Happy almost New Year, Life with Loverly fam!!
I can’t believe I’m even saying that! 2022 was a year of high highs and hard hards – and I think that is definitely something we can all agree on.
As I start to reflect on 2022 and prepare my heart and mind for 2023, I really wanted to create an episode that would capture our hearts, acknowledge our achievements, and prepare the path for the upcoming year.
So Nichelle and I sat down to chat with you about just that this week.
On today’s season finale of season 4 (like…what!!), Nichelle and I start the first half of the episode walking you through our year in review – and the second half (starting at 25:40) we are sharing how to end the year well to prepare yourself to positively look into the next!!
Gosh, let’s walk down memory lane really quickly. Together in 2022, we:
- Celebrated hitting 1 Million in our community on Instagram! I still can’t believe that - and the fact that THE Heather McMahan showed up to roast and toast!
- The Closet Sale to raise money for ESP here in Athens. THANK YOU guys! You showed up and I was so overwhelmed with gratitude
- Raising funds for Breast Cancer awareness through theSis Kiss bracelet collection. That project touches my heart every day. Each time I look down at my bracelet throughout the day, I pray for my two friends that were diagnosed.
Tune in to walk down memory lane with us and see what we learned from each milestone along the way. I hope you take this time to reflect on your year as well as you listen to us giggle and chat.
In the second half of this episode, we are chatting about tangible ways Nichelle and I both are preparing our hearts and minds for 2023.
We even reached out to some previous guests (Chaz fromLinen + Flax, Nasreen fromHeyNasreen, and our podcast producer,Elizabeth) to provide you with a list of ways they end their year.
Our hope is that as you listen, you’re able to pick and keep for yourself what works best for YOU as January 1 rolls around.
We personally loved that Chaz chooses a word of the year. I do this myself, and Chaz’s word this year was mine last year: Intentionality!
In these New Year reflections, we found a common theme throughout everyone’s answers to be: the practice of journaling.
We know this can be hard for those who don’t know where to start and wonder if they are even ‘doing it right’ - so we wanted to provide a resource of a place you can start. My life coach, Jen, has the perfect 30 days of prompts for you to begin TODAY - should you so choose.
And if you need a place to write down your answers/thoughts, you know we have your back with theLife with Loverly Journal.
And just as a gentle reminder, friend – the New Year ‘resolution’ tradition or journaling practice doesn’t have to start January 1 for you. It could be February 17th for all it matters … if that is what works for YOU. Your schedule isn’t the rest of the world’s schedule - and we are here to cheer you on either way.
I can’t even tell you how much it means that you’re here with me on this journey. What a year it’s been. And what a podcast season it’s been. We love you so dearly and have SO much in store for you for 2023.
We’ll be taking a quick podcast break, but we will be staying active with Instagram on Life with Loverly as we are prepping for Season 5!!
Happy New Year Life with Loverly Fam. We couldn’t be more grateful for YOU.
Resources from the episode:
Sis Kiss Bracelet - https://bit.ly/3FKT8AB
Jenn Boughey Journaling Guide - https://www.jennboughey.com/offers/qzwBjWyy
LWL Notebook - https://lifewithloverly.com/collections/shop-all/products/the-intentional-thoughts-notebook?variant=43296461652186
Nasreen’s Blog Post :https://www.heynasreen.com/top-20-of-2020/
Podcast Producer: www.elizabethevans.co
Management Team: https://estatefive.vip/
Use code LWLFREESHIP at the Life with Loverly Shop for free shipping on all orders within the Continental US!
This podcast was transcribed using Rev.com. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Brittany: Hi friends! Welcome to the Life with Loverly podcast. I'm Brittany, a wife, mom, and lifestyle entrepreneur here to help you discover your best daily style and encourage you to try new things when getting dressed each day. I took a tiny following on social media and turned it into a community of over 1 million amazing women and I am so glad you're here. I'll be sharing my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds on Instagram, so we'll be diving into things like personal growth, friendships, motherhood, marriage, and of course the business of blogging. Really, this space is here to serve as your go-to resource to building a life you adore while sprinkling some kindness to others along the way. Grab an iced coffee and let's do life together. I'm Brittany, and this is the Life with Loverly podcast.
Hi friends! Welcome back to our last episode of Season 4!
