Easing back into a new year after a break where all you did was eat cheese and drink wine in the afternoons is just awful. I mourn the loss of the days where no one emailed as everyone was on holiday at the same time. It’s the only time of year that this happens. I decided to take an extra long break at Christmas this year, as November and December were a blur of days that were long, and sometimes ran into one another thanks to being incredibly busy (please don’t get me wrong, I am delighted to be busy!). Then there was the minor set back of having a kidney procedure at the beginning of December that led to a week off. I’d like to say that was enjoyable, but honestly, it was painful and revolved around a schedule of pain killers. BUT! The end of each year is always busy in the fashion world, and 2017 was no different. I always plan for these things, but it always surprises me. And this time around the plan was an extra week to relax. Now that is not to say that I have being sitting at home all day watching Netflix (only some of the days), I have been allocating a couple of hours to planning the year ahead. I don’t make resolutions; to me they are empty promises that reoccur every new year and we berate ourselves for not keeping the previous ones so why bother.
Instead, my attitude is to continue on the same course, with some minor adjustments, and challenges to move forward. Each January, we promise ourselves we’ll get fit and diet. A couple of years ago I changed my mind on that and decided to embark on a fitness routine around November and have it up and running over the Christmas season, so that I was simply continuing my plan come new year. It worked, and having trained on my break as well as practicing some much needed yoga, I’m in the happy place. I’m applying this approach now to work. 2017 was one of my best years career wise; I had a steady flow of work, I did new things, worked with new brands and developed my own brand. And so for 2018, I’m rolling over what I’ve achieved and allowing that to project positive thoughts on what’s to come this year.
A new approach
2017 also afforded me time to evaluate what has worked and what needs improving. We have to acknowledge our weaknesses to move forward. I read recently that a great way to evaluate is to do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). This takes me back to my college days, and even to when I worked as a management consultant. I would apply these to the clients I was working with to see how they were doing. It’s a strategic tool and it doesn’t only apply to the corporate world, I use it on my work and my own life as a kind of “status check”. Using it retrospectively is enlightening. I can’t say that I face many threats, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth taking a look at them. When I finished my 2017 SWOT analysis, I found I had a lot of strengths and opportunities, but the weaknesses I had identified were things that have floated around every year without being addressed. Minor issues like technical updates on my blog that I left unattended and leaving things to the last minute were regular occurrences. Major issues were more like working too late and not sleeping properly to not prioritising jobs so I could complete them efficiently. It might sound like I’m being hard on myself, but I didn’t get to do this job for this long without some critical-style thinking. But what has given me the most insight are the opportunities. And this takes me to the real point of this blog post. I’m fine tuning my online work so that it’s structured and organised in the way any business should be. Blogging is my business after all, and I can’t run a business that’s has no defined path. So what’s happening with my approach? It will go something like this:
The Blog Schedule
For those who read my blog regularly (thank you!) you’ll know it’s a mix of topics. Now, I want to let you know what you can expect and when you can expect it. Monday will always be for “My Style” – my outfit posts, how I style looks and where to buy them. Wednesday will still be “Wardrobe Wednesdays” with a different trend each week that you can shop directly on the blog. These were a big “strength” (see what I did there!) last year and so they will roll over to 2018. Friday will be a personal post – the highest viewed page last year was my story on Anxiety and thanks to a short poll on Instagram stories, it looks like personal stories are always well received. And that’s thanks to you listening to me share my experiences!
You might have seen a few bloggers mention how Instagram has changed with it’s latest algorithm. Not all posts show up in feeds now so I have to work harder to make sure my images are appearing. And that means structure on this too! The most popular posts in 2016 were all outfit related, and led to lot’s of lovely comments on where I shop! There will be three Instagram posts a day for your viewing pleasure (please like them please!!) with some varying themes! On Instagram stories I will still post my day and try helplessly to be funny and slightly ridiculous!
I do hope that this regular updating of content will help you pick out which posts you like the most, so then you’ll know what days to check in! So let’s give this a try and see where we go, shall we?