So here we are, 2018… A new year, my second year into being freelance and another opportunity to better previous achievements and create new ones.
There is no better day to celebrate the positives and plan ahead than Blue Monday. January 15th, said to be the most depressing day of the year. Where New Year resolutions supposedly fall flat on their arse, the hunger pangs kick in from going carb-free, the partying stops and the realisation that a “New Year, New You’ mentality should have started already.
Blue Monday or not, the reality is that life is what you make it. You can choose to let this day (originally formulated by a PR agency, not a scientist – eye roll) dictate how you feel, OR you can stick on a smile, crank up the productivity levels and end the day on a high. In fact, making this thought process a mentality for the year ahead is just one of my goals I intend on ticking off for 2018.
Goals give you structure, they formulate focus and they create pressure. For me personally, I need a little pressure to work to my full potential and setting deadlines, working to a schedule and tracking revenue is exactly the kind of positive pressure I need. But where to start when it comes to goal-making?
- Educate yourself and develop your skill set. Another goal of mine for the year ahead is read more. Not just the news, but informative articles, positive thinking journals, books and apps. A few to note down are ‘Get Your Shit Together’ by Sarah Knight, ‘Thought Catalog’ available in the app store, The Power Of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale.
- Find your niche. And by niche, I mean your unique selling point – what makes you “you”. Whether you are a blogger or not with an audience to appeal to, knowing what sets you apart from other peers can only create career progression. I’m very much trying to build on my straight-talking way of writing, and sticking to what the majority of my followers/readers prefer the most rather than trying to appeal to everyone.
- Create a business plan. Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer, or have your own business and haven’t been as hot on the hitlist as you should have been, it’s never too late to start. If you too are a blogger or are thinking of starting one, then this may take the form of a bullet journal (buy my one here) and use this as your calendar, bank balance, content diary, social media tracker… the list is endless. I will share a more in-depth post on this very soon
- Make it manageable. If you struggle with organisation and structure then planning ahead for a month or three months is a good starting point, rather than attempting one great plan for the whole year. 12 months of budgets, diary entries, goals and to-do lists can seem hellishly daunting and can result in you putting more pressure than necessary on yourself.
- Love what you do. I’m a big believer in job satisfaction. Whether this is defined by the career itself that you’ve chosen, or the job specifications such as salary, work environment, career progression or benefits that contribute to enjoying your work. Make this your year of changing careers, or bettering one or more aspects of your job.