On Progress, Not Perfection

This holiday season really got me. Even though I know it’s coming, I’m never quite ready for it.

Admittedly I put a lot of pressure on myself to make things run smoothly. Visiting with multiple families and making time for my own little family is tough. And just when most people feel like they can breathe, I’m gearing up for my daughter’s birthday - the day after Christmas.

This year I had all intentions of capturing our celebrations on film. I wanted to be the one to post all those cutesie Christmas pics on Instagram. What an easy way to add value to my brand while also preserving our memories, I thought.

Photo by Dapper Fox Designs
Photo by Dapper Fox Designs

Here's what really happened: I didn't pick up my phone but a few times in almost a week. I felt pangs of guilt with each hour passing. Why? I've spent some time thinking about this and it just doesn't add up. Why do we put pressure on ourselves to keep up, stay ahead all of the time? That's no way to live. As 2016 is just around the corner, I've been narrowing in on better ways to balance my roles as mom, wife, and entrepreneur. Here are the promises I've made to myself for the coming year...

Be ever present

This means when it's work time, I'm fully in the grind. When it's family time, the phone goes away. I've found I'm only able to give my attention to one thing at once. That means protecting my time and knowing when to shut it down.

Congratulate others on their success

If I had a dollar for every time I got jealous when I saw someone who was where I wanted to be I wouldn't even need to work anymore! What good does that do, though? Next year every time I start feeling this way, I vow to reach out to the person behind the website/account/brand and congratulate them for such a job well done.

Practice Patience

One of the hardest things for me as a business owner has been the trial and error aspect of my work. I didn't go to school for this. I'm not used to producing less than the best. But rather than waiting for it to be perfect (will it ever be?) I'm going to test the waters more often.

Less learning, more doing

I have three degrees. I don't say that to brag, but just to show how much I enjoy learning new things. Unfortunately I've let learning distract me from doing the work. This goes hand-in-hand with trusting myself to serve my clients and my family in a way that only I can. Going with my gut is something I'll be practicing much more as I make decisions in the coming year.

As a perfectionist it’s hard not to give it my all to everything. But if anything,

2015 reminded me that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of anything well, my career included.

Today I’m sending off this year with a few thoughts about striving for perfection. And if you’re interested in how others balance multiple responsibilities, watch this great video with Jada Pinkett Smith.

What are you most proud of this year that's helping to catapult you into 2016?