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Resolve To Be Happy

Hello friends and Happy New Year! I hope that you had a beautiful holiday season and that you’ve kicked off 2014 feeling completely open and ready to take in whatever the next twelve months has to offer. I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions (Will I bother? What will they be? Will I ditch “the list” altogether?) and for the first time in years, I’ve decided to abandon the list. While I respect those who take time to carve out their master plan, I thought I’d remove the pressure and just go with the flow this year. Ambition is nice and drives me on one side, but it’s becoming a bit uninspiring and mundane on the other. The real drive, for me, is to simply be more mindful, present, and passionate and to both invigorate and be invigorated. There’s so much ambition and hustle out there (often at a huge cost), I see this so much now online, so I want to step out of the ring and drive a return to passion, happiness and sharing: What drove me eight years ago when I launched decor8. The days when possessing merely a love of sharing and a passion for creative living and decorating were at the core.

molliemakes1

THE EARLY YEARS OF BLOGGING

Do you remember the early days of blogging? I remember them so clearly; long before companies noticed us and monetization and social media sites became the norm. In those days, we bloggers only hoped to get our voices, our opinions, out there and to show that we had worthy ideas in addition to what mainstream media was showing us. I started blogging because I was bored with popular opinion in print publications and longed to share an alternative approach to decorating and style. I trusted my gut and followed my creative passions – and today I still do though I feel like I hold back a lot more than I once did and I’m working to change this.

We were all driven by very pure things both raw and genuine, not by money, the number of “likes”, growing a massive audience (we didn’t know our potential back then), or some rather disappointing popularity contest. I personally was driven by a need to connect and share and spread joy for something that I truly loved with all of my heart. What drove you? What drives you today?

GETTING BACK TO MY ROOTS

For 2014, I’m returning to my roots, which you’ll start to slowly see on decor8 and in other parts of my business. I’m not sure how I’ll do it, but ideas have been swarming for months now and it feels good that I came to this decision with the help of my husband. He reminded me to think about what drives me, what REALLY drives me. It isn’t my “brand” or sponsors or ads or popularity or numbers or increasing readership… None of that has ever felt inspiring or motivating to me but only caused me to feel alienated from my core values and from my readers. What drives me is my passion for beauty, a love of creative pursuits, sharing and spreading positivity, being encouraging, nurturing community and connecting others. Maybe this is something you can think about for your blog, too. That is, if you feel overwhelmed by the business side more than the creative passion that originally drove you to start blogging in the first place… What really drives you?

INSTINCT TAKE THE WHEEL

This year, I’m letting instinct take the wheel and drive my blog more than ever before. And you know what, I mostly just want to have FUN doing it. Raise your hand if you feel like blogging, as a whole, is becoming a bit stagnant, boring, underwhelming? Yes, my hand is high in the air too! But the good thing is that we all have the power to change this. We are each our own blog boss; we are the managing editors of our blogs. We drive how we are perceived, negatively or positively. WE are our content, WE are the voice, WE can easily switch things up and create more interesting content that is based on what we are truly excited about vs. what we think will drive our numbers or build a brand or what equals to simply showing off. In the end, your love for your topic will shine through and you’ll end up building readership and a brand anyway, so there’s no business risk.

WHY SO SERIOUS?

Let’s talk about something I’ve not heard discussed at blog conferences or even in books on blogging or blog workshops. HAVING FUN! Yeah, you know, how to really have fun as a blogger. Why is SEO and traffic more important than FUN? I want to blog and have FUN with it. I want that FUN to be contagious and for other bloggers to start having FUN again too. That was how blogging was when we got started, right? FUN. Then, it all got so serious online all of sudden – money driven, over-produced (pressure is on for every post to be magazine perfect), competitive, flat. Yawn. It’s time to have fun again and return to the days when blogging was exciting and when we talked about whatever we wanted on our blogs because that kept us real, approachable and more interesting to read. When we read our blog comments, and replied to them. Real people, real conversations. Going beyond what magazine content provides to lift the veil and get to the heart of whatever topic in which we were writing about.

RESOLVE TO BE HAPPY

Back in the Fall, I was asked by Mollie Makes (UK craft mag) to write an article about my new year’s resolutions. I knew back then that I wasn’t going to make them for 2014, so I replied explaining that I would write the article but instead, I would encourage an alternative approach – to simply open up your heart, drop the self-criticism and task-mastering, focus on family and friendships, bask in the art of taking some time off, seeing behind the veil of perfection that most of us only show on our blogs, and simply to Resolve To Be Happy for 2014. In other words, no race to tick off boxes on our resolutions lists. My article was titled, “Resolve To Be Happy”, and it appeared in the 34th issue of Mollie Makes (you can buy it and download here). I’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response to my words from their readers, which further encouraged me to stick to my resolve; simply to NOT resolve – no resolutions for 2014. Reader response also became a huge source of validation – that how I felt, others felt too. That lots of us just want to be happy, have fun with our blogs and business, and cut the crap.

HAS PREGNANCY CHANGED ME?

I often wonder if getting pregnant is at the core of my list dropping. I know pregnancy has definitely affected my need to listen more to my body and less to what the rest of the world says. You learn to really tap into your instincts when pregnant, don’t you? Especially if you’re like me and you intentionally stay away from all of the baby books and websites (and pregnancy forums! omg, lots of nutty advice!) out there. I’ve only relied on a single app, flipped through What To Expect (although I found most of the advice instinctual which made me realize even more the need to tap in to myself), and I read that book on French parenting (thanks for the gift, Leigh!) which proved more humorous than insightful and ended up being a great read while I was so ill during the first 5 months… But yeah, I’ve had to tap into my instincts like never before. My doctor speaks only German to me so I’m constantly googling or referring to my husband to explain medical German terms to their English equivalent. So even from a medical standpoint, I’ve had to ultimately trust my gut because so much of what my doctor says gets lost in translation. I’m learning to trust my gut like crazy right now and I imagine, after our son arrives, this will only increase.

WHEN THE TEACHER GETS SCHOOLED

Then there is this thing that happens when you are are a teacher. You think you know it all but then, through the eyes of your bright and talented students, you see how much you have to really LEARN. Teaching online and in my in-person workshops for the past five years has brought about a massive shift inside that sort of “hit” me this year as I was teaching Blogging Your Way online just a month ago… Maybe it was because it was the first time I taught while simultaneously being pregnant. My students ask me a lot of questions, some I don’t know the answer to so I do loads of research to assist them along their path. Through teaching, I’ve learned that ultimately, the answers are inside of us – we just need guides at times – but we have to be more open to what the questions are and to have the courage to ask them – even the tough ones. I like to motivate my students to ask the right questions, to dig inside and to really examine their intentions. Oftentimes, we aren’t open and aren’t asking because we’re too driven to succeed, too scared to know the answer, too focused on being better versions of ourselves, scared of failing, etc… Tuning out and tuning into our gut instinct is all we’ve got to rely on sometimes but ultimately, it’s a pretty damn good guiding light. So again, for the New Year, I’m going to tune in more to what Holly wants. Maybe you can tune in more to what YOU want, too?

INSPIRING IS NICE; BUT INVIGORATING IS A CALL TO ACTION

My ultimate desire sounds simple but it really isn’t. It’s to be HAPPY and to INVIGORATE others. We all know what happy means, but what about invigorate? It means to give vitality and vigor to; animate; brace; refresh: fill with life and energy; energize. It goes beyond simply to inspire. Pinterest is inspiring. But does it call you to action? Are you making the cakes or the crafts that you pin? I had a long discussion on inspiration vs. invigoration before the holidays with my husband and he is the reason the topic of INVIGORATION came up in the first place. He encouraged me to make the New Year a year that I focus on this word: invigorate. To not just show pretty pictures and inspire, but to go beyond that and really use my talents to fill others with life and energy. With our first child to arrive any week now (he’s due 25 January!), this will be a very literal translation of “filling others with life”, a baby! But what about my students, all of you, my family, my friends and my husband and our new baby? What about me?

