Giving yourself goals doesn’t necessarily mean you have to set yourself ridiculously high standards you’ll never be capable of meeting. It’s about giving yourself focus.
It gives me pride reading back about the things I did well and gives me a well-needed kick up the backside to focus on the things I want to achieve.
So let’s take a look back at my goals for 2017 and see how I got on:
1 – The Life of a Social Butterfly Travels
Number one on my list was bringing the travel element to my blog. Yasss! Not only did I finally bring the travel element to my blog in June, I also started my own YouTube channel sharing travel content. I blogged and vlogged my way around beautiful Dubrovnik in Croatia. I was also honoured to be invited as one of three U.K. bloggers to explore The Hague & Den Bosch with Visit Holland.
Did I tell you loved visiting Lisbon too?!
I already have some exciting trips planned for 2018: a trip to the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens with my Mum, a city break to Paris and Prague with Adam as well as staying at a luxury villa in Puglia Italy.
2017 goal complete ✅
2 – Attend the Hottest Events
Next up, was being on the guest list for some of the hottest events. As I put more focus on the travel aspects of my blog, this goal took a bit of a back seat. Though, I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. As I mentioned in my reflection on 2017 post, when you’re a new blogger it’s easy to go to the opening of an envelope and, this can not only result in feeling burned-out, it also involves more time away from loved ones. I attended some wonderful events and met some amazing people in 2017, though, it made me realise how much long-lasting relationships matter. They’ll be more on this in my 2018 goals. ❌
3 – Leave My Comfort Zone
Now in terms of goals, this was a biggy for me. I love my home comforts, spending time with Adam and the bunnies. Most people would describe me as “she’s so laid back she’s horizontal”, therefore leaving this happy little comfort zone was not something I did easily.
You’ve only got to read my #GOcation camping trip with GO Outdoors and #WMGT posts to realise how much I came out of my comfort zone this past year. I hadn’t camped in fifteen years prior to the #GOcation and whilst I can’t proclaim to be any sportier, my confidence has grown tenfold taking part in these active weekends. Especially after going to the Lake District on my own and throwing myself into the deep-end with various sporting activities.
Blood, sweat and almost tears meant that I well and truly succeeded in leaving my comfort zone in 2017. Goal complete ✅
4 – Engage, Collaborate & Network
Working with exciting brands, engaging with other bloggers and increasing my stats was another 2017 goal and, to a certain extent will remain to be a focus of mine in 2018.
In 2017, I worked with some amazing brands including technology giants Panasonic and British accessories brand Accessorize. I continued to work on collaborations (posts where I was gifted products, given a meal, trip or hotel stay in return for an honest review) and also began to work with brands on sponsored content (paid posts.) I can’t tell you how exciting it is to get an email from a brand wanting to work with me and, that they appreciate the content I’m putting out enough to pay or gift me.
I put my all into every post I work on, whether it’s sponsored or not and one of the most rewarding highlights of my blog in 2017 was to work with ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
This year I’ve been involved in many more blogger chats including icelolly’s #holidaychat, as well as attended a number of blogger events. It’s so lovely meeting like-minded bloggers who share my passion and need to get a photo of my fooood! Bloggers or not, I have been lucky enough to meet some lifelong friends and incredible people in 2017.
I was genuinely moved and overwhelmed by the kind well-wishes on my 2017: The Happiest Year post. I have a lot of time for people who support other bloggers in the Blogosphere and it makes me incredibly proud to be part of such a community.
In terms of stats, I’m not obsessed with tracking every little detail as I don’t want that to take the passion out of blogging. I didn’t start the blog with the intention of making money or gaining likes, though, knowing that people enjoy reading my content makes me feel wonderful.
I do have a habit of checking my daily views, as well as checking the stats on my popular posts. I’m still amazed at the variety of countries reading my blog.
To put things into context, when I first submitted my stats to the MK Bloggers group in August 2016 I had:
0 blog followers
242 Twitter followers
310 Instagram followers
No Facebook page.
Today I have:
425 blog followers
2,477 Twitter followers
1,685 Instagram followers
909 Facebook followers
319 Bloglovin followers
304 Pinterest followers
270 YouTube subscribers
213 Google + followers
So whilst stats are not something I’m obsessed with and, they certainly aren’t huge in comparison to a number of other bloggers, I am incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved with my blog aka side hustle.
All in all, I would say blogging goal complete ✅
5 – Be Happy
My last and certainly not least 2017 goal was to be happy.
Y’all have read my 2017: The Happiest Year post haven’t you?! I’m now a fiancé! I will say no more on this matter. Goal complete ✅
So can I be as successful at achieving my goals in 2018?! Well, only time will tell but I’m going to give it my best shot.
1- This Time Next Year – I want to build lasting relationships with brands and PRs working on content I love
I’ve kinda cheated on this one as it’s something I already began doing last year but it remains a priority and, I want to see how this grows by 2019.
