Design Mom Asks

January 18, 2012

I feel like I’ve been super inspired by everyone’s New Year’s resolutions; it’s a lovely effect that comes from sharing our lives with each other online. Hopes, dreams, and goals are pretty delicious, but I’ve been wondering how many of us filled up our plates with too much on the first day of 2012? And so I asked a few dreamy friends to tell us the state of their resolutions and answer the following question: It’s a few weeks into the New Year, and my million and one resolutions have been whittled down to…

Brandi of {not your average ordinary}:

…courage. This year is about having courage to say yes to opportunities that bring me closer to my dreams, and say no to overwhelming myself. In the past, I’ve traveled down paths that others have encouraged me to take, without ever being entirely sure of what I wanted. I will have courage to carve time for my creative endeavors, rather than spreading myself too thin.

This year, I will have courage to explore and have unexpected adventures. Some may be big, others smaller…like wandering down a street in my neighborhood I’ve never walked down before. When I break free from my normal routine, I discover new things: ideas, people, and places. I will have courage to talk to strangers and make new friends.

I will also have courage to be honest with myself. That begins with confronting some of the issues I’ve buried, like my emotional eating and body insecurities. I will embrace all the ways I am beautiful.

Finally, I will have courage to create the world in which I want to live. I will ask people about their dreams and do what I can to help them. I will brighten people’s days with small acts of kindness. I will give compliments, make people smile, and stop to listen when there is music playing. I will see the beauty around me and amplify it.

Molly of A Few Of My Favorite Things:

…four happy goals!

One. Have fun and act like a kid. I want to worry less about the state of my house and stop freaking out when life is not perfect, because it’s not. More dance parties and movie nights!

Two. Expect less. I know my marriage of almost ten years could have had far less bumps if I expected less and gave a little more. To keep track of my progress, I plan on keeping a small journal. Each night, I will list ten things that I loved about my husband that day.

Three. Wear more lipstick. Sounds a bit silly, yes? But there is something about lipstick that makes me happy. And since I keep my make-up simple, adding a fun lip color will be just the thing I need. I already armed myself with two new colors.

Four. Visit the dentist. I am embarrassed to admit this, but it has been a few years since I have gone. Yikes! Hopefully if I make it a goal, I will actually follow through. I need someone to hold me to it!

Christine White of Court & Hudson:

…figuring it out and jumping in. I’ve decided this year is my time to figure out the bigger vision for my career and really jump in full-speed ahead. Do my research, commit, and get moving. I know that sounds vague, but I’m excited!

Laura of L.A. Story:

…three. 2012 marks my 10th year in Los Angeles, and I’d love to explore even more off-the-beaten path places with my husband and five-year old daughter. We’ve shared a lot of Angeleno moments together, and I feel as if we haven’t even scratched the surface! And speaking of my husband, Ian, I want to make time for more extra-special date nights. I’m determined to relive more of our carefree, dating-in-the-city moments. The same goes for girlfriends, too! Because parenting comes before…well, everything…it’s hard to make time for those all-important friends who make you laugh, cry, and encourage embarrassing spit-takes. Let there be more of those in 2012!

Mary of Mary Loves:

… more music. I have been a beginner guitar player for over a decade. I’ve taken some lessons here and there, but I haven’t really progressed. It’s been especially hard to make time for it since the kids came along. Now, though, my boys are two and five; old enough to play on their own while I practice, or to sing and dance while I play Old MacDonald. My husband bought me a beautiful new guitar for Christmas, and it makes me happy just looking at it and having it in the house. I want to reach the end of the year feeling like my skills have improved, even if only a little. So my goal is to pick up my guitar every day. It is something that is mine, for me, and yet I know it will be good for my sons, too. Whether it’s picking out scales, practicing and singing songs I love, or playing songs for my boys, I will love all of it.

Pam of Outside Voice:

…focusing on predictability. As a style blogger it’s an odd focus; after all, we spend time and energy working on new trends and new looks and how to mix things up. But at the heart of life and style is the comfort of predictability… that look that becomes your signature… the knowledge of others that your word is meaningful… the safety and security your friends and family get from knowing exactly what you’ll say or how you’ll react. It’s all predictability. It’s sure and confident and centered, and it’s what I want to practice and master in 2012. In a great pair of earrings, of course!

Maggie Lord of  Rustic Wedding Chic:

…trying to find a balance. The balance that I have been looking for is really about giving my full attention to each section of my life without getting distracted. The perfect balance to me is spending precious time with my son and not letting work creep in while I check my emails or answer a work call. Sounds easy enough, but when you are an entrepreneur it’s harder than you think. I am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to spend the day with my son, but that luxury also demands some creativity when it comes to how to give the appropriate time to everyone and everything. I really feel strongly that in 2012 I can give each important part of my life, both family and work, the attention they need and deserve without cheating one for the other.

