Looking Ahead to 2018

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you all had some very happy holidays and you’re feeling rested and refreshed heading into 2018!

Personally, 2017 was a good year for me – Chad and I sold our condo and bought our first house together! We’ve loved settling in, meeting our new neighbours + friends, and becoming regulars at the local neighbourhood shops + cafes 😊 Professionally, I am so grateful to say that I exceeded my financial goals for the year, and have a few more milestone projects under my belt! I’m proud of the work I’ve been a part of, but even moreso, the opportunity to enter into the homes + lives of the wonderful client families I have the honour of serving. Looking back on 2017 and forward to 2018, I have been trying to reflect critically and constructively on what worked, what didn’t, and where I’m feeling an “internal nudge” to shift in priorities to achieve a healthy balance in the present season.

1.     Create More (for Fun)

This may seem like a funny goal for an interior designer, especially because anytime I get to create and collaborate on beautiful interiors with clients and trades it IS fun. Very fun! I count my lucky stars all the time that I have a career that I actually love. However, I always say to prospective interior designers, that the creative part of my job is approximately 25% if I’m being generous! The conceptual creative design phase of a project is relatively small piece of the puzzle required to take a project from the ground to completion. When I’m not in the happy, fun, creative la-la phase, I’m detailing technical construction drawings, coordinating trades and products, attending meetings, balancing budgets and expenses, and/or problem-solving when unforeseen site conditions throw a wrench in our original design plans. Now don’t get me wrong, I am NOT complaining about 75% of my job description. I love being an interior designer, including all of the above (or at least most of the above on most days 😉. I only explain this to illustrate why I feel like it’s important for me to make the effort to create more, especially outside of the realm of interior design. Not only do I truly believe getting those creative juices flowing will make me a better designer, but generally, just a better, more fulfilled person!

Bri Emery of designlovefest said it best: “gotta push myself more to create things that just make me happy”

2.     Take More Risks

For those who are familiar with the Enneagram, I am a “Loyalist” (a 6), which means that risk-taking doesn’t come easy! Loyalists are known for being responsible and security-oriented – which is great in many ways – but I find that it can hold me back by continually choosing to err on the side of caution. In 2018 I really want to challenge myself to take more risks, particularly professionally. This could mean agreeing to new projects or jobs that are out of my comfort zone, opting for really fun, bold finishes and fixtures, and/or trying out new construction processes or techniques.

3.     Grace, Grace, Grace

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a self-proclaimed “recovering perfectionist” (I came up with this term on my own before I read it in Brene Brown’s books, I swear!). Like many people, I’m my own toughest critic. This year, I’m going to do my best to live by my own adaptation of the Golden Rule; to Treat Myself the Way I Would Like to Treat Others, including self-talk, expectations and forgiveness.

4.     Cook More

If my second goal was professional, this one is personal (because no one wants me cooking professionally, haha). I am beyond blessed to be married to an amazing cook and baker, however Chad’s own skills have held me back from progressing my own culinary skills too long! It’s true that I know how to follow a recipe to pull together a basic meal, but I’d like to move from “able to cook basics” to “excited to try out a new and more challenging dish”. Ironically, I feel that the desire to enhance my cooking skills serves as a great way to practise goals 1-3, as I believe that cooking can serve as an outlet for creativity, risk-taking, and will likely involve some failed attempts, ha! My greatest hope is that despite some inevitable trial and error, that I can learn to perceive cooking as a hobby or passion, rather than a chore. Top of cooking list is a really good, homemade curry!!

5.     Practise Gratitude

Don’t ask me how or why, but for whatever reason, gratitude has been coming a lot easier the past few months. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m less stressed day-to-day, but it does mean that there’s some sort of innate contentment, rather than an anxiety of always wanting “more” or “next”. Being present is not only easier than it has been in times past, but so much more joyful. I know that this won’t always happen simply, so my goal is to treat gratitude as a practise, because I believe that it does require effort and I know that it’s worth it! I recently stumbled over the quote that “The secret to having it all is realizing that you already do”. To some this may seem like an excuse to fall into complacency, but for over-achiever like myself, these words couldn’t breathe my life and freedom. This quote may just become my new mantra for 2018!