My first post in 2016, woohoo! Happy New Year, guys. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. And has anyone realised that 2016 is a leap year? Hence my title 'Page 4 of 366' instead of 365.
Today's post will be highlighting some of my goals and aspirations for 2016. Yes, it involves blogging but I'm also focusing on other aspects such as lifestyle and my academics, for example.
This is probably the most personal post I've published on my blog but hopefully some of you will be able to relate to some of the points I mention.
So grab a cuppa and get comfy cos this might be a long one!
I think this is actually the first year I've sat down and actually thought about my goals and aspirations for the new year. Don't get me wrong, in the past I've jotted down some things I've wanted to achieve in the new year but found myself slipping away from them by the first week. Seeing everyone else planning and working towards their goals has sort of motivated me to work towards mine.
I'm using this first week of January to redesign my blog. This time last year I went through a major blog revamp: I got someone to design my blog header (which I am still completely in love with!) and also my blog template. This year, I'm thinking of adding a few more categories and/or gadgets to make my blog more interesting to read and easier to navigate. I'm definitely keeping the minimalism but it just needs a bit more 'oomph.' I'm so fussy, I'm never satisfied!
I guess I might as well use this time to thank everyone who has said the nicest things about my blog! I get compliments about it a lot but there's always room for improvement. I appreciate the love, guys.
My social following is very important to me at this point in time. If you're a blogger you'll understand that brands will basically pay 0 attention to you if you don't have a large social following. I'm not saying that I'm blogging just to get recognition from brands because I do enjoy blogging and it's taken me this long to actually start caring about the amount of people that follow me on my social media platforms. However, I want to take my blog to the next step and start collaborating with brands etc. My Instagram has been growing as of late and I'm delighted! The keys to growing a social media following are: consistency and interaction. By posting regularly on each platform and getting involved in chats (for example, Twitter's #fblchat) it can really boost readership and introduce a wider audience who may be interested in your content. This year, I'm using at least 30 minutes to 1 hour each day to interact with fellow bloggers on social media, discover new blogs, reading and commenting on new posts and developing a relationship with my current readers. I'm going to make sure that my blog grows tremendously this year! 2015 was a good year for my blog, 2016 has to be GREAT!
I don't want a large social media following just for the sake of it but I want it to consist of people who are actually interested in my content. There's nothing worse than having those 'F4F' or 'LFL' comments. If you totally get what I mean, say heyyyyyy!
2016 is the year to become more productive. When I don't organise or manage my time correctly I get really stressed and things start piling on top of each other. Ask my boyfriend, I'm the worst when I'm cranky and stressed out! When I look back on 2015, I think about all the days I spent lounging about doing nothing when I could have put in work and do something productive. I've just purchased my 2016 diary and I will be utilising it this year. I'm literally going to put EVERYTHING in it, from going out for drinks with Jo to deadlines that are approaching. I've jotted down some things I will be doing each day this week and it really gives you a clear picture of what needs to be done and/or achieved. One of my biggest regrets last year was not planning in advance which was one of the reasons why I couldn't travel as much as I wanted to or even spend more time at home in Ireland. I was working loads and sort of made that my priority, instead of squeezing in some time to actually chill and reward myself for the hard work. As well as that, consistency remains key in terms of blogging. I'm going to make sure that I stick to a blogging routine and post regularly.
2016 is my year to experience new things and travel more. I remember going to Paris with my friend two Summers ago and vowed that I'd travel more ever since. Paris was an amazing experience and it was my first time vising the city. Sadly, I haven't traveled since and I'm hoping to discover new places with my friends and also my partner, this year. I'm currently researching some of the nicest places to visit so feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments below! A travel category wouldn't be too bad on my blog now, wouldn't it? I'm so grateful for my wonderful boyfriend and I'm excited about the many things we will experience together this year. I believe God has blessed me with someone who understands me and has the same interests as I do. Isn't it great having someone that's on the same 'wave' as you? Sooooo much holidays and trips to book! He's going to hate me so much hehe.
Self-development is key this year. I want to learn new things and be comfortable doing things that I have been unable to do, for example, my Indesign skills suck and I have no clue how to use Photoshop but these are programs that I want to teach myself this year and completely be sick at! I edit my blog photos now and again using Lightroom which I use at basic level (I ain't no basic b*tch though!) but one thing I have never been able to nail is the art of taking breathtaking photos for the 'gram or even for my blog! You know this trend of taking the sharpest flat-lay images with the perfect white background? Yeah, it's never been my forte. But by reading the tips and tricks on blogs or watching Youtube tutorials, it's definitely not impossible to gain this skill.
It's all a matter of wanting to learn and actually putting it into practice. In 2015, I learnt how to write basic codes for my blog in order to obtain certain gadgets or features. It took hours and days to figure some of them out but I eventually got there! Now I'm comfortable going into CSS and making tweaks. Save your money and just learn. As well as that, I'm using the opportunity this year to further progress in my role as a Stylist in AllSaints.
Building new relationships and rebuilding bridges. In the past I've always been part of the crowd who says "Once the bridge has been burnt, there's no going back" blah blah blah. In some cases, it may be so but if a relationship is really worth fighting for (I'm talking about friendship etc) then I will rebuild it. I'm at that stage where I am developing myself as a person and making a few changes. Some events occurred in 2015 that resulted in the loss of a true friend, who was practically a sister to me. It's so important not to let our emotions get the best of us because in a split second the words that come out of our mouth or our attitudes could ruin something quite valuable. I'm all about meeting new people and building new friendships. I love surrounding myself around people who motivate me and are a positive impact. Drake was tripping when he said 'no new friends' , there's always room for new friends!
Lastly, a few weeks ago I started attending church again after months of working Sunday shifts. Many of you probably don't know but I am a Christian and I've started to take my faith more seriously. I've started a Bible In One Year plan which has been giving me so much life recently. I've made a resolution to spend more time with God, delighting, desiring and and meditating on His words. So far, it has brought me understanding and perspective and has revealed so many answers to th questions I have been asking myself for such a long time. Literally, whilst I read, I'm like 'Yassssss'. My focus will remain on God and strengthening my relationship with Him. I know I've placed this at the very end of my post but trust me, it remains at the very top of my list and basically comes before everything else. I believe, the only way I will achieve my goals is through Him. The Bible app I use on my phone is Youversion. For anyone currently in the same position as I am, it's great to download as it has many plans for you to read. You can literally find anything that will deal with your current situation.
"Happiness comes from what happens to you. Blessing is what happens to you through knowing God and meditating on His words."
The quote above is basically a daily reminder for me and continues to be a word of motivation and encouragement.
Wow, this is definitely the longest post I've published but it actually feels so good putting it all down and being able to go back to something that will constantly remind you of your goals.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and all the best in your endeavours.
Keep up with me x