It’s become something of a tradition for me to write down my goals as we approach a new year. In a world where we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, looking back on our individual achievements over the past twelve months can really show us how far we’ve come in our own journey. This helps us appreciate our achievements, be thankful for opportunities that have come our way and, align our goals for the year ahead.
One thing I know for sure, I need to get cracking with some wedding plans…age is not on my side! It’s been 18 months since Adam and I got engaged and, I really do not know where to start!
Before I look at my 2019 goals, first I like to recap on my goals from the previous year, if only to see if I’m actually doing the things I set out to. Here goes…
Looking Back on my 2018 Goals
2018 Goal – I want to build lasting relationships with brands & PRs working on content I love
I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in 2018. It gives me a huge amount of pride to be invited on trips with brands I’ve worked with before. The Netherlands will always have a special place in my heart as it was my first press trip and first time visiting The Netherlands; double the excitement! In 2018, I got to visit The Netherlands on more than one occasion, visiting Keukenhof with my Mum followed by a press trip to Eindhoven and Rotterdam. Not only that but I came runner-up in the ‘Best Online Article’ category in the 2018 Holland Press Awards, which was without a doubt my greatest achievement of 2018.
I didn’t make it to Scheveningen in The Hague as I’d hoped to on my This Time Next Year Goals for 2018 post. I was invited but unfortunately, I could not make the dates. Oh well, there’s always next year.
I was also invited on two press trips to Italy with Bookings For You, one to Puglia, Southern Italy and the other to Lake Maggiore, Northern Italy. These trips were my first taste of Italy and I want to see more. I also had the opportunity to stay in the beautiful luxury villa Corte dei Massapi.
I had the opportunity to enjoy private press trips with both Bookings For You & Visit Holland (where flights/accommodation/additional extras are still covered by the brands) and, I definitely prefer these to group trips with other bloggers and journalists. I appreciate being invited on both types of press trips, but private ones give the freedom to create the content I want to share plus, I get to bring along loved ones with me.
2018 goal complete ✅
2018 Goal – I want to know that whilst I did my best, I took time for myself and loved ones
Gone are the days when I’m hopping on a train to London three nights a week to attend blogging events. They built my confidence, helped me network, make friends and create new opportunities but, they also often left me feeling burned out. Instead, in 2018 I only went to events I really wanted to attend, such as the Twins That Travel event with Sandals, Pandora Gingerbread House event at The Ivy Grill and The Hokkaido event in St Paul’s (more to come on this.)
As I touched on, this year I got to take friends and family along with me on press trips, hotel stays, dining experiences and, this gave me an opportunity to treat loved ones and spend more time with them. I love being able to share these experiences with loved ones, where we can enjoy a day out or mini-break away together.
I enjoyed non-blogging holidays too, though I do want to share my trips to Prague and Korčula so more will be shared on these trips after all.
I took time for myself, spending more time at home with Adam and the bunnies. More recently, I have found a love for yoga since I attended the Sweat Studios Summer Yoga Festival. I particularly love hot yoga as the heated studio enables me to burn the calories equivalent to a 5K run without the running! If you’re at home reading this and want some yoga moves to aid you in the Christmas/New Year lull, check out my Yuletide Yoga – 7 Festive Poses you Need this Christmas post. Or if you’re local to Milton Keynes and want to give it a try, get 50% off a single class pass using code BUTTERFLY at Sweat Studios.
Not only did I find a new love for yoga, I feel more assured with myself that I can say no to the things that I don’t want to do rather than trying to please people all the time.
Glad to say I’ve achieved this goal and it is again something I want to continue into 2019 ✅
2018 Goal – I want to better myself
I acknowledged the fact that this was a broad goal.
My digital marketing NVQ is not quite at an end just yet and, whilst I wasn’t given as much time to complete this as I’d hoped, the last few weeks have proved beneficial. Fingers crossed!
I think as a blogger, it is easy to just look at follower numbers as a way of measuring achievements. In my This Time Next Year: Goals for 2018 post, I’d touched upon the fact that I wanted 10K followers on Instagram (to be able to get the swipe up feature), 5K Twitter followers and 1K Facebook followers. Whilst I most definitely want the swipe up feature on Instagram (doesn’t everyone) I’m now more concerned with engagement than followers.
