As some of you may know, 2018 has not been going to plan. After a steady rise in blog traffic earlier on in the year, things were looking up. However, if you follow me on social media you will know that my mum, who had been in hospital since December 2017 took a turn for the worst at the beginning of March. I mentioned this a bit in ‘My First Year as a Blogger.’ post. Long story short, the blog took a massive hit as I was either working or travelling to the hospital every chance I had. The numbers dipped to an all time low. I wasn’t posting on social media, I wasn’t writing and I wasn’t even using my bullet journal any more. As she began to recover, I did start listening to some podcasts to try and inspire myself to write again and although I wasn’t posting anything, I was getting through the block. When Mum finally came home earlier this month it finally lifted completely. It has helped that I’ve had less work due to it being the end of the academic year.
So, just a little over half way through the year seems like a good a time as any to have a little catch up with the goals I set myself back in January. It seems like a lifetime since I wrote them. Looking back at ‘Goals for 2018’ hasn’t helped my confidence in the blog or even life really. I am nowhere near completing half of the goals that I set. I originally set my goals into different categories: Body, Mind, Creativity, Home, Finances and Blog. In each category I gave myself some goals to work on and broke each goal down into targets to make it more manageable. Let’s take a look at how I’ve done so far.
I am not sure this will make for an interesting read but let’s get started anyway shall we. Many of these goals are going to be hit and miss.
Fewer Take Aways
- No more than one takeaway a month
Outcome: Did not make a tracker for this but have managed to reduce take aways each month. We are not quite down to one a month yet but as our local Chinese has shut and been replaced with a (dodgy looking) pizza and pasta place, I don’t think it will be as difficult in the coming months.
Make better food choices
- Start cooking meals from scratch again
- Make time to cook
Outcome: This went completely out of the window when mum was in a coma. Something to continue working on.
Make sure you eat all three meals, no skipping lunch
- Stop making excuses, get up and do it.
Outcome: Doing okay -ish on this one. Most days I manage all three. Every now and then, especially during the recent heat wave, we have skipped a few dinners. We have started to meal plan in the hopes of reducing waste and getting ourselves more organised. So far so good but it needs work still.
Drink more water
- Get a glass of water (or squash at the very least) when you make your first coffee
Outcome: Until recently I was doing well with this. Lately we have had a bit of a fizz thing. It is an addiction and yes, we are working on it.
Start Yoga at home
- Get a yoga app
- Make a yoga tracker in my bullet journal
- Use yoga at least 3 or 4 times a week
- Get up early to do it (even if you’re working)
Outcome: So, I did restart doing the yoga but it didn’t last long. Zosia started getting up earlier and earlier and I found it hard to find time before work. I think I will need to start doing it in the evening instead. I did get an app though, does that count as a completed goal?
Exercise More Frequently
- Create a tracker to monitor exercise
- Go for walks with Zosia
- Complete a ‘fun’ run for charity
Outcome: Okay, so Zosia and I have been on some walks. Some days we took friends and Daddy. We walk down to town now instead of driving and fighting twats with no children in their cars for child parking bays. But as for ‘exercise’ no. just no!
Remember why you are doing this!
Outcome: Yeah. I need this written on a yoga mat or something so when I want to cry during exercise I remember why I am doing this.
Think this one is going to be a lot more work needed. The mental health has been taking a battering but as with many things, a few patches here and there and we will be all good again.
- Don’t create unnecessary drama
- Don’t get sucked into other peoples drama
- Remain calm in difficult situations
- Try not to over react to the little things
Outcome: Drama has been reduced. Trying to stay calm, not always successful but hey.
- Remind yourself of the things that keep you going every day
- Help others in need more
Outcome: Trying my best to remember the good things in life despite having faced a lot of disruption in my life lately. We have been doing a massive clear out of the house, a de-clutter to make room for more memories. I have used this as a way to help others more and have been sorting the things we do not want anymore to give to charity. We have done a few runs already but there will definitely be more.
- Regular meditation time
- Spend less time plugged in. Step away from social media for at least 10 minutes a day (to start with)
Outcome: Tried a few meditation classes on an app. Didn’t manage to stick with it. I will try to get back to it soon. It is just a matter of time and lack of motivation at the moment.
During the early months of mum being in intensive care, I rarely used my phone other than to contact people. As she got better I did start listening to a few podcasts. However since she has been home and I have been back into blogging my screen time has sky rocketed again. I think my next step here would be to schedule time away from my phone (and not just when I am asleep). I just need to find a way to keep track and find different rewards than using my phone.