While I’m not going to make a resolve to take any particular step towards my master objective: to invigorate, I will be listening daily to my heart and soul to see where this leads me, and my blog and business, my friendships and family, for 2014. I may make some mistakes. I may not. But I’m going to trust my instinct and open my heart to what I think matters and where I want to put my energy into for this year. I’m going to look at my blog very critically and make some changes. I’m going to get back to my roots, take time to play with my baby and bond with him, decorate my new apartment, share projects here with all of you, and I’m going to take it one day, on step, at a time. None of these are resolutions. I’m not pressuring myself to fulfill any particular task. I just want 2014 to be a year when I grow up and let my instinct drive me, when happiness and having fun become part of my daily life again, and when I get back to what drives me and in turn, invigorates all of you. Let’s see where I end up this time next year.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

And what about you? Do you have resolutions? Have you chosen one word that will define your new year? Have you given much thought to tapping in to your raw desire and passion vs. letting others lead you? Have you ditched new years resolutions list for this year too? Do you have a different approach to this year that you’re taking? No way is the “right” way, so feel free to share.

Happy 2014 everyone! xo, Holly

(image: illustration by the lovely Emma Block for my article, Resolve To Happy, which appeared in issue 34 of Mollie Makes)

Posted by decor8 in inspiration on January 03, 2014

Your comments...

  1. Joy Hall commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 2:52pm

    Holly… your best and most “invigorating” post yet! You put into words what I have been feeling about blogging (my blog and blogs I visit).

    Thanks for being so honest!
    Joy Hall´s last blog post ..And it came to pass…

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  2. tinajo commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:10pm

    I will focus on our home this year. Now; I have always been keen on my home, but we also love to travel in my family which means I´m usually torn between that and said home. This year I´ll only go on one trip that has been decided for a long time (with my son, yay!) and the rest of the year I´ll finish every little idea I´ve had for our home.

    I´m truly looking forward to it, next week the floor guy will come… :-)
    tinajo´s last blog post ..Apple compote…

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  3. Susan @ Your home, only better. commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:13pm

    Wow – you “get” me! Thanks for writing this – I’m with you 100%! I took December off from blogging to reconnect with myself, and hopefully figure out where to go next with it. Happy New Year Holly!
    Susan @ Your home, only better.´s last blog post ..Holiday Lights: Red or Green?

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  4. Jude A Trifle Rushed commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:14pm

    Happy New Year Holly
    What a great post and so true. This year I’m going to endeavour on blogging for fun and spend more time commenting and encouraging others.
    I wish you, your husband and precious baby well. My January baby is 25 years old on the 5th & off to train as a chef on the 6th!
    Have a wonderful year and enjoy motherhood, the best part of the last 27 years for me.
    Jude x

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  5. Sheila Monteiro commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:22pm

    Happy New Year, Holly!

    My word is cultivate. As in something that requires effort before a good thing can come out of it. I also plan for this to be the year I finish unfinished projects as opposed to jumping into endless new things and time to re learn old habits, cultivate growth and also reignite passion in doing things that I love as opposed to just getting things done.

    I also wanted to tell you that you have been a major inspiration and motivation and i wanted to thank you for breathing life into a few dusty corners of my creative soul and i’m happy to share your love of beautiful things and beautiful spaces!

    Wishing you the most spectacular year and endless joy with the new addition to your family.

    Thanks to Thorsten too. You guys did an awesome class and I’m still trying to process everything (so much good stuff) before moving forward.
    Hugs!
    Sheila Monteiro´s last blog post ..What do you love most?

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  6. Carrie Harris commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:28pm

    You just put into words exactly what I’ve been thinking. When we run our own blogs and see our numbers start to increase, and start to receive some more opportunities, I think our natural reaction is to make sure we continue on that path. While income and opportunities are wonderful, it takes us away from the core reason we started our blogs in the first place. I think it’s important to take a step back and see where we are, and decide if it’s where we really want to be. If the passion’s not there, it’s not the right place. The great thing about being bloggers is that adjustments are always possible!
    Carrie Harris´s last blog post ..Simple New Year’s Eve Cake

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  7. Tiffany Brooks commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:30pm

    I started the usual list for 2014. The list that says get more blog readers, increase statistics, land more design clients and get published more in 2014. All of that was so uninspiring and so boring. I looked at my last year’s list and my goal was simply to inspire people. After my experience on HGTV, I figured my 2013 could not be topped. But I do reflect back and realize that did manage to inspire a bunch of people, I know because they wrote me and put those exact words in my inbox. So I decided to go out of the status quo this year and resolved to
    think and live outside the box.
    I promise things to myself such as eat at least one cupcake a week, dance at least three times a day, spend two hours with my husband everyday, and have a meaningful conversation with someone less than the age of 10 monthly or when I felt like I’m in an inspirational rut.

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  8. Holly {Avenue} commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:34pm

    Hi Holly, Happy new year! It’s going to be a wonderful year for you guys, and I’m so looking forward to being apart of your journey in some small way on the blog. I was just talking about resolutions yesterday on my blog and thought I carved out a small list, mine were too focused on finding joy in my personal life, being less critical of myself and being OK with imperfection and being grateful. Thank you for all your support on my blogging and creative journey, Holly. xxx
    Holly {Avenue}´s last blog post ..Blue and White Table: The Video

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  9. Inge commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:37pm

    I took your last BYW-class and it definitely struck me while taking it: I really need to do something with my love for writing and blogging. That is why I set 3 important goals for myself. The first one is to follow my dream and become a fulltime blogger, the second one is to move closer to my family and the last one is to feel more happy, stress less about every silly thing and to get more organized. All these goals are all connected with each other and I wrote and split them up in smaller steps. Even if I don’t reach my goals in this year, I definitely will feel happier when I can cross off some little “milestones”. I really had the feeling that this year must be the year that it all happens…
    But you’re absolutely right about invigorating yourself and blogs (and hopefully other blogs will follow), that is one of the reasons why I also wrote down I should feel happier and stress less about everything (like stressing out about not knowing much about SEO or getting not too many followers). I should just go and blog about what I love, and that is one of my little steps or milestones I want to accomplish this year.
    Thank you so much Holly for your thoughtful and very energetic post, it said all the things I also felt the last few months. Maybe it’s because you’re pregnant (I am too) that you look at it all through different eyes…. But I did get a lot of energy just by taking your BYW class, it is always so fun and inspiring to read through your lessons again. And it’s soooo true that we sometimes just need a guide (because deep down we already know the answer). I’ll definitely keep on reading your lessons AND blog to get that extra refreshing view on things (you’re a guide to many bloggers and me) in 2014, and I hope to be as inspiring and as fun in my blogging as you do it!
    Happy 2014 and enjoy these last moments of being pregnant!!! :-)
    Big hugs, Inge x
    Inge´s last blog post ..My ideal desk

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  10. Katie commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 3:38pm

    Great post! My resolution for the year is to end it healthier, wealthier and wiser than I began it. I’ve set up a new blog to help motivate myself and also to have a bit of fun with it! I love writing, I love cooking, I love sharing recipes with other people, and the blog has been really fun to start up – I think your point about fun is so important and something I need to remember months down the line when it’s no longer so new and fresh – it’s about having relaxing and having fun with it!
    Katie´s last blog post ..The week that was: 2014 Week 1

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  11. Tina in Boston commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 4:10pm

    Hi Holly! I did not make any resolutions, but you’ve encouraged me to reflect on my creative passions. I want to tap into what moves me, what makes me happy and what fuels my creativity. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  12. Emily commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 4:12pm

    Inspiring as always Holly. After taking your recent course I reflected on my blog a lot. I had pushed my blog in some directions I wasn’t completely happy with and my blog had started to become a stressful thing rather than a happy thing.

