2016 : A Fresh Start

Firstly happy new year to everyone reading this – I hope you all had fun and happy times with your family and friends over the festive period, and you have got a few more days before heading back to work, I’m not back until Tuesday! I ended up taking an unexpected blog hiatus over the past 2 weeks, I couldn’t seem to keep up with work, personal stuff and blogging – so it went on the back burner for the last few weeks of the year so I could prioritise doing what I needed to and spending time with my family.

I thought I’d give a little post about my goals for the new year and changes that will be happening that I’ve been thinking about over the past month.

1/ No more daily blogging – Last January I made the decision to daily blog every day for a month, once I’d started it became very difficult to stop, and the guilt of missing a day was often the cause of late nights and stress. I have loved daily blogging – but I can’t keep up with a full time job (of which I’m starting a new one in mid January), freelance work & life all getting more busy means I’m finding myself getting more stressed about fitting blogging in. Over the past year I’ve missed no more than 12 posts (with the exception of the last 2 weeks). Which is a crazy amount of words, pictures and editing, especially as I rarely do tags which require minimal effort – or rely on standard product images from other websites!

It’s certainly not a hobby I want to lose, but for now I need to scale it back a little to make more time for life as my balance just isn’t right at the moment. The posts I’ve enjoyed writing and making recently are ones like the Beauty TBT and Maybelline The Nudes – where there’s lots of swatches and looks within the review. I’m becoming more of a perfectionist and these can take weeks of preparation, I can photograph it and realise it’s marginally out of focus or it doesn’t look quite right – these now don’t go up. So more time to prepare these will cause far less stress.

I’m going to aim for 3/4 posts a week, sometimes there might be more or less depending on if I have things ready to go (as I hate being more than a week scheduled in advance, it takes all the fun out of writing something and sending it out into the world… I’ve forgotten about it by the time it goes up!). I’m not too sure of the schedule yet, or if they’ll even be a set one – we’ll see what falls naturally over the next few month! This will also free me up to read more blogs again – over the last 6 months it’s really eaten into my time of reading what other people are writing, despite my best intentions and I want to see what everyone else is talking about too!

2/ Go on a Photography Course & Upgrade my Camera – I’ve stepped up my game in terms of photography over the past 6 months and it’s the part I enjoy the most at the moment. A part time photography course is something that I’ve been considering for a while and I think this is the year to do it following the upgrade of my camera, and a new lens or 2. I’ve been eyeing a Canon 700D or 750D and almost bought one in Black Friday deciding to wait for the January Sales – if I don’t get one around now, I’ll be asking for some money for my Birthday in Feb to put towards getting a new one! Photography is a passion that’s falling into a hobby outside of blogging too and I’d love to be more knowledgeable out of makeup macro shots to take beautiful photos!

3/ Finish the House – We will have been moved in 2 years in June and we’re still not fully unpacked/decorated and the patio project which started last spring still needs finishing! Our Bedroom needs the last lick of paint, and some new furniture. Other than a good de-clutter everywhere the house is now done. We’re planning on selling this time next year – so it would be nice to get everything wrapped up so we can properly enjoy the house in all it’s glory before we move!

4/ Start Making Youtube Videos Another thing which I’ve wanted to do for a while is make youtube videos – I think I’ll position these along side my blog and will fall in places of blog posts rather than on top of, but again it’s another time issue and I know how long editing etc can take. I aim to start this in Summer when the light is better in the evenings and I can put off investing in some lighting (as I know I’ll need something as the light in my house is spot lights for the most part – terrible for filming!)

5/ Do a Blog Upgrade – I think this will mean going self hosted, which scares me as I think the community aspect of wordpress is where I get the most interaction, feedback and comments – I know you can feed it into it, but comments and likes don’t get put through, so people can read but it’s a lot of extra effort for them to comment. But there are certain aspects of my blog which I’m not happy with and I can’t find a theme which will do what I want it to. Again another project which will take more time to get started (you can see why daily blogging is becoming a nono!)

6/ Spend Less Money – Last but not least, and probably the most important one is to spend less money. Daily blogging has meant needing more stuff to review and try, so needing less to talk about daily will help with that. I have about 100s of products still un-reviewed, and one of the reason I bought in my beauty throwback Thursday series was to  enable me to talk about older products that may have been discontinued, products I loved a few years ago and have since forgot about.

I’ve cancelled all beauty boxes, except for My Little Box – which I love too much to get rid of, I know they’re only small amounts each month, but they’re also adding to the mountain of product clutter which needs to be reviewed and tried, and something I’ve realised… unless I want to try a product, I don’t really like receiving sample sizes (I’ve realised this year 4 in to subbing to beauty boxes!) they never provide enough for me to properly make up my mind – so unless you get a decent amount of full size products, it’s a waste of time for me. I’d rather spend that money on getting a Cohorted box every now and again which is normally 4 out of 5 products are full size and good value for money (I have one coming up shortly as I bought one in a one off boxing day special they did).

After trying a no spend month, I realised this probably isn’t for me, but I’m going to attempt for the first few months to only repurchase things that I need to get me into the habit of spending less.


So that’s my goals for 2016, let me know any resolutions & goals blog related or personal below and lets keep ourselves on track together!

rachael

Instagram: @helplesswhilstdrying  |  Twitter: @helplessdrying

Helpless Whilst Drying

Email: helplesswhilstdrying@gmail.com

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21 thoughts on “2016 : A Fresh Start

  1. Loved reading this. I would definitely subscribe to you if you set up a YouTube channel, I must admit I’ve found it quite hard going keeping up with my blog and trying to upload YouTube videos. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one whose trying to do all that on top of a full time job though! Good luck with starting your new job lovely 🙂 xx

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    1. Thanks Lucie – it’s knowing where to start with it all – what to priortise etc, considering maybe starting a weekly vlog type thing to get comfortable in front of the camera. I couldn’t do makeup application that’s for sure I have to sit about 2 inches away from the mirror otherwise I’ll mess it up haha!
      The balance is hard – If blogging and youtube is your full time job you have an “easy” time of it I think – my main bug bear is scrambling around to try and find good light after getting home in winter and it inhibits a lot of what I want to do – which is why I think maybe pushing back to spring/summer as a start goal might be better xxx

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      1. I’m the same, I’m no makeup expert so I’m quite limited to what I can do and what I’m comfortable filming haha.
        It is really tough finding a balance, like you said Winter is the worst. At least we are in the lead up to getting longer days now 🙂 xx

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  2. Daily blogging is really taxing. I can’t imagine anyone who goes to school or work full time to be able to maintain this!
    I try to get 5 posts up each week but I’m thinking of decreasing it to 3-4 so that I can do more in-depth posts instead.
    Re: self hosting. I’ll probably never go that route myself. As you mentioned, commenting is a pain. I always have to re-enter my details and often I just get lazy and end up not commenting! 😛
    Good luck with everything for 2016!

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    1. ExactLy there’s so many blogs which I’ve loved which have gone self hosted and I can’t be bothered to do the whole commenting thing, and eventually I stop reading! It’s annoying as I have all the skills to change it to exactly how I want it and can’t! I wish you could upload your own theme or pay for custom changes! I’ve been going back and forth for 6 months as to whether to or not!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well all I’ve done is add a domain I’m still on free, but the way they word custom changes is a bit misleading essentially it just means colours, not anything to do with layout etc! I wanted to find out if I could put a subscribe bar at the top of my theme as when on mobile it’s right at the bottom, they said you couldn’t do anything like that with premium 😦 if there’s anything you specifically want to do I’d check if it’s possible on the chat function!

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