2017: my word for the year

Instead of setting unachievable resolutions that will be forgotten by February, this year I’m choosing a word. A word that will help me focus on what I want to achieve in 2017. At the end of 2016, I realised the year had passed me by. While it was full of stressful experiences and things I’d rather forget, I probably could have gotten a lot more out of my year. I’d love to say I have ‘no regrets’ about anything, but I’m sure I could have put more effort into some things in my life last year.

It’s hard balancing a business, a house, pets, and a job, as well as everything else in life. But I don’t want to spend my life just treading water. When people look back on their past year, listing their achievements, I’m a little jealous. I feel like I shouldn’t compare to people who’s lives I only see a hint of online, but I also wonder if I’m doing something wrong by not being proud of myself for the year I’ve just had.

I was talking with the Mr before Christmas about what I might have achieved if I’d actually stuck to things. If I’d put effort in. Instead of coasting along, where would I be if I’d spent the last year being driven and motivated in everything I do. Feeling constantly drained and exhausted does have it’s affects on my mojo, but I’m also convinced that there as steps I could take to improve my energy levels. I want to feel passionate about life again – feel ignited, enthusiastic, alive, with a sense of purpose. I need to find that thing that makes me feel energised and motivated to get stuff done.

When I was thinking about having a word for 2017, the first word that came to mind was ‘commit’. It was perfect. I’ve been so flaky and inconstant about most things over the past few years. If I could just do something consistently, I’m sure I could achieve anything I wanted. But I let excuses and laziness get in the way. I never ‘feel like doing’ anything. Again, chronic fatigue has a lot to answer for. But I also think my mental state creates fatigue too. It’s so easy to feel ‘blah’ about things and put them off. And the more I feel like I can’t be bothered, the more tired I feel, and then I feel like I can’t do anything.

So, this year, I’m committing to life, committing to myself. I need to stick things out. I need to have a plan and make it happen. No more flaking. No more excuses. No more ‘I’ll start tomorrow’. Every time I feel like I can’t be bothered, I need to remind myself of how I felt at the end of 2016…looking back wondering what could have been. One perfect example is my health – my 2016 was full of sporadic episodes of healthy eating, followed by binging on anything and everything. Going to the gym was inconstant, and aside from running prior to the race for life in the summer, my cardio was limited to dog walks and walking to the fridge (kind of a joke, kind of not!). People achieve amazing things in a year, they completely transform their bodies – that could be me, if I was consistent.

But it’s not just my health I want to commit to – it’s my business, my family, my home. I want to have the motivation to go after the things I want. Instead of wishing, actually go out and do it. I want to end 2017 feeling accomplished and proud. Here’s to 2017…and all the things I’m going to commit to!

 

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Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

 

2016 was a weird ol’ year. Some bits were quite ok, but not to be pessimistic, most was pretty rubbish. It was a year where my family had plenty of personal challenges and stresses, along with political events and changes that had (and are yet to have) world-wide significance. To be honest, even though I try to think positive, 2016 was a year I’m looking forward to leaving behind. Looking back at my intentions last January, I’m not even sure I achieved much – my plan for 365 running miles definitely didn’t happen, for starters. But, you know, I’m not going to be so hard on myself. I saw something on Instagram that said something along the lines of ‘I’m not doing resolutions, because I know I’m doing the best I can’.

So I’m kind of going into 2017 with that mindset. Do the best you can. Having said that, I don’t want to use that as an excuse when I just don’t feel like it. I don’t want to get to the end of 2017 and think ‘what could I have achieved if I put more effort in’. I want to enjoy my year without putting too much emphasis on what I ‘should’ be doing, but then I don’t want to let the year pass me by again. I know it’s so easy on social media to compare, and I don’t want to be doing that, but when so many people are listing their ‘amazing experiences’ from the past year on Dec 31st, and I’m sitting here thinking ‘I survived it and I’m glad it’s over’, it’s hard not to feel that I must be doing something wrong.

I’m not going to make resolutions. I know the person I want to be, and I know the life I want. I don’t need to start 2017 with a long list of unachievable targets to hit. I want to find my passion. I want to be that bright spark of energy. I want to feel unstoppable. I know a lot of people don’t make resolutions, but pick a word for the year instead. My word came to me straight away – it’s not glamorous or fun, but it was the first word I thought of when thinking about what I want 2017 to be like. I’ll reveal my word in another blog, but I’ve been saying it to myself since Christmas, in an attempt to end 2016 with good intentions and it’s been working so far!