    Starting a new year has given me the chance to reflect and make changes, perhaps changes I might have thought of as steps backwards but actually changes that I know are going to make me happy. And when I’m happy, my blog readers are happy because my blog is more true to me and that’s why they read it! But most importantly my family are happy too.

    My word for the year is ‘content’ and I hope this will shine through my blog during 2014.

    Happy New Year! x
    Emily´s last blog post ..My 2013 365 project

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  13. Tricia commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 4:27pm

    Kudos for being so open and honest. Changing prioritize as you move into Motherhood is really inspiring to watch.

    I have personally been very sensitive to advertising in blogging recently. A blog that I read regularly even went so far as to post on FB their Google AdSense link urging people to do their Christmas shopping through their link. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

    We run into so much advertising in our day to day lives. Getting it overtly from blogs that I read to be part of a creative community is starting to turn me off.

    I’m really excited to watch your developments in 2014.

    Trishx

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  14. Monica Lee commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 4:28pm

    Terrific post, Holly! I just blogged about FUN being my word of the year. Also about authenticity which means you don’t have to be everything to everybody. I am excited to see where your heart leads you this next year especially since it is making way for a baby!
    Monica Lee´s last blog post ..Happy New Year! Resolutions and Revolutions

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  15. Tina Ramchandani commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 4:31pm

    Happy New Year Holly! I’ve never been one for large resolutions, just small things. This year I’m trying to wake up earlier. I find that putting so much pressure on myself by setting large goals at one time aften ends up in disappointment because I’m too hard on myself. I like your new 2014 idea of having fun, and going with your gut. Ultimately, you’re going to achieve a lot during the year, so why be stressed out while doing it? I haven’t been pregnant/had a baby so I can’t say for sure that that’s what changed your view but I love that your taking it easy and inspiring everyone else to do so as well! Have a great year Holly!
    Tina Ramchandani´s last blog post ..A look back at 2013 with Flipagram

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  16. Jessica Newell commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 4:55pm

    Love this post, Holly! As one of your BYW students this past November I am really encouraged by your call to get back to the heart of blogging – not just the biz side of things but the passion behind blogging. I want my blog to be a haven for my readers and for me (blog is called graceful haven btw) so it is important that I keep that passion there from the get go.

    I want to thank you for committing to the course this time as I really enjoyed going through it. You went above and beyond with delivering great content, guidance, and ideas. With all that you have on your plate I am so glad you chose to go through with it!

    I’m ready to reinvigorate my life, my blog, and the new business I will be launching this spring. Thanks for the reminder that it goes beyond inspiration but into action!

    Here’s to a happy joyful and productive 2014 – best to you and your growing family :)
    Jessica Newell´s last blog post ..have a ‘radiant orchid’ new year!

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  17. Heather commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 5:29pm

    Holly – I think your sensing a zeitgeist in blogdom right now and it’s indeed invigorating! Thanks for the reminder to have fun & resolve daily to be happy!
    Heather´s last blog post ..A kick-ass plan to get organized in one day

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  18. Theresa commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 5:32pm

    You just put into words how I have been feeling. I gave up resolution making a few years ago – I don’t know anyone who has kept even one! I do have a word for this year, shine. It will be my focus because it involves believing in myself.

    My best to you and yours as you await the arrival of your son – children are such a blessing and really put everything into perspective.

    Enjoy, Theresa

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  19. Sarah commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 5:57pm

    Great post Holly…I lost my blog mojo these last well…two years really…I had a lot of personal upheaval and the blog took a back seat. I have been bored with it and I also feel that all the design looks the same to me – all the ‘designers’ out there who have no degree, but, do design boards for people – its all the same and I can’t tell any apart anymore. I know there is a lot of talent out there, and I’m not negating it, but, we need to return to an individuality. Like you say, what makes ‘you’ and your blog tick? I don’t want to look like everyone else and I don’t want to be seen as the same. But, when I see the same rugs, graphic designs in curtains, lampshades etc and the same color combos, it is really uninspirational. It has made me think if I don’t have this same aesthetic, I may as well give it up. I have also felt a real competition and ‘can’t keep up’ kind of mentality creeping in to my thoughts. I even took your class last spring, and just couldn’t muster it. I know a lot of it was my personal life at the time. Anyway, thanks for this food for thought – I will be taking a hard look at my blog this month. Best wishes for a wonderful last few weeks before BABY arrives! xo
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Decorative ideas for a holiday party…

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  20. Barbara commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 6:03pm

    Thank you for your lovely post. I stopped making New Year resolutions but for one, to be grateful for all that I have in my life, family and friends, a good job, my creativity and passion around sharing it with others. It has made a huge difference in my life. I found that I was driving myself too hard without stopping to acknowledge what I had created in my life. Being thankful brings me happiness and peace. Love your word for the year-”invigorate”-to transform what inspires you into filling others with life. Holly, just so you know, you have already accomplished your call to action. You and your writing continue to be inspiring and invigorating! Wishing you and your a joyous and Happy New Year.

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  21. Traci commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 6:05pm

    Honestly, I ditched new year resolutions last year and it didn’t do me much good. This year I did choose one word, and it has a deeper meaning to me than it may appear, but my word is DO. Action will be required, and a lot of it! Happy new year and thanks for all the inspiration.

    PS–I adore the grey polka dotted background! It always makes me happy.
    Traci´s last blog post ..Don’t Start Unless It’s Right

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  22. Juliette commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 6:06pm

    The wind was repeatedly taken from my blogging sails during the last year, to the point where I’ve all but given up completely. Time and energy have been the biggest reasons, but if I’m honest, the energy issue has often been composed of smaller issues like fighting the mentality of ‘keeping-up-with-the-Jones” and letting blogging simply be a creative outlet for myself as opposed to a chore.

    That said, I ended up spending quite a bit of time offline last year, so much so that I realized I miss blogging (and really don’t need to be online as much as I have been). I’ve decided to pick it up again, just blogging whatever the heck I feel like (probably super short posts on reading, travels, and creative moments).

    Bonus: I ended up winning a free blog template from a designer back in December. I think it was just the nudge I needed to encourage a fresh start. I’m looking forward to relaunching later this month.
    Juliette´s last blog post ..Super Fast Food: Chicken and Pine Nut Sauce

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  23. Christine commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 6:27pm

    Happy New Year Holly!!

    Thank you for such an inspiring and invigorating post. My word for this year is Brave. I’ve always been quiet, but this year I want to change that. I want to be brave and fearless, and have fun with it. I don’t want to think twice before I act on something. I am just going to act without thinking about the fear of failing.
    Christine´s last blog post ..Happy New Year 2014

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  24. Inge commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 7:15pm

    Holly, this post resonates with me so much. You touch on a lot of things that have been living in my mind too. For this year, I find it important to enjoy myself, and to work on my business and blog in a way that suits me instead of how dozens of articles have told me to. I have made a small list of changes, or reminders, for myself: – Think less – Make more – Take your time.

    You also perfectly put into words my current thoughts on blogging, both the blogs I read and my own. Lots of blogs have become less interesting as they became more planned out and/or monetized. My own has become less interesting as I tried to take a more “professional” approach. What I plan to do this year is share more of my life and what invigorates me. The blogs that I still love do exactly that!

