Merry (belated) Christmas! Hope you had a wonderful day surrounded by the people you love. Now that the day is over, that means everyone is getting ready for New Year's Eve. I absolutely love this holiday, mainly because I'm a sucker for symbolism and the idea of a new chapter or fresh start is so beautiful to me. But also, any occasion that involves champagne + celebrating is my kind of party.
My friend Haley and I spent last New Year's Eve together in Paris and it was magical -- but more about that in a minute...
Since we knew we would both be back in the states come this New Year's, we decided to get a little head start on the celebration while we were still together in London. So we put on some sequins, popped some champagne and had our own little party in Earl's Court.
Now that I'm home and the real New Year's is right around the corner, I've ferociously been making lists of everything I want to do to start 2017 off on the right foot. So while you're (hopefully) still cozied up in your Christmas jammies and taking things easy today, I thought I'd share a few things you can go ahead and knock out to get ready for not only New Year's Eve, but the new year in general.
1. FIND A NEW YEAR'S EVE OUTFIT
If you haven't already, now is the time to order a New Year's Eve outfit! Lots of holiday sparkles are currently on sale like this embellished sheath dress or this Mango top. There's also some great looks under $100 like this geometric sequin mini-dress or this scalloped lace camisole dress. For jewelry try one of the many pieces under $50 like these chokers (here and here) or some earrings with sparkle (here, here, here, here and here).
2. ORDER THE BOOKS YOU WANT TO READ IN 2017
I always love using the iTunes or Amazon gift cards I always seem to get for Christmas to order the books I want to read in the upcoming year. Having them in hand when the year starts makes it that much more likely that you'll actually read them. If you're looking for recommendations, here are some I've read that really had a positive impact on my 2016:
VOICE OF THE HEART: This is a book that was always referenced a lot when I'd go to counseling (another amazing + healthy way to invest in yourself). When a friend recommended it to me this year, I finally purchased a copy for myself and it's been a game changer. It clearly walks you through the gift + necessity of every human emotion, helps you identify what you're feeling and then experience it in freedom. Even after completing it, I often go back and reference it
THE CIRCLE MAKER: As a dreamer myself, this book got me so fired up about praying over my God-given dreams. It shifts your perspective to be one that's a partnership with God where we boldly ask him to fulfill these dreams (which both grants our desires and brings him glory). If you're someone with a dream or the desire to uncover your heart's deepest desires, The Circle Maker will rock your world. (I'm also excited to start another book by the same author called Chase The Lion, which is also about dreaming big!)
RISING STRONG: Brené Brown can do no wrong in my mind, and Rising Strong may be my favorite book of her's yet. If you're living a brave life (which we should all be striving to) you know it's not always easy and that at some point, falling down is inevitable. In this book, Brené discusses the benefit of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle and shows that rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness and learn the most about who we are.
BIG MAGIC: You probably have heard of Elizabeth Gilbert from her bestselling "Eat, Pray, Love" but I'd argue Big Magic is even better. In her latest book, Liz encourages us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we love most and face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.
PRESENT OVER PERFECT: This latest release from my all-time favorite author, Shauna Niequist, is another work of genius. Present Over Perfect is an invitation to a journey that changed her life-- walking away from frantic pushing and proving, and toward your essential self. If you're someone guilty of performing, pushing harder and producing more, this book will romance you into a way of life that abandons the pressure to be perfect and embrces the practice of being present.
3. GET CLEAR ON YOUR GOALS FOR THE YEAR
I'm so passionate about everyone taking the time to get clear on what they want out of life that I started hosting goal workshops to facilitate the practice (see more here). But before I dive into more about that, remember when I mentioned Paris last New Year's Eve? While we were there, we all decided to pick a word for the year that we wanted to cultivate. It may sound like motivational jargon, but don't laugh just yet. The word I picked was adventure. I chose it because had already been to Europe three times in 2016 but I still felt this burning desire to travel and see even more. But at the time, my life had zero adventurous plans on the agenda. I was working a steady 9-5 with no foreseeable plans of a career change or any upcoming travel plans for the year ahead. Little did I know, I'd soon be plunging into the world of self-employment and moving to Europe for almost 5 months. 2016 was hands down the greatest adventure of my life-- and I don't believe it was a coincidence. I knew I wanted the adventure before it happened.
It wasn't until I started to be intentional about setting goals with timelines that I really started to accomplish them. There's no better time to get clear on what you want out of life than now- so:
In January and February, I'm offering 1-on-1 goal coaching sessions for a special rate of $50 per hour! If you want help setting goals, mapping out what you want for the year ahead and identifying tangible action items you can take to get there, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a session.
Regardless of what party you decide to go to or what books you decide to read, my only real hope for you in the year ahead is that you'll realize the God-given desires you possess and that you'll chase after them wholeheartedly. I truly believe that's the only kind of life worth living. So cheers to all the beautiful possibility that lies ahead for all of us this year. Amazing things are in store!
Stay tuned later this week-- I'm re-winding to share my Top 10 Trips of 2016!