When I started including travel content on my blog I ignited a passion. There are so many places I want to visit and I want to tell the world (well, those lucky individuals reading the blog) all about my favourite destinations, foodie spots, sightseeing tips. Last year I realised it’s quality, not quantity that I want to be known for. I may not have hundreds of thousands of followers, publish a post every other day and travel every week to a new destination, but I’m proud of the content I create and the engagement I receive from my posts.
It gives me enormous pride when a brand I’ve worked with previously asks me to work with them again, especially as there are plenty of other bloggers they could reach out to.
I worked with Milton Keynes Theatre and GO Outdoors twice in 2017. Though, I mentioned previously I’m not sporty in the slightest, GO were keen to see my take on their #GOcation camping after enjoying my MK Store Review.
Whereas some may think, I’ve already visited Holland why would I want to go back? For me, if I’m passionate about a post I’m writing I want to explore every detail. It’s no secret, I loved visiting The Hague and knowing it has a beach, I now want to return and see what it’s like in the Summer.
I have a burning desire to explore more of Croatia too. I like to see the whole picture and, whilst it’s easy to move on and visit other places, I like to explore the breadth and width of a destination.
I’m not saying I won’t work with any other brands or PRs. Though for me, building long-lasting relationships are beneficial to both me and the brand I’m working with. The brand will know my passion for their brand, my blog voice, appreciate my honest opinion and know the type of content I can create from working with me previously. I can continue to surprise that brand, be honest with them about the angles and time the content will take, as well as the compensation required. It comes down to mutual respect on both sides.
2 – This Time Next Year – I want to know whilst I did my best, I took time for myself and loved ones
This ties in with my previous goal and is another reason why I want to focus on building long-lasting relationships.
Time is precious and we never know when our time is going to run out. 2017 was an amazing year for me in a number of ways, though, I’m not naive enough to think life is always easy, especially having witnessed loved ones go through some very tough times. When I started blogging I was forever attending events, socialising away from home or when I was home I was isolating myself to work on my blog posts. At the time I needed to do this, I needed to build my confidence and move on from a difficult 2015. Socialising built my confidence and writing gave me focus. Though, I got to the point where I was burning myself out attending two/three events a week, spending time with friends and blogging on nights when I was home.
It wasn’t fair on my loved ones and it was not something I could sustain for my own well-being. I want to chill out as much as the next person!
Whilst I have a demanding day job, I love blogging too much to give it up. Therefore in 2018, blogging will continue to be my night job. Though, I need to be more organised with my schedule, choosy about the work I undertake and listen to my body to know when I need to take time out.
I want to find balance in 2018.
3 – This Time Next Year – I want to better myself
This is a broad goal. Though, some priorities I can think of relating to this goal are:
Completing my Digital Marketing NVQ. Ideally, with a distinction rather than a pass but all in all, I want to know I gave it my best shot.
Learn how to use all the functions of my digital camera and explore new ways of enhancing my photography content.
Improve my stats. I want 10K Instagram followers now just for the swipe-up links feature! I’ve got 1,685 now so I’ve got quite a way to go! I need approximately 100 followers to get to 1,000 Facebook followers. 5K Twitter followers would be a nice way to end 2018.
4 – This Time Next Year – I would like to have explored more of the U.K. and Europe
Prior to the #WMGT adventure weekend in the Lake District, the highest north I’d been in England is Nottingham. This is something most people find hilarious! What can I say, I am enticed by warmer climates and different cultures abroad, which is something that will never change.
Although, I was completely blown away by the breathtaking views of the Lake District, which made me vow to see more of what the U.K. has to offer.
Ireland has been calling me in particular and has been playing on my mind for the past six months. I’d love to do a road trip exploring various areas of Ireland, with the possibility of visiting the area where my Nan was born.
Dubrovnik really surprised me. I was mesmerised by its beauty and never expected to love this area of Eastern Europe like I do. Similarly, I was taken by the culture of The Netherlands and, with both destinations only a short flight away, I was puzzled why I hadn’t visited sooner.
It has opened my mind to so many other European destinations tucked away on my secret Pinterest board and I intend to travel as much as I can in 2018.
5 – This Time Next Year – I want to be more body confident
I love nothing more than capturing great pictures of others, getting their best angles for pictures and making them smile. Though, when it comes down to my own photos I simply can’t pose… I don’t know how to stand to make myself look slimmer, less frumpy (one of the cons of being short and big busted), smile naturally or what the heck to do with my arms. Though, I do intend to find out.
I’m not one to have a gazillion selfies on my Instagram grid. Instead, I consciously try and put one up around every fourth or fifth photo. It goes without saying, the photos of me in this blog post were the lucky ones out of no doubt hundreds of photos! No exaggeration…
As part of my travel diaries, I want to include more fashion as well as food and travel guide tips. Therefore, this is something I need to conquer in 2018…
I hope I’m as successful at meeting my goals for 2018 and that this post has inspired you to look at your own aspirations for the year.
Feel free to use the #ThisTimeNextYear tag to create your own post. Let me know your goals too either in the comments below or by tagging me in your own post.