Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Reflecting on 2017 & Goals for 2018

My top 9 most liked Instagram photos of 2017

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and are ready for a fresh new start in 2018.  I know I am!

2017 was a wonderful year in many ways, and I am so thankful for all my blessings, especially my health & that of my loved ones, my sweet family & most importantly, the grace and love of Jesus.  2017 was the year I finally took the plunge and started Smart Southern Style.  I'd been considering starting a blog for about a year, but kept coming up with excuses for why I shouldn't (not enough time, unsure of where to start, doubting why anyone would care what I had to say, you name it..).  But the nudging inside me persisted, and in July I decided to start researching how to start a blog.  I started my Instagram in late July and Smart Southern Style made it's debut in October of this year.  I have included a few of the most popular looks I posted in 2017 throughout this post.

Although I am still new at all this blogging stuff, I had some accomplishments this year that I am proud of, and I'm a firm believer that we all need to acknowledge what we've done well, not just what we can do better.
  • I found a company to develop the blog & found a wonderful photographer to take my photos.  I also came up with my blog name & designed a logo.  
  • I was accepted to Reward Style / LIKEtoKNOW.it the first time I applied.  If you don't already follow me on LIKEtoKNOW.it, you can follow me & quickly shop all my looks by clicking here.  
  • I connected with some sweet local bloggers through networking. 
  • I participated in my first boutique photo shoot & met more fabulous blogger babes.
  • I was invited to be a guest on a local TV show for a fashion segment.  
  • And most importantly...I have been able to connect with all of you wonderful readers!

I am still in the very early stages of blogging but have already thought of ways to improve and grow in the coming year.  Although these are my goals specifically about the blog, they are applicable to just about any goal we set for ourselves.

1.  Be more consistent:  I have done well with posting regularly on Instagram & Facebook, but not so much here on the blog.  My goal is to have a new post every Tuesday and Thursdays as well if I have something else worth sharing in one week.  However, if I don't have anything valuable to share some days, I am not going to create a new blog post "just because".  I want to bring you all content that is helpful, so please comment below or send me an email with any blog post ideas you would like to see.  Being consistent sets us up for success with anything:  eating better, exercising, spending quiet time with God, good work habits, etc... That brings me to my next goal...

2.  Plan ahead:  I have been terrible at planning this year, and have found myself scrambling sometimes to come up with something new to post, either here or on social media.  This needs to change because I am not providing the best possible content when I am posting last minute, and it causes unnecessary stress.  (And Lord knows none of us need any more of that in our life!)  I want to plan out the content I will share with you all each month & keep running lists of new blog post ideas.   This is the case for any of our goals - if we plan ahead and set time aside on our calendar for what we want to do, we are more likely to accomplish our goals.

3.  Don't compare myself to others:  This is so hard for us ladies, isn't it?!?  But let's face it, when we do this, we are comparing our insides with someone else's outsides.  What we see and perceive about another person isn't reality and we all need to remind ourselves of that.  I can't compare what another blogger does/posts/looks like, because I am not her.  And let's be honest, what we see on social media is someone's highlight reel, right?  We all put our best stuff out on the inter-webs, not the not-so-pretty (but sometimes real life) stuff.  If we all focus on what we are good at and stay in our own lane (verses wishing we were more like someone else), we are all more successful.

4. Give myself grace:  This is another one that is hard for us ladies.  We are so hard on ourselves!  Whether it is about our role as a mom, wife, daughter, employer, friend or anything else, it is so easy to beat ourselves up when we do something wrong.  I have to keep reminding myself that although this blog is a passion of mine, I also have a demanding full time job that I love and want to be the best wife and mom to my family.  So, that will sometimes mean not having as much time as I would like to devote to the blog.  But..we need to give ourselves grace and just do the best we can, because no one does everything well all of the time.

5. And most importantly...Have fun!:  I started this blog because I have a love for fashion and a true desire to help ladies live a more fashionable life.  I am a firm believer that having great clothes that we feel good in will give us more confidence which can impact every area of our lives. I want to continue to grow and provide you all the best possible content, but having fun with this blog is my top priority.  If we aren't enjoying what we are doing, I think that means we either need to do something else or ask God to change our heart & attitude.  I absolutely love this new blogging adventure, but if it ever becomes more of a chore than fun, it will be time to reevaluate.

Well...I think that covers my reflections on the last year and my goals for Smart Southern Style (& many other areas of my life) in the coming year. I hope that some of what I have shared here is also applicable to your own personal goals for the new year.  I am so grateful that you have joined me on this journey and appreciate you more than you know. Cheers to a new year!


  1. Keep up the posts! I love this blog and am so glad you finally decided to get it started. Your looks are amazing. I’m looking forward to what you have coming up as we approach Spring.

    1. Thanks so much! I am so glad you like reading along. I have some great ideas as we approach spring, so stay tuned!!

  2. I love your blog and this post inspired me to make some goals! Question— do you think the over the knee boot trend is here for awhile? I just bought a pair I love but wonder how long they will be on trend. Thanks for all the inspiration!



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