My first post of 2018, I bet you can already guess what I’m going to say: Happy New Year!
Why has it become some kind of rite of passage for bloggers to make a new year’s post? Even bloggers that have been quiet for a little too long (…me) seem to crawl out of the woodwork to make that obligatory ‘Hello January’ blog post.
Even though I know that the new year doesn’t really make any difference whatsoever (I’m not about all of that “new year, new me” malarkey), it does seem like such a good time to reflect on the year gone by and plan ahead for what’s to come. I posted my 2017 Highlights in Photos and was nearly going to leave it at that, skipping the Year’s Review/Goal Planning post for this year. But, I had a change of heart, because in all honesty, I don’t think the power of writing goals down is a power to be underestimated (I’ll write more about that in a minute…)
So, do excuse me while I ride this wave of reflective writing inspiration and indulge myself in a little ‘goodbye 2017, hello 2018’.
So, what happened in 2017? (And what’s next?)
In short: a lot.
It seems most people are under the impression that this has been a terrible year, and while I agree in terms of world politics, if I reflect on the year for me personally, it has actually been quite positive!
Maybe you remember my ‘Half Years Resolutions’ post, which was pretty much me being very proud of myself for already completing my 2017 targets in just 6 months. As well as just showing off though, I did use that post to set myself three more targets for the remaining part of the year. This second set of targets were much more ongoing aims rather than specific targets like the ones I gave myself at the start of the year, so it has been a lot more difficult to feel like I’ve really ‘smashed’ them like I did with the others. In general, I feel like I have achieved my targets to an extent, though I’m looking forward to continuing pursuing and developing those same goals this year. That’s why my targets for 2018 correspond nicely to the 3 targets I set myself in July:
My 2017 Half Year Resolutions:
- To begin the process of monetising my blog (moving to self-hosting, investing in improving the site, etc.)
- To also pursue a career in what I love, outside of the blog.
- And to make more time for art and illustration.
My corresponding Goals for 2018:
- I did begin the process of monetising my blog, and even though moving to self-hosted was more difficult than I had ever anticipated, my site is looking better than ever. But there’s one thing missing: a regular content schedule! So, here’s my first resolution: to post (at least) one blog post per week, and (at least) one YouTube video per fortnight. This is going to be quite difficult for me as I’m always busy, but instead of saying “don’t hold me to it”, I’m going to say the opposite: HOLD ME TO IT! I’m really going to work hard to do this for myself and for you, but if you ever see that I’m slacking on my mission don’t be afraid to drop me a comment to tell me to get cracking!
- My second goal for the last half of 2017 was to pursue a career in what I love: editing, writing, language, linguistics, etc. And thanks to an eye-opening (and opportunity-opening) internship at HarperCollins publishers, I have been able to do so. Being a freelance writer, editor, and proof-reader really does suit me down to the ground, and hopefully without being big-headed, I’m confident that I do what I do very well. BUT (and it’s a big but) no one tells you just how difficult it is to land new freelance clients! If I want the freelance business I’ve created for myself to really take off, I’m going to have to use 2018 to work very hard at sourcing new clients, and believe me, that’s what I’m going to do! (Let’s start now… so by the way, if you are interested in working with me, or know someone who might be, you can visit my ‘Work with Me’ page or drop me an email at email@example.com …just sayin’!)
- As you may have noticed, I really went in on my third target. I mean, I made so much more time for art and illustration that I even opened a new online art shop! I suppose my goal in relation to this is just to continue with all the creativity! It has been so much fun so far and I have so many more creative ideas to share with you, so watch this space.
Wait, why am I telling you this?
Maybe it seems weird that I like to share my yearly goals with you, and sometimes I myself wonder why I’m detailing the ins and outs of my successes or targets with anyone on the internet that cares to read it. Honestly though, the reason is this: since I began in 2016 with this tradition of using a blog post to review the past year and plan the next one, all I have seen are positive results. It has taken me a long time to realise this, but maybe all those teachers, retail managers, and motivational speakers are really onto something in their obsession for making and meeting targets. This has been the most successful year I’ve ever had both in academic achievements and personal development, and I’m pretty sure it is down to writing out seemingly massive goals for myself, believing I could achieve them, and pushing myself until I did just that.
So, if I have one piece of advice for you in 2018 it is this: never underestimate the power of setting yourself goals and sticking to them!
And with that, I wish you all a happy, and very productive, new year! Let me know what your goals are in the comments – I have a feeling you are going to achieve them!