Positive Changes I've Made This Year

4 Positive Changes I've Made This Year

As 2017 comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on some of the changes I have made this year. A few big shifts happened over the past twelve months that made me pay close attention to my work, home life, and self-improvement. There were areas of my life I wanted to focus on so I could go into the new year with a clear purpose and intention.

I Prioritised Self-Care

This year I paid more attention to my mental health and physical wellbeing; making time to care for myself, properly. I’m a natural born worrier and I have a tendency to internalise any stress I’m feeling. I find it difficult to “switch off” and relax; whenever I have free time I always feel I should be doing something productive, which means I rarely have a guilt-free moment away from work. I don’t believe in “hustling” or never having a day off. I know how important having downtime is to workflow and productivity. Yet the guilt associated with taking time off as a self-employed person isn’t always easy to handle. This year I’ve been working on relieving some of that stress, anxiety, and (misplaced) guilt by adopting a few self-care habits to help me work through those feelings.

When you’re finding it difficult to achieve a good work/life balance and you’re not sure how to take time off without feeling guilty or anxious, try introducing a few new habits into your routine. A hobby, something that is enjoyable and productive but not work related, can help feel less guilty about the time you spend away from your work. Schedule in regular time to invest in something you enjoy doing and that makes you feel good.

4 Positive Changes I've Made This Year 4 Positive Changes I've Made This Year

I Dealt With Toxic Friendships

Toxic friendships are not something that’s often discussed; identifying them can be difficult and it’s even harder to know how to deal with them. Keeping people in our lives who don’t show up when we need them or return the kindness, love, or support we give them is detrimental to our longterm health and wellbeing. Cutting ties with toxic people, as hard as it can be, is essential to our self-care and happiness. I realised, for the sake of my mental health, taking a hard line approach to toxic relationships was an important turning point in my attitude towards self-care. I no longer dedicate the time or head space to people who do not return the love and support I show them. As a result, I’ve created more room in my life to invite new people in; I’ve forged strong relationships and gained new friendships because of it.

If you’re struggling to deal with people in your life who do not support you or show you love and kindness; my advice is to first try to talk to them, tell them how you feel and how their behaviour is upsetting you. If they refuse to acknowledge how you feel or refuse to listen, you can slowly withdraw from the friendship. You don’t owe it to anyone to stay friends with them if they don’t act like a good friend should.

4 Positive Changes I've Made This Year 4 Positive Changes I've Made This Year

I Upsized My Home

Living in a 500 square foot apartment taught me a lot and put me in good stead for maintaining a minimalist lifestyle. However, when you need more space it becomes very obvious. We started noticing there wasn’t enough space for anything; having to work, live, eat, and entertain all in one room was becoming a struggle, no matter how much we decluttered and organised. This year we decided to upsize into a significantly larger apartment. We almost doubled the size of our living space, which gave us room to create a home office and an at-home studio space for work. Despite having more room, keeping our home tidy and clutter-free is a lot quicker and easier. Upsizing was about creating a home with an environment we would be happy to live and work in it for years to come, and we found it.

Upsizing isn’t for everyone. If you’re finding your environment at home difficult to live in there are a few simple solutions to your problem. Create a fresh start by thoroughly decluttering your space. Removing the distractions and unwanted belongings helps minimise the visual clutter, simplifying your home and creating an environment you’ll enjoy being in. After you’ve decluttered and simplified your home, you might want to restyle (without spending money) to make the most of your space.

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I Found My Blogging Sweet Spot

Managing your workload and finding balance is important. With some of the projects I wanted to work on this year I found myself struggling to get the work/life balance just right. Adjusting the workload and making tweaks to my workflow has meant I’ve found my blogging sweet spot (and in other areas of my life too). I dropped down from posting daily to twice weekly (I’m about to bump this up to three times a week though!) and I started a new blog, The Journal. It’s something I should have done sooner and if you’re a small business owner who still doesn’t have a blog - start one. My personal blog has always had a huge influence on the traffic I get to my online shop but because I was blogging here I didn’t feel I needed to write one over there too. I was wrong. Although it meant working harder to produce content across multiple platforms and creating a watertight editorial calendar that really worked, it was all worth the effort. I’ve discovered a flow that works and my blogging sweet spot, which means I can really dig into the content I’m passionate about creating.

Even though we share some of the same struggles, blogging is different from everyone and finding a comfortable rhythm can be tricky especially when what we want to do isn’t always what we think we should do. If you’ve fallen out of love with blogging or don’t feel like writing anymore, it’s time to take a step back and make some changes. Ignore what everyone else is doing and what you think you should be doing, and focus on your purpose and drive. It’s the only way to be truly satisfied with the content you’re creating.

4 Positive Changes I've Made This Year