Nichelle: It's so crazy. I feel like this season has flown by.
Brittany: Wow! Life with Loverly Season 4 that is so insane that we are already at the end. It feels like we were just getting started. I feel like November felt like the longest month, but also the shortest month at the same time. It is so weird how that can happen.
Nichelle: No, I know. I feel like January is probably going to be the same.
Brittany: Yeah, it's like all those memes that come out that are like it's day 3,527 of January. It does feel like that.
Well, how are you guys? I hope you are well, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and holiday. It's just so crazy that we're in the last week of 2022.
Nichelle: We are, we're rounding out 2022 and welcoming a brand new year, a brand new slate as a lot of you guys like to look at it and we kind of wanted to cover that topic today just to give some behind the scenes again and cover everything that's happened here at Life with Loverly, but also what we get to look forward to next year.
Brittany: I look back on 2022 and just think about how many amazing things happened and each month walking month-by-month being like, "wow, that was really awesome." Usually one or two things stick out and then I get into other months where I'm like, "whoa, that was a really hard month." But then it felt like some of those months had really amazing things in them too.
Nichelle: It did. It really did. The thing that I think the people would probably love to hear is I feel like the last couple months have probably been the hardest for us here in the business. And with that being said though, we were starting to put some reels together, some memories that have happened throughout the year and we had this really great "aha" moment a couple of weeks ago when we were going through these videos. We were like, "you know, this is our season of hard right now. But this year was pretty dang awesome."
Brittany: Yeah! So we did so many things. There was a lot of behind the scenes buildup that got us to launching the podcast merch. I mean, that took months in the making and the vision for that was even before this year even started. It's crazy to think back and be like, "oh, that month was kind of hard but this is what we were going through." But then there was something that was amazing in the month or some of the travel that we had the opportunity to do. I'm so thankful, but I think it's a great reminder that it's not just a highlight reel. You flip back through people's Instagram and everybody wants to show you, "this is the best thing ever, so excited to be on this trip, or look what I'm doing, or look what I bought, or look who I'm with." And it's not as easy to be like, "hey, I'm struggling right now. Hey, we just had to fire somebody. Hey, somebody quit. Hey, now we have to go re-plan this whole thing." And, oh my goodness, that's not what my space is about necessarily, but that doesn't mean that those things aren't happening behind the scenes.
Nichelle: It's one of those things that we've always really thought very intentionally about bringing the positive. This is not a space where anybody I think looks to go and be like, "let's see real life and see how miserable people are doing." That's not the intent on our end either. We want to make people happy and smile and bring kindness, but with that also comes, "okay, well we're not going to show up today and be in a bad head space because something bad happened." We are also very intentional about that. But it's not to say that those things don't happen, for sure.
Brittany: I think if people were to pull my real life friends, if you were to call Shea or my mom or friends from college or different areas of my life that have nothing to do with my business, they would say that my vibe on here about being positive and looking on the bright side is who I am in general. It's not natural for me to want to play up some of the hardships. But I think in creating Life with Loverly, one of the things we really wanted to share was having a little bit more conversation on some of the behind the scenes stuff. Because it's not all just rainbow and butterflies and we're usually operating at 120% and we take on projects and do things at this extreme level that is probably not everybody's norm. I mean, it's for sure not everybody's norm. But with that comes anxiety and stress and I feel like I'm learning to slow that down. And that's been something that's been really interesting to work through. I feel like this year on top of all this amazing stuff that's going on, we're also in a season of, "okay, whoa, hold on. We need to hold on."
Nichelle: You put the both of us together, we're both threes. So if you know your Enneagram, three is pretty straightforward, we're going to get it done. We have a to-do list, we've gotta knock it out, and then we've gotta do the most. And that's just who we both are. And that's how the year ended up just doing the absolute most. I actually wrote that in show notes, "we tend to do the most," and it is very true, whereas we do the most and we've had some really great outcome from it. We've also had the struggles that come along with it because we did just try to take on the world.
