Today’s post was going to be all about the powerful herbal supplement, Echinacea. Then, I read Emily’s post over at Daily Garnish and realized that a.) I never sat back to really think about the things I’m looking to improve in 2013, and b.) I always enjoy reading everyone else’s resolutions, so why should my readers be any different about reading mine?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like yesterday was December 30th. Seriously, where did that week go? I’ve been so busy since then that I haven’t had an opportunity to sit down and soak in the fact that it’s 2013. This year has the potential to be really great, and terrifying all at the same time. There are a lot of trips to be planned, life events to occur, and growing to do, so 2013 should be exciting and jam-packed. I’ve already had the chance to reflect back on 2012, but I didn’t stop to think of all that meant for 2013, you know? And, a lot of what happened in 2012 is what is going to shape this year for me…

So, here it goes…. Echinacea can wait.

1.) To gain more confidence in myself as a chef and holistic health counselor, and my business The Gourmetour.

Me, to the left there, in my role as group leader for our final project in culinary school

One thing I’ve always been really good at is thinking that I should be at the next level in my knowledge, experience, career, etc. than is actually true and appropriate. In other words, when I was 18 I thought I should be 20..1. When I was in undergrad, I thought I needed to be a full-blown professional adult. When I was in culinary school, I thought I needed to be an instructor or a full-blown chef. Does this make sense? Not because I think I’m better than where I am, but because I’m always thinking that if I’m not at the next level I’m not good enough. But, the thing is I’m not there, and it’s impossible to get there without being right where I am first. And, in reality I’m really good for where I am. The problem is that I then allow myself to beat myself up because I’m making myself feel inadequate with all this craziness. I then lose sight of the fact that I am pretty good at what I do, for where I am. This happens the most in regard to my career, but let me tell you it happens in my social life too! I find myself looking at other businesses and business models for research, and then compare myself to them.. a brand new company comparing itself to seasoned pros with years more of experience. And it’s pretty obvious that I’m setting myself up for disaster. So, my resolution this year is to make an effort to realize this more often, and in doing so develop my confidence in my career.

2.) To build the counseling side of my business to 10 clients by July, and double that by December. 

Taking on culinary and nutrition school at the same time posed to be challenging at times. I found myself putting my nutrition schooling on the back burner (can you even stand all my puns right now?!) because I felt that any demands of being in a physical school outweigh any immediate demands from an online school. But, now that culinary school has ended and my final internship requirements are winding down, I’ve found myself focusing more and more on the nutrition school. In fact, I’ve been able to realize that I am actually much more passionate about nutritional counseling, in comparison to cooking, than I thought. I’m starting to really see the importance of incorporating my counseling into my cheffing… rather than counseling or cheffing exclusively. So, with all of that said, let the counseling begin!

3.) To focus on my relationship with Ethan, and quit the long-distance by summer….latest.

2013 marks the 5th year of Ethan and my relationship. We’ve been doing long distance for 90% of that. Crazy, right? Well, yes and no. I’m not sure if I’ve ever gone into specific detail about all this on here before, so I’ll share some insight to it now. I like to stay rather private on here about specifics in my relationships with family, Ethan, and friends. But, like I said earlier.. I always like to read about it on other people’s blogs so why shouldn’t you here. Ethan and I started dating at a very interesting time in both of our lives. We are high school sweethearts and started our relationship honestly having zero idea of where it would take us. And, well long story short we quickly found out that we are really meant to be together, and the years from then until now have done nothing but drive that realization home. Some of what makes us work is what keeps us apart. Trust being one of them, and the fact that we have always wanted each other to find out who we are as individuals, and to follow the individual opportunities that life throws at us.. especially as the young 20 somethings that we are. But, the reality is that a couple is not defined as an individual, but rather a couple making life decisions and compromises together. We have completely realized these past 6 months that we could continue to follow life’s opportunities as individuals until the day we die, and our paths may never cross. It is up to us to steer our careers and relationship towards each other. We’ve already let two chances to end the long distance go, so it is really obvious that what I’ve just said is true. It is up to us to start placing the importance on us as a couple and hopefully someday as a family, because at the end of the day that is the single most important thing in both of our lives. So, here we go spring/summer 2013!!!

4.) To find an office that feels like a safe space for me and my clients, whether that is in my home or an outside rental.

This definitely can go with number 2, but I think it is important to really make this a priority. I went from having all the room in the world in my apartment in Chicago to having a tiny bedroom in an apartment with no work space. I’ve definitely had the opportunity to discover the value in having a separate work, living, and sleeping space. Especially considering that the kitchen is also my office.  I just really need an “office” where I can keep files, my printer, my professional library, and an organized space that will keep my head clear and from distraction. Also, I have no where to bring clients for counseling, and I would much rather have a closed door office than a community room in my apartment or a local coffee shop where clients, and myself, may not feel comfortable really getting into our sessions. I think this is incredibly important for the success of my second resolution.

5.) To get my recipes and articles published.

This is one of the major goals I’ve had in mind since starting to think about changing careers. My number one goal in all of this is to become an educator in health and wellness through food. A really important aspect to that is getting published whenever and where ever possible. I believe that every single person can improve their health from what/where it is today. I want to reach all those people, in all sorts of demographics, but it’s just impossible to do that through my counseling and cheffing alone… especially with the importance of creating a niche market for The Gourmetour and it’s success. So, writing articles for different publications is the way to do it… reach their demographic through them and I reach more and more people. If any one has any suggestions, I am all ears!

6.) To start a project that I have in mind with some of my culinary school friends… more on that as I know more.

Along the lines of number 5, but my lips are sealed until this project really gets rolling.

7.) Visit my girls in Chicago at least once per season.

I miss my b*tches. Plain and simple.

8.) Expand my social media presence (blogging included), tenfold.

This sort of relates to all my other business resolutions, but it deserves its own focus because it is time and effort consuming. I’m a marketing person for goodness sake!

9.) To really sit down with my budget and hold myself accountable.

I’ve created projected budgets in the past, and keep myself loosely accountable for monthly spending, but never actually practiced true, honest, painfully strict budgeting. And, truth be told I’m not making the kind of money where it is okay not to do that. I’ve wasted enough money by letting this slide for so long, and I am sick of it. Money is a huge source of [paralyzing] anxiety for me (and 90% of the population), but it makes no sense to let it affect me so much without taking control of it, especially when I am literally the only one that can take control of it. It’s everything I’ve ever practiced or preached in health and wellness, but in regard to personal finances. This is especially important as I begin my business, and I know that so, that is why I am starting now!

10.) Get back into my fitness regimen.

Seriously, what happened to my healthy self? (and that scarf?) I feel like I’ve almost digressed since I went off to pursue health and wellness. What’s with that? Honestly, I think that I’ve let my stress go too far…. I’ve become that person that becomes debilitated by stress and anxiety. But, luckily I know better and know that once I start my routine I will stay there. I want start off by getting back to walking everywhere, and hopefully that leads me back to running…maybe even sign up for a few races this year. I’m going to take this one step at a time, though. (seriously, why am I so punny!!)

Well, it’s pretty obvious that my focus this year will be on my business, and I think that it’s rather appropriate given the circumstances. So, here we go.. bring it on 2013!


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