That's a Wrap 2018
That’s it. 2018, over and out.
People keep telling me how horrible 2018 has been for them. Usually I nod and openly agree. ‘Oh yeah, soooo many people have been saying the same thing’. It’s totally been a shit year for me too, I’d think. I wouldn’t even second guess it. Until I realised that’s what I think at the end of every year…
Something felt off.
So, I sat my tired old ass down, with my morning cup of coffee. Reached for my notebook and my favourite pen and created three columns for myself to brain dump into:
What went well?
What didn’t go well?
Ideas for 2019.
And in this small time of reviewing my year, I realised it actually hasn’t been that bad. That, I actually have a tendency to throw negative thoughts all over the last 12 months without any proper consideration.
These are my biggest learnings from 2018
I’ve found my point of difference
I’ve been struggling with this since I started working for myself back in 2014. It’s been the fuel to my self doubt, and the reason I’ve never let myself grow beyond a wage I’m comfortable making.
But I’ve found something that positions me and my business differently to all the other design agencies out there.
I’m not really a design agency in a traditional sense. I don’t just design websites or develop branding. My strength is words. I’m a writer, first and foremost, and a designer second. And it turns out, putting words before design is actually called Content Design. Yeah, there’s actually a whole methodology behind it.
So, let me shout it from rooftops. I’m not a design agency. I’m a content agency that builds brands and websites. And let me tell you, I feel a lot more comfortable and at ease with that.
I’ve pinpointed my biggest weakness
I’ve come to the pretty dark realisation that I’m constantly doubting myself.
My biggest fear is to wake up one day, old and sick, with little time left on this beautiful world, only to realise I didn’t live my best life. I’m scared that I’m living someone else's life, and that I don’t really want what I think I want.
In careful consideration, I realised this comes down to needing to get to know myself a little better. And from that, I’ll be able to listen and trust my gut. So I’m on a mission in 2019 to get to know myself.
How am I going to do that? Great question.
It feels like such a personal thing to put out there, but I’d like to learn more about meditation, gratitude and mindfulness. I’m hoping opening myself up to new ways of using my mind could help me see clearer.
I’m starting to feel a little more grounded
Over the last three or so years, I’ve been working to make money to travel. And I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences because of it. But at the beginning of this year, I felt like I wanted something more. Working to travel wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. It felt, dare I say it, a little purposeless.
Don’t get me wrong. I really do love to explore, and I know I’ll never ever give it up. A big portion of my savings will always go to travel. I’m absolutely certain of this. I mean, I’d be willing to live off 2-minute-noodles just to save for my next adventure.
But I’ve been thinking more and more about the future this year.
I know one thing for sure, I don’t want to be in Melbourne much longer. Hell, I’m ready to move out today.
Josh planted this seed pretty early into our relationship that he wanted to move to the country one day. At first, I was reluctant. The city was all I knew. He talked more and more about it, until I realised, it felt like a familiar dream. I remember when I was a kid, I was always drawn to books about kids living on farms, always with a dog by their side. I even remember writing stories about farm life – despite how little I knew first hand. I remember begging my dad to move to the country. “Oh, I wish!” He would respond, having grown up on a farm himself.
So, I thought I’d explore this childhood dream of mine. I started picturing what it would be like, what I’d do on hot summers days, on cold rainy days. How I’d spend my mornings, my evenings, my holidays. And I liked what I saw. I really liked what I saw.
Since then, that dream has grown more and more. And my savings account grows with it.
Planning for a killer year ahead
I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself in this brand spanking new year, but I’m a planner, I can’t help it. These are some focus points for 2019.
1. Save for a little pad of our own.
This was actually the number one goal of 2018 and I have to say, we absolutely nailed it last year. Hopefully this year we’ll end up with enough cash to actually buy something. Fingers crossed!
2. Grow my business.
This little thing called The Woven could use some growth (and some love). Last month I sat down with zero distractions and strategised the next three months. Now I just need to clear space to make it all happen. I’m determined to grow this business so that it starts to generate some serious income, and it can become my full-time focus.
3. Get active and healthy.
I’ve been feeling like a blob lately. I need to find my groove with eating healthy and regularly exercising. I’m also going to make some changes to improve my mental health as well as my physical. This all comes from a girl who ate pizza for dinner last night. Great start.
4. Learn mindfulness.
This ties into the last one. I’ve always had difficulties with my mental health. I think it’s about time I gave it some time. I’m going to learn more about mindfulness, meditation and gratitude. These things sound so woo-woo to me but I know they’ll help – as long as I can wrap my head around them and commit.
5. Read more.
This was a goal for last year and I totally failed only after the first few months of the year. But in August, something changed. I stopped listening to Podcasts and watching YouTube and instead, I read. I finished two books, Our Magic Hour and then Conversations with Friends both reignited my love for reading.
In 2019, my aim is to read six books. I know that sounds pitiful, but one book every two months sounds really achievable for me! And hey, if I smash out 6 books in less time, that’ll feel pretty good too.
6. Write more.
Write in a journal when my brain is feeling cloudy, stressed or frustrated. Write whenever inspiration strikes instead of noting the idea and never getting the gumption to start or complete the piece. Write when I find myself talking passionately about something.
Just write. It’s my therapy. It’s my happy place. It’s been my hobby since I was young. Just. Write.
7. Commit to a weekly date night.
It’s a really simple thing to commit to, but I find life often gets in the way. And let’s be honest, it’s nice having one a day a week to spoil one another.
I’ve never really done this before. I have to say, it feels really reinvigorating. I’m hoping I can revisit this list throughout the year and hold myself accountable.