Brittany: Yeah, just the industry in general of social media makes it feel like, "what's next? What are we doing next?" For example, we were talking before this and I'm on Facebook in this group that's a Studio McGee home group and people in there just post their finds that they found from Studio McGee or her Target collection, and somebody posted these series of photos that said "you guys, my Target is fully stocked with the Spring line of Studio McGee. This is amazing." Okay, well we're currently recording this before Christmas, so we haven't even gotten through this holiday and a brand is already putting out next year's new arrivals. And some of the comments were just like, "gosh, I hate this mentality that we're always having to run this rat race or buy more, buy more. What you currently have isn't good enough, so go, go, go, go."
And I feel like that's just the push of society and social media that it's very much like, "oh, you think you did enough here? You didn't. Now you need to level up and do more and you created one reel. Well, you need to actually create 10 reels this week."
And I think there's such a fine line between what you're really passionate about and feeling like you're not doing enough because other people are wanting that from you. If that's not your passion, sometimes I say, "well, I think we really need to do this." And it's like, "okay, do we really need to do that? If we do that, let's take it back to our core values. Does this fall in line?"
We kind of have to check ourselves to make sure what we are doing and putting out there really does fall into that. And sometimes we're going so fast and we don't do that and then it gets produced and we're like, "huh, we should have executed that differently." And I mean there's a few things that have been like, "oh, okay, that didn't hit like we thought it was going to." I feel like there's so many lessons to learn and it's kind of how you take what happens and "now what?" is the follow up to when life gets you down.
Nichelle: Absolutely. We're not going to harp on this, but I think we just wanted to be very real with you guys. There were a lot of things that we faced last year that we kind of stumbled, but then whenever we look at our opportunities last year, we also look at the positives that were the outcome and they kind of go hand-in- hand. So they were a struggle, but they were a struggle so we could build it up and make it right. I love that. I love being able to look at our list of things that we were like, "this is what we were struggling with over the year. How can we overcome it?" But then we also put what we succeeded in and we did so well and we were like, "well, we don't really have to figure out a lot of how to get to that point," because we did overcome it. It was just in the moment, it was tough. It was tough and we felt it. There's a couple of brands, there's not just Loverly Grey that we're having to focus on. So all of that you just said is just one tiny aspect. It's a tiny aspect because then you have Life with Loverly. And then you created merch. And then we had to go through the whole process, literally building it from the fabric strings up to launch.
Brittany: I think there's been so much, we've learned a lot. Chris has learned a lot. There have just been things that we were like,"oh, we didn't even think that goes into this type of brand." And so there's so much learning. I mean we have another brand that you guys will know more about in January. There's so much happening.
Nichelle: There are so many facets to the business. So many. We brought more people onto the team, which is so exciting because we've created jobs for these people, and we've created these jobs guys. We've literally sat down for hours and hours creating the job descriptions because we do want it to be real and tangible and we have hard proof that this is what the job entails. And we've grown. Also building a new office.
Brittany: Yes, we have outgrown our sweet little office house. There are six of us who work out of this house. And that does not include Chris because there's no room for him here. So he's finally going to get an office to be able to hang out with us at work. But there's so many things that you don't even think about. I just sometimes think back, when I stepped into this role and when I created this brand and blog, I had no idea this was the direction it was going. So there are things I have to do to better myself to be a good boss and to be a CEO. But then I also have to keep my creative side so that I can continue to offer what I originally came here to do and what I'm passionate about. But there's all this in between and this noise and it sometimes can be really hard to know what is right, what is wrong, what am I doing? And yeah, we've learned a lot this year, that's for sure.
Nichelle: We have. We've done a lot of reflecting and super proud, super proud of where we landed at the end of the year. I think that even probably 30, 45 days ago we were kind of still feeling the treading through it, trying to get to the finish line and now it just seems like it's not laughable, but it is because we thought that was so hard. But, we're not even thinking about that anymore.
Brittany: That's so true. When I think back on 2022, I think of the amazing things first. Chris and I took Collins to Disney in January for her third birthday. That was a highlight of my year. And I hit a million followers on Instagram, you guys threw me this insane party. We've traveled all these places, we've launched the podcast merch. But looking back on some of those videos and just seeing the genuine joy and happiness, I'm like, "this is what it's all about. This is why I'm working so hard to be able to have those opportunities and spend time with my kids like that." And now I'm like, "I guess we need to take her back for fourth birthday." Chris is like, "we need to take Hazel first."
I know when you look back, we did so many amazing things. But with that came a lot of hard conversations and just brainstorming and figuring it out, and I'm just proud of everything that we've done.
