The sun is finally setting on the first month of 2018. I say finally but to be quite honest, January hasn’t dragged for me. The last few days on Twitter have been filled with jokes about it being January 64th or it still being January 2018 in March 2052, but I didn’t find myself joining in on the collective sigh.
Don’t get me wrong, my January hasn’t been amazing and I haven’t wished it to go on for the entire year, but overall I’ve had a good month. I’ve had good weeks and bad weeks (like everyone) but I’ve got things done, finished projects, started projects and most importantly, I think I’ve actually enjoyed it.
Maybe it isn’t a big shock that I’ve actually enjoyed my month – to me, however, it’s the first normal month in a while that I haven’t come out of feeling deflated or disappointed.
It might all be because of that new year buzz that’s still in the air or it could be something else. Like I’ve just said though, nothing in my life has massively changed – so why have I left the most depressing month of the year feeling like something has changed?
Slow (and ongoing) successes
My recognition of success has always been skewed. I was always taught to set big goals, but the bigger the goal, the bigger the feeling of failure when it wasn’t achieved. It’s taken me years to get out of the all-or-nothing mindset, and even now I slip back into it when I’m especially grumpy (or tired).
This past month has felt much more balanced compared to all the other January’s I can remember. If you remember my Personal Goals for 2018 post then you’ll know there wasn’t anything outlandish or mental in there. It’s all reasonably achievable and I’m already making waves towards achieving some of it.
Setting these smaller and quite specific goals has definitely been part of the success of January – but so has actually acknowledging and celebrating each little step of progress.
There hasn’t been any beating myself up because I didn’t do something. Some things haven’t been done for a reason, and that’s okay. Other things obviously weren’t important enough this month, which is equally fine. January is only a fraction of the year and not getting everything done in the first 31 days does not condemn us to misery and unproductive futures.
Enjoying the slow successes I’ve been having has meant that I’ve given myself time off. I’ve stopped when my eyes felt heavy and taken a break and a walk when I can feel myself getting jittery in the afternoon. I haven’t been switched on on weekends and I’ve been (really trying and sometimes achieving) getting up earlier to make the most of each and every day. Everything I’ve been working towards this month is part of the bigger picture, so enjoying the slow success as it rolls in has been essential for that sense of gratification.
3 of my slow and steady successes this month:
I’ve started snapping myself
Many of you will have noticed that I actually have a face and body this month. After a year of wishing that I could pull off the old self-portraits, I dipped my toe in the water this month – and I’m enjoying it. Yes, I’ve skipped a few planned photo sessions on bad body image days, but when I have pestered Jonathan to take a few snaps, I’ve liked them. I’ve got more creative plans for self-portraits in the future, but for now, starting is worth shouting about.
I’ve invested in my Etsy shop
If you didn’t know, last summer I launched a little side project on Etsy. by Rouncefield is a place for colourful and customised painted goods (currently stools) and I now have a couple of actual 5-star reviews – something that has encouraged me to keep at it. This month I’ve invested in some new stock variations and some personally mixed paint colours, so keep an eye out for new products coming soon and maybe a happy dance from me because I’m actually doing it.
I launched my imperfect newsletter
One of my 2018 goals was to start a launch newsletter, or more accurately, finally launch a newsletter. After toying with the idea for a solid year (and half-heartedly trying once before) I decided to not postpone any longer and actually get my sh*t together and show the world something. Done is certainly better than perfect in this case and I’ve got a nice lil’ mailing list now who are going to receive content that is constantly improving. If you’d like to sign up then read my post all about The bky. Newsletter and sign-up here (you the best).