.

4. In 2012 I invested in my mental health as well as my physical, making time off a priority and starting workouts with a personal trainer. This year I want to create better diet habits. When I’m traveling, it’s always hard to turn down indulgent meals and one too many drinks, but it’s time I exercised a little self restraint. And when I’m home? Time to stay in and try new recipes! No more nights of sustaining myself on cheese and champagne. (Well… maybe every once in a while…)

5. Every year there are those resolutions that fail. This year for me it was to hire an assistant – there were a number of factors that contributed to this not happening, but I do hope that by spring I can hire some part-time help! I’m also including contributors and content into this promise. Time to shake things up and get fresh again! Excited about that one!

6. This one is going to be hard to put into words because I could really dedicate a whole post to it, but let’s give it a try. One quality that I’ve begun to value more and more in my relationships is the ability to take (and make) an invested interest in others. The friendships I cherish the most in my life are the ones where the person is thoughtful, a good listener, the type who follows up when they know you had a big meeting or an important decision to make. They are giving of themselves, and they don’t ask for much in return. They’re the first to congratulate you, to have your back, to sing your praises to others, and lend thoughtful honest advice. These are the type of people I want more of in my life, and the type of person I want to be more for others. So I suppose another part of this resolution is to start cutting out the ones whose ‘friendships’ aren’t exactly living in that genuine space.

7. Can I make finding a decent man to date a resolution? If so, we’ll put that one under lucky #7.

8. I realize that many of my goals are more business-related, but there is one last one that I really want to make sure I write down this year and that’s to consistently bring more original content to the blog. The key word there being consistent! I’ve realized that what really gets me out of bed these days is styling shoots and putting together new editorial ideas. I love being in the Creative Director type of role more than anything! It’s a challenge because creating content comes at a price, but it’s an investment that I really want to make. Oh, and we’ll add more original writing to that one too!

9. I think that at least one resolution should always be something that scares you a bit, or something you know you won’t do anything about unless you make it a promise. This is mine – to give back to my community in a positive, productive way. This is another one I could do an entire post on (and have dedicated some time to in the past), but when you’re writing every day about materialistic (albeit beautiful) things, life can lose a bit of perspective. I want to find ways to take myself out of that and do something more selfless or meaningful when I can, however I can.

10. This last promise is a continuation of a topic I wrote about a while back , and I think it will always be a resolution for me from now on, and that’s to continue educating myself on new things. A bit general, I know, but I don’t want it to just be one thing. I’m going to make a quarterly goal to take some kind of class (first up, photography!) and make a weekly goal to set aside time to read up on topics that I really want to have a deeper knowledge of – everything from politics and social media to wine and music.

Do any of these ring true for you too? I’m always curious to know if there is a common thread in resolutions, especially since I feel like this year I’ve handed myself a lot more of the ones that aren’t just things you can cross off a list, but new habits to be made and a better person to become.

*first image la perla // quote by rainer maria rilke // background via confetti system //