I feel like the message to you is look back on what you've done and be proud of yourself. If you see something that you've accomplished that you're like, I didn't think I could do that and then it happened. Or I'm just proud of this moment, spend some time reflecting in how proud you are of yourself. Because I think we don't give ourselves enough credit sometimes. And especially in this crazy season that we're in. It's the holidays, it's the end of the year, kids are out of school, presents need to be wrapped, things need to be built. We got something delivered to our house yesterday, which was a savvy move by my brother-in-law and and sister-in-law. They delivered this, it's going to be a really cute ice cream stand for the girls, but we have to assemble it. And I was like, "I see what you did there." I'm like, okay, Chris said," so that's on me?" I'm like, "yes." But that's the type of stuff that makes this time of year just crazy. So it's easy to be like, "ugh, can't wait for 2022 to be over. Bring me peace in 2023." And it's like, okay, but are you just stressed right now? Or did you have a really sucky 2022? You know what I mean? When you think about it like that, it's like, okay, hold on, let's get some perspective here.
Nichelle: We were kind of chatting through that and it's so easy, I think, to take in the moment, which holiday is stressful for a lot of people whether we intend for it to be or not. You're getting ready to see family, you're trying to get all the things bought, you're trying to get things wrapped up before you're off work. There are all these things that are going crazy from, if you think about it, Halloween on. And that's usually what's at the forefront of everybody's mind. So once we start to approach the new year, they're like, "I just want to be done with this. I'm done. It's terrible." And if you just shift your mindset just a little bit and go, okay, this season, like you said before, we're all in different seasons at different points in our lives. This season is probably tough for so many people, but is this season reflecting the entire year? Is it reflecting who you could or could not be in the next year?
So yes, great challenge. Think of the good. we went through our camera roll. That's how we capture a lot of moments personally here. And we just went through the camera roll and we were like, "dang!" Bahamas, Miami with Tarte, Beverly Hills, Charleston, all these Red Dress trips. There were so many great magical moments that we were able to pinpoint last year. And personal, all these great memories with our family that we got to make. So, that definitely overshadows the little bit of struggle we had that just made us better people.
Brittany: Exactly. At the end of the day, all learning opportunities. It was a really good year. And it's funny because I already look into some things that I know are happening in 2023 that I can't share about just yet. And I'm like, damn, this is going to be such a good year too. It is. And it's like, how can I remember to bring what I learned from 2022 into 2023? I want to see some growth.
Nichelle: Yes. I think we have some good stuff that we're going to actually share with them that's going to help a lot of people with that continued growth.
I want to kind of live in this for a second. The good. You hit a million followers.
Brittany: It still blows my mind. I sometimes will find myself being like, "I cannot believe they pulled off a surprise party and Heather McMahon was there roasting and toasting me." Can not believe that happened!
Nichelle: So. Much. Fun. And it was so much fun to celebrate you. It was so much hard work leading up to this. Years to get to this point. So it was so fun to see everybody celebrate you at that party. And Heather even, she's like, "who's this chick with a million followers wanting me here?"
Brittany: I was like, "it's me. Hi. It's me." Well, and I think back too, while that was such an amazing thing that we were prepping towards, just think of all the stress you were under because this was a surprise. So I didn't know. So N ichelle's operating in her job at a normal pace that is also doing this giant party plan.
Nichelle: Created a few ulcers here and there along the way. I'm really, really not good at keeping secrets. So that was definitely hard. But it was, again, payoff at the end. I don't even look back and go, oh, I had all these stomach issues.
Brittany: You were like, "I think I'm lactose intolerant."
I went through testing.
No, you just had a stomach ulcer from extreme stress.
Nichelle: Oh, okay. Well that's not what I wanted to hear. But we also had this amazing Closet Sale. Throughout the year, there have been so many opportunities that your followers have showed up for to raise money for certain causes. And the Closet Sale was something that came shortly after. It was so successful. We raised money for ESP here locally in Athens and they showed up to help. Such a fun experience.
