February is practically over, so I want to take the opportunity to look back over the month at what went well, and also what I want to improve on next month. I’ve never done a ‘month in review’ before so it’ll be interesting to see if it helps. Let me know if you’d like to see it again in the comments! I’m doing this post as part of a series by the lovely Basants
I’m looking at a few different areas of my life – my productivity plan mission, my career development, general well-being, what personal stuff has happened and what I’ve done for fun this month, and how the blog has been doing!
So this month I’ve properly kicked off my productivity drive. By picking a few habits to get me going, and tracking them using an app, I’m slowly starting to see some changes. Where before I would almost always get out of bed late when left to my own devices, now at least half of the time I get going at a decent hour in the morning, get showered and dressed, make a smoothie and do some exercise before the afternoon arrives! For some people that might not seem much of an accomplishment, but I have always struggled with routines growing up, so starting to introduce healthy habits into my life has had a big impact. I also find that on the days where I pull myself out of bed and immediately get into my routine I am generally a lot more productive overall. When I think it’s a few hours later than it actually is I’m usually onto a winning day. Whilst progress has been a little slower than I had originally hoped, I am steadily improving, so will keep going as I am until I reach a point to add some more changes or switch things up a bit.
I’m still technically unemployed, but I have written my first two paid pieces this month, with another I’m waiting to hear back on. Whilst it’s not anything approaching a real ‘income’ yet, I can see the roots of a freelance career beginning to bud. I’ve also been accepted onto the Queen’s Young Leaders Creative Industries mentoring programme which I’m thrilled about. It’s a year long programme with monthly mentoring and masterclasses at some of the top media and creative companies in Manchester. The first session is at Channel 4 studios tomorrow and I’m super excited! I think this could be a great break into journalism/presenting which are areas I’ve always been interested in pursuing. Watch this space for updates!
Towards the middle of the month I hit a bit of a slump. I think being home all the time after working and being so busy most of last year got to me. I’m also in a new area which I’m still getting used to, and don’t really have my own friends up here (though J’s friends are all great!) I took a few days (well almost a week) out, and wrote my post on burnout as a sort of public kick up the bum to take my own advice! A couple of days later I found my flow again, and have realised that as much as I talk about self care and checking in with yourself, I often ask a lot of myself without really following that. Going forward I’m giving myself more space to explore my emotions and also have me time regularly. I think that sometimes I forget self care isn’t just for when you’re feeling crap!
I’ve been trying to get out and explore Preston a little, going for a few walks and also finding a great hang out in Dice and Donuts – a board game cafe that J and his friends like going to. They have a huge selection of games and great donuts too! I’ve neglected purposely doing fun things a little though, a lot of the time I binge on Netflix for a few hours and count that as quality time. I know I’m holding myself back, and I’m working on that. Next month I’m going to be doing a challenge: 10 things to do in March. I’ll write the post for that later this week.
I’ve only really started blogging consistently, and getting more serious about the blog this year, and I feel like it’s slowly coming together. I haven’t gained hundreds of followers, or even hundreds of views but slowly my stats are creeping up and I’m interacting more with the blogoshpere. From being someone who just blogged in my little corner oblivious to most of the blogging world around me, I’ve been dipping my toes into the pool this month. From finding fab new bloggers to follow like Holly and Corinne to attending a webinar on re-framing your creative fears I’ve learnt so much already, and am slowly implementing it into The Smile Diary. You may have noticed I’ve got a new theme, and have also updated my categories. There are still more changes to come, and I’m quite excited about where the blog could go.
Overall I think I’ve had a pretty good month. I was gifted a beautiful planner which I’ve punched into my Kikki K, went to London twice for training workshops (and catch-ups with friends) and have managed to ride out minor burnout without too much damage.