A few days ago, my mum showed me something that popped up on her Facebook memories from years before. It was a blissfully unaware ‘happy new year’ message from a January before a particularly painful year. Our lives were never to be the same again after that status, and yet my mum’s message for the start of the year was so full of hope and optimism. It made me realise how we really don’t know what’s around the corner. We really should treasure every day as if it’s our last – treasure your loved ones, don’t stress over the things that really don’t matter, and make the most of the time you have with people.

So, instead of the usual resolutions, I’m looking forward to a fresh start for 2017, time spent wisely, more love, more laughs, more life in my days.

Small Business Thoughts: What to do when it’s quiet

My work is very seasonal – from September when Christmas order start coming in, then Valentine’s Day, then Mother’s Day, and up to Father’s Day in June, I don’t get a second to think about anything other than those big occasions. It’s just endless making cards, going to the post office, and coming back to make more cards. Don’t get me wrong, I love it (it’s my favourite part of the year!) – but there’s so many aspects to a business and fulfilling orders is only a small part. Once each occasion has passed, I get a small breather before it’s onto the next, and there are some super organised customers out there who are already ordering for the next occasion before I have time to sit down after the last post has left from the event before.

When things are so hectic for part of the year, it’s hard to know what to do with yourself when it’s quiet. It’s so easy to panic: “what has happened to make people not buy my products?” “are they all on holiday?” “are they not finding my products on the shopping sites anymore?”. Of course, it’s never anything too drastic – people genuinely have busy summers with holidays, kids, trips, barbecues, sporting events like the olympics, going on in their lives. With lovely warm weather, time with family and long, lazy summer days, customers don’t necessarily think about the next big gifting occasion (it begins with C and ends in…hristmas!).

So, what do you do when the order book is quiet and you’re twiddling your thumbs waiting for the highstreet to turn on the carols and fill shelves with Quality Streets and 3 for 2 gift boxes? After nearly 7 years running my own business (and that’s 7 years on Etsy and notonthehighstreet) I’ve been through many peaks and troughs of the seasonal gifting calendar. I thought I’d share my top tips for what to do when it’s quiet. And I’m sure I’ll add my tips on how to cope when it’s busy too at some point…unless I’m, you know, too busy! 😉

1: Work on unfinished projects

I am the queen of having great ideas (in my opinion anyway!) that don’t get seen through to the end. Quieter business days are perfect for working on a half finished project, new range, or designs that have not made it to your virtual shelves. If you keep a list or notebook with you all year round for jotting down ideas, you’ll have a heap of new things to try out when you find the time. Right now, I have loads of notes on my phone, paper, diary etc., all waiting to be mocked up, photographed and listed. It’s a great opportunity to try experiment with new that you’ve always wanted to try out…a new technique, material or even a whole new product line.

2. Spruce up your product pages

Go through your product pages and read your descriptions. I find that I’m often in a rush to list new products and if you can ‘copy’ an existing listing, sometimes I have descriptions that are relevant only to the product I originally listed…like a Birthday card that quotes Father’s day information, or colour options that aren’t available on your latest product. Check your descriptions, attributes, headings, delivery settings etc., to make sure they’re all relevant and it’s easy for customers to browse. Read up on SEO to tweak your search terms so more customers can find your card. If you need help, get a fresh set of eyes to look at your page and tell you what they think – a great option is something like Becka Griffin’s Shopfront Review on Etsy. I purchased a review from Becka, and despite being on Etsy for almost a decade, she had a whole booklet of things I needed to change to make my listings more customer friendly.

3. Retake new product photos

Let’s face it, whatever you’re browsing online, nice photos sell it! Whether it’s a product, a blog, or even someone’s Instagram profile, if there are stunning photos, you linger longer, browse more, and even buy into what they’re showing you. I do most of my shopping online and there have been times where I’ve seen the same product for sale from different retailers with different pictures…some photos would have turned me off buying it, and other photos would convince me I need it in my life…showing the same product! Photos are everything! Every now and then, I refresh my photos. Not only do trends change when it comes to styling, photography skills improve too. I cringe when I see old product photos I took years ago, and each time I update my product photos, I am proud of the new fresh look I’ve given them. I love accessorising my shoots with stationery items, confetti, craft tape and twine. I also love the scandi look with whitewashed walls and minimal staging. Make sure your products are eye-catching, well lit, and customers can see exactly what they’re ordering. Flat lays are so much fun, and lifestyle shots are great to entice customers into thinking their life would be better with your product in it.