I love that we've built a connection with ESP, so it wasn't a one-time thing. We've volunteered with them since then. We are going to be part of an upcoming gala that they have in the new year. There are so many continued opportunities, but I just love the connection between giving my followers a place to come and buy something, that money is then going to be donated for a good cause. We raised $21,000 and that is going to give 21 kids the opportunity to go to summer camp next summer. And so I'm already thinking we have to go to that summer camp and be cheering them on as they're getting dropped off. I think it's going to be so cool just to see how one thing that we did is paving the way for future connections and relationships. That's just something that's been really important to me is being able to give back. But my community has also showed up and wanted to join in on that. So I think I just love that connection.
Then they showed up for breast cancer awareness. Your three friends who were recently diagnosed with breast cancer, you and The Sis Kiss.
Brittany: Yeah, our bracelet.
Nichelle: The bracelet to go back to the cause. Beautiful.
Brittany: I know. If you guys have not seen The Sis Kiss bracelet, this is such a special piece. We'll link it up in the show notes so you can check it out. But honestly, it's perfect for anybody who is going through breast cancer, currently battling it, or you could wear it in memory of somebody who had breast cancer and did not make it. We just wanted to create something as a way to support our friends currently going through this. And so for me, I wear it every day next to my watch. So usually when I look down to see the time, I see the bracelet and I just say a prayer for my girls. And so I wanted something that was pretty, that would go with everything. And I'm just so thankful that The Sis Kiss helped the vision come to life. I'm so lucky to have this job where I have these connections. When something like that happened, I mean we literally just got to brainstorming one night. It was like nine o'clock, and I was messaging Megan saying, "remember that bracelet? What if we turned it into this? What if we do this? How can we make this happen?" And it was happening by the time we woke up the next morning.
Nichelle: It was such a God thing too, because remember it was put on hold. There were a lot of pieces that were launched the year prior and it just didn't quite go with those yet. And we were like, we'll just hold off.
Brittany: So I'm so thankful to be able to honor my friends, and then a portion of every bracelet that is sold is going to breast cancer research in their names, which is amazing. So we can continue to do research, and that's an amazing thing that happened this year and it's one of a million.
Nichelle: Absolutely. Absolutely. And then we hired new team members, which meant that we created these jobs, which I'm very, very, very proud of us for keeping up with policies, procedures, and standing by our core values and having all of these systems in place for us to be able to grow.
Brittany: I know.
Nichelle: It's been such a great opportunity. And then, with that, we've also created partnerships outside of Loverly Grey and Life with Loverly. Partnering with a podcast producer, Elizabeth. That's been such a great connection.
Brittany: Elizabeth, we love you! You are amazing!
She's been the one who has produced our entire Season 4. She lives in Nashville and she's incredibly knowledgeable. If you are looking to start a podcast or you have a podcast and you want to ramp it up again, she's amazing. But it's made this season of the podcast really fun.
Nichelle: And it's just so leveled up.
Brittany: And we have an outside person who is extremely knowledgeable. I think one thing I've learned over the years is outsource where you need to outsource. I've always wanted to have a podcast. I know nothing about doing a podcast, but I know there are people that is their strong suit. How can we partner together to make that happen? So it's okay that I don't have that skillset. I can still do it. I just need help from somebody who's incredibly knowledgeable. And so I'm thankful that we've been working with Elizabeth. She's been amazing.
Nichelle: And another partnership. We actually started this time last year, but your management company is Estate Five, so we've had a full year with them now.
Brittany: I know. It's crazy because it feels like it's been two years. It's just all of the things that they've helped with. Management, that was probably one of the first hires. I was with a different management company previously and at one point it was them, my assistant, and me. And I've always been like, "okay, they're so useful." I was talking to a friend recently who was like, "I don't know if I want to take on a management company. I just don't know if I'll see the benefit." And I said, "trust me when I tell you you'll see the benefit. Just having somebody else in your corner who knows the industry, who knows how to communicate with outside brands and make things work on your behalf, that is such an important role that you want a trusted partner with." And we've had a great relationship with Estate Five. So that's been a really fun partnership to continue nurturing.
All right you guys, you have been asking and now we have finally delivered. Podcast merch is here! I'm so excited because we truly love and believe in this community that we've created on the podcast and we really wanted to create something that would bring together a sense of sisterhood and keep us looking, oh so fashionable. Whether you want to dress up your graphic tee or you need a notebook to remain organized, we created items for the busy well-rounded woman. The best part is shipping is free. Yes, shipping is free on all orders. Head to lifewithloverly.com/shop to snag a sweatshirt graphic tee, mug hat, notebook, or pen set because if our schedules are full, looking good and staying productive should be easy. Go grab your favorite items from the Life with Loverly shop at lifewithloverly.com/shop.