    Thank you for this post and happy 2014 to you!
    Inge´s last blog post ..A fresh start

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  25. Deb commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 7:58pm

    Hi Holly, your words about blogs and boring on FB made me click through. I have been bored, with the blogging world as a reader. There are so many blogs now, so many similar ones. It’s too easy to get lost in this big wave as both a blogger who wants to primarily share and reach people, and as a blog reader.

    As a reader I want to stumble on the unique blogs that truly speak to me, like I could find years ago so easily. I want to be inspired by others into invigoration! I want to give my email address because I truly do want to know about new posts, not because I want a slim shot at winning a contest. I want to follow someone on Pinterest because they have pins that are so inspiring, they must be shared with my Pinterest audience, not because I want a slim shot at winning a contest. As a reader I honestly don’t want to be used to build a blog’s numbers for advertisers. I agree that the blogger should be able to earn a healthy income doing something they love, ***but don’t make me feel like I’m being used to achieve your goals.***

    I would read a magazine if I wanted “10 Great Ways to Blah Blah Blah.” I read a blog because I want an individual’s unique perspective, that person’s quirky ideas, something very real and funny and something that makes you THINK. You don’t get that from commoditized magazines. I sense as a reader that blogging is becoming a commodity, maybe even a revenue bubble.

    Perhaps my goal for 2014 should be to eat my words here and deliver the uniqueness and quirkiness that I originally envisioned, and as a blogger, haven’t done as I would have liked to. That’s my honest realization. And thank you Holly for the invigoration to see that! :)
    Deb´s last blog post ..DIY: Stenciled Plate Chargers for Table Settings

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  26. Jennifer Fuchs commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 8:09pm

    Hi Holly..Happy New Year!!!

    Yes, I whole heartedly agree. No resolutions for me either. I tend to focus on a few words for months at a time!
    I’ve also been thinking about the Inspiration topic. And I’m sick of being inspired and want more ACTION for 2014. Inspiration is nice, but if you aren’t acting on it…kind of loses its meaning.
    Also I love that you talk about ‘resolve to be happy’. Alot of the art I’ve been making has the words ‘CHOOSE HAPPY’ in them..like this little Vine I made
    https://vine.co/v/hwQmD03gVJi

    Sometime it is a choice (not always) but many times throughout the day we can choose happy! And I do.

    Looking forward to 2014!
    Best,
    Jennifer
    Jennifer Fuchs´s last blog post ..CNN Living – Design of the Day!

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  27. Pixie commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 8:27pm

    I’m not good with resolutions, I always forget / get side tracked / life takes over. The past year I tried to just live life. You know, be thankful and things big and small, stop and smell the roses, enjoy the journey and all that. It’s not been easy. So I’m going to continue to work on that in 2014.
    Pixie´s last blog post ..A Year in Review – 2013

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  28. Liz commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 8:47pm

    Great post. I realized in the BYW class that blogging is fun and that’s my motivation for doing it- and that is perfectly fine! I don’t have to be intimidated because I’m starting small. :)
    As an aside, I found that pregnancy was the most incredibly creative time for me as well. Physically I didn’t feel the greatest, but what I did love about it was that sense of tuning in to exactly what I needed, and so much productive creative energy that I am certain is connected to the creating of new life within! Enjoy this time!
    I think I mentioned my son’s birthday is your due date. It’s a great day to be born :)
    Liz´s last blog post ..Journals Roundup

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  29. Sílvia Silva commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 9:12pm

    Thank you Holly! Love to ear your ‘voice’ and thoughts so clear and simple. This was invigorating!
    Sílvia Silva´s last blog post ..instavídeo: fechar o ano com chave de ouro

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  30. Libby commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 9:12pm

    Well Holly, you have done it again! You speak so well for so many of us. I’ve been working endlessly (happily!!) on my blog and its direction and so many new ideas keep popping up. But underneath it all is that need to “do what I love”. I love communicating with other people and that is my joy in blogging.
    You are an amazing teacher for all of us! Thank you.
    Libby

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  31. Sue Bulmer commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 9:13pm

    Holly, is post really resonated with me. I have ditched the list this year, after listening to my own heart. After a very busy period towards the end of 2013 when I be same. Wry disillusioned and disgruntled with my creativity and business I knew something ended to change. I’ve decided to have a change of direction, slow down and simplify, rather than constantly striving to achieve. The restorative Christmas break has strengthened this idea – my word for the year is Patience – with myself, my reactive process and with others. Thanks for posting and I’m wishing you an invigorating 2014 x

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  32. Lisa Barton @ Vintage Celebrations commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 9:25pm

    Hey Holly, you have an outstanding ovation from me here in the UK :) I too have found myself changing the way I feel about/want to blog – returning from what i feel i should be doing/following what everyone else is doing to going back to my roots and gut instinct blogging about what i want/feel/think and trying not to worry about possibly alienating previous readers, dropping on my stats etc – I feel so much better for it as i’m being true to myself once more :) I spent from age 32-40 having my 4 daughters and feeling I “should” be a certain person with certain possessions, certain lifestyle, even a certain marriage etc but now I’m in my 40′s I just know that as long as I am “trying” to be the best me then that’s all that matters to my family – perfect or imperfect :) Now my girls are aged 11-2 I recognise that their needs are more now than they ever were as babies (physically it gets easier but mentally it gets tougher!) and that they need to always come first as they’re not going to be around forever and whilst they are young the rest has to somehow fit into the snatched moments that are left and that is perfectly ok as thats the way it is – no point trying to fight it or wish it was any other way. As for the resolutions – I’ve never been much for these but this year I am undertaking a 52 lists project as a process of self discovery, rejuvenation & inspiration for the year ahead. I look forward to your new approach and wish you all the happiness and fufillment your new baby will bring – and to try and remember this joy in the wee small hours with an unsettled baby, desperately tired and wondering what on earth you’ve done ;)
    Lisa Barton @ Vintage Celebrations´s last blog post ..52 lists & One Little Word – a list a week and a word for 2014 – want to join me?

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  33. Tina commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 9:46pm

    I follow a lot of blogs and I notice that more and more bloggers just use the same photographers, same words switched around, and the same type of rooms and or décor each and every time I get a post. Not really bad or anything just coasting on the past, and for some it is the ads and such they have come to be dictated by. I will be getting more picky about which blogs to follow since they are all starting to look the same- same piece of furniture, same craft etc. that I saw three weeks ago on a completely different blog. It will be great to see what direction your blog will go Holly, it has been a good one to follow. Pregnancy changes priorities in every aspect of life whether we know it or not. Happy New Year!

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  34. Jeanne Chan commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 9:53pm

    Happy New Year, Holly! I felt exactly the same way last year while pregnant with my second daughter (her due date was 1/20 too and came on 1/18.) I didn’t want the pressure of completing a list of things to do, and just wanted to concentrate on being a good mother (of 2). Last year, I just lived by the saying “do more of what makes you happy” – sounds cliche but I sticked with that. What made me happy was spending time with my daughters and not let the ambition and competitiveness in blogging take over. Create more content that surrounds my daughters and family and trying to share the values I believe in. (Which I feel like you do that – sharing values – brilliantly on your blog already.)

    I can safely say that every time I felt lost or not sure what direction I should go with my blog, I reflect back on BYW and your notes. This year, I’m feeling more ambitious again since I’m more settled in with my role as a mother of two. But I’m also telling myself that the work and content I create this year is to impress myself, and no one else.

    Very excited for you and your new journey as a mother. It is the most difficult and sacrificing thing to do being a mom (especially for a career driven woman), yet it is the most rewarding feeling ever!

