It’s an end of another year! I can’t believe tonight ends 2016, and we’re taking on 2017 tomorrow. You’ll see all my resolutions tomorrow… but just wanted to recap the big things that happened in 2016!best nine photos from DanielleWilson1228 Instagram

My top photos from 2016! Love looking back at all of these experiences. Can’t wait for new experiences in 2017!

Left my Full-Time Job

It’s been a full year since I left my corporate job in fashion for freelance writing. It was a really big step, and it hasn’t been easy. Overall, I’m happier (my body wasn’t made to wake up at 5:30am and catch a 6:30am bus; some people are ok with this, but I wasn’t), but it’s harder to save for all the fun things we like to do. However, this just motivates me to work that much more in 2017.

Working with my parents at Cafe Pierrot has been great and really fun. I can take time to learn new marketing methods, and we saw incredible growth in their online traffic. I know so much more about WordPress and the internet as a whole that I know will help other businesses grow.

Music & Ministry

This year, I’ve participated in more music ministry than ever before. I’ve accompanied for the Easter and Christmas concerts at my church, taught a few new students, and really focus my attention on the ministries at The Garden Chapel. I love helping these kids succeed in music, and I hope that they’re finding a creative outlet for their energy and emotions.

Reporting

I also returned to freelance reporting for TAPintoRandolph, and even though town meetings aren’t exactly super interesting, I feel like I know everything that’s going on in town!

Working during an election year allowed me to interview all the local candidates and write a few articles on their positions, as well as attend forums. I like to think that I helped others make an informed decision about something other than the presidential election!

Fashion & Sewing

An unexpected result of leaving the luxury fashion industry was the desire to know who made my clothes. My job was in supply chain, so I had some of the factory addressses memorized. </><>I learned that you’re not just “paying for a label” when you buy a luxury item, you’re paying for humane treatment of factory employees, counterfeit issues, and overall better pay and benefits for retail and corporate employees.

I realized that I like knowing where the clothes came from, so I guess I need to make them myself.

Healthy Living

While I didn’t learn to cook as many new things as I was planning (last year I resolved to make a new dish every week, ha!), Eric and I did manage a Whole30 in July and loved it! At least I loved it; Eric tolerated it. Ok, I LOVE cookies, and Whole30 definitely excludes cookies, but I survived.

So – we survived Whole30. We’ll be starting another round on January 2!

I also ran 2 half marathons! The Disney Princess Half and the Runner’s World Half & Festival (actually a 5k, 10k, and half marathon).

2016 really brought out my willpower and strength. If I can work in a bakery and not eat cookies for 30 days, I can do ANYTHING.

Downsides?

As an introvert, I have a hard time pitching and selling myself. I didn’t contact as many companies as I had hoped, or sell any handmade products (that’s a topic for another blog post – no one understands how expensive quilts are!). My goals for 2017 involve putting myself out there to get more work and really contributing to our income.

Also – working for myself kind of encourages my “hermit” tendencies: with no where to go except to the next room, I lose motivation and drive to complete projects. In 2017, I plan to enforce a schedule for myself that I think will help with actually getting work done.

And this is super embarrassing considering I have a degree in English: I read only three books this year, and two of them were in the last week. I couldn’t justify sitting and reading a book when I could be sewing or editing photos or writing a blog post. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE IN 2017.

My goodreads “read books” shelf is in the sidebar! Follow my reading challenge in 2017!

In Conclusion…

Thanks for your support this year! I’m much happier, more content, and more grateful than I was last year. 2016 has been the year I imagine what my life could actually look like, what success looks like to me, and I can’t wait to implement what I’ve learned as I move into the next year and phase in my business!

Check out my post tomorrow for my resolutions and plans for the new year! You already know I’ll be reading more 🙂

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