New year, new you? Well…. I’m not sure there’s a new you, but you can certainly work on being MORE you and that can only be a good thing I’m sure.
I’ve generally been pretty M.I.A these past 6 weeks or so since I quit social media. I have barely made a peep in the online world, and for anyone who doesn’t see or speak to me in person, I could be anywhere, doing anything.
I could be up a mountain, dressed in white, sipping green tea and finding my zen. Or I could be hiking a rugged, rocky trail with heavy raindrops beating against my cagoule as I figure out the meaning of life. Perhaps I could be riding rickety old trains across jungle landscapes in foreign lands finally understanding what peace means.
Alas, my insights and epiphanies have been coming in thick and fast in the simplest of places – my home. It might not be the most awe-inspiring places to find enlightenment, and it certainly isn’t the picturesque, challenging or adventurous spots to receive insights. But, and this has been one of those breakthroughs, I have come to realise that seeking and finding answers is a process and that process isn’t linked to any singular activity or destination.
This process is an unlocking, it’s work, it’s dedication, and it’s mindset. Once the mind starts the process and begins to unravel years of circumstance, influence, behaviour and input, it finds the answers. In fact, once the first insight comes, the process begins to compound until more and more insights come to you.
It’s a profound process, and it’s an exciting one. For me, it was one rooted in instinct, but also guided by therapy as a catalyst.
I quit social media on instinct. The thought came to me, it felt absolutely right, and I did it. My instinct was 100% correct because what followed has been unbelievably, astoundingly, powerfully, insightful. I’ve figured so many things out in just the past 6 weeks, and I feel a whole sense of renewal, conviction, and direction.
It’s going to take a little bit more time to finalise, or rather organise, those insights and ideas into something tangible. But I do feel like I’m moving in the right direction now.
So what does that mean for 2019?
First things first, my word of the year is EMPOWER.
It was the first word that came to mind, and even when working through my Word of the Year process I felt pulled to that word.
I want this year to be about empowering others, and empowering myself. That is my purpose, my goal, my value, and my intention. It will see me through all of my decision-making, from my work choices through to my relationships, and importantly with how I treat myself.
In terms of work, the internet, what I produce here. I want my work to empower, which means I want to move away from the idea of ‘influencer’, a word that has always made me feel uncomfortable and certainly not one I’d choose for myself. My content will focus on you instead. It’s about how I can best serve you, my audience and my friends. I want to empower you in any way I possibly can.
Maybe that does mean I share some of my personal experience and opinions on my blog. I can empower through recommendations of things that work for me. But this is more about being actively focused on the things that best serve my audience and I, and not commercial partners. My career as a blogger over the past few years has felt too reactive to the needs of other businesses, and not actively pursuing what I believe always works best. Again, this about feeling empowered to control what my blog and output is about.
One of the key parts of my empowerment is to launch my podcast. You know, that big ol’ scary project that I’ve been talking about for years now.
For some reason, I have somehow worked this into something humungous, and I’ve lost that give-it-a-go attitude I previously had. And I think it’s because I truly believe in the idea behind my podcast, and I know that if it’s done right it can really make a difference. I haven’t felt I’ve quite been ready, suitable, or capable enough to deliver on something I think is bigger than me.
So here’s the thing, my podcast could be something really great. It could be a space to empower people to seek out ways to make their lives the best it can be. It could take people on a journey with me as we try to figure out what makes a good life. It could be a really interesting opportunity to bring together incredible minds and their ideas, perspectives, experiences, and wisdom. My job is to create the platform, to facilitate the conversations, and to bring together a diversity of brilliant people to speak about what makes a good life.
I think it could be great, but honestly, I cannot possibly know unless I do it. And so, if I can get the technicalities sorted over the next week, I’m just going to launch the damn thing already and get this thing going. My aim is for the podcast to go live on Monday 21st January. I might share some progress updates on Instagram Stories if anyone’s interested. But I will certainly be sending a quickie email announcement to my email list when it all goes live.
The next exciting to thing to happen is… I’m going to do some solo travel.
We’ve talked about it quite a bit and Raj actually was the one to suggest it (what an awesome husband he is). I’ve always been quite independent, and I did quite a lot of solo travel before I met Raj. Travel, and exploration, has been a key way for me to think and understand the world. It’s hard to explain, but it’s just part of who I am and I think some solo travel will be really great for me.
I am doing some research now but my idea would be to do some in-depth travel around the UK. I’d really like to get to know more of my own country, understand where I’m from, and potentially connect with my countrymen and women. This still connects to my goal of empowering, as well as continuing my mission to discover what makes a good life.
Other than that, I’d like to go back to Spain at some point this year (I am learning Spanish after all) and I’d like to aim for a big trip to an Asian country, perhaps Japan.
Finally, eeek! I think I’m going to write a book. I’ve started to make a plan for the year and I reckon I will be ready to start writing my book in the summer. I think I’ll start with an outline, a few chapters and a proposal. The ideas are there, I know I have research to do. Now, I just need to do it. That’s all I really have to say on that for now.
What about the blog, YouTube, social media?
I think the blog will always be with me. I just won’t be pressurising myself to blog regularly or consistently. It’s never really worked for me to write to a schedule, and I find it’s best that I write a blog post when I feel called to do so. The blog is essentially my home on the internet so everything will based here. My podcast show notes, and a player will be found here, so it’s still going to be active.
With YouTube, I would LOVE to make more videos. I really do love making videos and it’s a passion of mine. However, it is time-consuming and to ‘do well’ on YouTube you have to be consistent and stick to a schedule – something I’ve never quite managed. So I need to see how I get on with the workload of the podcast which is all new territory for me, and if there is time where I can make videos that I am proud of then I might start doing one video a week. But I don’t want to quite commit to that just yet.
As for social media, well… there’s a much more detailed blog post about the results of my quitting experiment coming soon, but overall I don’t miss it. However, social media is a way some of my audience likes to stay in touch with me so I do need to give consideration as to if and how I come back to it. If I do use social media again it will be from a very use-based perspective with strict boundaries so as to not tempt me with the addictive nature of the scrolling, newsfeed, and likes.
OK, that’s it for now. I need to get back to my notebooks and calendars and finish planning the year. I’m feeling like this could be a good one, so wish me luck!
Happy New Year friends.