Here’s a pleasant surprise: four of my five goals for 2013 were a slam-dunk! About midway through the year when I was engrossed in moving across the country, I kind of let this list slide from my mind. I was worried about what I would find there come this turn of the year. The only one that wasn’t a success was the health aspect — and that’s being handled. 2013 was a huge year for me, and in many ways, it was the year that is paving the way for the majority of my future goals. I graduated with my MFA from the school of my dreams, wrote a thesis on self-curation, rebranded Pinegate Road, attended Alt Summit, landed my dream job and moved closer to my hometown than I ever could have imagined ending up. It’s been full of transitions and hardships, but all-in-all it’s been a solid year of change for the better. I believe that all that happened this year is what is really making my 2014 goal a plausibility.
Instead of listing out a series of goals, I thought that this year I would have one focus word that could relate to many aspects of my life. This year, I’m going to embrace editing. I’m settled in my apartment, I’m half a year through my job, and I know what I want to work towards in the next couple years in that aspect. I feel like heading to grad school in 2010 was a huge change in perspective for me. It completely turned around what I thought was possible in the design world and how I could go about approaching the future. There is so much opportunity out there, it’s all about editing down the possibilities to get at the core of what makes your journey the best one for you. We can’t do it all, and using time and experimentation to figure out what makes you the most happy is key. The first couple years, I took everything I could in. I played with every aesthetic, good and bad. I experimented with career possibilities through freelance projects and internships. I started this blog, and boy was the start of that rocky! I found out what made me happiest and where I thrived, and now I’m here. I live in a world where I get to play with lettering, where I make products that reach the world in a way that spreads gratitude and connection with others, and I get to experiment with all different kinds of design medium and unique people both in and out of work. I get to connect with you! While I’m where I’m meant to be for now, that doesn’t mean the future is clear to me. It’s still foggy, and I’m hoping that by embracing editing, I’ll be able to get even closer to that core of what I’m meant to do long-term.
Editing for design: I’m at the very tip of discovering my personal aesthetic. Since the rebrand at the beginning of last year, and after attending Alt, I really focused on making this space representative of who I was as a designer. For the first time in my design career I feel happy about what I’m putting out into the world. I’m hoping to use the foundations of what I’ve learned about my design aesthetic on the blog and to integrate them into all the visual and organizational aspects of my life. A couple weeks ago I wrote down a few words that Pinegate Road embodies as a brand: modern classicism with a natural influence. I hope to continue editing my practice and my design to embody this and define what that means further. I don’t have to be everything.
Editing for health: Like anything else in life, how we treat ourselves now in the health department will impact how we live in the future ten-fold. For some reason the prospects of getting a puppy—picking out food, figuring out an exercise and health schedule—started me thinking on how determined I was to help her have the best life possible, and how I seem to fail on that aspect in my own life. What?! I want to take this year to reprogram my lifestyle, and to create healthy habits that I can take into many years to come — for both me and my pup. I’m teamed up with an amazing fitness coach, and I’m determined to make this the year I finally get this down. No excuses!
Editing for financial stability: Week one of the financial peace university is underway! While I’m ahead of the curve in many respects, I need to stop acting like a budget isn’t important and start editing my financial life. This year I start to hope setting the foundation to making home-ownership a reality for next year.
Editing expectations: Last year I had the goal of learning to say no. This is kind of that. I slipped up a few times, but in general I stood my ground and was able to say no to things that just weren’t necessary in my life. I hope to continue to say no, and to keep space in my life for free afternoons and fun time and puppy snuggles. For as long as I can remember I’ve had this aching thing inside of me that made me join almost any kind of club or activity I was slightly nudged into. These served their purpose at the time, but now that I’m feeling that feeling to join things again, I need to really evaluate whether they will impact me in a positive manner down the road. When in school, I wanted to make sure that I had enough experience in any aspect to be able to move forward in any career. I wanted to taste test it all. I have, I did. I think I’m good. For now. Now I need to keep room open for opportunities that make me happy and work towards more defined goals than I had when I was in school.
Well, that seems to be about it! Who knew one word could pack such a punch, huh? How about you — are you making goals or resolutions this year? Sending you lots of encouragement if so!
I love this idea of embracing editing. Usually when I think of the word edit, I think to get rid of something. But editing routines, styles, etc. is just that…changing it up in a way that better suits you. I may have to borrow your resolution! I don’t want to undertake any massive changes in 2014 but I could definitely benefit from some editing myself. Happy New Year, Kelsey!
Absolutely love “embrace editing” – I mean that is what life is all about right? I, too, am going to do a lot of editing and adjustment for 2014 – I’m excited! I’m so happy for all the accomplishments and wonderful things you’ve done in 2013, and I know there will be greater things to come in 2014 – wishing you a very happy new year!! Also, looking forward to getting to know you and Pinegate Road better ;)
@ Victoria — heh, thanks lady! I sure hope you’re right about 2014, although I’d be content just editing away and making the day-to-day experiences happy ones :) Same back to you on Oh So Pretty! So glad that we have e-met — your eye is crazy good!
@ Amanda — you’re so right about always trying to improve :) Hopefully this kind of goal can be that one-word mantra that works throughout the entire year! Less easy to forget that way ;) Happy New Year!
I just love this! Especially that you’ve taken one goal and created concise, do-able resolutions stemming from it. A puppy will definitely help with your own personal health :) and I love Dave Ramsay! I listened to his audiobook last year… it’s tough love but great advice. Excited for your 2014, Kelsey!
@ Maggie — Hah! I hope that the puppy does :) I feel like I’m going to be doing more poop scopping than exercising for the first couple months though ;) Worth it! And yay for Dave Ramsay! I read one of this books while in college, but felt like I needed to wait until I got my first job to really dive in to practicing it. Sooooo here I am. My dad is a HUGE Dave fan…our newest family dog is named Ramsey, hah!
@ Angel — It’s awesome to hear a success story! You and Maggie are the first people that I know that have used his principles. All along I thought my Dad was trying to push this weird thing on me ;) I’m one week in, and I’m so excited to keep moving on with it week by week to get things in order. Us designers love life organization, huh? ;)
I love this idea! That’s a great way to look at your goals for the year–“editing” really helps us find focus and balance so much easier. Definitely with you on many of these things, especially finance! Hope this year is a beautiful one for you :)
I love your 2014 resolution! I’ve always thought of new year’s resolutions as starting over but now I think it’s so much nicer to work with the things we have and improve ourselves from there. For me, I hope to work on the anxieties and insecurities that always seem to be nagging at me. Also, I’m totally with you on your goals, too, especially health.