Day 276 / 365

I've been writing the post in my head for the better part of this year, but as the time to actually put these thoughts down rolled around, the excitement I felt to sit back and reflect on what this weird year has brought felt muddled and rushed. I wasn't ready. I hadn't reached my goal. I've got about 25 half-written pieces left unfinished because I decided to be present with my family over Christmas rather than hide away in my sweat pants as I have for the majority of the year, tip tapping on my keyboard.

I remained in forward motion throughout the year. If I wasn't writing, I was researching, trying to figure out how to use social media, planning shoots, emailing and so on. I knew I wouldn't reach my goal of 365 blog posts by early Fall, the toll of spending my entire day blogging had begun to affect my marriage, my friendships, my personality, and lifestyle - all work and no play makes Holly a bit of a stress bag of impatience - so I consciously attempted to re-embrace my laissez-faire attitude, pumping the breaks on the impassioned drive I had manifested. 

My friend Ma├» called it a mental marathon - and it was. I was drained of all creativity, but in exchange, I received and shared an education, which amongst all the blessings bestowed, was the main goal I set out for. 

This was my first major push into being the change I want to see in the world, not just in the everyday sense of practicing kindness and murmuring namaste to my neighbours, but in actually attempting to embody and practice meaningful changes, which would ripple beyond me, mine and my peers. I knew that awareness is the first step in personal progression of any kind, and I wanted to become more conscious of the wrongs that I accidentally and sometimes indirectly cause to the planet and her inhabitants, to prove to myself - and others - that simple sustainable switches with habits or products can be adopted without much disruption to the daily rhythms of life. 

I feel like I've constructed a foundation which I can build on with less intense incubation than the year that has just passed. My husfriend and I have embraced and adjusted our lives to truly live consciously, now I want to explore and enjoy these adjustments and share the stories which naturally accompany it, allowing me to come up for air and celebrate or respond to what's going on around me, rather than just locking myself in with my head buried deep in discovery. 

So I've decided for this new year, in hope of more balance, to make balanced goals. To diversify my time and the few talents I have to keep passions and creativity flowing.

PERSONAL GOALS
My friend Sarah has a soulful podcast called #LiveAwake much of the wisdom of which I've not given myself time to practice. My actions of the past year are in fact the opposite of what she preaches. Rather than continuously creating, I need to be like a 'tree in winter' from time to time, and pull back, drop out, disconnect from internet connections and reconnect with me and what's around me. Thus this new year will be concentrated on personal growth, meditation, exercise, outdoor adventures, and learning patience and developing ways to deal with stress better. 

“All life needs time below the surface, where it can breathe itself full and round, where it can reconnect with its nature and sprout again in its flushed form. Just as you can not force flowers to continually bloom, the same is true for all human beings. There is great value in letting go and dropping down. We must learn to remember, from time to time, to be like the tree in the winter.” –Sarah Blondin

BLOG JANUARY GOALS
I'm going to take a few weeks off in January before I settle into my new routine to (try to) achieve the following:

Website Revamp
I'm planning to adjust my website so it is easier to navigate and find past content.

Indiegogo Launch
I wrote a slightly spiritual children's book after the attack here in Paris last fall. I had been digesting how I communicate with my nephew (Leo, now 3 years old) and imagined how I might explain the state of the word to him should he ever ask. There was an interview on French television of a child in Place De Republique with his dad and his dad tried to explain to him what had happened after the shootings. This book sort of addresses the issues of the world in a lighter way which children can understand. Now that Trump is in office, I feel like it is a good time to publish this piece, so I am going to do a crowdfunding in the new year self-publish with an amazing illustrator, Caroline, from Salt Water and Feathers.

Shopping Page
People are always asking me for recommendations of places to shop for eco-friendly and ethically made items for their closet or lifestyle, so I'm going to put together a shopping page of brands I approve of to share those brands who have created a conscious circular story in their production.

Newsletter Creation
I'm going to create a monthly newsletter with a little round up of highlights, interesting reads, brand finds and updates which you can sign up for here: http://eepurl.com/cvLWbj

YEARLY CONTENT 
So I'm (probably) not ever going to post daily again, this year I'm going to post 2 - 3 times per week instead of seven. I'm planning on doing one Vlog which will cover one of the subjects I wrote about for the #GoneGreen2016 series, one recipe post which my husfriend will produce, and two other posts related to my lifestyle and passions or discoveries. My husfriend and I have started putting together eco-guides to cities we often visit so those will begin to go live and continue to be created throughout the year.

RESOLUTIONS
I haven't officially completed my long list of resolutions, but I did write a piece for Numi Teas on how to make some more mindfully. 2016 has been a hard year for almost everyone, and I think with all that’s happened it’s important for all of us to set goals that encourage growth, not only for the changes which we wish to see in ourselves, but also the changes we wish to see in the world, and how we can help improve the state of things. You can read the full post HERE.

THANK YOUS
My husfriend was incredibly supportive, despite the lack of balance I brought into our home and the boarderline biatch I became due to blogger burnout. I actually couldn't have done any of this without him. I also had a ton of help, borrowed words and support from Sustaining Life, Ethical Unicorn, The NotepasserJacalyn Beales Selva Beat,  Eco Cult, Good On You, Life + Style + Justice , Sustainably Chic, Leah Wise One Fair Day, and Carolina Robinson. Also a BIG thank you to everyone who clicked through to read my rants, this would have been a hard thing to do without all the love and support I got from each and every one of you. 

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year full of health, happiness, love and laughter. Big Hugs xx Holly