2016: My Personal Reflection And What Needs To Change In 2017

Joanna Fowler December 29, 2016 Blog, Family, Self


I recently had a mom approach me at a birthday party asking me to please sum up my year in December. She had read my post from New Year’s last year: This is the year I put myself back on my to-do list, and she was dying to know if I stuck to my goals.

I don’t know what you have in mind for the next year, but I highly recommend you set a few goals. You might be surprised with yourself once 2018 hits.

Last year I made a pretty great bucket list for 2016. It came from a very honest place, somewhere deep down that was feeling a bit empty and a little joy-less.

I promised myself I would put myself back on my to-do list. What did that mean by that?

I would be more creative. Did you know that my background is in fine arts, and once upon a time I used to be an Interior Designer and mural painter? I had vowed that I would create some art in 2016, (something that I haven’t done since I was pregnant with our twins).

At first when I started examining my year a couple weeks ago, I thought I failed at this one. I hadn’t created any art. But the more I thought about it, I kept wondering why that creative hole in my heart not only felt full, but it was spilling over. How was I satisfying my creative urge?

Then it hit me… YouTube and video editing.

This new creative outlet has not only added the visual creation process (editing) that I need in my life, but it also solved a big problem about Nesting Story which I had been struggling with. It has allowed me to share my story in real time, now that my twins aren’t babies anymore.

So what is the takeaway from this? Creativity, (or exercise, or learning, or a myriad of other things), doesn’t have to look exactly like it once did in your life. It can take different forms and you need to make sure you embrace whatever that might be.

I would laugh more. I am, kind of. Mike and I have this running inside joke about the fact that I rarely laugh out loud. Really, I don’t. I tend to just say, “that’s so funny.” Mike told me about this, (because I didn’t realize I was doing it), a few years back, when he got me to watch an episode of Scrubs, and how Mandy Moore’s character did this as well.

I have no idea at what point in my life that I ditched a good chuckle and replaced it with narrating humour.

I am getting better at actually laughing, but it’s taking time. I think it may be a control thing, but slowly I am learning to relax and have fun.

laughing mom

I will worry less about work and find the joy again. This has probably been my biggest achievement this year. Blogging and Creating on YouTube is a bizarre job. One week you can be going viral, barely keeping up with your success, and the next week can be crickets, while you wonder if what you are saying and creating is even relevant.

For a long time, I felt that I had to say “yes” to every opportunity that came my way. I thought it was the only way to become successful, and that a pay check was more important that my happiness.

Well, guess what? That is not true at all. I don’t really share too much about the business side of what I do, but I will give you a small glimpse into the past year for me.

2016 started out full of potential. I had a lot of opportunities and revenue streams, but I was over-working myself and spreading myself too thin.

I was trying to focus on everything at once, and managing my blog, and social media platforms okay-ish, (YouTube wasn’t part of my plan then). But the further away I got from having twins, I was starting to feel like I had said what I wanted to say when I was pregnant with them. I was finding myself in some partnerships where I felt like I wasn’t in control, and what I was doing was starting to feel like painful work and less of a passion, which it once was.


So, I first decided to focus on the partnerships that I truly loved, and left the ones that weren’t the right fit. Then I made the decision to stop pursuing writing a book with my literary agent. I just knew that my heart wasn’t in it… at least at this point in my journey.

That’s when I started to discover video, and a whole new world opened up for me. But by mid-summer I experienced another blow. A large AD agency I was aligned with, (on the blog side), went bankrupt and despite many finished projects, I wouldn’t be paid. This had a ripple effect on my family and even changed my personal relationship with blogging.

But, in the end, here I am. I have taken control. I am learning how to say no to the wrong things and yes to the right things. I am learning that you have to choose one area to have laser focus on, and then do everything else as best you can, while keeping your eye on the prize. I have learned that passion is everything. Not quantity, or money… passion. Especially if you are self-employed, and eventually if you stick with what you love, success will come too.

I will worry less about my marriage and my kids and just enjoy life with my family. I think I can finally drop the mic with this one. If you have been following my blog for sometime, you will know that it hasn’t always been paradise around here.

After my twin pregnancy and surviving the first couple years with twins, (that’s four kids in total), my marriage was rocky and I wasn’t enjoying my kids… just parenting them.

It took a lot of work in 2015, and work to this day, to turn my marriage around and make it stronger than ever. But here we are, and I don’t over analyze each disagreement. We are truly finding our ebb and flow, now that we are on the other side.

In the past year I have truly learned how to enjoy life with my kids. Maybe it was our twins learning to walk, I’m not really sure when the shift came. We enjoyed an old-school, sprinkler and popsicles in the backyard summer together, and now that winter has hit, we are enjoying other new things together, like cooking and playing in the snow.


I am honestly excited about what 2017 holds for us.


You can read more about what I accomplished in 2016, and what I highly suggest you add to your 2017 bucket list on Baby Center: 5 things I did for myself in 2016, and you should in 2017

But it hasn’t all been rainbows and sunshine… I had vowed that I would obsess less about my weight and calories. But truthfully, at times I did throughout 2016. But every time I got close to my goal…


I would give up and balloon back to about 10 pounds heavier and a lot weaker than my goal.

before photo

I have really spent a lot of time pondering if I am happy with my physical self at the moment and here is the truth… I could be, but I don’t want to settle. I am curious what my body is capable of. It isn’t a vanity thing. It’s almost a life after having four kids thing.

Something has to change. So, are you curious about what my 2017 goal is? It’s something that is a deep rooted problem. Something that I have dealt with my whole life and if I am going to reach my goals, whether it’s my weight, or even long-term success with my business, this one thing has to be conquered.

I must stop self-sabotaging.

I am my own worst enemy sometimes. It’s driving me crazy and becoming a real problem. This will be a topic I will be covering in 2017 and I’d love for you to follow along. I have already started on my journey, reading books and taking control of some of my biggest problem areas. I will be sharing every detail with you, including why and how to stop, starting next week.

So, 2017… I am ready for you.

Don’t forget to like Nesting Story on Facebook, so that you don’t miss an article and subscribe to Nesting Story on YouTube so that you can follow my progress in realtime in the vlogs. I will also be posting on Instagram the entire time, so come say hi!

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4 thoughts on “2016: My Personal Reflection And What Needs To Change In 2017”

  1. Omg I’m sorry to say this to you but I feel so relieved reading this. I am a new viewer and when I watch you all look so perfect. I think how does she smile and laugh so easily and her and her husband look so happy. I’m in the midst of everything you describe and reading that this had taken work gives me hope.

  2. Gotta find you, take time for you, a Mom’s job is never done, right? Good on you Joanna. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows…life is hard. Keep your chin up and eye on the prize. Here is to a new you in 2017! GO Venditti family!

  3. Thank you for these posts Joanna, look forward to reading more. Happy New Year! All the very best with your goals for 2017. Your energy in looking after your family (and yourself!!) is really inspiring.

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