Despite, or perhaps because of, a difficult end to 2017, I am feeling very motivated and full of focus for the year ahead.
I am always a bit hard on myself and tend to look at what I haven’t achieved rather than what I have. But looking back on 2017 I am very proud that one of my main goals was to get a book deal – and I did! Another major project was launching Allergy Travels, which we managed in August, and it feels pretty amazing to have a global website out there.
So I wanted to share with you some of the tools that made those dreams a reality and some of the things I am going to be using to get stuff done in 2018.
Find your tribe
I realised recently, I have always had a tribe before I even knew there was a word for it. And most my tribes are still a strong and positive force in my life – my school friends, my uni friends and my NCT friends. But most recently I have developed my blogging tribe who have supported me online, and in person, over the last few years and grown into good friends too.
Finding your tribe will mean you have a group of like minded people who understand your challenges, your dreams and daily struggles and can be a sounding board, support system or source of inspiration as needed. You may find them online, by joining a local networking group or through a hobby or job but hold onto them and realise their worth.
Buy a good planner
There are only a few products I am evangelical about and my Passion Planner is one of them. I first discovered it two years ago and I do not think it is an exaggeration to say it changed my life! I know that sounds a bit extreme but it is the perfect mix of planning, journalling and motivation. I love lists and this planner gives you more than enough space each day as well as encouraging you to create plans for the future.
It is fairly expensive as you have to order it from America but you can always customise one from here or have a go at bullet journaling. Find something that works for you but make sure you structure your time and your thoughts.
Get a coach
One of the best things I did last year was to work with my friend and life coach Chloe. We had some sessions over Skype and she helped me look at what was holding me back, create a vision of what I wanted and work on practical steps to make it happen. She also helped me address some blockages, particularly the PTSD I had suffered after Amalia’s traumatic birth.
You don’t need to pay out for a professional coach (although I highly recommend it) and there are lots of online groups you can join which will help you. You can get lots of useful tools and advice in groups such as Mampreneur Revolution and FreedomCollective on Facebook.
Use 10 minute tasks
One of the things that has held me back before is the feeling of not having enough time. Ok, so I have two young children so some of it is fact but a lot of it is mindset. A lot of it is not organising my time effectively or making the most of the time I have. Oh, and there’s also a bit of procrastination and faffing thrown in there too!
So I have instigated a new tool called 10 minute tasks. This strips away the idea that I need to have a large portion of uninterrupted time to get things done and makes tasks seem more manageable. Some of the things on my list include making a new Pinterest pin, commenting on 5 blogs or scheduling Facebook posts.
Give yourself a break
I have always believed that working harder doesn’t necessarily mean working smarter. You need to give yourself time off, both mentally and physically. Get up, move around, and most importantly for me, get outside. It’s often the best way to clear my head and refocus and I always get more done after a break.
When you are working for yourself particularly, it is difficult to draw a line between home and work life but I am consciously scheduling in ‘me time’. Whether that’s taking a bath, painting my nails, or watching some TV.
Don’t compare; inspire
It’s very easy to compare yourself to everyone else and find yourself lacking. I know I am guilty of this and let other people’s achievements or attitudes affect how I feel about myself. But one upside of my husband having cancer is that it has given me a new sense of selfishness. What I mean by that, is it has made me wonder why I have been worrying so much about others are doing. Life is precious, time is short and the only thing we can really control is what we do about it.
So instead of looking at others and being intimidated, I’ve chosen to be inspired. If they can do it, so can I. And I intend to.