4. Read for inspiration, motivation, personal and business growth

Business books get me fired up to work harder all the time. Reading is inspiring, especially when it’s about a subject you love or written by someone you admire in business. I recently read a book by Tony Robbins, who said (and I’m paraphrasing) that to be successful in what you want to do, find someone who already is successful and do what they do. And it doesn’t have to be a book that inspires you, I am often inspired by blogs or business people on social media who share their story with the world. Nothing motivates me more than seeing people who are inspirational at what they do and that makes me want to achieve what they achieve. Reading to learn new skills, understand something a bit better, or just to refocus on the business is a great use of time!

5. Plan for the rest of the year

I’m one of those people who are always super jealous of super savvy, exceptionally organised businesses who are seasons ahead in their planning. Retail planning is always 6 months to a year ahead of where the calendar is right now – most products need researching, designing, prototyping, making, before being marketed and sold to the public. I’m lucky in the sense that my business is so tiny, I can think up an idea, mock it up and have it online for the world to purchase within an afternoon, so I know planning way in advance is not *as* vital to me compared to a big highstreet chain for example. However, even marketplace sites like Etsy and notonthehighstreet have curated categories, press and blogger events, social media campaigns etc., so they do need to know what we sellers are making ahead of the gifting occasions. Having products ready in advance for when they start thinking about their marketing means you’re more likely to get included in something special like a spot in a magazine or in a Facebook post to hundreds of thousands of potential customers. Make a plan of what occasions you need to create new products for (or improve existing products) and when you need to get it done by. This also ties into my first point, where you can use quieter times to plan new goodies!

6. Spend time doing non-business things

I find myself making excuses and being too busy for things for half the year. I wouldn’t dream of going away in the run up to any of the big events, and even an evening out for a meal is sometimes an hour or two I need to use for fulfilling orders (usually black friday or the week before Valentine’s day where every minute counts). In the summer months when I’m working more like part time hours than 20 hours a day, I can say yes to days out, trips away and evenings with friends. Sometimes it’s hard for other people to understand just how much pressure small businesses are under at the big gifting times of the year and it’s nice to be able to catch up when things are quieter, without feeling guilty for being away from your business for a bit.

7. Rest!

Similarly to point number 6, use the quiet times for a bit of relaxation, catch up on things you’ve been putting off while being busy. Sleep in, take long coffee breaks, visit friends and family, do things you’ve been wanting to do for months but never had the time. I’ve been spending the summer relaxing in the garden, doing yoga, riding my bike in the sunshine and trips with the family. It’s good to use quiet times to work on your business, but it’s also necessary to work on yourself – have a break, enjoy the time to yourself before things get crazy again, regain your energy and stamina as before you know it, it will be time for…dare I say it…Christmas 😉

8. And don’t panic! 

This is probably one of the most important things. Everyone wonders if things will ever pick up when going through a quiet time. I know so many people right now are concerned that it’s the quietest time of the year and they don’t know what they can do to improve the number of orders. But for all the busy times of the year, you have to have quieter times. August is notoriously slow in retail and everyone is noticing it right now. The important thing to remember is don’t panic and use your time wisely to improve your own offering.

 

 

 

 

Blogging: Plans, Dreams and Musings

I’ve been blogging on here for a little over a year now, and addicted to Instagram for as long as IG has been around, but I want to up my game a little when it comes to content. I’d love to have a little community of readers and feel like I belong to a blogging community. I used to write for my own website, back in the day…a sort of blog for the era before ‘blogs’ became a thing. And I miss that. I felt like I was contributing something to the world…like I had a purpose online and people came daily to see what I had to say about certain topics. Do we only get once chance at things like that? Was that my ‘thing’ and now it’s over, do I get a second go?

It feels like back then, writing came easy. What I wrote about was what I loved, what I was good at – an organic, effortless combination of being passionate and knowledgable about a topic. I mean, it took time and hard work – so it wasn’t ‘effortless’ in that sense – but what I wrote about came naturally and I guess that came across in my content. Now I’m older, and the internet world is full of bloggers, youtubers, internet savvy writers and contributors, it seems like the internet is harder. I’ve got so many things I love in my life…do I write about it all, or do I pick one topic and focus on that? Do I have to be really, really good at something in order to provide interesting thoughts on it? Or, do I just dive in without a plan…stress free and with no expectations from myself? Am I interesting enough to bring traffic to my pages? There are a million questions I ask myself when it comes to blogging, and I have no answers.