    Best to you and Thorsten! xo Jeanne
    Jeanne Chan´s last blog post ..New Year, New Space. SST Gets A New Office!

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  35. decor8 commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 10:14pm

    THESE COMMENTS ARE AMAZING.

    It’s like I wrote a chapter in a book, through this post, and you are each adding your own paragraph of insight building yet another chapter together… It’s great to watch how we are all creating this call to action and how our voices are even louder, together. This global conversation makes me want to do my best work and continue to blog with gusto and joy.

    Love you guys, really.

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  36. Elisa commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 10:18pm

    I really LOVE that you chose a word. I recently read a post from my cousin that her word is ‘consistent’ this year. But I really like ‘Invigorate’ because it takes this entire inspirational business into action! I live in the SF Bay Area and last night my husband went to a date night at the new Exploratorium where the theme was ‘sharing’. All the new exhibits worked around this concept and it became a really fun evening once everyone relaxed enough to get involved in the projects, which is basically what we all love about the Exploratorium. I know that was a key test of their new exhibits, to invigorate their visitors to get involved..and in my design business that is also a challenge for me so thank you for the great little push. I feel invigorated to take action so it is already working!

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  37. Vero Palazzo commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 10:30pm

    I love reading your posts, and this one is just great! I do not have resolutions for this year… actually I have not had any yearly resolutions. Maybe it is more a southamerican style, not planning?!
    Since I left my profession and started doing what I love, life is surprising me with things I have never dream of. And blogging is one of that things I´ve started without knowing much about but only for the joy of being eiditor, photographer and sharing nice things with other people with same passion. From my experience and the blogger community in Argentina, I would say that there are more people invigorating theirselves and others than checking visits, statistics and all that suff :) Nonetheless, there is always time for pressure, despair, lack of inspiration… and for all that, the answer is your invigorating post. Happy New Year!
    Vero Palazzo´s last blog post ..Celebremos!

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  38. Dana @ chocolate and sunshine commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 10:42pm

    Happy New Year, Holly. As your student in the last two BYW classes, I can attest to your passion for your students and your belief in being present in your life. You’ve told us to blog what makes us happy.

    I’m very lucky as I have a full-time sales job of which I’m pretty successful. I started my blog last fall because I was missing the passion and creative excitement of my life. While I am incredibly thrilled each time someone subscribes to my blog or likes me on FB, what I am most excited about is when someone leaves a comment for me. Yes, I want to be a successful blogger — to a point that in a few years it’s a bit of extra income, but at this point when I’m not making a dime, I’m just happy to connect.

    I didn’t do a top ten post list for my blog as many did, but instead focused on the happy moments I spent during 2013 in my own hometown. I loved the response I received and it reinforced that my fun and happy outlook on life is not lost on anyone else. You continue to amaze and inspire me, although it looks like I’m going to be invigorated now, too! Yes, pregnancy has a tendency to bring one back to basics but so does growing older. I’m at a point that I just want to be happy and be around others who feel the same.

    Beautiful post and a beautiful new year to you.
    Dana @ chocolate and sunshine´s last blog post ..Chocolate Time!/Easy Lava Cake Recipe with Chocolate Chips

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  39. Lesia commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 10:42pm

    Thank you for that wonderful and inspiring piece!

    I have created a resolution list the first time in my life, actually. I find that listening to your gut is one of the most important things to do here… I find it normal that people change and their needs change. What had worked before, doesn’t work now and vice versa. I think any way you choose will bring much surprises along the way and will get things done that you wanted to to do anyway. I believe blogging will lead me to something truly special. And thanks to you, I’ll remember the word invigorating very well! :)

    Congratulations on your soon to come baby and I hope all is well!
    Your new reader Lesia ;)
    Lesia´s last blog post ..Concluding 2013

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  40. mpartyka commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 11:14pm

    I love, love this post! It’s everything I took away from the BYW class in November. You (and your team) have inspired me to blog about what I love and to enjoy blogging. I have a tiny audience of dedicated readers who read my blog because they connect to me in some fashion.

    As a result my blog has shifted to a personal/friendly tone vs a formal style.

    I can’t wait to see how your blog and business change in 2014, the birth of your son, motherhood… I’m a stranger to you but you inspire me to be a better person. Teaching me it’s okay to be me (oh… and to not overshare!).

    xxoo
    mpartyka´s last blog post ..Life: a snowy day

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  41. se7en commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 11:47pm

    Just love this post, so love your blogging… and so agree bring the fun back!!! Wishing you all the best with your new babe… wonderful and exciting time ahead!!!
    se7en´s last blog post ..The Year That Was – 2013…

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  42. Jen @ Lita's World commented
    January 3rd, 2014 at 11:56pm

    You have beautifully put into words what has been swelling in my heart! I want to be more present this year and simply just have more fun!! Yep, bring back the fun into everything…work, working out and definitely blogging. With all this energy around the world going towards this, how can it not succeed? Here’s to a fabulous 2014 that brings you all the joys of motherhood and truly lots and lots of fun in all that you do!
    Jen @ Lita’s World´s last blog post ..Happy Holidays!

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  43. Tracy A. commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 1:27am

    Happy New Year Holly! My goal for 2014 is to strive to do the things that will bring me joy, peace and satisfaction, and to set aside those things that deflate me.
    Tracy A.´s last blog post ..“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  44. WInter commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 1:32am

    Third time today I heard the word “invigorate” and I love it!

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  45. Kelly commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 1:56am

    Well said and thought! I feel the same way and I too am making a return to simplicity. I wish you the best in re-igniting passion in 2014!

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  46. mel commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 2:12am

    And that, Holly is why you and Decor8 are so special. I really look forward to seeing something already beautiful evolve. Lucky us! Being happy is really a great goal because that, is what we all aim but the tricky part is working out what it is that makes us happy. Usually it’s a balance of so many things and when they’re out of balance we try to play catch up. I will certainly be striving for balance and that means being there fully in each moment from with my children, to writing a blog post… and it includes some down time. Best of luck with little Decor8 baby, precious moments ahead for you and Thorsten… a little family! Mel x
    mel´s last blog post ..Enjoy

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  47. Jen@thecottagenest commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 2:42am

    I wrote a similar post a few months ago after I realized I dreaded blogging now and missed the sense of connection like what I had experienced in the beginning. I was amazed at the response and encouragement I received. Good for you for staying true to you!

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  48. Melissa commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 6:02am

    Holly, I love this post! You put in words a lot of what I’ve been trying to express. Happy 2014! I’m excited to continue to follow your blog in 2014. My word this year is Trust.
    Thank you for being so transparent and continuing to set a high bar for blogging and creativity!
    Melissa´s last blog post ..When Dreams Don’t Come True

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  49. Barbara Cortili commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 9:39am

    Holly, this is a beautiful post! I loved your paragraph about you and us the students, it’s fantastic to have such a wonderful teacher who care so much about us! I have a few year resolutions regarding my own career and opportunities but I am currently re-planning a few things in the schedule because this year I definitely want to choose the path of quality over quantity. Have a great week-end! :)
    Barbara Cortili´s last blog post ..Gintama Photography Photo Set:Kamui Yato

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  50. Aleksandra Cos o Literach commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 9:58am

    Hello Holly!
    My big word for 2014 is LEARN. I started my blog because I wanted to motivate myself to learn and develop. And I’m going to continue this year. BYW opened my eyes to many new things (I’m still studing materials:)) and motivated me even more. It’s gonna be a good and creative year. I’m sure:) All the best for your family!