Be more positive
- Think happy thoughts
- Keep a list of all the things that make you happy in your bullet journal
Outcome: Staying positive has been one of the hardest things about this year. A lot has happened. Things turned out alright. I will be working on this more for the rest of the year.
Learn to love yourself
- Accept the little slips and move on
- Remind yourself that nobody is perfect
- Stop making negative comments about yourself
- Be kinder to yourself, you know if you’re doing the best you can do or not
Outcome: This seems to be an impossible task. I cannot remember the last time I felt like I was happy with me. I think that before I can allow myself some love, I need to kick myself up the arse and be harsh. I am a fat cow. End of. Nobodies fault but my own. Nobody can change this but me. Until I begin to start working on the outside, the love for myself (inside and outside) should naturally begin to fall into place. Sometimes you have to be honest with yourself. Tell yourself you look good in an outfit that is clearly not made for you body type is not doing you any favours. Convincing yourself that you’ll go for a walk tomorrow to burn off that pizza, is not helping. Trying to convince yourself that it is okay to be fat – not good. That’s what I need, honesty. Not a few white lies to make myself feel better. I don’t feel better at all. I need to get up, get on and be real.
I think it is safe to say that I am failing miserably here.
Write a children’s picture book
- Start with a book for Zosia this year, then go from there
- Work out how you want it to look
- Think about what the moral of the story is
- Make time to get this done
Outcome: This has just not happened at all. I’ll come back to this later. There are more important things to be getting sorted.
Start Zosia’s scrapbook
- Enlist the help from bestie
- Don’t be afraid to commit to it
- Make note of all the important milestones
Outcome: Again, I have plans to do this still, just not yet. I am saving lots of bits for when I am ready to start this up.
Keep going with the bullet journal
- utilise the blog journal more
- Make sure it is as practical as it is pretty
Outcome: Right, the biggest problem here is I cannot seem to open my bullet journal at the moment. The last page is from the week before things happened with mum. I can’t find the motivation to commit to those same pages in that same book. I think the best thing to do would be to get another notebook and start again fresh when we have the money. I just can’t face that one anymore.
Create more things to sell on Etsy
- Scan in work you have already
- Create a calendar for 2019
- Scan it in to make a digital copy of it
- Finish setting up Etsy shop
- Share the s**t out of it on social media
- Create digital planners for bloggers to use
- Write more blog posts about my creative side
Outcome: Although this one may seem like another fail, and it is in the sense that I have nothing for sale in my Etsy shop, it is actually not a complete fail. I have begun to make things, prints to sell but on other sites. Sites that will be revealed later when I have more things to sell. I have chosen these sites instead of Etsy as I do not have the time or the money to be printing things out and shipping them off myself. There will be more on this later. Also, I need a new scanner as the one we have is no longer compatible with MacOS. I have been trying to create some things with the help of the hubby teaching me to use Illustrator. So I am hoping things will pick up here soon too.
Believe in yourself more
- Remind yourself that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.
- Remind yourself that if people get paid millions for calling stuffed sheep and upside down urinals ‘art’ then your few pounds for a hand made print is reasonable enough
Outcome: I’m getting there. Work in process still. Always.
I would say this is becoming my biggest success at the moment although, as with everything else, it is still very much still on the to do list. We are making baby steps on most of these goals.
De-clutter the house
- Go room by room and clear out stuff that either hasn’t been unpacked since we moved in or hasn’t been used in the last 6 months
Outcome: The process began last month. We’re getting there slowly. Box by box. Shredding old files has begun, packing up our memories to store away and we have been binning or charity shopping old bits we no longer need or use.
SPRING CLEAN THE S**T OUT OF THIS HOUSE!!
Outcome: Mostly done. Few bits left to do but that will be finished next month. We suffered a major bathroom leak which came down into the kitchen so we need to finish off those two rooms and hopefully that’ll be sorted soon.
Sort Zosia’s room
- Go through the boxes and clear out the rubbish
- Buy and assemble new furniture
- Move crib in after 1st birthday
- Put up wall decorations
Outcome: Okay, so Zosia is still in our room and her room is still full of boxes. In the next few months there will be a massive transformation you’ll see, I promise!
Buy better storage and new furniture
- Book shelf for under the stairs
- Organise kitchen cupboards better
Outcome: This too will be sorted in the coming months. I am very much looking forward to writing up about this all again later!
