On the first day of 2019 my blog disappeared. It was only down for an hour and to be honest, I didn’t even know until my friend texted me. The brief technical malfunction reminded me just how much I want 2019 to be a big year for Confessions of a Northern Belle! I’m truly grateful for the success I found last year, but there is so much more work to be done. After plenty of reflecting on what worked (and what didn’t), I’m ready to hit the ground running. Read along to find out how I plan to improve my blog (and myself) in 2019.
It is nearly impossible to grow a brand if you aren’t in the right state of mind. Last year I had a few factors holding me back – stress, anxiety, and a serious level of disorganization to name a few. I’m now feeling rejuvenated after a long holiday break and ready to beat back the demons. Here are the goals I created for myself in 2019:
Worry Less – One of my flaws is that I worry… a lot… sometimes about things I have zero control over. If you ask my family, they know I fret at the drop of a hat without waiting to see the outcome when it actually hits the ground. Over the last year I learned if I make a conscious effort to worry less (or worry consciously), I’ll have more emotional and mental stamina to put towards my work and family.
Power Down and Read More – I spend way too much time on my phone at night while laying in my bed. To better myself (and give my eyes a break), I’ll be powering down once I get in bed to READ more. I’ve always loved reading, but claim I never have time to do it. This way – phone-less and laptop-less – I’ll be forced to dive into a book or get to bed early.
Make Time for my Family – The hardest thing about being a work at home Mom is there’s never enough time in the day to do it all. In the evenings I find myself neglecting my family to finish a blog post, clean the kitchen, or get the house in order. I never hang out with my husband and kids the way that I should during the week, but in 2019, I will MAKE it happen.
During the day I’ll prioritize my tasks so come nighttime, I’ll have the freedom to snuggle on the couch or chaperone tubby time. I picked up “One Line A Day,” the journal for recording five years of memories, that I will fill out each night before bed. Brandon is on board with the book too, so we will have something to look back on filled with the little moments we might forget. Life is too precious, time is fleeting, and my family is my everything.
Write with Intention
One of my goals from 2018 was to engage my audience with useful and relevant content. I believe I put more efforts in writing quality blog posts last year, but know I can do better. My goal for 2019 is to write with intention by asking myself a simple question: “What do I want to achieve from this post?”
I want my readers to feel inspired, connected, or entertained when they visit Confessions of a Northern Belle. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing I’ve written a blog post someone finds useful. In the past, I made notes in my phone of ideas for blog posts that pop in my head. These topics never make it to the blog, but in 2019 I’m jotting down notes in a journal and planning meaningful blog posts a week or two in advance.
Stop Waiting for Instant Gratification
One of the most difficult parts about blogging is our inability to measure success as it’s all both relative and skewed depending on your niche. I really really want to be able to stop looking for instant gratification – new followers on social media or comments on a blog post – and focus on bigger results. A significant increase in pageviews over a few months or being recognized by a brand for your work – that’s what I want to celebrate!
Slow Down and Shut Up
I’ve been reading “You are a Badass at Making Money” to find tips and tricks for living my best and most successful life as a blogger. One of the important takeaways is to SLOW DOWN AND SHUT UP – a notion that sounds harsh, but makes a lot of sense.
Whenever something doesn’t happen fast enough for me, I immediately think it’s a sign of failure. These thoughts manifest negativity and poison my potential for success. Phrases like “I hope” (you lack faith) and “I wish” (you’re not in control) are both disempowering and non-committing. The book says to carefully correct yourself before you speak/think about a situation or goal. Here are the “I -” statements I am going to use more in 2019: I have, I create, I am grateful for, I enjoy, I can, I choose, I love. Shutting up is another goal because sometimes saying nothing at all is most powerful. Embracing the silence for a few minutes is a daily goal both purposeful and insightful. I want to give myself space to make better choices
Schedule Work Time with Limited Distractions
Finding time to blog can be a daunting task on the days when both my daughters are home. Instead of carving out an hour or two during naps, I attempt to work throughout the day. With the number of distractions I allow to take away my focus – social media, fighting sisters, a load of laundry – I rarely accomplish anything worth a dime. By scheduling ‘work time’ with limited distractions, I’ll be able to write with intention in 2019.
Stay Humble, Work Hard, and Be Kind
I’ve always believed in community over competition, but last year I encountered a few bloggers who don’t agree with this sentiment. The blog world can be cruel and the only way to navigate it is to stay humble, work hard, and be kind. working with my fellow bloggers to grow not just my blog, but theirs as well. For 2019 I will stay humble, work hard, make more connections, grow my tribe, and BE KIND!
Caitlin Houston is a Connecticut based life and style blogger.