Friday, 31 January 2014

A year gone by. A year to come.

As it’s the end of January (when did that happen?) I thought it would be a good time to pop by and update you all with my mini missions for the year to come. As I’ve mentioned in Januarys past I’m not a huge fan of New Year resolutions but I am always determined to set myself goals for the year – no matter how big or small they may seem. It’s how I’ve started a fair few years now and I whole heartedly believe it can certainly help you get through the rainy times and make the bright moments shine even brighter when you take the time to reflect.

2013 has most definitely been a colourful year with some amazingly shiny, bright and fun times but it has not been without a few dark blue and sad times. Overall though, through the good and the bad I believe as a family, a friend and as an individual it has only made me stronger and reinforced just how important it is to make every day count, learn from the negatives and carry on bringing sunshine and smiles to my work, blog, friends, family and everyday life!

So…. what did 2013 bring? What did I set myself as my goals and what did I achieve?

Pop the kettle on, settle down with a brew and I shall type on and tell you! This next wave of waffle will hopefully help paint the picture of my year and how the missions I set last January turned out.

Continue to make visiting a new place each month my mission for 2013….
What can I say? Other than… smashed it! If you click back to my early December post and final ‘New Places’ post I think you will see why…

Tip the studio upside down and inside out in order to have a good clean out and redecorate…
Although I didn’t actually get any paint out and change the colour and shape of anything in the room I did have a jolly good clear out and reorganise of my drawers (ooer missus) and cupboards, which has left me feeling much more organized. I’ve also managed to pop a few more pictures up on the wall and add a few pretty things about the place - all good for the soul and the studio I would say!

Take Pi out on many more bike rides in and around Nottingham... maybe further!
Back in May and June I took part in the ‘Workplace challenge’ which meant I completed and logged 105 journeys throughout those two months! That’s 254 miles and I know that may not seem a lot but a 4mile round commute and using my bike to get my to most places day in day out is pretty good going compared to others. And if you work that out over the whole year I can say that I’m mighty chuffed with how much more I use my bike nowadays. Only trouble is that now I’m hankering after a fancy new set of wheels! (Shhhhh! Don’t tell the old girl Pi - she’ll get jealous)

Assess my Hello Sunshine jewellery range with the aim to refine what I offer and introduce more shiny newness throughout the year
During the first half of the year I spent time talking to my stockists and researching what was working well and not so well with my current offer. The feedback and advice I gained was just brilliant and in doing so I have managed to halve my birdie range and refine my offer to much more clear, concise and hopefully desirable range!

I have also released a shiny new range in the form of foxes, stags and hedgehogs. This made me happy for many reasons. Firstly I love foxes. Secondly it started to sell well rather early on. Thirdly and finally, it has been a range I have had to revisit for one reason or another and tweak the design, materials and offer through trial and error. Although not ideal it’s been a great learning curve and hopefully with the tweaks and changes I’ve made it will continue to sell well and make people smile.

Enter 2 half marathons this year - or if I don't do the events at least run this far more often!
This is one part of my goals that I am actually pretty gutted about compared to last year. I have still ran a bit throughout 2013 but no where near as many miles and I didn’t take the time to enter any more races.

Although I have only ran over 100miles over the year I have also made the effort to stay active by taking part in other things such as cycling regularly to work, yoga, white water rafting, hiking, punting, moutain biking and climbing. So although I beat myself up about the miles I haven’t done I can hardly sit back and say I’ve done bugger all I guess.

Make an appointment to talk to the tattoo artist I've been meaning to and take all of my inspiration to get the ball rolling…
Well this is another one that fell by the way side… although never out of my mind (check out my ever growing pinterest board, Ink.) it’s just not been a priority for me so I guess it may just have to stay on my list in the background. I have so many ideas (maybe enough to fill a blog post about it now!) and I just need to collate them all and make some serious decisions.

I love food. I want to cook something new or go for a meal somewhere new each month
Another one I can well and truly say I did. And boy was it gooooooooood! Another quick summary of the year in my last blog about the foody experience each month brought will bring you up to speed with how this mission worked out…

Keep my Hello Sunshine, Etsy and Folksy sites fresh and up to date throughout the year
Website maintainance can seem dull and a lot of work at times but there’s a lot to be said for keeping all aspects of your digital presence up to date. I am by no means good at it but I can certainly see the difference it makes and the uplift in interaction, sales and commissions when I am on the ball.

The little list below is a snippet of the kind of things I made a conscious effort to keep on top of:
· Featuring my sunshine commissions and cards on website
· Remembering to update my Folksy and Etsy shops regularly
· Creating a SALE! Section on Folksy and Etsy shops to shift old stock
· Regularly updating Facebook, Instagram, my Blog, Pinterest and Twitter

See more live music - local, far away, gigs, festivals, bands I like, new bands. Get involved!
Although I wasn’t at a gig every week I saw some bloody amazing live music and entertainment throughout 2013 including: Alt-J, The Big Reunion (5ive and 911 were the highlights obviously!), Eddie Izzard, Burlesque performances, Clutch and Stornoway.