Create a cleaning schedule for the house and put it up in the kitchen
- Try not to use the word ROTA
Start washing up after every meal.
- Make this a habit not a chore
- Stop only tidying up or cleaning when people are due to visit
Outcome: This is a bit of a sore point at the moment. We are working through some teething problems with housework but as we finish the big declutter and spring clean I hope that it will all be ironed out and sorted.
It has taken some time but this has been one of the more successful of goals.
Spend less on the things you don’t need
- If you do go shopping take your time to think about the necessity of the purchase.
Start putting more aside for Zosia’s future
Outcome: We have been saving but work for me hasn’t been as helpful as I would have liked. I have had issues getting work when I have needed it, anxiety with early morning (or late) calls and dealing with some unpleasant schools. However for these points we have been mostly successful. We have held the purse strings quite tightly. Yes, we could have held on tighter but we’re working on this too. We have made swaps to the cheaper brands and are working harder to reduce our outgoings.
So, by now you should all know what’s been going on and why I have been MIA. I won’t repeat it. The blog has suffered, but I am back and determined more than ever to make this blog a success. I am taking steps towards all of these goals. Some are little steps, some are bigger.
Start seeing this as a business, not just a hobby
- Think about why you started this
- Think about a plan of action for 2018
- Be a full time blogger by 2019
Outcome: So this might still be achievable, but maybe the end of 2019. There is still hope for this goal yet.
Raise viewer and visitor numbers
- Promote more often
- Join more Linkies
Outcome: With my first post back I have already achieved this. The numbers are on the up and although I have not been able to match February’s numbers, I have managed to beat some of last years monthly statistics. If you know of any relevant linkies for me to join, drop me a comment or DM on social media.
Start writing content to cover busy periods so that you always have something to post
- Compile a list of potential blog posts
Outcome: I’ll give myself a big tick on this as I already have two more on the go and near completion!Man that feels good to know too. Takes out the stress a bit. I will be trying to get as much content ready for work to continue in September too. I have also thought about ‘Blogmas’ and how I can be prepared for blogging everyday throughout December.
Create a list on brands that you would like to work with
- Create assets to promote yourself to brands
Outcome: Bit of a sore point again. I have seen some great small businesses I would love to work with, and some big ones too. However, the other day as I was trying to make my media kit, the time off I have had off has utterly destroyed my numbers and if I am honest, my confidence a little. This is still something to work on. I have begun a list of brands to work with so hopefully soon enough when the numbers pick up again I can start planning my approach.
Work with Hubby to begin migration to self-hosting
Outcome: We have both been very busy with work and life. This is still going to happen, there is no doubt about that but it is on the back burner for now.
Learn how to create your own subscription emails
- Set up email list
- Add ‘Subscribe Now’ pop up
Outcome: I will need to look into some courses on how to set this up but I know my husband can help me with creating the emails once I have set everything up.
Learn more about SEO
- Get Hubby to teach you how to code for yourself
Outcome: On this one I have been trying to teach myself a few bits. Hubby has helped me with some of the small blog bits that I have been working on recently. I am thinking about doing a course on Udemy at some point but that all depends on the finances and my schedule after I return to work in September. I am always looking out for little bits to build the website when the time comes. I am working on making some of the assets myself and hopefully come the new year, I should be fully self-hosted on my own website.
Keep working on your ‘Mummy Rants’ Series
- Open it up to guest bloggers??
Outcome: Despite not opening this up to guest bloggers, I have been on this one. I have recently rebranded the series to be’Mama Rants’to help keep the theme of the blog. My February post on Valentines Day (a bit of an anti-Valentines Day rant) has been the most popular out of the series so far. There will be more coming. If you have any things that as a Mama or a Papa that really bugs you in the parenting world, please let me know and I can take a look into it. I think that will also help me to open it out to guest bloggers too.
That’s it. They are the goals I set myself at the beginning of the year and although I know someone will be sitting there wondering why I have even bothered to update you when I haven’t really completed or achieved any of them, I am glad I took the time to go through this process. Holding yourself accountable for your own failures is a brilliant way to help you move on. We all make mistakes, life gets in the way, s**t happens. It is about how you deal with it that makes you stronger (or not). Life tried to knock us down. We did not let it. I will rebuild. I will be better. I will achieve these goals, one way or another, eventually.
Thanks for sticking with it. If you have had similar set backs let me know in the comments below. It would be nice to hear how you worked through them.
Peace and love,