Nichelle: So with all of that being said, we really wanted to dive into journaling.
Nichelle: It's something that we've obviously been talking about going into the new year, ending a year reflecting and we thought it was so fun that we actually asked a couple of guests that have been on, if they journal, what their actual format is, what they do at end of year or even throughout the year. And we wanted to share those with you guys. So if you could take anything from this podcast, hopefully it is something to just look positively into the new year. Take everything that you've learned, like we just said, all of the good, all of the bad. Take it, write it out, figure out what your game plan is for this year and make it such a good one. You know, can take it from a positive perspective. So I want to ask you, Brittany, do you have any journal prompts that you specifically do?
Brittany: I feel like I'm a little bit more new to the journaling. I actually talked with my life coach, Jenn Boughey, who we've had on the podcast two times and we're excited she's going to be on next season of the podcast coming with some great information. But she actually has a guide. It's a 30 day journal guide and we will leave a link for this in the show notes as well. I've shared about it a little bit on my Loverly Grey Instagram stories. But I purchased this when she first launched it right around Thanksgiving. And my plan is to start this guide in January. It's a 30 day guide and it just kind of tells you why you should journal. And each day she gives you a new prompt.
So if you have no idea what to even talk about or write about, that's okay. This would be a great place to start. Get a notebook. You can buy the Life with Loverly notebook, which is one of our favorites. We all use it every single day here in this office. Get the notebook, get a pen, a set of pens that you like and print this guide out and schedule time for yourself every day to journal. That is my personal plan in the new year, which I'm really excited about. Because I was reading through what some of the prompts were and on some of the days I'm thought," ooh, that's going to be a good day. I'm going to need more time than what I'm giving."
She's been such a big journaler over the years and she's uncovered things about herself and has been able to work through things based off of what gets written in this time that she's really reflecting. So I would say if you don't know how to journal, you don't know why, you don't know what you even want to say, but you feel this need to get some things out there, this would be a really good place to start. And it's something that I'm going to be starting so we can kind of do it together. So that's my starting journal plan right now.
Nichelle: I love that. And one thing that I do want to stress to anybody who is like, I've never done it before, there's no right or wrong way. You do what works for you, what feels the most natural. But that's also why we're going to sit here and give you a few different ideas maybe that you can just start from.
One of the things that I do whenever I journal, and I haven't done it as much lately, I used to journal every single day. Those are those mornings that I wake up at 4:30, 5 o'clock and would get up, journal, have quiet time, exercise. But the biggest thing that I took away and that I feel like really helped with my mindset was you want to write down three things that you're grateful for. It can be as simple as spending quality time, 30 minutes of quality time with my kids last night, being able to have a nice cup of coffee and quiet, having my quiet time. Whatever it is that you are grateful for. It doesn't have to be huge, but just reminding you of the good that can happen every single day.
And then three affirmations. And these are things that are going to help with confidence, just getting you to the next step if you're learning something, three things that you are working towards. And that's the other thing, I used mine as a teaching moment. I needed mindset shift. I was just not in a good place and I wanted to be in a more light, just more positive. And so I would tell myself daily, I am a leader. And I was, but it's like I had to prove that to myself. So I'm a leader, I can do hard things. I am beautiful. Whatever the case is, what you need to work towards, tell yourself that. And tell yourself that until you believe it.
And then one of the other things was personal development. Love personal development. Love filling my head with the good stuff and whatever I was working on, I would put the one thing that I was working on. I would put it in there, I would share it, I would try to use it in any way possible throughout the day. If it was just teaching somebody else. You can teach somebody while you're learning it. That's the one thing that you want to remember. Don't ever think that you can't teach somebody something that you're currently learning about. It's actually going to help you in the long run. But I would just write one thing that I was working on, personal development-wise, for myself and then write whatever I was thinking. If it was a hard day, this is how I felt today. And what we learn is feelings are just the thoughts we tell ourselves. So I would be able to just write it down and be like, "okay, that's just what I was feeling today. We're going to leave that behind now. It's over."
