Happy New Year!
Firstly a huge thank you to each and every one of you for your support in 2017! You are, dear readers what makes what I do worthwhile! And secondly, what an eventful, tough and crazy year 2017 was! For me it was challenging, exhausting and exhilarating. Was it for you too? I experienced some amazing moments and made more unforgettable memories, but it had some severe lows to match the highs. 2017 served as a big learning curve for me. I’ve only been working full time for myself since October 2016 so there’s been a lot of lessons learnt packed into the past 15 months. I've been lucky enough to work on dream projects and visit far off destinations, including Japan and China, which have been on my travel wish-list for a long time. I also met, worked with and became friends with a lot of wonderful people along the way, who have become my support and sounding boards.
I thought I'd talk not just about my goals here for 2018 or all my experiences (if you been following me on Instagram, you might have seen my round-up on Stories), but also the lessons I've learnt that have made me stronger for the road ahead.
TOP THREE LESSONS LEARNT:
I can do it, but I can’t do it all.
Besides a friend or my boyfriend helping me take photos, I’ve been working as a one-girl band, which if I’m to reach my goals, can no longer continue. So starting this month I will have not one, but potentially two interns. Which means more content, more support (and more responsibility of course), but most importantly less stress and ultimately more time for myself: more time to concentrate on being creative, doing the work I want to do and more space to find inspiration around me.
I should save for rainy days.
There have been weeks when my finances haven’t been as healthy as I’d like them. Numbers are not my strong point and since living in France and I often under-estimated how long it would take for payments to come through. To do this job and work for yourself, you need a financial safety-net or cash flow in bank to tide you through those less profitable months.
I need to practise more self love and care.
Besides the odd yoga class, I haven’t looked after my physical or mental health for months. If I’m to be successful in my work, this needs to be a priority, as I can only be creative, productive and happy when I’m healthy and in a good state of mind.
MY 2018 GOALS:
I’ve found it counter-intuitive to make resolutions for the past few years. Let’s face it, we never stick to them as they feel too rule-driven, and nobody likes rules! Instead I like to set goals or pick a word / theme (inspired by my friend Anne) that might encompass my goals. In 2016 (because I couldn’t decide), I chose the words CREATE, EARN, SAVE. Last year I went with EXECUTE. This year I think BALANCE might be a good place to start. And if I were to pick two more I would choose: DELEGATE & LEARN.
The clichéd goal of ‘getting fit’ just doesn't sound right anymore (although I will indeed be re-joining the gym this month), because the concept of what being fit means has changed. Instead I feel that 'finding balance' is more suitable, as it encompasses exercise, health and mental health. The problem with working for myself is I never switch off. As a result, I've been sick more times this year that I can remember. I had fewer time for friends, felt over-whelmed more than once and my health and wellbeing has been at the bottom of the pile when it came to priorities. So not only will I prioritise exercise, but also meditation, spending more time with the people I love, reading and getting out into nature more.
Now that I know what it takes to do the work that I do, it’s time to make better choices, judgements and decisions. For the first time I’ve written a strategy for where I want to take Rue Rodier. I’ve started a list of the kind of projects I’d like to work on and I'm going to delegate more.
Look for Inspiration Outside Instragram.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but Instagram has had such a huge impact on my work life that I've often found it ruling my personal life. As someone who spends most of her life online, I've realised that most of my visual and creative inspiration is coming from this little app. In essence that's what it's meant to do - inspire - and it was the reason I've worked so hard to be a part of its wonderful community. But the downside is I began comparing myself too much to others, which has had a very toxic affect on my mental health. So in brief: eyes on the prize and more reading, more exhibitions and more spending time with friends. IRL.
I'm constantly learning through the work that I do, but I've felt there are areas where I lack skills or knowledge, so this year I will be seeking out workshops, courses and great books to help enhance my experience and confidence.
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2018!
What are you 2018 goals?