At the end of December, I took a nice long break. I took some time to reflect on the things that were going well this past year, and things that could use a lot of improvements and even just minor tweaks. Lists were made, solutions were brainstormed and new ideas were born. Admittedly, this isn't something I only do at the end of each year, but usually monthly...but when I indulge in 10+ days away from almost all work, perspective is so much more accurate. 2017 was the most successful year for Ginger Tonic Botanicals to date and I'm so happy and proud that I met almost every goal I had set for myself that year. And with many achievements, there is often accompanied unexpected challenges, and I really zeroed in on the biggest one for me this year. 

Connections to Tech. 

I spoke about this on Instagram a few days ago and opened up a bit about how I've been majorly struggling with my dependence on tech and social media for both my clinical practice and my online business, and the feedback I've been hearing on this has been so heartwarming. I'm sometimes on my computer 9+ hours a day when I'm seeing clients, charting, answering emails, teaching and doing research. And that's not even to mention the photo editing, social media, blog post writing and random time wasting activities. Hours and hours of screen time is hard. And I'm liking it less and less. 

However, all these things are essential for the projects that I love to flourish, and I don't want to give those up. SO.....(re)solutions have been made. 

I'm choosing to carve out a lot more time for tech-free activities:

I'll be reading 1 new book every single month, for total fun and pleasure, starting with The River of Consciousness. So far this has been an amazing read!

I'll be taking at least 4+ new herbal courses throughout the year because I never want to stop learning from as many people as possible. I'm staring with checking out the Herbal Academy and taking a quick course, Herbal Self Care for Stress Management, to kick things off. 

I'll be making art daily, starting with playing with watercolors. My dad, an incredible artist himself, gave me a watercolor set for Christmas, as well as my first art lesson in 25 years. Age 31, never too late to start. 

I'll be creating more intentional spaces throughout my home that are wi-fi off limits. Think more magical spaces, where our "elusive creative genius" isn't so stifled and our house spirits can feel more welcome with their insights. More on this later...

I'll be investing in more time spent learning photography, better gear, more classes and getting out there to practice practice practice! 

I'll be scheduling social media times. No more randomly checking a dozen times a day. It's a once a day thing now. 20 minutes tops. AND, I'm starting to consciously shift my mindset about my relationship with social media. I'm calling in only good vibes, positive connections, outpouring of love an inspiration and gratitude for the genuine community I've found there. 

I'm cyber-shutting off at 6:00pm on most days. More committed time with my sweet pets, my partner and cozy house and garden things is taking priority. When I'm home, I'm home and present. 

I'll be writing daily, journaling, sending letters, and just straight up doodling if my brain is a little mushy that day. Habits, ya know? 

I'll be working HARD on time management and only saying yes to things that I'm 100% into committing my time to this year. This includes teaching and speaking engagements, brand partnerships and sponsored posts, conferences, and clinical things etc. Last year was the year of "YES!" (and no regrets there, my any means) but I definitely spread myself too thin, especially in the fall and early winter. I want what I commit to and create to be my best work, and I need dedicated, intentional time to make this happen. 

With all of these (re)solutions and lifestyle shifts, I'll still be creating all those yummy herbal recipes (and then some!), holistic living and herbal/nutritional educational info, and magical botanical creations on this space. I have so many fun ideas for this year I literally can't wait to share them. Thanks for sharing your ideas, suggestions and questions via email over the past year - I love reading your comments and feedback on things you'd like to see - several of them will make appearances this year ;)

Happy new year, ya'll. Thanks for your continued love and support as I embark on year 4 of the Ginger Tonic Botanicals online space!