Wow. I can't even believe that today is my birthday. It's so crazy to look back a year of life and realize that it's so much more than you felt like it was. This year when I picked out my birthday outfit I knew I wanted to go with something bold and something really really me. And somehow this year, the most 'Chelsea' birthday dress was a bronze skirt, a sequin body suit that I found from the found at one of my new favorite retailers Eloquii!
In a lot of ways this year was one of my most difficult yet. I dealt with a lot of things personally, the news has been increasingly heartbreaking, and I feel like I suffered more losses than I would have liked. I am so ready for 2017, and so ready for this next year of life. Last year I made a 26 small goals before 26 list, and here's how I did! Strike through items were not accomplished.
1) Get at least two haircuts (up one from 25!)
2) Shoot a personal project a month.
3) Develop a fitness routine that I like.
4) Make blogging a priority.
5) Go to a conference.
6) Take Hank to obedience training.
7) Cook my way through a cookbook with Tucker.
8) Visit a state I've never been to before.
9) Pay off our credit card.
10) Bake cookies & mail them to my grandma.
11) Run a 5k (Oh God, I'm gonna regret this).
12) Shoot with a different camera every month.
13) Get rid of all of my shoes that don't make my feet happy.
14) Listen to more music & pick an album of the month.
15) Go on six trips in the next year for work, pleasure &/or reflection.
16) Get a tattoo.
17) Attend a concert of my choosing.
18) Make a living wage as a photographer while paying taxes & investing in my business!(!!!!!!)
19) Have dinner at 5 of Austin's best & most renowned restaurants.
20) Take a trip alone.
21) Find a hobby.
22) Compliment strangers more.
23) Dress in happiness daily.
24) Go on a trip for Chuckermoon 5!(!!!!!!!!)
25) Make date night a priority & invest in my marriage.
26) Plant some things & encourage them to grow.
When I was thinking about writing this post I felt very very sad about the things I didn't accomplish. I honestly though more than half of the list went unfinished. I'm pleasantly surprised that I managed to accomplish 17 out of 26 of them and I am so so proud of what I accomplished.
I am so proud of myself for making it through this year with a smile on my face. Running and growing a business is no joke. Neither is figuring out what makes you happy, being in a growing and healthy relationship, or trying to stick to a budget. This year I was able to begin to figure out who I was as an adult. I found out that the things that make me personally happiest when I need to invest in myself are simple things like going for a swim, a Mexican coke, or going to see a movie alone. I found out I honestly don't enjoy reading that much because the process itself makes my anxiety skyrocket and that's a real thing. I figured out how to dress my body in a way that makes me happy. I know now that when I'm feeling sad, if I get in my car and sing something at the top of my lungs I'll feel better soon. I know that I'm a girl who can make stripes and polka dots look like neutrals. I also learned I am a woman who is in a wonderful relationship that needs to be continually cared for and improved upon, a lesson 16 year old Chelsea would have never quite understood or believed was possible. I learned how to feel confident running my own business and I learned that there is no room in my life for constantly worrying about whether or not I will fail at all this. I learned a lot this year, and I am just as dedicated to figuring out who 26 year old Chelsea Laine Francis is & what she likes. With that in mind, here are my goals for next year!
1) Shoot something for a nationally distributed magazine.
2) Get a tattoo.
3) Swim weekly.
4) Choose my hard.
5) Continue to develop my own personal style.
6) Go camping.
7) Cook my way through "Small Victories" with Tucker.
8) Leave the state before Christmas.
9) Do something out of my comfort zone once monthly.
10) Try therapy.
11) Take Hank to advanced training classes + aid in his rehabilitation.
12) Get a tattoo.
13) Learn to make croissants.
14) Say 'NO' more often and feel fine about it.
15) Host 10 connection meet ups.
16) Go to a conference.
17) Be conscious of my happiness.
18) KonMari our home room by room.
19) Go on four vacations, ideally a vacation quarterly, no matter how large scale or small scale it is.
20) Commit to a gratitude journal for the entire year.
21) Pay off our credit card.
22) Learn to be more organized.
23) Stick to a strict monthly budget for one month.
24) Try a segmented schedule.
25) Watch the Best Picture Nominees.
26) Creative direct a shoot that I'm not behind the camera for.
27) Continue to grow my business + my general happiness all at the same time.