March 2019 Highlights


I think it’s always good to look back at where you’ve been in order to evaluate whether you are going in the direction you actually want to go. It’s easy to live life in default mode (trust me, I’ve been there…recently), but to step back and take a good hard look at the action (or inaction) you’ve been taking really involves courage.

I wrote a post late last year about my biggest moments of personal growth in 2018 and in coming up with that list, it really forced me to look back on my year. What I thought was a kinda “meh” year for me in terms of work output was actually a HUGE success!

The thing that I know I’m guilty of (and maybe you are too) is “forgetting” my successes, big or small. Not celebrating or even stopping to say, “hey, I DID THAT!” can have a such negative impact on self-esteem and motivation (I know it does for me). And then a year goes by and we feel like we haven’t accomplished anything…but that’s (usually) entirely untrue. It’s almost like we don’t think the little things are worth celebrating, BUT THEY ARE!

For example, I doubled down the last 6 weeks and got my son fully potty trained. I’m so proud of him for learning and told him we’d have a little party to celebrate his big success. But what about mine, too? That took a freakin’ lot of work, mental energy, and so much wiping of pee off the toilet/walls/floor/myself. Now, I’m not saying I need a party, but taking a moment to acknowledge everything I put into his big win is as much a success for him as it is for me. So, self-five! I’m noting it.

The point of all this? Keep moving forward, but don’t forget to look back from time to time to make sure if you’re on the right path (or even a path you like). It’s never too late to course correct or turn around entirely and start over.

In an effort to be transparent, here’s my Jan-March in review. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom for a little something that might be helpful for you, too.

Looking Backward

 Biggest Win

This is going to sound funny…but my biggest win was failing multiple times in the last 3 months.

I would say I’m generally pretty risk-averse and putting myself out there has always been very scary for my ego. But in the last few months, I have sent multiple pitch emails, created an entirely new proposal template and sent a 20 page illustration proposal, a branding proposal, and a digital magazine proposal…and I didn’t get any work.

But, you know what? Just sending out all of those things was a huge win for me. And even though none of them worked out, I learned a hell of a lot by doing it.

You have to fail in order to move forward. But I think reframing “failure” into “learning opportunity” makes the road rash a lot less intense when you fall on your face. Will I get back up and try again.

Hell. Yes.

Lesson Learned

 I can do anything, but not everything (all at once).

Rachel Hollis often uses an analogy about soccer balls: she says to imagine that you have six soccer balls lined up on a field and each day and you have six kicks to move the balls down the field.

Imagine how far each ball would go if you kicked each ball once.

Now, imagine how far one ball would go if you kicked it six times. Way further, right?

January - March, I put everything on hold…except for our cabin. By focusing on ONE THING, I was able to design and build a full website for Cedar Peak, build out and schedule six months of social media content, create an opt-in and funnel for our email list, set up our email marketing campaigns, finish designing our new cabin, and go through the entire B-School program with a focus on building our vacation rental business.

I was also able to better support John as he worked overtime or went up alone to the new cabin to work. I clarified my priorities and felt way less overwhelmed, more motivated, and more intentional in how I spent my time in order to accomplish what I set out to for the quarter.

Things that filled me up:

  • Watching my son learn how to ride his balance bike

  • Personal development talks with my sister

  • Sledding with my family in the mountains

Things I want to let go of: 

  • Other people’s definitions of success

  • Feeling guilty if I don’t exercise as much as I think I should (blah. I hate that word “should”)

  •  Perfection. This one is an ongoing effort…

I’m most grateful for: 

My family and the opportunity I have right now to spend as much time with them as I want. I know it’s not an opportunity that everyone gets and even though some days it’s really freakin’ hard, I’m grateful to even have the choice. 

Looking Ahead

 Personal Goals

1 Month Goal

  • Plan and execute a date night with my husband

3 Month Goal

  • Finish cabin #2 and have it listed on AirBnB

6 Month Goals

  • Research pre-schools and get our boy enrolled for 2020

  • Run our numbers and put solid plans in place to go full-on Dave Ramsey on paying off our mortgages (automation will be key here)

Professional Goals

1 Month Goal

  • It’s the Minted holiday challenge, y’all! (I don’t know why I even said “y’all”. I’m from California, dude). April is my FOCUS month on these challenges as they are the most competitive and lucrative of the whole year.

3 Month Goal

  • Complete the #100dayproject. Check out @kaylakingart on Instagram to see what my focus is this go-round.

6 Month Goal

  • Complete B-School for my art business

  • Complete and launch the “Land & Sea Collection”, a new collection of paintings on canvas

  • Pitch a story on our new little cabin to Sunset Magazine

Something new I plan to try 

I want to take a kickboxing class.

I had a coworker who loved doing this and I feel like it would be a fun way to release stress. Plus, I LOVE group exercise, so this would be right up my alley.

My gym offers these classes every week and they are already included in my membership, so I really don’t have any excuse not to try this one. I’m in!

 Act of service I plan to perform

 This is small but mighty: I am working on creating custom mugs for our cabin with our logo and I plan to send personalized versions to each member of our management team with a note sharing specific ways in which we appreciate them.

It’s easy to say a quick “good job”, but does that really help the other person understand why? By being specific, the person on the receiving end can feel that you’re paying attention, noticing their successes, and invested in the relationship.

Three ways I plan to show appreciation

  • Stop and give my husband a big hug right away when he gets home from his shift, every time

  • Surprise my parents by cooking a nice family dinner for helping out so much with our boy

  • Express appreciation with specifics to my son when he takes the initiative on helping out around the house

Hey! You made it all the way to the bottom! Bravo! Now if you’re interested in doing this exercise for yourself, I created a PDF fun sheet (why call it a work sheet? That sounds terrible) for you to print and fill out each month. Just click the button below to snag your copy.

And before you go! Pop into the comments and tell me one thing that you’re mega proud of yourself for. Big or teeny, typing it out (even to a stranger on the internet) might just help you see yourself a little clearer for the bad-ass that you truly are.