This age of struggle for working moms is something I know I am not facing alone. Given the digital age we live in with email and social media making us available to work at all times, I find it harder than ever to turn off work. This new year, I have decided to take my resolution one week at a time so that I can see how this balance thing is really working. As every mom out there knows, some days go your way and everything works like clockwork…and some days don’t seem to work at all! By taking this resolution one week at a time, it gives me the opportunity to make minor adjustments  and see what changes need to be made in order to keep the resolution going all year. Here’s to a great 2012!


Thank you, sweet ladies! I’m grateful to you for sharing your struggles and motivations; it was like hitting refresh on my own list of resolutions!

And now it’s your turn, Friends. I can’t wait to hear your answers! It’s a few weeks into the New Year, and my million and one resolutions have been whittled down to…

Courageous Heart bracelet by Laurel Denise as photographed by Marcy May Photography. Gleeful jump on the bed via Molly Elmer.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ann January 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I really identify with Brandi and Molly’s goals (although different specifics) – Have courage to go for the things I want and not be afraid of being judged or being less than perfect. Also to take care of myself. I really have yet to commit to being more active and healthy – I still want to – thanks for the reminder…

Design Mom – you are an inspiration to me! The more I visit, the more that is confirmed!


2 Amanda January 18, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I made only one resolution this year: So far, I think it’s going really well. I take a deep breath, and think of this quote.


3 Kate January 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Teach. Teach my kids by example. This year I want to focus more on what I want my kids to see me being. This simple/enormous goal has already helped me stop short a few times when I’ve gotten snappy with my husband or fellow drivers on the road. I’ve written down some other random, concrete goals, but I’m not stressing about whether I get to them.


4 Justine January 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Thanks for encouraging me to ponder my resolutions again. My two resolutions have been to volunteer more in my community and to figure out if I am going back to work full time or staying home to care for my girls. The two are becoming intertwined, as I’ve decided to become a doula. I am eager to help other mamas navigate the intense, emotionally exquisite experience of childbirth. As a doula, I will be able to volunteer for moms who can’t afford my service, work as much as I’m able, and stay home with the kids. Win win win!


5 Meaghan January 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I think this is awesome Justine! I love your combined resolutions!


6 Brandi {not your average ordinary} January 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Thank you so much for asking me to be a part of this, Gabrielle! It was such an honor to share this with so many other lovely people!


7 Erin@ Out on A Limb... January 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Being in the moment. Sometimes it’s so easy to focus on what needs to be done, in what fashion and in what order. Some days it’s hard not too feel overwhelmed or even, I hate to admit it, bored with what often seems like the tedium of a typical day, but I do realize that before I know it, my kids will be older and I will be working again in some fashion, pursuing my own goals, and taking risks. All of this will make life crazier and more challenging and I hope I will have lived in the moment enough to remember these days fondly for what they were: real life, messy and exhausting, and ultimately, rewarding.


8 Mary January 18, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I loved reading these – such inspiring words. Thanks for asking me to participate too, Gabrielle! Now I’m off to practice my guitar…


9 Jane January 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Molly, what if we can’t find 10 things you like about what your hubby on some days? Wouldn’t that amplify the unpleasant side?


10 Molly January 22, 2012 at 8:48 pm

sometimes I have to dig deep, especially if we have had an “off” day…
But I have found that I can almost always come up with ten things.
i loved that he…
took the trash out or changed Nicholas’ diaper

Sometimes I am so focused on what he didn’t do that I often look over what he DID do.


11 Katie January 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Charity. It is huge and simple all at once. But I am seriously excited to just focus on this. Charity for my family, charity towards all man, charity towards myself. Love is a powerful thing, and when it is pure (as it is with charity) I think if I strive to really gain charity in my life, all other goals will kind of fall into place. Happy 2012! I think its going to be a good one :)
P.S. Thank you for being such an inspiration, in all facets of life.


12 Ann B January 18, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I’m still on track with all of my goals … but they aren’t really resolutions. They are things I want in my life. I meditate on them each morning and each evening – it only takes a few minutes. I find that just that simple act of awareness has me acting differently in all but one of the areas (I’m still not studying French, darn it!). I did set mini-goals – most achievable in 2-3 month increments, but with a first milestone at the end of January – in a few of the areas, and I will be finishing them up over the next week. This is a new approach for me, and I’m excited at how well it’s working!


13 Annie~Savor This Moment January 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Wow, these were great and inspiring words to read!

