Friday, January 1, 2016


2016 goals aspirations

“I had nothing to lose, but everything to gain.  Life is too short to play it safe”

You know when you feel you just need a change in your life?  Well that’s how I’ve been feeling for the past couple months.  Nothing is going horribly wrong, I have a great job and a beautiful apartment and amazing friends, but it just feels like something is missing.  It’s time for a change and as one of my favorite authors puts it, “a time to put yourself in an atmosphere of growth.”  So with these feelings of uneasiness bubbling I have put together twelve projects for myself in the coming year.  Each month will be dedicated to one of these aspirations and I can’t wait to share and blog about my journey with all of you on Brazen Brunette.  (And no worries the majority of content will still focus on makeup and skincare, because the obsession is real….)  The start of a new year brings such a sense of excitement and newness and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings.  It’s gonna be great, can you feel it??

So a little bit of background on how I made the conclusion that I needed to make some changes.  Back in July of 2014 I was faced with a huge life decision.  I was offered two jobs upon graduating with my master’s degree, one in New York City and one in Tampa, FL.  The job in NYC paid less, the position was unstable, and it was overall a risky move, but ultimately it was the city of my dreams and a place I had been wanting to move back to since I left in 2011.  The job in Tampa, FL was much more stable with a higher salary, but I wasn’t crazy about the city or the idea of moving thousands of miles away from my friends and family by myself.  I went back and forth on this decision, asked everyone and their twice-removed cousin their opinion and was torn for weeks feeling like I was on the constant verge of a nervous breakdown.  In the end I moved to Tampa because it was the “right” thing to do.  It was what my parents wanted me to do, and everyone thought the job was such a “great opportunity.”  So here I am now 1 ½ years later….do I regret my decision?  Well, yes and no.  Moving to a new city completely by yourself is a huge growing experience, pushes you outside of your comfort zone, and something I would recommend to everyone.  I have also gained so much invaluable knowledge and experience from my current position and if I hadn’t taken the opportunity in Florida I probably would have always wondered, what if?  But was it what I really wanted?  No. It was what everyone else thought I should do and the safe decision. 

So this whole experience has really tied into my goals for 2016.  I plan on not listening to others anymore, silencing out the doubters, the naysayers, play-it-safers; as good as their intentions may be, and follow MY heart.  Because in this past year and a half I realized no one really gives a crap what you do with your life.  I kept on asking peoples opinions and advice thinking they would have this remarkable idea that would magically solve all my problems and that's just not realistic.  We as humans are naturally egocentric, we only see the world through our lens, and unless something directly affects us, we don’t really care.   And it’s not coming from a bad place, it’s just how we’re wired.  So I am deeming 2016, “my year of choosing the bigger life.”  I am going to follow my heart, take risks, do what I want to do, and figure it out as I go. 
motivation, anything could happen
I am at my core a people pleaser.  I hate confrontation, I follow the rules, and oblige to the expectations that are put upon me.  But the trouble with this is that it doesn’t always align with my authentic goals and it can harbor resentment towards those I feel I’m “obliging” to.   I need to start listening to my gut and doing what’s right for me.  Stop being complacent.  So this comes to what is at the heart of my goals for the coming year, and this idea of “choosing the bigger life.”  A couple weeks ago I was listening to the Happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft and she was sharing some of the best life advice she has ever received, which is that when you are on the fence of making a tough decision always choose the bigger life.  Even if it’s cumbersome, and may not be popular, and comes with risks, choose the bigger life.  Elizabeth gave the example of being a new mom and getting the opportunity to write for a show in Budapest.  It would have been much easier to turn down the opportunity and stay in her cozy and reliable environment in L.A. with her young baby, but she took the risk, packed up her things, and moved to Budapest for 6 months for this writing opportunity.  She quoted it was one the best experiences of her life.  Another recommendation the sister pair had was when starting a new year to pick a “word of the year.”  A word that symbolizes what you want for yourself in the coming months and something you can think back on to guide your thoughts and behaviors.  So I have decided my word for this year will be “Audacious.”

Audacious (adjective): 1. Extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless:
2. Extremely original; without restriction to prior ideas; highly inventive:
3. Recklessly bold in defiance of convention, propriety, law, or the like; insolent; brazen.
4. Lively; unrestrained; uninhibited:
(source: Merriam-Webster)

I like it, what do you think?  What would your word be?  Being more audacious in the coming year is a perfect aspiration for me and aligns with the name of this blog.  How funny is it that brazen was actually one of the words in the definition?  I chose the name Brazen Brunette in the first place because I strongly believe in being yourself and going after what you want without apology.  It’s something I’m constantly aspiring to.   So I hope this post encourages you to listen to that little voice inside of you that maybe has been quieted by societal or familial expectations.  That maybe you’ve pushed aside to do the “right” thing and what’s expected of you.  Lets choose to live the bigger life together in 2016.  My, I wonder where we’ll go…

xoxo Nicole

1 comment:

  1. Yes I love this so much! I have a lot of big life changes coming up this year too, I need to pick a word for the journey! Any ideas??