Well, thank God THAT’S over.
January, that is. I’m sure you’re all sick to death of hearing it by now, but this was a REALLY rough month for us, for a variety of different reasons, and hitting goals was pretty much the LAST thing on my mind for most of it, seriously. There were goals to be hit, though, so here’s how I got on with the ones I set back at the start of the month…
Save some money
So, a weird thing happened this month: not only did I not shop much, I actually didn’t WANT to shop. Well, not MUCH, anyway. Er, not much FOR ME, I guess would be more accurate. I did, obviously, buy a few things, but only one of them was what I’d class as a truly “frivolous” purchase, and I DID save some money, so I’m chalking this one up as a win. (Also, that skirt was £20, people. TWENTY. POUNDS. They were practically giving it away!) I don’t really feel like I can take much credit for it, though, because not only were my monthly goals pushed to the back of my mind this month, a lot of other stuff was too, shopping being one of them. So although I did see some stuff I really liked, I actually couldn’t seem to find the necessary level of enthusiasm to seriously consider buying any of it, which was a pretty strange experience for me. I guess this must be what normal people feel like most of the time? Interesting.
I think part of it was that, as I’ve mentioned, my style has been changing a bit recently. I know I’m not going to get much use out of party dresses in January, for instance, and whereas I’d normally just have bought them anyway, lately I’ve been more interested in those classic, timeless pieces I’m always saying I’m going to buy, but then ignoring in favour of another tulle skirt or something. I feel like this can only be a good thing both for my wardrobe and my bank balance, although maybe not so much for my blog: we’ll see.
Er, I exercised more than I did in December: does that count?
So, yeah, this didn’t go exactly to plan either. Back in December, I had these visions of myself spending January pounding the pavements: running off the claustrophobia of Christmas, and enjoying a new, spartan regime after the excess of the party season. Well, needless to say, THAT didn’t happen: the horrendous weather put paid to any hopes of me dragging my sorry ass outdoors, and somehow the treadmill just didn’t appeal to me at all – funny, that. I did, however, manage to fit in a few treadmill runs, and although I’m not expecting any high fives over it, it was better than nothing – and given that “nothing” is what I did in December, you COULD say I achieved this goal.
Publish my ebook
Well, I didn’t publish it, but I DID completely re-write it, because it turns out that hammering out 30,000 words over the course of three stressed-out evenings only really works if you’re Jack Kerouac. And I’m sure you’ve probably realised this, but I’m NOT.
Put together a media kit
I actually DID do this, but I’m not particularly happy with it, so I’m going to have to make a few tweaks to it before I’ll consider it done. One for February, I guess. Or, you know, March.
As for February, meanwhile, well, let’s see…
In February I only have three main goals, which are to…
01. Blog less
This probably seems like a REALLY strange goal for a professional blogger, but let me clarify: I’m not actually aiming to blog less, per se, I’d just like to stop putting so much pressure on myself to have a new post up every single day. I’ve been doing that for over a year now, and while it’s really helped increase my traffic, it’s also left me feeling pretty burnt out, if I’m honest. The problem is that if I miss a day, my traffic drops – and even although I know it’ll come back as soon as I post again, when you’re relying on that traffic for your income, those lower-than-average days can be hard to just accept. People always tell you to “just blog when you feel like it!”, but if I was to do that, I genuinely wouldn’t have posted AT ALL in January, and probably not much in December either, and you just can’t do that when it’s your job, any more than someone in a “normal” job can just not turn up for weeks on end, and expect to still get paid.
At the same time, though, there’s a lot of other stuff I really need to be paying more attention to on the blog, and a lot of that behind-the-scenes stuff is the kind of thing that has the potential to keep the traffic more even, and less reliant on there being a new post every day. I haven’t been spending as much time on that lately, so while I’m not setting myself any kind of target with this, if there are days when I’m feeling totally un-inspired, I’m going to try my best to not panic about it, and just accept that the traffic will drop for that day, and that it won’t be the end of the world.
02. Eat less crap
I ate REALLY badly last month. I tried to blame it on all of the chocolate and other treats I got for Christmas, and also on the super-stressful start to the year (We were out of the house a lot, and that led to a few too many takeaways and other “quick and easy” food that wasn’t particularly good for us), but, of course, I have no one to blame but myself – it’s not like someone forced me to eat all that stuff, after all. Anyway, as a result of my poor eating habits, I ended up gaining a couple of pounds, and while I know THAT’S not the end of the world either, this month I’m aiming to get back into eating healthier and just taking better care of myself all round.
03. Publish that freaking ebook
Seriously, Amber, just get that thing finished already. How hard can it be? (Er, pretty hard, if last month’s experience is anything to go by, apparently. This is one of the things I’m hoping to have more time for by putting less pressure on myself to produce daily content, though, so fingers crossed…)
And that’s it: shouldn’t be too difficult, huh?