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  51. Elizabeth Sparrow commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 10:02am

    Happy New Year Holly, I firstly wanted to say congratulations on the energy you have put into this all while being pregnant! I absolutely love your writing and am always inspired by your ability as so many commenters have remarked, that you can pinpoint how so many of your readers are feeling. This post is no exception and is so poignant in many ways especially in light that I have on a personal level made a very difficult decision last year and took a massive leap of faith and changed my working life. It also meant I had to take time to be creative in different ways with some success and some failure., I am choosing tonight to reflect on my New Year so haven’t chosen a word or a theme, however I do know that the one thing I am amazed at is that for the first time ever I did write a list of resolutions for 2013 that came to fruitition, that I managed to finally listen to my ‘true’ needs and were able to reflect which has lead me on a path that I wasn’t expecting but has given me many rewards. So looking forward to reading about your journey this year with the pending birth of your baby boy, so exciting! I wish you and your husband joy and happiness for 2014…

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  52. anne Byerley commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 10:31am

    Hi Holly,
    Firstly I would like to wish you a very happy new year.
    How invigorating is this, wow, There i was sitting going through all the emails etc. I get, and this came and I read it and it is exactly how i feel, although I would not mind getting my business known through my blog, I don’t want it to be boring, and just business, I want poeple to be able to go there and look around and have fun, so thank you so much.
    I hope that you have a fantastic day.
    LOve and best wishes.
    Anne
    anne Byerley´s last blog post ..Creative Muster Link Party

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  53. Kreetta commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 10:35am

    Great thoughts Holly! Thank you for sharing them with us.

    I think we all need to feel good and be proud what we are and what we do. Top of that we should make or do something we’ve never done before but have always wanted. Our blogs should be the place where we can enjoy and share things we love. My 3 words for this year are sparkle, enjoy and freedom.

    xo
    Kreetta
    Kreetta´s last blog post ..The year is new video – what happens now?

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  54. Nico commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 11:14am

    I KNOW that my 2014 will be a great one. I am so excited about it. Happy 2014 to all!!!

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  55. Elisabeth commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 11:30am

    I loved this blog post, it really made me reflect on my blog content. You’re so right, blogging should be fun! I belong to the people who think that there are two kinds of bloggers, those who do it for the photos, and those who do it for the text. I believe it’s a combination of both, but I do recognize that I started because of the writing. I just happen to love writing. Having read this blog post, I’ve realized that I should keep that in mind every time I write a blog post. I don’t believe in writing, say three times a week just because it’s expected out of bloggers. One should write when one feels like it. Stay true to oneself. Thank you for getting me thinking :) Happy New Year to you, and keep up the good work with blogging (if you feel like it)!

    xxx
    E

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  56. Lucy Chen commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 1:35pm

    What a beautiful post, Holly!

    This year is actually the first year I’ll have 3 simple resolutions: 1) To take one photo a day; 2) To write one sentence a day in a book (quote book to gift to my children when they leave home), and 3) Choose one photo and one sentence from the week and put them together once a week.

    This is also the first year I have a few goals written down. I have these on my iPhone and I look at them every morning.

    I’m thinking about my words for the year. I haven’t decided yet, but along the lines of “content”, “beauty”, and “52″.
    Lucy Chen´s last blog post ..Annual Review 2013: a Year of Discovery and Loss

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  57. Asia commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 2:38pm

    Great post! Got me thinking about what drives me, I haven’t been thinking about that for a long time now… Thanks! :-)
    As for the resolutions, I never make them, I guess the best time to make a resolutin is when you really feel, you want sth. Then it’s sort of more organic.
    All the best in New Year Holly!

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  58. Julia Ryan commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 3:06pm

    I love this so much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think I’m going to take that word, invigorate, to heart as I write my goals for myself and my blog this year. Best of luck with your expected little one! They pretty much rock your world :)

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  59. Mary Beth commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 4:04pm

    Hi Holly, your blog is and always has been fun! and I’m glad you are psyched to keep it that way. Congrats on pregnancy. No need to publish this but I hope, except for nursery images, you don’t indulge us too much about baby-ness. Don’t take offense, I have 4 kids of my own, but I go to your blog for décor and crafts. I think when décor bloggers have babies, perhaps they should have a second blog about baby things. What do you think of that idea? Thanks Holly for listening to my suggestion. Happy New Year!

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  60. decor8 commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 4:46pm

    @Mary Beth – I’ve posted so little on my blog about my pregnancy and baby but I do plan to post some baby stuff in the future so you may want to just skip over those posts! :)

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  61. Sarah commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 5:57pm

    Hi Holly,

    In 2012 I learned a lot about intentions, I was never one to make new years resolution, so when 2013 stared to approach. I was thinking a lot abut intentions versus resolutions and I actually decided to do a silly project and call it my Intention board for 2013 (sort of like a mood board full of intentions). I had a pretty board full of wonderful images to look at all year and now that it is 2014 and I have been reflecting on my 2013 board and I can see it wasn’t so silly. I really accomplished a lot and I am not sure with the rough year I had, I would have noticed other wise.

    I love all your blog posts, but I really love the blog post were you reflect on life!

    Thanks for all your inspiration this year!
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Picasso Quote

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  62. Sarah commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 5:59pm

    Hi Holly,

    In 2012 I learned a lot about intentions, I was never one to make new years resolution, so when 2013 stared to approach. I was thinking a lot abut intentions versus resolutions and I actually decided to do a silly project and call it my Intention board for 2013 (sort of like a mood board full of intentions). I had a pretty board full of wonderful images to look at all year and now that it is 2014 and I have been reflecting on my 2013 board and I can see it wasn’t so silly. I really accomplished a lot and I am not sure with the rough year I had, I would have noticed other wise.

    Thanks for all your inspiration this year!
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Picasso Quote

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  63. Johanne commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 7:04pm

    Blogging IS fun when it is pure hobby! No ad.s on the side bar. I do it for the pleasure of writing and connecting with like-minded people. And some days, with 3 children in the house, a traveling husband, and being located in a country where I’m no where near to mastering the local language, it’s the only chance I have to “talk” with other adults.

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  64. dawn commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 9:17pm

    hello miss holly,
    so interesting reading your post and all the comments. i did not even know what a blog was when you started blogging. i took a couple of your byw courses and had high hopes for ‘growing’ my blog. life got very distracting (much of it not pleasant at all) and it was sometimes hard to keep my ‘simplicity’ vision. i love what you wrote here. i am so drawn to blogs with personal connections and like your posts most when you are really talking to us about your thoughts. 2013 was quite rough and my words for 2014 are … hope and optimism … there seems to be a need for community and connection and i am looking forward to seeing how your blogging evolves. take care of yourself and your little one … life will continue to be illuminated through him … x
    dawn´s last blog post ..inspiration rx …

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  65. Ruth olbrych commented
    January 4th, 2014 at 11:03pm

    Holly,
    Joining the very large bandwagon here applauding your very ” real” post. Thank you very much for this.
    My word for this year is “connect”…. Deeper, with myself, my God, my family, friends, business and simply life in general. Further to this I have dabbled in the blogging world the last few years and as part of my connecting I plan on committing to having a consistent voice out there.via my blog, I love to write and I have been remiss in sharing myself with my world via this gift of putting out in a blog. Tx again.
    Ruth olbrych´s last blog post ..Get your new blog off to a great start (Hint: we can help!)

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  66. Glenda Childers commented
    January 5th, 2014 at 4:23am

    I like the way you are thinking here, Holly.

    Praying with you for the safe arrival of your baby.

