How to be brave.

Welcome to the first full week of a lovely, never-before-experienced year. I hope you’re ready for it :) Like many of you, I’ve been thinking long & hard about my vision for 2014. And even though I have limited control of what really happens in life, here’s what I do know: 2014 is going to be my best, my bravest year yet.

A new year presents opportunity for fresh changes and new decisions. It’s a time of high encouragement; for our dreams to reach completion. We can stop and/or start anything we want. Talk about exciting!


But, fresh changes and new decisions require us to show courage.

Recently, for the first time ever, Zack and I sat down to specifically set goals for 2014. We had a delicious date of pie & coffee in Petoskey, MI (thanks Grandma for babysitting Maxwell) and made some plans for the new year. Then on Saturday, once we were back in Los Angeles, we met with a couple advisers at our bank. I felt like such an adult, setting financial goals and such. But much more than that, I felt prepared and educated. I felt brave. And once again, it was so very exciting.

But there’s something else a new year can bring (that’s often disregarded): discouragement. It’s so, so easy to get pulled into the concept of goal-setting and planning (everyone’s doing it, right?) only to feel totally let down once the energy dissolves. You get ready for a new year you may have purchased a brand-new, beautiful calendar and a fresh pack of pens; you’re now ready to list-make and outline. You may have purchased a new book; you’re now ready to learn. You may have set crazy goals; you now feel like you’re on fire.

Reality check: this energy is bound to fade at some point, but it doesn’t have to dissolve totally. Don’t let yourself get to that “ugh” stage of goal setting. Because I’ve been there, and it’s hard, so hard, to pull yourself back out.

So let’s talk about this new year and how to be brave :) I’ll start with a personal story:

I spent a large part of 2013 contemplating and worrying about who I am verses who I was. I became a mama in March and floated on that natural baby high for many weeks. Our families basically moved in short-term and helped us with our new phase of life: parenthood. But then they went home (naturally); we needed to navigate life on our own. I felt torn with how to juggle my new role as a mama and handmade maker. Looking back, I was absolutely scared to take action of the ideas and goals placed on my heart. So silly, right? So I spent a lot of time watching instead of acting. One day I realized something so absolutely critical to happiness, and I want to share that with you: I can either watch & wish or I can act & accomplish. Which action did I want as my foundation? I had a choice to make and I decided that it was time to be brave and accomplish.


Lucky for all of us, there’s hope to be found in making this decision… and it doesn’t require any kind of purchase.

How to be brave:
– approach your day with open hands (think positively)
– think simplistically (planning too much can actually discourage/complicate)
– reference your end-goal: do you want to watch & wish or act & accomplish?

Be brave with the dreams you have — be brave right now! Be brave with the conversations you need to have. Be brave with your attempt to rise early in the morning or head to bed early at night. Be brave with your “slow to anger” approach. Be brave with your end-goals. Be brave with saying “yes” or “no” more often. Be brave with your education. Be brave with your children, your family, your career. Be brave with being realistic.

If all you can muster up is a try, you are most certainly being brave.

Keep it up! :)

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  1. 1


    such an inspiring post! and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. it’s extremely overwhelming to reflect, assess, and plan ahead and stay the course—especially with all the “unexpected.” i find that when we are watching and wishing we are also resisting. resistance happens when we do not want to tackle our fears. forcing ourselves to act and accomplish takes bravery…so thanks for sharing and inspiring me to be brave as well! best to you in 2014!

  2. 3


    Oh, I’ve spent years wishing and watching. I finally had a little bit of acting this year, which resulted in accomplishing opening my etsy shop… and then I started watching and wishing again! Thanks for the encouragment to keep acting and to be a little more brave!!

  3. 5


    This whole handmade biz thing is totally overwhelming. I too became a new mommy this year and am still figuring out my “roles.” I am very slowly figuring out that spending time on my business should not bring guilt (for not spending time with my babe). So for a while now, in order to avoid that guilty feeling, I have not been very brave in my business. Hoping for a braver 2014 :)

    • 6


      @Ina, I’ve been in this what, 5 years?, and I feel overwhelmed at times, too. Some of my best decisions have been to seek the counsel of my husband when I’m unsure and to have hired help with a few things (business & personal). xxoo

  4. 9

    Kacia says

    Wow. I’m bookmarking this post- absolutely incredible and encouraging, Maggie. I’ll be reading it throughout the year!

  5. 11


    Thanks for this post! This post was the big confirmation that I needed to know that I’m headed in the right direction. I have a lot of plans for this year and I’m extremely excited, yet completely scared at the same time.

  6. 13


    Loved this Maggie — especially the part about “thinking simplistically”. SOOO many people I know (myself included sometimes) go crazy setting 500 goals only to be discouraged by not meeting them. I’m a big fan of a few simplistic goals :)

  7. 15


    I LOVE THIS POST… Watch and wish or act and accomplish, such a great way to sum it up! I am in the throes of turning a ‘watch and wish’ dream into an ‘act and accomplish’ life… My hubby was laid off last November and at first it was terribly stressful. But after awhile it dawned on us that now was the perfect time to jump… as I know happened with you as well. :) And so finally, amidst the chaos of three kiddos we are setting up an Etsy store and beginning an exciting venture into handmade business! I’m excited but scared but feeling so good to be acting and accomplishing. Because I’ve been watching and wishing for so long. And you’re right, the juggling of mamahood and accomplishing is hard. So hard. But it’s finally dawning on me that I’m not a whole person unless I’m accomplishing something with my creative side, and it’s good for my kids to see that I have dreams too. Anyway, I’m super excited about your new venture because you have been such a prominent inspiration to me in the last year or two of watching and wishing. I admire your ways and your business and your style, and I wish you the best in your next adventure, can’t wait to see it come to life. :)

    • 16


      @sarah, @sarah, well how exciting is THAT? :) I do enjoy when life throws wrenches our way so that we’re forced to say “yes” to what we’ve always dreamed we could say yes to. We see those instances as challenges but really they are huge open doors. There’s a lot of beauty in your story. I’m very excited for you, Miss Sarah :)

      • 17


        @Gussy Sews, Thank you Maggie! I always remember your story of getting started. Huge encouragement. :)
        I will share our shop info with you if we ever get it launched… it has to do with stitching things! :)
        Best of everything to you.


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