Top 5 Struggles for 2018 & How I Plan to Solve them for 2019

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When I decided to sit down and goal plan for 2019 I found myself writing all the things I struggled with in 2018. Many of them had to do with being a first time mom and a wedding photographer. Being a mom to a toddler this year has been so much fun, but also very challenging. I decided a long time ago that I wanted to stay home with my kids, so that I could be there for all of the important moments and truly shape them to be compassionate, caring, and loving individuals. I told myself I would be able to balance my career and work life while being home taking care of a baby. In my mind this baby would play quietly by herself for a few hours a day, and take 3 hour naps, and basically I got slapped in the face with reality. Avie is an amazing baby. She is chill, and smart, and makes us laugh, I cant even believe Jc and I created her, she is just too perfect. BUT she does NOT play quietly by herself, and she does NOT take 3 hour naps, and actually is basically out of the nap phase at 18 months. She doesn’t sleep very well at night, and still wakes up a few times to nurse. So I am left to stay up most nights after I put her to bed to get work done. Jc is off on Tuesday’s and Wednesdays so thats when I get most of my work done, but that leaves the housework and the self care out of the picture.

This leaves me with my number one struggle this past year.


Balance is such a funny term to me. I never knew how important it was until I became a mother. 2018 was the year I got to work on all the kinks, and have found some solutions that can help me to figure out that balance thing that I want so much.

#1. The Hive!

This place is right next to me in South Austin, and has become one of my favorite places, but I hardly take advantage of it. Its a co-working spot that is basically like a really cozy coffee place but has an amazing childcare option for $10/hr. You cant leave the shop while your child is in their care but I can order a cup of coffee, or some yummy food and get shit done. I did this a couple of times this past year but Avie was still hesitant when going, and cried when I left her. She is older now, and much better when left with babysitters so I am going to make an effort to really go to the hive so that I can get a few hours of solid work done.

#2. Grace

I need to learn to give myself grace when it comes to this, and realize that I can’t do it all. I want to so bad, but there are times when I need to just let it be.

#3. Set Morning and Evening Routines

I am dead set on creating healthy habits this year! Creating routines are the only way I can implement habits into my life.

#4. Live by a schedule

Avie LOVES schedules, I mean what toddler doesn’t? She loves knowing what is coming next, and sleeps much better when we can done her nightly bedtime routine. I know for me, I HATE schedules so much so this is a struggle but this year I am going to create a schedule that works for us and stick to it.

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Organization is not my forte BUT I am really good at making lists, and being organized when I really strive and try for it. I know I can achieve organization but I really want to take it to the next level.

#1. Bullet Journal, and Digital Journal.

I just recently discovered the amazingness of the bullet journal this past year and used it the last few months of the year. I found myself really loving it, and getting more done than ever before! If you arent familiar with what a bullet journal is, basically its a black dot grid journal that you are able to design and create into whatever you want it to be. I love to use it for my monthly planning, weekly, and even daily planning. I write any kind of lists I need to get done. I also use it as a brain dump, and write down all the ideas I have brewing in my brain. I write meal planning ideas, and recipes in it.

Below is an example from my digital bullet journal that I use on my Ipad with the apple pencil. I created the bullet journal with the tabs in Keynote and use it in Goodnotes. The tabs are all linked and clickable! I use this digital journal for all of my business stuff!

#2. Setting time aside for organization

I really love creating the spreads for whatever I am doing in my bullet journal, my first love was graphic design, and right now I am enjoying watercolor and calligraphy so this is a perfect way for me to practice these things so I am determined to take 15-20min a day to organize my life.

#3. Implementing Batch Working

I listened to one of Jenna Kutchers podcast about how she batch works and it immediately rang my bell. I already do this to a degree, but never knew that I do it intentionally and kept trying to force myself out of it. So once I heard this I decided to dig deep and really create a system that I think will work for me. Basically I am going to assign work for a day of the week and work on that one thing only for as long as I can. Even if it means creating 4 blog posts on the same day, YUP I am doing that today. Check out the podcast HERE if you are interested!

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I SUCK at this so bad. I used to be so good at it before having a kid. I mean like 2x a week I would take a bath with candles and read a book. I did yoga daily, meditated daily, went on hikes weekly. I could do anything, be anywhere without a second thought. Now its not that easy. So this is something I told myself I would work on this year and heres how I am doing it.

#1. DATE NIGHT 1x a Month

I need this SO BAD! Jc is my best friend so taking to him about life and something other than diapers, and financial things every once in a while without Avie hanging from my boob WOULD BE AMAZING. I think Jc needs this as bad as I do.


Taking time to watercolor has been so therapeutic for me. I LOVE creating art, but I am a bit of a perfectionist, and with watercolor I can let go and let happy mistakes happen without freaking out about them. I love how freeing watercoloring can be.

#3. Read one book a month

I love to read, I mean we have SO many books and haven’t had the time to read them but I am going to implement reading for 15-20 min before I go to bed as part of my nighttime routine. I think it will help immensely on how well I sleep and help my overall happiness.

#4. Eating Healthy and Working Out

This is the HARDEST for me. I think we do eat healthy but when I get stressed, which is a lot I tend to crave the worst foods ever. This year I am starting off with a Whole 30, Jc is doing it with me and I am hoping it resets my cravings and makes me feel amazing enough to keep it going. Adding a small workout in there even if its just yoga 3x a week.

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I mean who doesn’t struggle with this in our society? I am talking scrolling for hours, comparing your life to EVERYONES seemingly perfect life. Trying to keep up with posting and people. I JUST CANT ANYMORE.

#1. This year I will take more social media breaks

I am going to take Sundays and completely detach from any social media! I cant wait to do this, I think its going to help so much.

#2. TV Time

I am really bad with the TV. I will turn it on for the day and put it on something I know I dont have to pay attention to but sometimes it catches mine or Avies attention and the next thing we know a couple of hours have passed by when I could have gotten a million other things done. This year I am limiting our TV time to 1/Hr a day.

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Moving to Austin was the best decision I have ever made. I love living here I love raising Avie here. I love this place so so much, but I also have NO family here at all. This year was really hard mostly because I don’t have any of my people here to rely on, talk to, or ask for help. Which leads me to my first solution.

#1. Schedule FaceTime and phone calls for family and friends

I think this will help not only me but Avie also, she loves her family! Talking and seeing family even if its not in person will help me feel that sense of connection.

#2. Create relationships with people in Austin

I struggle with this so hard, but I need friends here. I NEED THEM. I want to schedule more play dates and adult ladies dates for some of the friends I have made here to really create stronger relationships.

#3. Plan a girls trip

Okay I have been wanting to do this FOREVER!! Lets get an Airbnb and have a slumber party!! Who is in??

Well there ya have it! My top 5 struggles, and the solutions I have come up with. I will do a post at the end of the year to let ya know how it all went, but It was so nice to write these all out and intentionally come up with solutions! If you have the same struggles I would love to know I am not alone. Drop your struggle below and what you plan to do to solve it this year!

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alyssa garza