    Fondly,
    Glenda
    Glenda Childers´s last blog post ..Why I love, really love, January

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  67. jemima commented
    January 5th, 2014 at 6:02am

    well said lil lady!!!
    Holly you put into words, what has been on my mind too of late!! I often read blogs + leave feeling somewhat inadequate, but there is this crazy need to ‘keep up’ with this perfect blogger/blogpost syndrome :: giggle.
    So i think you hit the nail on the head with ‘invigorate’!!!!!! LOVE IT!! LIVE IT!!! DO IT!!!!

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  68. Sheneela Akram commented
    January 5th, 2014 at 11:54am

    Amazing words, Holly. And the comments of all these wonderful ladies are so inspiring too. I just finished up my post on resolutions and plans, and I so agree with you on this; joy and peace are always at the core of success….in all aspects of life. If you have peace and joy at what you do, you’ll surely love what amazing results it brings.
    I remember a line from a movie I watched last year: “Love what you do; excel in it, success will follow itself.” :)
    Sheneela Akram´s last blog post ..Fashionable spaces

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  69. Martine commented
    January 5th, 2014 at 2:49pm

    When I took your two BYW classes last year, I had NO idea how much they would impact me as a blogger. It was because of BYW and your mentorship that I totally revolutionized my blogging. I learned most of all to blog with INTENTION and with a clear conviction. Thank you for being the most influential blogger in my life in 2013. I am so excited to share with you about how the two BYW classes worked out for me, and impacted my LIFE on so many levels. Thank you for blazing a trail for women out there to marry their passions, real life and blogging into a blissful experience. I hope to meet you one day, either when you (finally!) come to Asia, or whenever I get to go to Germany! LOL :)

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  70. Wrenaissance Art commented
    January 5th, 2014 at 5:11pm

    This post and all the insightful comments are so in tune with my own outlook at the moment!
    Last year I committed myself to a long list of goals, only to have most of them fall by the wayside in the face of a logistically challenging year. The psychic burden was so heavy. By the end of 2013, I knew what philosophy I wanted to follow for 2014.
    My motto for this new year is, “Less is more.” Less busywork and drudgery; more art and adventure.
    As far as blogging goes: my blog is intended to be a showcase for my art and thoughts about art that might appeal to other art-lovers. To write an original post takes so much time to research, edit, etc, time that could be better spent in the studio. And yet, my head is always full of ideas to write about! Less blogging to post number quota and more focus on what’s going on in the studio and hiking trails.
    Wrenaissance Art´s last blog post ..My manifesto for 2014: Less is more!

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  71. Marci Shadd commented
    January 5th, 2014 at 7:29pm

    As a beginning blogger, thanks for the reminder that this is supposed to be fun and not put so much pressure on myself to ‘get big’ right away! Enjoy the process, keep is focused and simple. Thanks! Have a wonderful 2014!
    Marci Shadd´s last blog post ..San Gimignano – Lovely Medieval Tuscan Village

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  72. Martine commented
    January 5th, 2014 at 7:41pm

    Holly, thanks for being so spot-on again with this post. After taking two BYW courses with you (both in 2013) and after revising and re-evaluating my blog, I am finally in a “happy” place that marries life, work & blogging. I couldn’t have discovered it possible, not without your help, even though we’ve never met. You’ve always, always made sure that blogging is “the catalyst for your best life,” and it’s been INVIGORATING, as you say. Thanks for BYW; you really are creating a revolution of intentional bloggers in this day and time, when we’re so inundated with pressures to “have it all” in the blog world. Thank you for being a constant reminder to me to stay pure, stay purposeful and stay authentic. Bless you!
    Martine´s last blog post ..Why you should still make lists and goals this coming new year

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  73. Melinda commented
    January 5th, 2014 at 10:42pm

    Holly, I could only repeat the words from the comments above, so I just would like to say a big thank you for this deeply honest post. It is absolutely invigorating and resonates with the new year’s wishes from lots of us.
    Have a wonderful year and, I wish you lots and lots of happiness with your baby boy!

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  74. Marzi commented
    January 5th, 2014 at 11:19pm

    As a reader, I have noticed that many of the blogs I have been a dedicated fan of have moved away from any semblance of authenticity. I agree with comments that the repetitive content is an issue. It was this same issue that drove me away from print magazines. Initially, blogs and their creators offered an alternative in creating original content from their own real worlds. I do not mean those that share so intimately that they believe I should know what they had for lunch (unless it is a food blog I am reading), rather those who let me see the world from their perspective and their community.
    I realize it may at times be more difficult to believe that your own flavour is enough to keep your readers interested. Or perhaps a bit of doubt leads to a creative block (I am an artist, so understand this happens). Still, I encourage the blogging community to embrace individualism and support different view points and content. To be unique. As you write, this encourages thinking and connects us all in such a more meaningful way.

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  75. Regina Partain commented
    January 6th, 2014 at 1:02am

    Hi Holly

    Great post. My word for 2014 is “Open”. I want to be open to whatever comes my way and not try to control the outcome. That said, I do have an extensive list of goals for the new year, in many areas of my life. I use these goals as a guide to create what I want for my personal life and my business life. I am a firm believer in finding happiness in the journey. I totally agree with you about bringing excitement to the blog, and hopefully invigorating others. Love that word. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
    Regina Partain´s last blog post ..Out with the Old, in with the New!

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  76. Fahm commented
    January 6th, 2014 at 2:55am

    Hi Holly,

    Thanks for the very personal, well-written post. The timing of this post is kind of funny. I’m also pregnant, and I think it’s changed my viewpoint on life quite a bit too. Whereas before, I didn’t really set concrete goals for myself, mainly went with the flow. Now, for the first time, I started writing down my goals. I don’t know what changed, maybe I’m trying to be more structured with a baby on the way. Anyway, thanks for a lovely, reflective post.
    Fahm´s last blog post ..DIY Hexagon Wall Art With Painters Tape

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  77. decor8 commented
    January 6th, 2014 at 11:22am

    @Johanne – Ads don’t always have influence over bloggers or how they interact with their audience – or whether or not they have “fun” or not as bloggers. Some bloggers really depend on them for income, but for those who don’t (like me), it’s not an influencer at all to have them (or not).

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  78. Marianne commented
    January 6th, 2014 at 5:28pm

    Thank you for this inspiring post!
    Marianne´s last blog post ..{new year’s resolutions – not for me}

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  79. zhi / curiouszhi commented
    January 6th, 2014 at 10:03pm

    Hi Holly! I’m a BYW student in your most recent course and a regular reader of decor8 so I always find your words inspiring. This is another great post, I especially love that you said that you just resolve to be happy because that’s essentially the main focus I have in everything I do now.

    However, I do not think that making resolutions are necessarily a ‘bad’ thing (also, my recent blog post was creating a printable to help readers and myself list out my New Year’s resolutions. heh). I believe it’s about making the kind of realistic mini-goals to help give yourself some direction some people (myself included) tend to veer off and procrastinate if there isn’t at least some idea of what we’re trying to achieve in the next week/month/year/etc. When I was younger I used to make sweeping resolutions/goals (who hasn’t??) with no real underlying plan or idea of how to go about it, and I get easily deflated thinking I have not achieved anything at the end of the year.

    Now I focus on pursuing things that will ultimately make me happy with some idea of the outcome I want, but I don’t dictate that I follow a strict plan. In the blogging front for e.g., I have a relatively new blog and few readers, but I don’t want to focus on increasing readership just for the sake of it. I blog because I want it as a creative outlet for myself and since I started blogging again, I have gotten my drive back to focus on what I love doing most, designing stationery (via printables) and writing my own thoughts on design and style. If more people enjoy the blog and start following it, it will be a wonderful bonus, but until then, I remind myself that I am blogging because I want to write and design and this makes me happy :)

    Thank you again for this great post. I’m looking forward to continue reading decor8 and also joining future BYW classes!
    zhi / curiouszhi´s last blog post ..Free Printable: New Year’s Resolutions To-Do List

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  80. Happy Harris commented
    January 7th, 2014 at 3:02am

    Here Here Holly…you are so right! its not fun anymore…time to get back to basics I am right with you on this one…

    Congratulations by the way on your pregnancy…

    Love Happy xxx
    Happy Harris´s last blog post ..HAPPY CHRISTMAS

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  81. Leslie commented
    January 7th, 2014 at 6:41am

    Love to see when intention shines through words. Great post!