I’ve done a couple of posts on resolutions and my One Little Word for 2012: Thrive


14 Mau January 19, 2012 at 12:32 am

…the one I made a few weeks ago. I want to be more present in each moment of the day. Like Maggie Lord, I find that I get distracted too easily when I’m with my kids. The internet and trying to turn blogging into a full-time job are time-consuming and sometimes I find I’ll be with the children but my mind would be wandering elsewhere. I, too, am taking it a day at a time. Sometimes I manage to be truly present and focused on whatever is at hand, other times I’m all over the place but I’m giving it my best shot each day. Here’s hoping it will become more effortless as time goes by!


15 gina vide January 19, 2012 at 2:20 am

Thank you all for sharing. Inspired by my brilliant sister who writes lists and checks them off, during the year, I wrote a list of New Year’s Resolutions, last year. It was novel and fun. I made about 90% of them and am encouraged to write them down again this year, but, this year, I decided to give myself one general goal:
“Just Do It.”
Like so many other creatives, I have a million and one ideas and too many self-inflicted distractions. When I feel myself being distracted, this easy mantra puts me right back in place. Very excited with what 2012 is already bringing. Wishing that for all.


16 tearinguphouses January 19, 2012 at 6:40 am

i don’t really do new year’s resolutions, but i’m inspired by these. they’re so positive!


17 Patricia January 19, 2012 at 7:04 am

I agree Brandi’s resolution is pretty inspiring, and it’s one that I really would like to own this year as well. The older we are, the less opportunities come our way, so we have to have the courage to say YES to them and NO to the obstacles or people that drag us down!


18 Ris January 19, 2012 at 7:33 am

My resolution is to try new things. I’m a creature of habit so opening my eyes and heart to new experiences will be a challenge, but I’m excited to see what’s out there waiting for me!


19 Leah January 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

Joy! We are weeks away from welcoming our 3rd (and final) baby into our family… I’m starting to get nervous. I know it’s going to be chaotic. I know my older boys might go off the deep end a bit. I know small babies are so much work. I know that sleep deprivation is an ugly thing…. But, I want to find joy every day. I want to savor these moments of bringing him into the world, introducing him to his brothers, and watching them grow and develop together. I want to relish the love between siblings, I want to find joy in the everyday-ness of our lives rather than wish the tired and crazy away…


20 Laura January 19, 2012 at 9:14 am

These are all such wonderfully thoughtful resolutions. I enjoyed reading them, and thanks for including me on your amazing list of women! :)


21 Sarah January 19, 2012 at 11:37 am

I got the idea from my sister to pick one thing per month to focus on, rather than overload myself on January 1st. So far, so good!


22 Lisa January 19, 2012 at 11:59 am

Hope. Hoping that everything will work out for the best and remembering that it will.

Showing up. Showing up to support where I can at weddings, funerals, baby blessings, etc. This will help me get over shyness and being there shouldn’t have to include a fancy invitation.

Eating right and exercising. Our health is so important.

That’s my goals in a nutshell. I love that you’re keeping it simple! Kisses!


23 AlexisAnne @ Clean, Smart, Simple Style January 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I love Molly’s 4 goals- I think I might adopt them as my own :)

I’ve also posted about this a few times: The first is sort of my newly r resolved outlook on life for the year

and the 2nd is why I didn’t really make a detailed step by step set of resolutions or goals this year.


24 Amy January 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I used this lovely quote from Neil Gaiman as my inspiration: “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

So this year, I’m going to 1) Have fun. 2) Make art. 3) Devote my energy and creativity to my husband, kids, self, and home. As part of the fun, every Monday night over dinner we each pick something new to try that week. My son made lemon bars by himself. This week, my daughter wants to make a kite. My husband’s going to try racquetball. It’s so fun to hear what they’ve dreamed up!


25 danika January 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm

I have two new years resolutions
1 be able to do the splits by the end of the year.
2 run matts 100 mile race in 10 mile segments.


26 Maggie January 20, 2012 at 4:51 am

Thanks Gabrielle for allowing me to be apart of this! I love reading what every one else has to say.


27 Pam January 22, 2012 at 7:55 am

Thanks so much for including me, Gabrielle! It was great to read everyone’s responses – so inspiring! xo


28 Molly January 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Thanks for having me Gabriell! There is always inspiration to be found at Design Mom.


29 Jacquelyn s January 23, 2012 at 7:58 am

Where is that bracelet from? I love it!

I think my 2012 word is balance. I need to find a balance between being a mom, being a wife, a housekeeper, and just being me.


30 rachel grace January 24, 2012 at 9:54 am

brandi rocks my world.


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