Did 2017 seem to fly by as quickly for you as it did for me? As I’m preparing and planning for 2018 I’ve realised that most of my planning is actually what I was planning on doing in 2017, but never got round to. Not because I couldn’t be bothered, but because it seems like the whole year has gone by in a blink and I had so much going on I barely had time to think about my action list let alone act on it.
Maybe the year went so fast because lots of good things happened and I seemed to be leaping from one good thing to the next. There is definitely truth in the saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’.
So what was so great about 2017?
I got to travel a lot
I love travelling and know myself well enough to know I could never settle to the sort of life where I just have a couple of weeks’ holiday a year. For a long time I’ve been trying to get a balance where I enjoy my work AND have time and money to actually have a life and do the things I enjoy (you know … that old work/life balance thing?) This year I didn’t get it completely right, but I’m close and it has started to seem really possible.
I made a road trip along England’s A49 which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s not a classic road trip by any means – it’s more likely to get the reaction of, ‘Huh? Why?’ rather than, ‘Oh wow! I’m so jealous, I wish I could do that!’ whenever I mention it to anyone, but now I’ve done it I know I was right about it and I highly recommend it.
I’ve also managed to explore parts of Wales and Scotland and lots of bits of England I hadn’t been to before. I’ve walked the Peddars Way and spent the summer in Shetland and Orkney.
On the foreign travel front I’ve had a week in Oman catching up with friends and exploring the desert and a road trip with another friend through France, Andorra and Spain.
I don’t have many travel plans for 2018 yet, but I quite like the idea of my calendar being open to whatever opportunities come along.
I’ve learnt so much about blogging
I’ve not been consistent with writing posts and I have a huge number still in draft. This is mainly because I’ve been so busy actually doing the things I want to write about there hasn’t been much time for the writing. But when I do get sat down in front of my computer and start to write I don’t want to stop. It’s something I really enjoy.
I’ve been reading and studying blogging so much this year as well and I’m getting a much better understanding of SEO and how to use Pinterest as a promotional tool and how to use Canva to create graphics and pins and how to compress images … all things that to most bloggers would be ‘yawn … I learnt that years ago’, but for me is a huge learning curve. I even made a logo for my site. And got myself some business cards printed up with the logo on them.
This was also the year I attended my first travel blogging conference (Traverse 17 in London) and started to network with other bloggers. I still have so much to do and so much to learn, but I really feel like I got somewhere this year.
I’ve started getting organised
I always used to be pretty organised with my life, my finances and my possessions. Though I suppose it was easy to be organised with possessions when everything I owned fitted into a backpack, with finances when I didn’t have bills to worry about and with life in general when I could just go with the flow.
Over the past few years (ok, over the past decade or so) that organisation went completely to pot. I was overwhelmed at work, had family issues that I struggled to deal with because I had no time to mentally process what was happening and got completely stressed because I refused to become all work and no life and tried to wedge life in even though there was no time.
I wasn’t sleeping well or eating properly. I stopped exercising and even gave up on walking. I got into a big tangled mess with just about everything and had no time or motivation to deal with it. Once I gave up my job and gave myself time to slow down and actually think I started to evaluate and prioritise. I realised that I go stir-crazy if I can’t get out and do the things that are important to me. It doesn’t matter how much I enjoy my job I still need to do other things as well. I also realised that when things are in disarray I don’t cope well and get into a head-spinning state where I don’t know where to start or what to do and so nothing actually gets done.
In 2017 I started to get my life back into some kind of order. I say ‘started’ because I still have a long way to go, but I feel ready to deal with it now and have lots of plans for 2018 as to how I’m going to do this. I might even blog about it … if I get organised enough!
But I still haven’t published my book
This is the real bugbear and there’s no real reason for it other than that I was so busy doing everything else. I even went to the Self-Publishing Conference in Leicester (for the second time!) and yet I’m still no further along with it. This year I really have to make it a priority.
And so as we move into another year I’m not so much setting specific goals as thinking about what I want my life to look like this time next year.
What I want to be able to write in my 2018 review
- I want my home to be completely organised with a designated space for everything and a system for dealing with paperwork in place.
- I want my finances to be organised so I’m getting the best value for my money on everything from my gas bill and mortgage to my savings and taxes. I want tracking systems in place so I can budget effectively.
- I want my mind and body to be organised. I want to have headspace to think and process my thoughts. I want to have time to have a fitness routine, eat healthily and get enough sleep.
So nothing major then …
How was 2017 for you? And what are your plans and hopes for 2018? Would you like to join me in making 2018 the year when chaos and calamity become calm and composure? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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