It’s not too late to talk about goals and resolutions for 2018, no? Actually, I feel that writing this towards the end of January has given me the chance to tweak my goals a bit and see what I really want to reach for. I landed on three serious goals and one goofy one. This year is starting out with a different feeling for me. One of renewal, growth, emergence and new vigor. My goals are reflecting that this year. Some years I make no resolutions at all, but every few years, I hit a big one. This is one of those years! One goal is to be more socially connected. I’ve cocooned this fall, and now it is time to re-emerge and with intention. Every day I plan to connect with two friends or family members. This might sound simple, but it is not feeling very easy. If I already have plans on the calendar with a friend for a month from now, what is my excuse to write or call today? I’m experimenting with even just sending a simple text to say, “thinking of you.” Or send a quote from something I’m reading (easy to do with Kindle books, I have found!) So far, I am finding that I am getting in touch with people I haven’t talked with in a while, and that it is beginning to help form a rhythm of connection with various friends. Second goal, which is related to the first, is get back into regular blogging. I enjoy the weekly writing, and hope that it connects me to all of you! For my third goal, I am embarking on some serious career development this year. I have been focusing on EcoPetites and learning just a ton. First I worked on product development and then experimenting with wholesale vs e-commerce, and developing a web-site and then re-doing it with help (thanks Angie’s Creative!) while learning to maintain it independently. These were huge and sometimes daunting tasks! But now, I must work on getting the word out! I remember reading that part of sustainability is that the business needs to be able to be, well, sustainable. That has always stuck with me. You can help me there! Spread the word. I am also finding that I am too isolated. See a theme here? I need to find ways to be around people. I love teaching and presenting in front of a group. This surprises those who know me: as I am a somewhat shy person. But put me in front of an audience, and I just get such a kick out of it, out of seeing an a-ha moment even if only in one person, sharing something I know and offering inspiration, growth or learning is such an energy boost to the things I am passionate about. So I am looking at teaching, lecturing or coaching of some kind. Project management, throughout my years of illustrating and through this entrepreneurial enterprise, has turned out to be a strength of mine. Working in an office, with coworkers and being able to collaborate and share ideas is appealing to me right now, too. So there is another idea. Obviously, I need to figure some things out, find my focus and clarity on where my road will lead me next. That’s a big goal for 2018. Now are you ready for the silly one? This winter is proving to be a bitter cold one. My dad was teasing me one day that it is warmer in Antarctica than it is here in Minnesota. I looked it up, and he was right! At least that week it was. Not so every day. We are sort of neck-in-neck for where is it colder on any given day. That is sad. It took me a few days to realize that it is summer in the southern hemisphere right now, and then I didn’t feel so bad. You are probably wondering what is the goal here? I added Antarctica to my weather app and check it periodically. No matter how cold it gets here, it is a reminder that it could be worse: this could be summer. No matter how short the days, at least the sun rises every day here, higher than a sliver on the horizon. It is my reminder to be grateful for what I have, albeit in a comical way. As I write this, it is 29º F here in MN and snowing mightily, compared to -27º F in sunny Antarctica, where it will be night for only one hour. Gotta love Minnesota! For those of you who read this, here is a discount code that only those of you who read this post all the way to the end will know about! Use code couldbeworse to receive a discount on your order. No limit how many times you can use the code in 2018. How much of a discount? Well, that will depend on the weather in Antarctica. If I check the weather there and let’s say it is -30º F, then you will get $30 off your purchase. You must have a minimum of a $98 cart total before you can apply discount. I will change the value once a week on Fridays and the discount will be whatever the temperature happens to be at that moment. There is only a discount if it is below zero. This will be an awesome discount in the summer. Think about it. Feel free to use this on gift cards if you want to grab the discount while it is on. Have fun! What are your goals this year?