Here’s how my followers have changed over the past three years:
0 blog followers
242 Twitter followers
310 Instagram followers
No Facebook page.
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
371 blog followers
3,000 Twitter followers
2, 683 Instagram followers
1,101 Facebook followers
567 Pinterest followers
358 Bloglovin followers
302 YouTube Followers
240 Google + followers
All my accounts have grown (except my mailing list…damn GDPR), though I’d rather have engaged mailing list subscribers than a larger number so I see this as a good thing. The accounts may not have grown as much as I’d hoped overall, though my engagement has improved. I find it incredibly difficult to grow organically on Instagram so I’m thrilled to have grown my account by 1K in the past twelve months. It was showing at above 2,700 around a week before Christmas, but ya know…Instagram!
A platform I hadn’t intended on growing followers on was Pinterest, but my followers have jumped from 304 to 565. I currently have 50.1K monthly unique viewers on Pinterest. This year has seen me gain blog traffic from Pinterest, a platform I had never had traffic from before.
I have learned so many new skills in 2018, from creating colourful newsletters on Mailchimp to improving search-engine-optimisation (SEO) on my blog.
The Blogger Course
I am currently working my way through Monica Stott’s course, aptly named The Blogger Course. Whilst I have followed Monica’s travel blog, The Travel Hack for many years, this course is fantastic for all aspects of blogging and whatever your niche. I can’t recommend The Blogger Course enough as I have picked up so many skills, from what to include in my media kit to how to be invited on press trips. If this is something you would be interested in, you can find out more information on The Blogger Course website (click here.)
As I touched on earlier in the post, I also came runner-up in this year’s Holland Press Awards ‘Best Online Article’ category so I must be doing something right!
2018 Goal Complete and will definitely continue to be ongoing ✅
2018 Goal – Explore more of The U.K. and Europe
I definitely got the opportunity to explore more of Europe in 2018. I visited Prague in the Czech Republic for the first time, Italy for the first time (how had I not visited before), Switzerland for the first time, Iceland for the first time and I also got to explore new cities. I had to return to Croatia, this time to Korčula “mini Dubrovnik”, Greece to eat more gyros and see the turtles in Zante and Paris to finally see the Eiffel Tower. The Netherlands continues to amaze me and I particularly loved my time in Rotterdam.
As for the U.K. let’s just say I could do better when it comes to exploring my own homeland. I am now kicking myself that I didn’t see Cornwall during the heatwave, it looked like The Med!
I did have a well needed relaxing weekend at The Painswick in the Cotswolds, at a time when I was feeling rather stressed…it worked wonders.
For this reason, I can’t say this goal is complete. I definitely want to continue exploring the U.K. I’d like to collaborate with some hotels in 2019 to explore more of the U.K ❌
2018 Goal – Be more body confident
I’ve always been that person who doesn’t know how to pose in photos, which has always made me sad because I LOVE photos. From taking two disposable cameras out with me on nights out, to running out of space on my iPhone, iCloud, Dropbox and every little storage facility I own, nothing is going to stop me taking photos. It gives me great pleasure getting photos of my friends and family, making them laugh, standing at crazy angles and trying on silly clothes. Photos are memories and I want to have photos of me that I can cherish from the places I’ve travelled. This is the reason I wrote that I wanted to be more body confident on my 2018 Goals post. I also wanted to incorporate a little bit of fashion into my travel posts.
I managed to do just that on my trip to Italy with the help of bloggers Violet and Charl, who I met in Lake Maggiore and, of course, Adam (who captures the photos of me on our trips.)
I was really pleased with the photos of me in Italy, some of which were a collaboration with intu Milton Keynes.
Goal Complete ✅
I didn’t do too badly at my 2018 Goals did I? Worth writing them after all!
Now, for my 2019 goals…
This Time Next Year: 2019 Goals
2019 Goal: 1 – Create More Video Content
My passion without a doubt is writing and that is not going to change. However, in the last few months of 2018 I began creating mini videos to go alongside my blog and I found this particular useful for creating visuals around my social media posts.