Brittany: Sometimes when you write it out on paper, it can become, I don't want to say the truth, but you can make a decision on what you want to do with that. Do you want to continue to fester it? Does it look different on paper? Does your mind think, I don't really think that actually I'm making a conscious effort to move that to the back. That thought can still kind of bubble there, even though it's just trying to bother you until you control it and move it away. And I think journaling can really help with that.
Nichelle: Absolutely. And if you tend to live in the past, one thing that I have learned from a friend of mine, she actually journals to her future self. So she never talks about the past. She only journals to her future person, what she wants that needs herself to be.
Brittany: It's like she's speaking it into existence.
Nichelle: Exactly. Exactly. And I love that because I think that's a great place to start if you tend to naturally go towards the, "but I feel this way and I just want to be sad for a minute" or "I want to live in this, woe is me moment." That's the person you need to talk to, the person you want to be, that you're trying to be. Again, you can't fix the past, so what can you work towards? I just thought that was a really cool example
Brittany: I love that too.
We talked to Chaz from Linen and Flax earlier this year and we asked her about what some of her journaling prompts or habits were and she says that she, at the end of the year, she does a few things very specifically. She buys a new notebook at the end of the year. And after the holidays she looks through her current journal and she reflects back. I mean just think about what you did in January and where you are today. She closes out the year with writing down what she's grateful for. She also lists out the hard things, the not so pretty things, but reminds herself that she got through them all and takes a moment to remember what got her through those things. Which I think it can also be a good idea to remind yourself, "this was hard, this is what I did. I got through it." Because another similar hard thing might come up and remembering this is what got me through that.
Nichelle: It's a learning moment.
Brittany: Exactly. She then considers a new word for the year and writes out why this word is important to her and why it's her word. For 2023, she shared with us on the podcast and then in the notes that her word is going to be intentional, which was my word of 2022. So I really resonated with this and I feel like every year I'm just going to keep the previous year's word and just build onto it. I want to continue being intentional in 2023, it's not like I'm going to say," well that was fun!"
I'm really excited to see how she continues to use the word intentional. And if you need some inspiration on this, go back and listen to our podcast episode with her because she already is implementing that word in her life and it's not even 2023 yet.
And then lastly, she chooses a Bible verse for the new year ahead as well. It becomes a foundation for her and the new year and is typically something that challenges her. If that's something that resonates with you, start asking God, "what is a Bible verse that you are wanting me to work through next year?" That's a great list of things on how to cleanly go into the next year.
Nichelle: Yeah, I loved hers. The next person we talked to was actually Elizabeth, our podcast producer. And so she kind of shared a little bit about what she does at the end of the year as well and she likes to go to a restaurant solo, nobody around, just so she can literally be in her own head. She was saying it's not easy to slow down and recognize the things that you've accomplished over the year, which we just said. It's challenging, but you have to stop and really think about everything that you've done that was intentional, everything that you've learned from it. And so she writes down what she's accomplished over the year. Again, good and hard. I love that she used that word too. Hard, not bad. You know what I mean? It's just hard.
Brittany: Exactly. I think I look back on our year and I'm like, there was not bad. It was hard.
Nichelle: No. It's just like the saying. People say "the good, the bad, the ugly."
But she writes it all down, including the hard things that she's overcome and she wants to focus on the year to come. And what she does with that information is that she wants to take it from a place of positive competency. So how can she use that information and be her best self going forward? So instead of it being from "ugh, I have so much further to go. These are the things that I get to build on over the next year." So I really liked that.
Brittany: I think, too, with scheduling time to go outside of your house, go to a coffee shop, go to a restaurant, you're setting the tone for respecting yourself enough to do this. For example, in my head I'm like, "okay, so next week I don't really know when I'm going to have time to do this. My kids are out of school. However, I could easily call one of their favorite babysitters, who they absolutely love, for a few hours and go to a coffee shop and pour into myself." And I think it's important to remember that this is all happening to make you a better person. So you have to set that time aside. But I think actually leaving your house if you can, to get your mind in a different position and not just, "what was that sound, why is somebody crying? Is everything okay?"
Nichelle: Looking for an excuse really to walk away from it.
Brittany: Exactly. So this kind of gives you some dedicated time. So I think I'm personally going to give that one a shot.
