2014 in review–Thanks for reading!

Nice to get an annual blog report. This helps me set goals for 2015. I know that I need to be consistent and instead of pushing myself to post 5-7 days a week, I’m committing  to posting on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Those are the days that make the most sense to me and are the most doable. I’ve also pledged to post my entries on my personal Facebook page and not just my PeculiarPearl Facebook page as this will provide me with more exposure. I’ve been a bit fearful of doing this BUT I gotta push through that fear and hit SHARE. My goal is to be able to utilize my blog as an arm of my speaking/facilitation career that I have also pledged to build this year and it serves as an alternate form of providing knowledge through my role as a leadership educator. I share my full self and I promise that when I post, I’m being my most authentic self. You are getting the stories that occur at the intersection of all my identities. This blog has been a part of my life since 2011 and it has helped me make meaning of my life experiences. It is the most effective form of reflection that I have in my life. Thank you to those who have taken the time to read, like, comment, and share. I hope you’re just as excited about PeculiarPearl in 2015 as I am as I type this post.

Thanks for reading!

Krystal aka Peculiar Pearl

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The 2014 Experience

It’s that time of year for everyone to post their Year in Review or Flip-o-gram or whatever other social media gimmick that allows you to review the “most liked” or “double tapped” moments of the year. In one push of a button you can see how others engaged with your posts. Did they share it? Did they comment? The all important question seems to be, “How did others feel about your year?” –Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and I get the same dopamine rush that we all get when someone shows appreciation for whatever visual or philosophical thought I offered to the world. BUT, when it came time to think about my year, I didn’t want to get caught up in what y’all liked. I wanted to be reminded of what I loved and really what I learned from this year. If there’s something I know for sure, we are forever learners and life is the best teacher we’ll ever have in this world.

Over on Instagram @clarkkn, I’ve been posting my Top 10 moments of the year. The moments are not in any specific order. #kncin2014 will take you through the journey of my experiences and why I cherished them so much.

Reflection is a high impact practice and we all need to take time to engage in meaning making when it comes to our lives. It would do us all good to not just tumble through life without learning from all of its highs,lows, and in betweens.

reflection

Take some time to think back through your year and figure out what you want to carry into 2015 and what you’d like to leave behind. What are some best practices that helped you be successful? What are those decisions you made that you would not repeat? Who are those people that you want to develop or strengthen relationships with in 2015? Engage in goal-setting. NOT RESOLUTIONS! GOALS! Write them and create an action plan for success. When in doubt, make your goals S.M.A.R.T.

S= Specific–“I’d like to help create world peace.”–Nope. Dig Deeper! What do you specifically want to do?

M= Measurable– “I just want to do a lot of fun things.” –Nope. How will you know that you’re making progress or completed your goal?

A= Attainable–“I want to go to Mars.” –Nope. Unless, you’re one of those small group of people that will actually have this opportunity. –Dream big but think about your resources. Remember, you can’t be anything you want to be but you can be more of who you are.

R= Relevant–Is this goal valuable to you? To you organization? It has to matter. Make the things that matter happen in 2015.

T= Time-Bound –When is your deadline? “Someday.” –Nope. –March 31, 2015 at 10am–Perfect.

smart goals

Others subscribe to HARD Goals and would rather think in terms of the following:

H= Heartfelt

A= Animated

R= Required

D= Difficult

Check out more details here. This might be a great way to shake up your regular goal setting process. It might even work for you to take your goals through both processes.

All of those things that have been on your “to-do” list for multiple years–you know things like, learn a second language, take ballroom dance lessons, go on a missions trip, lose 15 lbs., and read the entire Harry Potter Series–have a sit down with yourself and make a firm decision as to whether that lingering thing is even really important to you. I love that Arianna Huffington in her book, “Thrive” brought us the concept that one can finish a project simply by taking it off the list. No shade shall be given, just cross it off and breathe it out.

Check out my Top 10 list on Instagram and then create your own. What did you learn and how did this year leave a mark on your life? What goals do you have in 2015?

Thanks for reading.

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What are you doing New Year’s Eve?

I haven’t had the best track record with NYE. In fact, it has been pretty awful until I moved to Nashville. When I was in college, I just chilled at home and waited for my mom to get back from church. I’d watch MTV bring in the New Year in Times Square and long for the day when I could go out and be a cast member in some fancy party with a fancy dress and kiss some fancy man at midnight. Even when I had a boyfriend in college, we never celebrated NYE together except by phone. Le sigh!

I moved to Durham, NC and spent one NYE at a bar party on a solo mission with the hopes of meeting new friends in town. That was kind of a bust but I was proud of myself for going in the first place. I spent another year at a fun dance party with good friends and even though I was surrounded by people, great music, and a money drop at midnight, I still felt quite alone. I don’t even remember what I did the other NYE’s I celebrated in NC. Must have been awful :(.

My first NYE in Nashville, my friend Erin was in town and we went to a My So-Called Band (90’s cover band) concert along with 2 of my Nashville friends, Tracy and Jenn. We also ate at a restaurant and had an experience that warranted us getting a free dinner from them a few weeks later. I had a blast! Mainly because I didn’t feel lonely and I was surrounded by music. My second NYE I spent at a house party with great people, fun music, a stacked bar, and it was pretty good. If you can, a house party is certainly the way to go. This year, to bring in 2014, I am going back to the My So-Called Band Concert because well, it beats anything else I’ve done thus far. It’s economical, predictably fun, and I’ll be with at least 2 people that I know and really like. I’ll also get to meet some new people and that never hurts. I won’t get a kiss at Midnight BUT for some reason the universe has decided that I’m not destined for NYE kisses. Deep sigh. I just hope that when I get my kisses, the kisses only meant for me, that they are AMAZING! The universe has some making up to do. Hmph!This is your year

Oh, well. I’m going to make myself look my most beautiful, be open to a fun time, and sing till my voice fails at the show. My goal for 2014 is to live my life out loud and in color so I’m guessing a concert is probably the best way to go.

I wonder if like every other holiday, we hype it up so much that it becomes stressful? Are we doing the right cool thing? What is the right cool thing? Do we have the best dress? We have to spend a crapton of money, right? Then make a resolution to get out of debt :/. We are blessed to celebrate a New Year and nothing should be stressful about that, right? Does it really matter what you do from 9pm-Midnight on the 31st or is it more important what you do on January 1 with this “fresh start”?

What are you doing New Year’s Eve?