14 Lessons of 2014

After an unintentional but necessary hiatus from posting... Here I am, ready to share with you what I've learned in 2014 and what this all means for My Own Ripple Effect in 2015! But first, I just wanted to say THANK YOU. It still amazes me that there are people all over North America, and around the world, who read this blog and follow me on social media. I love getting to share my life with all of you!

Here are 14 things I have learned this past year:

1. I can't do it all, but I can do a lot. I've never believed that I could do it all. In fact, I believed I could hardly do anything at all. But 2014 proved to me that I can do far more than I thought I was capable of. Blogging, homeschooling, volunteering... all with a baby who still nurses 7-8 times a day/night and doesn't sleep through the night. Not my ideal situation, but a really good way to prove my potential!

2. Doubt kills dreams. This one has been huge for me--especially in regards to my point above. I always doubted myself and my potential. I thought it was pointless to dream. Not anymore! I am choosing not to discard my dreams and instead I am disregarding my doubts.

3. Blogging can be a lonely business. This is something I became aware of during my brief hiatus. I hadn't realized how alone I felt until I left my laptop and rejoined the real world. I spent many hours a week reading, researching, and writing, alone. Posting on my site felt more like a written monologue than a conversation with my readers. Having a larger, more well-known blog would allow for more engagement and more connections, but where my blog is currently, the relationships are lacking. The most enjoyment I experienced through blogging in 2014 was guest writing for other blogs and connecting with some amazing business people like Anne from Mom's Choice, Teresa from Mom's Kisses, Kenneth from Vintage Tradition, and Retha from Plant Therapy.

4. I love connecting with women, so my last lesson about being a lonely blogger was a big breakthrough for me. While I love blogging and sharing information with women, I desire far more relational connections! At the same time I took a break from blogging, I embarked on a new journey with a naturally-based cosmetic company called Younique. That business gave me exactly what my lonely soul craved.

5. Goals alone won't get you anywhere. This may seem obvious to you, but it didn't to me. I thought that all I needed to do was dream big, set some realistic goals, and things would take care of themselves. Hmmmm, not quite. It takes ACTION and a plan to get there. I am looking forward to using this lesson to make 2015 my best year.

6. Critics have the loudest voices--this is especially true on the internet. While I don't tend to get much criticism on my blog because I still have a smaller following, I have witnessed pure hate being spewed at other bloggers who are trying to fight against the status quo. The perceived anonymity of the internet has allowed for far too much foulness. I have the utmost respect for those who have the courage and strength to fight through all of that, but it's just not for me. I am not going to write my blog posts to please others, but my passion is inspiring knowledge, not inciting debate.

7. You can't be whole if you hate yourself. Love and hate don't go together. If you want to live your best life, you have to love yourself and believe that you are worthy of greatness.

8. When I'm in, I'm ALL in. This is often a good thing, but can also come at a cost. Finding balance in my life is very important to me but sometimes my "all or nothing" mentality tips the scales just a bit too far in one direction. This is something I need to be proactive about.

9. Strong women support each other. I read something recently that said "Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another." I feel so blessed to be experiencing this kind of empowerment and encouragement with my Younique team. It is sorely lacking from today's culture.

10. I am a writer. I may never have a popular blog or write a best-selling book, but I am a writer. It's something I love to do and am gifted at. It doesn't matter if my words never reach another person.

11. I know more than I realize. Despite the absent-minded, forgetfulness of being a busy mom, I really do know things! As I've been able to meet with women and talk about faith, health, and business, I've surprised myself at how much I have learned in my (almost) 28 years of life, and especially this past year. It's good to know that my kids have not stolen ALL my brain cells.

12. It's okay to want things for myself. In fact, it's a good thing to go after the desires of my heart. God has placed gifts, talents, and desires in me and if I do nothing to use them, I am spitting on the generosity and kindness of a God is cares deeply for me. This isn't an act of selfishness--it's a call to live a full life and stop being a martyr.

13. My passion is to coach women to live their best lives. This is a dream that I have only realized in 2014. I have a plan to eventually start my own coaching business. This started out as a desire to be a health and wellness coach but has now evolved into being a "whole-life" coach. I understand now that in order to live our best lives, we need to approach our health from ALL areas---spiritual, physical, emotional, relational. It's when we take care of ourselves in all areas of our lives that we see victory in any area of our lives.

14. It's my blog, I'll do what I want... It's funny but I never really thought about that much... Until I was discussing my dilemma with my husband about how some topics I wanted to write for my blog didn't "fit" with my health and wellness niche. He said, "It's YOUR blog. Write whatever you want to write about." He also pointed out that while my readership was growing, there still weren't a ton of followers. So why was I catering to people who weren't even reading my blog? Ok, he had a point. I needed to re-evaluate my WHY...

I needed to decide what I want my blog to be so that it's something I love doing and will remain passionate about...

So you'll discover that My Own Ripple Effect will be changing a bit. Like me, it will be evolving. As I continue to learn and grow, new things will be shared.

My desire is for this blog to be a place where I come to connect with women all over the world who are looking for the inspiration and tools to live their best lives.

I hope you'll continue this journey with me!

Taryn xo