I even have tickets booked for shows in 2014 which include Newton Faulkner, Backstreet Boys and Jurassic 5. EXCITING!

Camping. I love it but didn't go anywhere with my trusty tent, Beany. This needs to change...
Last year saw much more tent action that 2012 that’s for sure! I did only take my trusty tent on one of these trips (which was definitely for the best seeing as he’s an old bean now) but all the same I bloody loved camping more and will make sure it continues this year! Some of the places I visited included:
North Lees, Derbyshire (May), Three Isle Lake, Wapiti and Castle Mountain, Canada (Sept) and Dartmoor (Dec)

So there you have it. Although it may seem a lot (especially in words) I suppose it’s only a teeny tiny part of what went on throughout the year. All I just have to do is just glance at my Instagram feed to see how colourful the year has been and how much I’ve seen and done (and eaten!). Even flicking back through my blog posts just now has reminded me about some pretty exciting surprises that hit me too...

My very first feature in a magazine

Becoming a God Mother

Experiencing Burlesque for the first time at Dr Sketchys

Recieveing a tweet from Newton Faulkner himself swoon

Jetting off to adventure in Canada

Taking Hello Sunshine to London for the first time at Renegade Craft Fair

Right, that’s enough of reflecting for now, it’s time to talk about the now and the next! Seeing as a whole month of the shiny new year has already passed by, I thought it was an ideal time to not only share my reflections on 2013 but also the goals I have set myself and already started working on for 2014.

I thought a lot about these ‘goals’, not only about what I wanted to get out of the year but also about what means the most to me, what I really NEED vs. what would be nice to do, and also considering my time and what I value most in life. Sounds pretty deep huh? It’s not really, it’s been mostly around what makes me happy, I am the best I can be when I am at my happiest so why wouldn’t I do whatever I can to keep the sunshine going?

Anyway, waffling aside I have welcomed 2014 in style (as much style as you can have when you’re dressed as Pocahontas at a Wild West themed party!) and am mightily excited about what 2014 will bring! These are my mini missions and goals for the year:

Make every day count. This is the first time I have mentioned this but I turn 30 this year. On my 29th birthday last year I decided that I would create a photo album and list one thing everyday that made me smile, feel good or meant a lot to me. This is still going strong and I will be sure to share it with you on my 30th birthday in May.

Running. No matter how small the run or brief the stint, I will get out there and keep on running. I am using the Jantastic forum to motivate myself to run more often and will continue this through the year.

Family. Last year I lost my Grandad in January. I still have my lovely Mama. In May I lost my Nanna. I still have my hilarious Grandad. Time with my family has never meant more to me. My family have always been important but as we get older and life seems more fragile it becomes so apparent how much difference spending even a little time together regularly can make. A quick phone call to my Mama, a brew with my Mum and Dad, helping Grandad put photos on the wall, doodling with Lexie, Disney films with my sister, catch ups with friends and cuddles or adventures with my other half. Every moment is precious and I intend to cherish them all, (soppy bit over I promise).

Hello Sunshine. Keeping the website looking smart and running smoothly is a given. Looking to incorporate an online shop is something new I want to work on. I also want to push my commissions, design a new range of jewellery, and get my work into a couple of new stockists around the UK.

Yoga. I have found a class that is full of lovely people, is ran by the nicest lady ever and provides me with a bit of 'Jo time' every week- not to mention a bloody good nights sleep afterwards. I have found that it helps, it is what recharges me midweek and I will keep this going.

Being selfish. I need to practice putting me first sometimes. I read somewhere once that it’s ok to be selfish and I am starting to realise the importance of this. By no means do I intend to become selfish in a mean way, I just need to learn to say no when I can’t please or help everyone all at once. Although I have Wonder Woman underpants it does not turn me into her *sob*

House. A long shot but I would bloody love to redecorate my front room. An open fireplace, shelves that aren’t wonky, a finished floor and beautiful rug… like I said a long shot and a pricey project but if I put my mind to it and set a budget it’s not impossible.

Adventures. I know I did it last year and the year before but I have found that setting myself a mini adventure each month really encouraged me to see more places. Even if it’s a new restaurant or shop on my doorstep as long as it's new then throughout 2014 I will be documenting these adventures with both photos and a What I Wore Today style doodle.

And there you have it. My little list of big ideas for 2014. I guess all that's left to say now is 'watch this space'. Thank you to each and every one of you who has shown me and my little business the love and support that has helped it to grow over the past year. It means the world to me and I'd just like to say... 

True Story.

I'll do my best to pop back regularly to update you with how these little missions are playing out. (I promise to keep them much shorter and sweeter than this beast of a blog post though!) I hope your brew didn't go too cold while you were reading this and more importantly I hope you enjoyed reading my waffle. Maybe it even inspired you to set your own goals for the year too.

Either way keep on smiling you lovely lot and here's to a happy, healthy 2014!

1 comment:

  1. You always make me smile Jo - I love your year's update and your plans for 2014. If one of your outings includes Anglesey (which it should, cos it's gorgeous here), I hope you'll pop in and say hello - there's always tea and cake available!