2016 Year in Review and Goals for 2017

Blogger Sarah Hearts shares a personal and professional recap of 2016 and her big goals for 2017!

Today I’m doing a little personal and professional reflection on 2016 and sharing my dreams and desires for the year ahead. Well, because everyone is doing it and I thought it would be fun to dig a little deeper on here and share a little more behind the scenes.

2016 was the year I finally felt legit

You might be thinking this is crazy because I’ve been blogging full-time since 2013 it’s true. This is the year that I feel like I really honed my style, found my niche and well for lack of better words actually felt legit. Maybe it’s because I turned 30 in 2016? I’m not sure—I still have days where I totally want to call it quits and get a 9-5 design job. Because being self-employed and wearing every hats all the time is really hard.

I styled, shot and edited 53 videos.

Yes, 53! Back in January of 2016 I woke up one day with a goal to create ONE video. I dragged my stand mixer into my office along with all my other baking supplies and shot my first overhead video. I hadn’t used Final Cut (the editing software I now use) before but had it installed on my computer for years from working at the Apple store. I fumbled my way through it and stayed up all night to edit and tweak that video. I shared it the next day and was so freaking proud of that video mostly because I made up my mind I was going to try something new and did it. This is a huge step for me because even though I feel like I’m a pretty action oriented person I hate trying something new because I’m too scared to fail. But the response was pretty overwhelmingly awesome and I decided that 2016 was going to be the year I went head first into video.

I’m so happy I stuck with it. My videos evolved over the last 12 months and my editing skills have improved (mostly thanks to learning keyboard shortcuts—a serious game changer). They have been the driving factor of the growth of my business and have led to some really fun and challenging opportunities.

I have 2 viral videos.

Say what? This still surprises me when I say it. I’m super proud and humbled that so many people watched, shared and loved my mini ice cream cake video and my baked onion ring video.

I launched my first product.

Launching my non-stick baking mats was something I had been dreaming of for years. I’m excited to grow this venture into other goods and continue my dream of making cute things.

We spent our first full year in Los Angeles.

Back in the fall of 2015 Kevin and I decided it was time for a new adventure and a fresh start so we packed up our Fit and headed west. 2016 was our first full year in California and I’ve loved almost every minute of it (those times I didn’t were as you might guess, when I was stuck in traffic on the 405). I’m not sure how long we’ll be here but that move really shaped us. And after doing it, we now feel like we could move anywhere.

We traveled around the world.

Early in our marriage, Kevin and I decided we wanted to make travel a priority. Even though I’m the first to say I love nice things, as I get older I want less stuff and much rather spend our hard earned $ on experiences. And last year we went for it and traveled in 10 months of the year! We got to go to some incredible places (thanks to Kevin’s hobby of mile hacking) together.

Last year we traveled to New Orleans, D.C., Balitmore, Orlando, Japan, England, U.A.E., Hong Kong, Singapore together. And I traveled to Miami, Key West, Portland, Carmel, Big Bear, Palm Springs, and Joshua Tree. And this year we already have some really rad places on the books including back to the UK to visit our dear friends and Australia to cross off another bucket list destination!

Blogger Sarah Hearts shares a personal and professional recap of 2016 and her big goals for 2017!

My goals for the year ahead

I want community.

Living in L.A. feels lonely sometimes. But it’s such a big city and there’s always things to do so how can it feel lonely, right? So many people that have lived in L.A. for a season have told me this and now after a being here a little over a year I’ve found it so true. And yes, even though there are people every where you look, I’ve personally struggled with finding my community. It’s what I miss most about living in Orlando and what I hope to change this year. L.A. is an exciting city and it’s led me to some really rad opportunities that I’m certain I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t lived here but I miss my tribe and besties. I’m hoping this is the year we find a church we really love and grow a community.

I want to teach workshops again.

This is kinda related to my goal for community. I haven’t hosted a Meet + Make in L.A. yet mostly because I’m afraid of having a party and no one showing up. But I want to jump into this again and give it a try. I’ve got a few ideas of what this might look like and I’m excited (and slightly terrified) to give them a try this year.

Create More Videos.

More than I did last year? Maybe. I’m just know that I’m having so much fun doing it that I want to keep it going. Not too sure what this will look like yet, but I’m pumped to see where this takes me this year. I’m also considering bringing someone on board to help with this or working with more contract creators make this happen.

Document Life.

Kevin and I are the worst at this. We literally traveled around the world and barely had any photos to share from it. So on the personal side of things, I want to take more photos just for ourselves and our family. And on the blog side of things I absolutely love Snapchat (I’m @sarahheartslove) because I feel like I can be authentic, unfiltered (literally, although I’m a big fan of the flower crown filter) and share what’s really happening day-to-day. I want to share more on that platform and on here so you guys can get to know me and I can get to know you better. I also want to figure out a way to share more about Justin and all things equestrian, since I spend every minute not work over at the ranch. It’s such a big part of my life and I think it would be fun to share more about it on here.

Better work/life balance.

I feel super blessed to have created a job that I truly love (even though it’s true, I sometimes want to throw in the towel). I love to be able to create for a living; I feel it’s what I was created for. But I’m terrible at setting work/life boundaries. Working hard all time time is in my genes (my parents are some of the hardest working people I’ve ever known) but it’s also draining. It drains myself and my relationships. This year I want to do my best to set work boundaries. Not answering emails in the middle of the night and actually having the weekends off are at the top of my list. I also want to create just for fun. The other night I got out my gouache paints (that I bought almost 4 months ago) for the first time and had some much fun just doodling.

That’s my recap and here’s to looking at the year ahead! If you’ve made it this far, a huge hug to you for reading this! So now, I want to know, what are some of your goals for 2017?

Leave some love:

  1. I love this! I’m about to hit post on my own list and reading the goals of some of my favorite creative friends is so inspiring. And please- host a workshop!! I would SO be there with bells on!! Cheers to 2017! ??

    • Thanks so much, Natasha! I will keep you posted and I’m heading over to read your post now!

  2. Thank you for sharing! Jenna and I have been watching you grow and it’s simply amazing! You are so inspiring and we mention you often. <3 we were just talking about Meet + Make this week and totally think you need to go for it in LA! The workshops were some of the best nights we've enjoyed with complete strangers AND we got to create some beautiful! Think of all the people who will miss out on those experiences if you don't do it… Just a thought 😉

    Best wishes to you in 2017 and I look forward to watching you continue to succeed!

    P.s. We totally thought you were legit back in 2013!

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement, Shannon! Your feedback (and Jenna’s!) means so much to me!

  3. It’s been so awesome seeing your content shine this last year!! I have been really impressed with your videos and I totally agree that you’ve honed in on your style! Congrats on a great year and wishing you an even better 2017!

  4. I’m a newbie to your site and I’m thrilled I found it.
    I’m in LA and would most def. come to a Meet + Make that you host!
    Happy to help out if that makes it less scary for you.
    Go get ’em, girl!

    • Hi Erin! Thanks for stopping by and I so appreciate your support. Be on the lookout, I’m starting to plan a Meet + Make for the spring!