Nichelle: So Nasreen sent some stuff over.
Brittany: Yes, so Nasreen likes to sit down and list a few things that she wants to focus on in the upcoming year. Things that she wants to be stronger at. She wants to push herself to be stronger in those areas and avoid being put in the same positions as the year prior. So I think that too is "where was an area that I wish I could have been better at. What could I do differently? So when I get in that situation next year, if I do, here's how we can push forward," and acknowledging those things as well, because I think back, there's times I say, "we could have handled that differently," but now we know for the next time actually that didn't work out. So, in that situation let's move forward. Nasreen also has a really good blog post that we will link that's got some examples of setting goals and what she's done in past years that I think has been a great way to reflect, but also set goals for yourself in the coming year. So if your journaling turns more into, maybe not as much of a reflection, but more of here's what I want to accomplish. Nichelle and I have talked several times about setting goals and setting them in certain, you know, could do them quarterly, yearly, every 2, 5, 10. But sometimes you need just get some understanding around setting goals and this blog post that Nasreen has is really helpful for that. So we'll make sure to link that one as well.
Nichelle: Awesome. This was really fun to get everybody's different ways on how they journal. I love that some of them focused on the year end journaling because again, I think it can tend to be a very tough time for people, but if you can just write it out and really be intentional about thinking the whole year through, not just in this season, I think it'd be very beneficial to everyone.
Brittany: Well and I think too, this guide that Jenn wrote, that's a 30 day journal prompt, that does not have to start on January one. That can start on February 17th and go for the next 30 days. And it can happen, you know, you do it for a month and then you take a month off, you do it for a month...and you might have different things that you're talking about. I think it's more just encouraging you guys to think about how to be the best versions of yourselves and these are some great tools.
Before we go, have you thought about what your word of the year is going to be for next year?
Nichelle: I've played around with it, but I haven't landed on anything very specifically. We talked about it, right before. Cat and I were talking about it before the podcast and I was like, "oh, do I feel like I need to come up with it?" But I'm not. Even if it doesn't even come by January 1st. I love that Nasreen said this in her text. She was like, it's not a New Year's resolution. Those are made to be broken. These just need to be goals for yourself and something that you want to put forward. And I want to be very intentional about the word that I pick this year. Strong/strength was mine last year and I do feel like it was a playoff the year before, but I feel like I want to go in a different direction this year. So TBD.
Brittany: I am excited to see what you come up with. The word that I feel like I keep coming back to, it's two words and it's "slow down." I'm sure there's something else that I'll come up with, but part of me is wanting to be intentional with my time and the projects that we take on and the things that we're doing. And so I'm interested to see where that takes us or kind of going in being like "I don't have to accomplish everything."
Nichelle: In the words of Trey Kennedy, "do less, God bless."
Brittany: Yes, exactly!
Nichelle: I think we've said a couple of times the last couple of weeks.
Brittany: I know, it's so true.
Nichelle: All jokes aside, for real though, because that's where we are. I love that.
Brittany: Yeah, exactly. But this season has been amazing. We've talked with some amazing guests. I think I still think back to some of the episodes that gave me really funny belly laughs and then ones that I was sitting there crying. And there's just such a great variety of conversation that we have in this season. So if you haven't had a chance to listen to all the episodes, definitely go back. We will be taking a little bit of a break into the beginning of the new year and while we prep to launch Season 5, which feels so crazy to say!
Nichelle: I know I'm so excited about some of the things to come!
Brittany: But we will be staying active on Instagram at Life with Loverly. We will be moving into our new office prior to Season 5 launching, so there will be lots of behind the scenes happening. We really want to give a much better look at what is happening in the office behind the scenes because that's been something that you guys have really wanted to see. So prepare for that type of content starting in January. But we're just so thankful that you guys choose to listen to this podcast and we cannot wait to come back on Season 5 of Life with Loverly.. Until next time, friends!
Hi friend! I hope you enjoyed this episode on the Life of Loverly podcast. Be sure to snap a screenshot on your phone during your favorite part of the episode, post it to your Instagram stories, and tag us @lifewithloverly. I love seeing what's resonating with you and reposting to spread more kindness along the way. See you next week, friend!
This season of Life with Loverly is produced by Elizabeth Evans Media Productions.