This is definitely something I want to expand on and I’m looking to create more YouTube videos and IGTV videos in 2019. Now I’ve featured myself in a few more photos, you never know, I might be confident enough to do the same with video.
2019 Goal: 2 – Adventure Travel & Destinations
No, I don’t mean doing cliff diving, bungee jumping or anything crazy like that. Ever since I wrote my 2017 Goal to get out of my comfort zone, I feel like I’ve grown much more as a person. It took a lot of guts to travel solo and share a room in a hostel with others on the #wmglobaltravels Lake District trip. Since then, and that mammoth trek that nearly killed me (still thankful to my saviour Lucy), I’ve got a real sense of adventure. I even climbed the O2 this year with my best friend Yvette, something I never would have done a few years ago!
Iceland took my breath away, I adored finding the waterfalls and all the incredible scenery. I find my happy place when I’m in nature. In 2019 I want to see the wildlife in Costa Rica, the elephant sanctuaries in Sri
I’d also like to get off the beaten track and explore some lesser known destinations too.
And I do still want to road trip around Ireland…
2019 Goal: 3 – Visit more than 8 countries including two new ones
Now this goal may not be achievable considering the destinations I’ve named above, which are all across the other side of the world! As I visited 8 countries in 2018, I really want to exceed this in 2019. As I’m the kind of person who tends to revisit destinations again and again when I enjoy them (not so great from a travel blogging perspective), I want to visit at least two countries I haven’t visited before in 2019.
2019 Goal: 4 – Eat less meat
This will be a particularly hard one for me as I love eating meat, especially beef and bacon. However, this is not a decision I take lightly. The deforestation of natural habitat for the world’s wildlife is reaching a critical stage and agricultural land is a big reason for the increasing numbers of endangered species. Though, if people like me can eat less meat it can surely help. I’m going to give it my best shot. I need to research recipes and if anyone has any good ones they recommend it would help me out. I’ve signed up to receive the Veganuary emails so hopefully that’s a start.
2019 Goal: 5 – Be more organised and spend less time in front of a screen
Working full time, doing an NVQ and blogging is hard work. By the weekend, I’m often feeling so burned out I sleep un
I’ve got to work to earn money to live and blogging has been such a creative outlet for my travels and inverted nature there is no way I’d ever want to give it up. So to do more of the things I love I need to be more organised…
No more whiling away the hours on social media being the queen of procrastination. I want to read more (escape into someone else’s world), see more and do more in 2019. I love reading when I’m on holiday but I find it so hard to find the time to come off of social media when I’m at home.
2019 Goal: 6 – Practice Yoga & Meditation at least three times a week (if not every day)
Yoga has so many wonderful benefits and I have
I’ve loved attending the hot yoga sessions at Sweat Studios (use promo code BUTTERFLY for 50% off a single class) and I’ve incorporated some of the poses into my gym and home workout routines. I honestly think the world would be a better place if everyone took time out to practice yoga and it’s certainly something I want to continue in 2019.
As well as practising more yoga, I intend on letting my hair down more in 2019. I’ve been craving a proper night out. I want to dance the night away more in 2019, I always feel better for it. In retrospect, I think 2018 has been such a calm year that I have had plenty of time to reflect on things and now I want to cut loose!
When I initially thought about 2018, it seemed like quite an average year compared to getting engaged and all the excitement from the year before. Although, 2018 was a good year for me and didn’t we have the warmest and longest summer ever in the U.K! Typical Brit talking about the weather, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!
As for my goals, s
I hope you enjoyed reading my ‘This Time Next Year: Goals for 2019’ post. What are your goals for 2019? Let me know below or feel free to use the #thistimenextyear tag to share on social media – make sure you tag me too so I can see your goals! I’ve joined HeleneinBetween’s highlights and goals link up – click here to add your link too!
I need your help planning content for 2019 – Can you spare a couple of minutes to complete my questionnaire? I would be eternally grateful! Click the link below to complete 🙂
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019 with lots of travels too!
Read my previous This Time Next Year Goals: