If you have been following along with my Instastories on instagram, you have probably been seeing a lot of my powersheets from the Cultivate What Matters goal book. If not, first things first, go follow my instagram ;). And secondly, the Cultivate What Matters powersheets are a goal-setting workbook. But this is not a write down that x is your goal and move on; rather, it is a book that helps you realize what matters, what to cultivate, and how to attainably reach those goals. Additionally, it underlines the fact that you do not have to perfectly attain your goals to be successful. And, most importantly, that you can change your goals without retribution. The workbook is very freeing and I am excited to see how it helps keep me on track for 2018.
I thought it would be fun to share a bit of what I have been working on in the book. The first portion helps you focus on what you want your year to look like and what your ‘word’ is. The ‘word’ for the year, helps you stay on track and align your goals to your overall focus.
When I was trying to think of a word for 2018, a few different ones came to mind. Prosper—because who doesn’t want to do that? Thrive—again, who doesn’t want that? Change—because I knew there were some things that needed changing. Freedom—because I want 2018 to be about cultivating what makes me happy. Release—because if there is one thing I have learned from 2017, was that I have to release my expectations and adapt.
However, while all of those words were good. I felt like they we’re not hitting the mark. As I started to dissect 2017, one common thread was the feeling of inadequateness that was weighting down my heart. In so many aspects of life, I felt like I was not enough. I was breathing life into the wrong areas, continually giving my attention and focus to a dead end. My compulsion to be all things, for all people, had left me feeling defeated, broken and like I was not enough. And then, becoming a mom, made me feel a whole new level of inadequateness. All around, I just felt the weight of not being enough.
While it was hard to wade through the emotions that surround inadequateness, I began to dissect the origins of these feelings, I also continued to read over the words on my powersheets and pray over them. While I did this the word rejuvenate came into my heart. I realized, that in order to feel adequate, I was going to need to start from the ground up. You cannot sow from infertile land; likewise, I could not build on top of 2017, as it was a toxin. To me, 2018 is going to be a sort of ‘rest’ on all the things that are not quite working out.
So that’s it, in 2018 I am going to focus on the word rejuvenate. Specifically, I want to rejuvenate my faith, business, health, and thought process.
Just like many other aspects of my life, this past year my spiritual growth felt very static. I barely spent any time with the word and while It would be nice to say that, that is because I was lost in becoming a mom. The truth is, I didn’t prioritize the most important relationship I have—my relationship with Christ. So 2018 will be a ‘back to basics year’ where I will make new my faith, as Christ made me anew. Thankfully my faith journals will help with that!
One of the aspects of my life I felt most inadequate this year, was my professional one. We only photographed 7 weddings in 2017, which is far bellow our average 25-28 per year. Part of the reason, was that we welcomed Makenna in May (aka prime wedding season). However, the other part was that I was drowning in trying to be everything for everyone. Seeing other photographers’ perfectly curated instagrams continually made me feel like I wasn’t ‘enough’. In 2017 I was totally playing the comparison game, which was not fair to my business or myself. So in 2018 I am going to rejuvenate my though process as it relates to Theresa Bridget Photography, I am going to rejuvenate my workflow and practices so that I am growing the business I want to grow.
This year I had my biggest health scare ever, when I was diagnosed with a DVT behind my knee. While the DVT was not related to my lifestyle or anything directly in my control, it did highlight the importance of health. Along with the DVT, once I started exercising again, I realized just what pregnancy does to your body! So 2018 will be a rejuvenation period for my health. Hopefully training for the OC ½ Marathon in May will kickstart my path to rejuvenated health.
I have always been the type of person who tries to do right by everyone. I am the girl who never rocks the boat and I want to be liked by everyone, even at the expenses of my happiness. I try to cultivate my conversations and my answers to question to what I think the other person wants to hear. I post overly vague captions because I don’t want to offend people. It is ridiculous and stupid and it is a serious character flaw and probably the biggest contributor to my feelings of inadequateness.
For my Parks and Recreation fans –because Leslie is my spirit animal—there is this episode called ‘bowling for votes’ where Leslie does everything she can to get this one guy to like her. The overall lesson is that not everyone is going to like you. I feel like I am Leslie in so many ways, and that is just one more parallel. It is something that is going to take a lot of work, but we’ll see how the year goes. Along with this, we’re also going to rejuvenate our relationships. We’re going to continue to put into the relationships that build us up and those people who put into us. Likewise we’re going to purge unbalanced relationships, so that we can have more time to focus on the positive ones.
While rejuvenate encapsulates almost all aspects of our life. I am very thankful that the one aspect rejuvenate didn’t fit, was our relationship. 11 years into dating and almost 4 years into marriage, Greg and I have a very strong bond and an amazing stride. Our relationship has never been stronger, and I am so thankful for that. So, for our relationship, I chose cultivate instead. I want to continue to tend to our relationship like you would a garden. Our relationship means so much more now, with Makenna in the picture, we are the ones who are going to formulation her bases for marriage and a mold her foundation of a healthy relationship. It is a hefty task, but one we’re eager to undertake.
Cheers to 2018 and making the best of everything we are given.
Theresa Bridget is an Orange County, California wedding and anniversary photographer. Our goal is to create artful crafted images that showcase and celebrate the joy of marriage.