Monday, 12 January 2015

Looking back and looking forward: 2014 - 2015

Happiness is... 2015 Goals

Has 2015 gotten off to a good start for you? I hope so! :)
So I'd planned to do this post a while ago but admittedly had been putting it off because I don't really like getting into wordy posts... but I also felt like it should be done, so here goes...

I've noticed lots of similar posts online, mainly recapping 2014 and realised that when I thought about it I couldn't really remember my stand out moments of 2014 - not great! I promptly created a "2015 Moments" list to document things better this year. So to get an idea of what the year looked like, I went into Google Calendar, which I use a lot but mainly for work. That made me remember some bits and bobs from earlier in the year. Then I went into my phone photos folder and that was really the best recap of the year, and it was kind of nice to go back and remember the moments I chose to save, some trivial and some more meaningful. One thing I noticed was how funny it is the way the mind can warp time... there were some things that I was sure had happened much longer before, and some things that happened earlier that I was sure were more recent.
Anyway, the gist of it was that there were good moments and bad moments but I'm glad to say it was a good year overall and I feel like progress was made. Most of all I'm so super, super grateful to still be able to do what I love and be self-employed!

One disappointing thing I noted was how many to-do items there were that didn't get done, some of which had been to-dos the year before as well. I don't want this year to be the same, so I'm going to be more proactive about making things happen!

So I sat down the other day with my notebook and made a list of goals for myself for the year, both for my work life and my personal life. I'm not going to share them all here, but I'll share a few. Before I do though, I need to share something about myself that a lot of these goals attempt to address: I'm not the most organised person around. Or rather the main issue is I seem to have a subconscious aversion to following schedules, which kinda messes things up. If you can relate, we're in this together - the struggle is real!
Happiness is... 2015 Goals
Anyway here we go:
Develop a blog calendar and stick to it
I've got a long list of blog post ideas that have accumulated over the year, I just need to actually work on them according to a schedule and plan them instead of attempting to do them at midnight the night before posting.

More informational posts
As I mentioned, I'm not great at wordy posts, but I do feel that I have some stuff to say that you might find helpful or useful, so I plan to do more posts with useful info on my experiences with freelancing, design, illustration, and maybe life in general.

Better organisation
This is a simplification which I've broken down into more detailed action steps for myself, but they basically all involve following the systems, schedules and processes that I've set up for myself.

Pursue the work that I want
There are certain types of work that I've been wanting to get more of or start getting into (editorial illustration, food illustration, etc), and this year I will actively pursue improving my skills in those areas and reaching out to relevant people to make it happen.

Increase my digital product range
I sell digital illustrations over on Creative Market, which is a great way to make extra income on the side. I'll be producing more content for that at regular intervals.

Make more time for personal projects
I've got a whole list of projects that I want to do that aren't paid work but are in line with my goals and will make me happy, so these need to go on the schedule, too.

I have awful sleep habits: I like to be up early but I also love working late at night, and can manage on not enough sleep for a while so I tend to abuse this. Not getting enough sleep is super unhealthy, as well as just bad for functioning at your best on a daily basis. My goal is an absolute minimum of 6 hours a night (according to research, less than that amount is when it gets unhealthy).

More exercise
I work out pretty regularly, but want to increase both the frequency and intensity of my workouts and see results.

Read before bed
I used to read books a lot, but that has seriously decreased in favour of articles online and social media. Part of my new sleep routine includes getting into bed with a book instead of Instagram and reading for a while before sleeping.

More mindfulness, less social media
I want to spend more time in the moment and less time wasting hours on social media. I'm going to set time limits for myself or block off times to browse social media so that I don't fall down the rabbit hole of links as I too often do.

I'm easing into these changes to find a schedule and routine that's manageable and maintainable. It's going to happen, I can do it, I know it! And so can you if you're in this predicament, too!

Have you made any goals? Any big or small things you'd like to achieve this year? I'd love to hear about it, so please share them in the comments :)

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  1. I just came across your blog and it is just so lovely! These are really great goals! This year, I picked one "big" word to kind of set the tone for myself for the year- "focus", instead of doing a bunch of individual goals. This is the first time doing this, so I shall see at the end of the year, LOL. Hopefully I will be able to focus and not get sidetracked with a bunch of other things (my BIG problem) :-)
    Xx, Marketa

  2. Thanks for sharing - those all sound great & achievable! Go you! x

  3. Thanks so much, Marketa! Ah yes, that's great! I read an article recently that emphasised focussing on just one thing at a time that really resonated with me, so the word "focus" is also high on my motivation list. I have the very same big problem... suddenly months pass and then I remember the thing I was supposed to be focussing on, haha! But not this year - we can do this! :)

  4. Thanks, Nadia! Going to make it happen :)

  5. You can do this! My business goal for 2015 is to push harder for the work I want. Let's go, 2015! x

  6. I can relate to the aversion to following schedules! Whenever I make goals, schedules, resolutions, and especially deadlines... my brain is like, "I'm having none of that!"

    I look forward to reading your freelancing and design posts. There aren't a lot of info available online from a South African perspective.

    Best of luck with your goals! I'm sure you will achieve each one :)

  7. Thanks, Carmia!
    I feel like my brain just blocks it out completely, haha! Trying to make a habit of reading over my goals and schedules every morning so that doesn't happen anymore :)


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