Happy New Year, sweet friends!
Over the holidays this year, I did a lot of thinking (mostly while I prepped meals and washed dishes for my full house of family) about my hopes, dreams, and resolutions for this next year. My business goals are pretty typical: launching my new website, expanding my blog and services, designing a bridal client magazine, participating in a bridal show, getting published twice, attending a workshop, and (of course!) booking more weddings.
However, when I thought about all of those business goals I had already written down for the upcoming year on that scrap piece of paper in the middle of that busy coffee shop, I soon realized that the list had no personal goals on it for myself.
I’m sure it’s no secret (especially to my other creative friends!) that sometimes owning your own business can encompass every aspect of your life. It’s can be hard to log off, separate the two worlds, and put yourself first – so often they blend together! Those who know me can vouch for me when I say that I’ve always been a dreamer, and I am definitely a work-a-holic with things I love and that I am passionate about. But this year, I wanted something to change. (and not just apply for the new year!) I wanted to give myself a word to live by – a word that I would reflect on and strive towards with everything I do in this new year whether it be business or pleasure.
Grace. That’s it.
The word grace stuck in my head like glue since the first time I saw that book. I’d been itching to buy it for myself for a while, especially seeing so many people rave about it. When Rob’s grandmother asked me for any small, last minute gift ideas for myself, she definitely cocked her head slightly to one side when I said I wanted a book. Not just any book, I told her. I think it’s something I truly needed to read for myself. Something every creative entrepreneur needs for themselves.
Just like Emily Ley says in the opening paragraph of Grace Not Perfection: Somewhere along the way, someone told us we weren’t good enough. We weren’t pretty enough, creative enough, crafty enough, or dedicated enough. Social media feeds, blogs, magazines, and other people began to set the standard for us. And they set it high – unreachably high. We mashed together other people’s highlights and best moments and created this standard of perfection we’re all after. Once we reach it, we tell ourselves, I’ll be good enough.
With the coming of the new year, I’ve decided that my resolution will be holding myself to a standard of grace rather than perfection.
It all starts with having grace with myself – being content with the fact that I’m doing the best I can at this thing called life. It’s embracing the journey God has for me rather than race my business to the top. It’s seeing His grace in everything in life. Bad day? It’ll be a better day tomorrow. Overwhelmed? Let’s simplify my schedule and find my best ‘Yes’ decisions for this week. Upset? Let’s celebrate the joy of what life has to offer.
Now, having grace with yourself doesn’t mean settling for mediocracy. It doesn’t mean that you can’t chase your dreams or strive towards producing your best work. Having grace means that you don’t threaten yourself with other people’s ‘success’. It means you don’t freak out about putting your phone down to enjoy date night with your significant other or logging off your email while you’re enjoying a vacation with your family. It means being confident in your dreams and the work you’re putting into it to get there.
Let’s face it, it’s not going to be easy. I’m hard on myself, and I’m naturally a perfectionist who won’t stop at anything short of it. But, I’m determined – determined to embrace grace.