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  82. Kelly commented
    January 7th, 2014 at 6:54pm

    I am not making resolutions as much as things I want to do each month. For example in 2014:
    -make 12 kinds of cookies
    - bake 12 kinds of bread
    - draw or paint 12 portraits
    -build 12 things
    -sew 12 things
    -celebrate 12 things
    This way, I am not overwhelmed, but on my free weekends, I can see what I haven’t done yet this month, and be inspired to do it! As you can see, none have anything to do with work out more, or save money or any of that stuff. I will have more fun doing things with my family and friends and everyone can share in my resolutions.

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  83. Chiara commented
    January 8th, 2014 at 6:56am

    Jeanne Chan,
    I completely agree – being pregnant (my little one is due in April) I have chosen to skip all the lists and resolutions, and just focus on feeling well and do just what makes me happy and get ready for the LO’s arrival – even if one cannot ever be totally ready. Let’s be serious – there are things and chores that NEED to be done, and we do them daily anyway. Why add more stress with a list?
    Chiara´s last blog post ..Weekend readings.

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  84. Nicole Nicol commented
    January 8th, 2014 at 9:22pm

    Too true. Actually I left my job in merchandising homewards that I had previously enjoyed.. I just trusted my gut and left to spend more time on my own business. All year I have been made so happy by that decision..I love my life more. I you may also like a book I’ve just discovered called the desire map and it basically talks of following a feeling not just trying to achieve a goal. Sometimes we can get the same feeling through simpler means.
    I am right with you and I agree that’s being pregnant does naturally cause you you see things differently. I also avoided books and forums and didn’t attend any classes..I just wanted to do it my own way without all these voices telling me to do this or that. And I don’t regret it because it’s been a positive experience and if I need ed advice I just asked a friend.
    Great post!!

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  85. Rocio Jimenez (@casahaus) commented
    January 9th, 2014 at 8:12am

    Hi Holly!!!

    Great post! I think you put it perfectly. I have made a list of goals, but I’m trying to take the preassure off this year, as I want to enjoy life and family, and return to the basics as you just said it. Blogging can certainly become less fun, especially after so many years, so it feels just right to get back to the basics.

    By the way, I’m a former student of your last BWY course, and loved it!
    Rocio Jimenez (@casahaus)´s last blog post ..Los pisos de San Miguel

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  86. mireya pizarro commented
    January 10th, 2014 at 5:03pm

    I will and this 2014 could not have come at a better time. I feel this inspiration to keep going.

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  87. Suellen commented
    January 12th, 2014 at 1:07am

    I breathed a sign of relief when I read this post. It sums up exactly what I’d been feeling but couldn’t put my finger on it. I have neglected my blog because I’m struggling to find value to readers.Plus I was disheartened by the fabulousness of other blogs and the need to compete. At the same time I’ve found myself unfollowing a number of blogs as I found them increasingly less relatable and as you say, FUN.
    Thanks for this post, I can now have a rethink about what invigorates me and follow my heart.

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  88. leticia commented
    January 12th, 2014 at 1:12pm

    Hi Holly, Thank you for your honesty and for the most “invigorating” post I’ve read in a long, long time. I subscribe everything you say word by word. This blogging world is becoming exhausting, so let’s go back to simplicity, things made with love and passion. And FELIZ 2014 (I’m from Spain ;))
    leticia´s last blog post ..Desde el #Almacén Chic · From the Chic Warehouse

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  89. my hyggelig commented
    January 14th, 2014 at 4:07am

    Reading this was like a blast of fresh air!

    This is the third blog post I have read in as many days with changes like this – two going back to ‘me’ and away from contributors, and one trying contributors (I worry about that one). I’ve been tired for awhile now of how the blogosphere has become so commercial. I think it really hit me at Alt Summit a few years ago when all the ‘big’ bloggers I heard talk were SO caught up in stats, number of posts a day, etc. I wondered where the fun went, it was kind of a turn off. I felt like a number to them, just a statistic. I’ve noticed this happen to blogs more and more every year. That’s why I love this – a return to YOU! A return to basics! Like on Charlie Brown Christmas when he wonders how Christmas got so commercial – let’s go back to before everything got so commercial!

    Thank you for being you – after all, that’s why we all come here. Even if you post once a week (who has time for reading 6 posts a day, let alone writing them, anyhow?!!!). :)

    “a love of sharing and a passion” – exactly!
    my hyggelig´s last blog post ..adjö för nu…

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  90. Desha Peacock commented
    January 14th, 2014 at 5:01am

    Holly, this may be my fav post yet. Yes to fun. Yes to intuition and invigoration! And yes, I do believe your pregnancy is changing you- it did me. I had a couple of goals when I was pregnant, but they all washed away the day my daughter was born. Then there was only one goal- to be present to this amazing bundle, to slow way down and savor every second of that newborn baby love. During that precious time, nothing else mattered.
    xo desha

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  91. eleni commented
    January 19th, 2014 at 7:40pm

    Just remember to get clued up on what happens AFTER the baby comes! I really regretted that.

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  92. Mariana commented
    January 28th, 2014 at 12:50am

    Great read! I’m right there with you on letting my intuition be my guide for 2014. I’m going to follow my instincts, do what feels good in my heart, and go for any of those dreams/ideas that have been tugging at my core for way too long.

    x Mariana
    Mariana´s last blog post ..On Being A Traveling Introvert

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  93. lori commented
    February 1st, 2014 at 11:44pm

    i’m so happy i was sent here, what a beautiful heartfelt thing to read. now my head is filled with so many thoughts, joy and peace and all good things for this moment and for 2014. thank you for sharing! and congratulations for your little bean on the way!

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  94. Samantha Reynolds commented
    February 10th, 2014 at 7:25pm

    Hi Holly

    I just found your site today, and this is the first post I read. Thank you for putting out such positive, encouraging words…

    As a new comer to the blogging world, I felt my dreams very quickly dissolving for the very reasons that you mentioned. I started a blog called Golden Dreams precisely because that is what I wanted to write about: My golden dreams. Very quickly, all the inspiration and fun was wrenched away from me as I started to take a look around the blogging world (primarily travel.)

    It felt as if the content- ie my writing and photography was not nearly as important as “Finding a niche” (eek, i can’t just blog about what I like) “Stats” (Eek i don’t have any fan book fans/twitter fans/newsletter subscribers)” SEO” (Eeek I cant just write and post, I have to understand key words and put them in titles and mention them all the time) “Write very short posts” (Eek, I’m a writer, I tend to ramble) etc. I almost gave up before I had even posted my second post!

    Thank you so much for acknowledging all of the above as such a highly successful blogger. i wish there were more of you out there spreading this message. I cannot wait to do one of your courses! Wish they were more frequent! Warm wishes
    Samantha Reynolds´s last blog post ..The Simplicity of a Cottage in the Countryside

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  95. Stacia commented
    April 11th, 2014 at 4:22pm

    One of the most honest, transparent, and encouraging “blogging tip” I’ve seen around in a while. I feel you when it comes to thinking too much about the skull and bones of blogging, but it all has to come back to the heart. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :) It helps me get to the core and “re-strategize” without overthinking things through.

    P.S. Love the illustration :)

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