One of things I pride myself on is my motivation. I have always been motivated to achieve, which is something my parents instilled into me as a child; ‘it doesn’t matter, so long as you do your best.’ I believe in this so much, and the more you care about something, the easier it is to apply yourself in that way. My motivation does come with one down side; I am never satisfied. In some ways this is what fuels my motivation, but it also means I can be unappreciative of things as I am always focusing so much on where I want to be, what I want to achieve, who I want to be, rather than what already is.
So, this is the purpose of this post: to reflect a little. I have chosen now to write this as on Saturday I am going to Italy again, a place I have blogged from so many times before, but this time is going to feel different. This time last year, while we were in Italy, I found out I got a first in my degree (History of Art from Leeds University). I was so happy and so proud of myself, and I still feel proud when I think about it now - it is probably my second greatest achievement. My first, is my blog. I love my blog more than I can ever say. My blog is very literally my life, and is what I think about more than anything. When I think about how it has grown in the past year, it has been incredible. This time last year I wasn't really working with many brands. The content I was creating wasn't the best, I just did what was quickest, without trying to push myself. This time in Italy, my content will be so much more than ever before. I will be filming videos for my YouTube channel, thinking hard about what you guys actually want to read - not just what is quick for me to create, and working with brands. Real life brands, who pay me real life money, as part of my real life business.
This time last year, I looked at other bloggers and thought ‘how are they so successful?’, ‘what do I need to do more of to make this work for me?’. I was just taking my blog full time, way before it was ready, and it was feeling like a little bit of two years hard work could potentially go down the pan and I would have to get a ‘grown up job’ and abandon something I loved.
But, as things often do, it all worked out, and I need to remind myself of this more. When I am frustrated and feeling my content is becoming stagnant, when my following increase slows, when I have a scarily quiet month (April was one of those for me), I need to remember how far things have come. My audience is now bigger than ever, YouTube has brought me closer to my readers than ever before, while the algorithm’s of Instagram works against us all, I still get comments that make me smile every day. I am so grateful for that. And while I think it’s so important to push forward, never be complacent, and always strive to improve, I am taking today to gloat a little on the past year.
If you are blogging and hoping to make it a career, keep going! Push your content more, be more creative, pitch to the brands you love, interact with the bloggers you admire - just be relentless with what you do, and you will get there! Also, whatever your age or career, think about what you have achieved in the past year. So many of my friends have done some incredible things. From getting through breakups like absolute troopers, to getting a promotion within one year at a new job, moving to new cities and pushing themselves through yet another year of a relentless degree (Harry, that one is for you!) - I know so many people who have achieved so so much, who inspire me all the time, and who probably don’t take enough time to dwell on how far they’ve come.
No matter what backflips the world around us does (Brexit, I am looking at you with that one), every person I know keeps on going. That’s an achievement in itself, and I think everyone should take the time to think about what they have achieved by just getting on with life, with staying focused and motivated. So please have a think about it, and share with me (or a friend, or even just write it down for yourself) at least one thing you are really proud to have achieved within the last year!