Photos by Jackie J Photography
Happy New Year! As with years past, I took a few days off to reflect and enjoy the beginning of the year with my family and friends. Members of my group blog and I also decided to separate to focus on our individual platforms. While this change allows me to have more time, it suddenly shifted my whole plan for 2018. As much as I’m a fan of finding glitch fares and taking breaks, last year I had little to no blog/life balance. It seemed like something always took precedence over the other. I’m still striving to grow and do better with my blog, but this year I’m focusing more on finding balance.
In 2017, I scheduled then canceled plans with friends, blog posts, and videos more often than I should have. Depending on the month, ALL of my focus was on one platform or the other and there were even times I just chose to just do nothing at all. In and out of the sessions from Blogalicious 9, I realized a change needed to be made. Not only do I need to put in the work to get the results I want, I need to balance both work and “play” time so one doesn’t exceed the other. To avoid being overwhelmed by it all, I purchased an 18 month Kate Spade planner on Black Friday. It has a cute Parisian theme and gives me ample space to schedule appointments, write down tasks, notes, and ideas for each day. In the month that I’ve been using it, it has been a tremendous help.
With the help of my planner and more discipline, here are a few things I hope to accomplish this year:
- Be Transparent – With myself and others. Traveling is awesome, but not everything is roses and lilies. I’ll be sharing more of that this year.
- Have “Me” Time – Something I’ve slacked on a lot last year was having time for myself. I had a taste during my “chillcation” in Cancun, but this time, I’m implementing this practice in the US.
- Collaborate – Collaborating with creatives and brands is something I would love to do more of. Collaborating with creatives also expands our potential reach and just because a post is sponsored doesn’t mean I won’t share my honest opinion.
- Do More Video – Working in the software and collaboration field, I know creating videos on YouTube is something I need to do more of. I need to dedicate time to edit and use my equipment effectively.
- Read More – I used to be an avid reader. If you have book recommendations, please share.
- Eat Better – I need to remember that in order to eat better, I need to cook. Stay tuned for more recipe sharing. I would love to recreate food and drinks I’ve had during my travels.
- Work Out – Even with a busy lifestyle, working out and going to the gym this year is high on my list.
- Explore NYC – Can you believe I do so many guides and tips for destinations around the globe and have little to no information on NYC? Yeah, that needs to change. I share some of my favorite eateries on social media and will be incorporating it on the blog more.
- Travel More – I wouldn’t be a travel writer if I didn’t actually travel. I have at least 4 trips planned and paid for 2018 already. Look out for guides and vlogs in the coming months.
- Be Debt Free – Don’t let all this traveling fool you, I still pay my bills. In the last year, I’ve paid off at least 2-3 major credit cards. I’m aiming to have nothing owed this year.
- Master SEO – Good ole Search Engine Optimization….I was able to apply basic principles on my group platform and get 5000+ pageviews in searches alone. God willing, I will get the same on this as well.
- Take Better Photos – Since buying my new camera, I ALWAYS use it. Since I’m so picky about my photos, I’m going to learn it as much as I can.
- Be Firm with Saying “No” – Contrary to some people’s belief, I do not like hurting one’s feelings. I’ve learned that hurting yourself and being frustrated about situations is much worse. If something doesn’t align with my lifestyle whether it is a friendship or business opportunity, “no” will be my response.
- Sleep – Getting enough sleep is one of the hardest things for me to do. I get so caught up with working that I keep going until it is done. Being passionate about work is important, but getting enough restful sleep helps me stay focused and charged.
For the past few 2-3 years, I’ve been writing down my yearly goals and for the most part, the results have been exactly what I wanted. With more time on my hands, a whole lot of faith and prayer mixed in, I’m pretty sure I can make it happen.