So here’s to the future of blogging – I’m going to try and bring more content to my little home on the internet, make more of an effort with pictures and share more insights into my life. And if there are people out there that stumble across my site and enjoy it, then please let me know! I’m feeling pretty restless, jumping from home and interior posts, fitness, crafts, shopping, make up etc…I guess I just share what I love and hope that my enthusiasm for everything seeps through the internet. And maybe along the way, I’ll find my niche…that spark of inspiration where everything lines up and I find my calling in life.

Please do say hi in the comments section, and if you’re a follower of my blog, let me know what you’d like to see more of!

We are made of Stardust: Positivity and Good Vibes

Recently, I’ve been feeling a little under the weather, demotivated, a bit ‘meh’ in general, and I really have let feeling rundown get to me mentally. Despite Fibromyalgia not bothering me too much in my everyday life these days (believe me, there was a time when it was much worse, many years ago), I still get flare ups of feeling tired with pretty non-specific flu-like symptoms…you know, just feeling kinda pants. And it gets to me. There’s nothing worse than feeling completely devoid of energy, of life, of purpose. And when you’ve got some pretty rubbish physical symptoms like muscle pain, aches and headaches, it makes for a really miserable time…especially when there’s nothing you can do but wait it out and hope it passes.

Luckily it doesn’t affect me as frequently as it used to. Maybe my lifestyle has changed enough to benefit my health (more exercise, being mindful of my eating, reducing stress) or I’ve been suffering with the lingering effects of glandular fever for years rather ‘officially’ fibromyalgia. Whatever the reason, I don’t feel as bad as I used to – my diagnosis (or rather, ruling out of everything else) was almost 10 years ago now. It feels like a lifetime ago, and that period of my life seems like it belongs to a different person. But I’m constantly reminded of how frustrated I was with feeling rubbish, every time a flare up of old symptoms occurs and it takes me back to that life.

As hard as it is not to let it get to me, there’s nothing I want to do more than mope and feel sorry for myself. It takes summoning any remaining energy not to let myself get in that state of mind. I know that feeling like this will pass and I have to be mentally strong, taking comfort in the little things in life and focusing on feeling better. I think once you start wanting to see the beauty in life, the magic in just being alive, your whole perspective shifts. I often look up to the sky and realise just how amazing it is that we’re here, living life, with dreams and hopes and passions. I’m reminded of that quote about how we’re all stardust, and that seems pretty magical to me – how we’re here, going about our daily business, planning, laughing, working, cooking, creating art, philosophising, dreaming, loving, hoping…and yet, we’re all just stardust from the universe, leftover from stars that died long before we ever lived. Mind blowing.

And that’s enough to make me feel grateful. Grateful to be alive, grateful to be in this place and time, with the people I love. Grateful to have a body that works, despite feeling tired sometimes. Grateful for a home and family. Grateful for food to fill my belly. Grateful for a job that allows me to earn money for my home, food, bills. Grateful to for the freedom to say what I think and to do things that make me happy. The more gratitude I have, the more amazing I feel life is. So despite feeling unwell temporarily, I feel happy to be here, now – that somehow enough cosmic dust came together to allow me this human experience, and that’s pretty incredible.

We have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins, carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains, 93 percent stardust, with souls made of flames, we are all just stars that have people names” –  Nikita Gill

Recommitting: 2016’s plans and dreams

I’m not sure why but when my busiest few months of the year were over (Valentine’s, Mother’s Day), I fell into a bit of a depressive state. I think working so hard, my whole days consumed by keeping on top of orders, I really burned out. It’s taken a good few weeks of feeling exhausted after Mother’s day to have any sort of motivation. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I am so grateful for the amount of customers who want to buy my products, especially at Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day…but it’s so hard to stay 100% motivated when you’re self employed and your business is you.

So I’ve been absent from blogging, kinda sat back from social media, and I have so many new products that need listing that I’ve just not had the energy for. Hopefully, now that I’ve had a few weeks to myself, I’m reenergised and ready to start getting back on track with my plans for 2016.

I’ve found I feel a lot happier and more fulfilled with a busier day – not necessarily the sort of busy that I get at a big seasonal event (Mother’s Day, for example) but filling my day with meaningful tasks…time for work, errands, housework, exercise etc. It’s so easy to give up on everything when you’re not feeling like your usual self, and I think for me, that’s a really destructive path to go down. I need to plan my day, purposely set myself things to do so I feel productive.

So, today is the day I recommit to life, my goals for 2016 and get back on track. A positive state of mind should be enough to motivate me out of my current mood and back to being the person I want to be. I’m a big believer in the power of positive thinking and how your state of mind can affect your actions. Watch this space, the rest of the year is going to be amazing!

  
 

Habits: tracking them and keeping them

They say it takes 30 days to create a habit, and good habits are as hard to break as bad ones once they’re formed. I’m trying to get some of my good intentions to stick through 2016 and tracking them each day seems to be a good way of getting things done. I’m a sucker for a good streak – if my streak is getting longer, I’m more likely to not make excuses and go that extra mile to get whatever it is done. My Kikki K wellness planner came with a habits tracking notepad – I dare say it won’t last the year, but I’ll find some other way of tracking my daily habits after that! 🙂

My ‘habits’ for 2016:

  • Drinking at least 2 litres of real water – not tea, not coffee, but actual water. I’m finding filling a litre water bottle with mostly cold water, juice of a fresh lemon, and a splash of hot water makes for a comforting drink that I can consume quite easily…I’m half way to my target with my warm lemon drink each day. The warm water is so good with lemon as it’s a great health tonic, plus ice cold water in the middle of winter is sometimes hard to bare. I use the Nalgene Wide Mouth Everyday Tritan Bottle – the big 1 litre water bottle means I can sip water for ages before needing to refill, and two fills gets my target met. This bottle is great quality, BPA free, guaranteed for life, and goes everywhere with me!
  • Daily Green juice – to get my daily dose of nutrients and antioxidants, I try to eat a varied diet with lots of vegetables, leaves and fruits. A great boost to this is a greens powder and I love the Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Powder. One serving gives you the antioxidant benefits of 7 portions of fruit and veg, so making my green drink is one of my top priorities each day.
  • Supplements is another thing I always forget. One of the most important to me is iron – I’m constantly finding myself diagnosed as anaemic and given a majorly high temporary prescription of iron to boost my stores, only to go through the whole thing again next time I get a blood test. Also top of my supplements list is probiotics as I consider them so important to gut health, immune system and overall wellbeing.
  • Exercise – goes without saying really doesn’t it? Along with weightlifting at the gym and yoga, I’m also aiming to get 365 miles in by the end of 2016. It’s not going quite according to plan, but I’m hoping to not get too far behind so I can catch up as my fitness improves…bring on those 6-7 mile runs I used to do!
  • 6am start – probably one of the most difficult but majorly impactful habit I’m trying to form. Sleep and me have an odd relationship, probably being diagnosed with glandular fever and then chronic fatigue syndrome doesn’t help, but I’m determined to get stuff done and not sleep my days away. Getting up early and filling my day with everything I want to do is my plan.

What are the habits you’re trying to form? How are you tracking them?

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Reflecting on 2015, and my 2016 Happiness Plan

In my search for tools to start my 2016 off right, and reflect on 2015, I came across these printable from the Happiness Planner. They have a planner for 2016, but as I’ve just purchased a new organiser, I might end up buying one of their 100 Days planners – 100 days of thought provoking pages and journalling. I’m thinking different about my organisation for next year – I want something that will make me think, be grateful and reflect, not just something to write down my day to day plans.

The printable at the Happiness Planner website feature some thought provoking stuff – 1,3, 5 year plans for the future, highs and lows of 2015, 2016 vision board, a bucket list, etc. So as 2015 draws to a close, I’ll be printing these off and probably surprising myself as I fill them in. I’ll keep them safe and check in on them throughout the year, so I can see how I’m doing and remind myself of where I’m going.

You can find the printables here: http://thehappinessplanner.com/pages/printables-for-2015-reflection-2016-planning

28th Birthday (and cake!)

It feels like I’ve been 28 for a while, as I think I’ve been rounding up for most the year, but at the end of November I officially turned 28. Turning 28 when you think you’re already 28 means it’s not too much of a shock when it actually happens!

My Birthday seems to always coincide with Black Friday so it’s mostly spent working. As Black Friday happens to be great fun (as well as exhaustion and stress…but mostly fun!) it’s not too much of a problem. I have all the excitement of being busy, Christmas festivities and Birthday cake – what more could I want?

As I’ve gotten older, as I’m sure most people will agree, Birthdays are more about spending it with the people I love and less about the presents (although my family also happen to be great gift buyers and I get spoilt regardless). Birthdays spent chatting over coffee, with a slice or two of cake and maybe an evening movie with your choice of dinner, that’s the spirit!

The first 25 years or so of my life were very stable, and the last few years it feels like everything’s changed. I’ve lost one of the most important people in my life, moved into my first house, gained two puppies…my life is very different to my life when I turned 25. And it goes to show how unpredictable life is! Birthdays seem to me to be a time of reflection and it makes me appreciate the fact that I’m alive, experiencing life, loved by and loving the people around me. I’ve spent the last few years making greeting cards that count days instead of years and despite seeing hundreds of these cards a week right in front of my eyes, sometimes I have to stop and remember how special each day is and why we should value it.

I think having a Birthday so close to Christmas and New Year, it’s a very reflective time – I’m definitely looking forward to what 2016 will bring, and my 29th year on planet earth. While this year was very much a transitional year for me, I’m hoping 2016 will be much more settled and I can relax a bit! And perhaps do better with the healthy eating instead of cake!? Maybe!?

  

  

2016, intentions, dreams and musings

2016 is just around the corner…I can’t believe how quickly this last year has flown by. Looking at photos from earlier in the year, it seems like only a few weeks ago we were moving into the house, picking up the puppies for the first time, spending the summer at the park…and now it’s almost Christmas and before we know it, it’ll be well into 2016.

This is the time of the year when I feel most reflective, the most motivated and completely and utterly positive to have the best year ever once the new year hits…I’m sure that’s how most people feel when January comes around? It’s a clean slate, a time to start afresh and be the best person you can be. 2015 was a very strange year for me – I am ending the year in a totally different place to where I was in January. We moved into our new home in February and then brought home two furry babies in March. This time last year, I could not have predicted the year we’ve had.

So now I’ve started thinking about what I want from 2016, I can’t stop feeling positive about the potential of the new year. I’m not saying I want to spend the next year ticking off things from the bucket list, but I want to feel I’ve made the most of life and the most out of those new 365 days. Despite doing some pretty big things in 2015, the time has kind of blurred into one big…blurry thing and has been pretty average in terms of what I’ve achieved for myself.

I’m pretty proud of my work-life-balance – last year I was completely consumed by work and didn’t know where to draw the line. However, moving my work into our home office and shutting the door at the end of the day has really helped my sanity. Although I still have days where I work late into the evening, knowing that it’s all confined to the one room and I can walk out when I want, is really great.

So, my plans for 2016? I definitely want to feel more alive – I signed up for the The Desire Map a few years ago and I remember writing down how I want to feel instead of what I want to achieve. Feeling alive, invigorated, energised, are all words that I wrote down then, and are all words I want to describe my 2016. I want my health to be my top priority in 2016 – to be hydrated, stress-free, cells packed with nutrients. I want to be able to feel that I can take on the world. Health and fitness is probably one of the most common ‘new year resolutions’ but instead of focusing on weight loss like most people do, I want to feel damn good.

I also want to maximise my potential. As wishy-washy business speak as that sounds, I feel that I could do so much more than I actually do. Time seems to disappear, things don’t get done that I want to, and sometimes I end my day thinking I could have done so much better. I’ve never been the sort of person that works to to-do lists or schedules…maybe I need to? To know what I need to do and when, so that things get done. Perhaps an intention for 2016 is to work more efficiently. There’s a superhero in my head – she gets things done, does it well, does it with style, and still has a smile on her face at the end of the day. She knows what needs doing and gets it done without fuss. I think she needs to be less fictional in 2016.

And talking about fictional people in my head, a big one for 2016 is to embrace my creativity. Work means I’m creative…I design greeting cards, I love spending time on branding and instagram is my modern day photography. But, the Mr and I both have talked about how everyone has ‘a book in them’. I’ve had the notes for years, the characters have been in my head for so long they’re like family, perhaps 2016 is the year I finally get that down on paper. I have a fear that one day I’ll leave this world, and these characters and ideas will go with me. I’m sure my writing is not the work of any literary genius, but I’m not sure I want to keep it to myself either. Even if it lives on in my computer memory, I think I’d like to get it down in writing.

They’re not real target-orientated resolutions…my business studies teacher always said that things should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed) and my goals for 2016 are none of those. I just want to live better, feel good and spend my time more wisely…maybe I need to think of ways to achieve my goals now that I know what they are?