New Year’s Resolutions – goodbye!

We’re 17 days into the new year and today is apparently the day when any New Year’s Resolutions go by the wayside and we all go back to how we’ve always behaved in our natural state. That is, the new exercise routine is basically recognised as boring and far too time consuming when we’d rather be doing things that we actually like. The habits that we know are not good for us drift back into our daily routine, mine being coffee & wine – life’s too short to not have a vice or two.

I guess the point of the NYRs is to make us look at our lives and assess where we think we should make a few changes and the ones that win out in the end are ones that are realistic and worthwhile. Giving up wine and coffee would probably be worthwhile to an extent, but really, is it about giving up totally and being miserable or just adjusting the habit so that it’s not so important?

When I did the H2O challenge for the RNLI last year, I drank nothing but water for 10 days. The first three days were the hardest, and it was nothing to do with the wine. It was the coffee. The headaches, lack of concentration, not having a cup in my hand – all these things added up to a habit or addiction that I didn’t really appreciate. Although I couldn’t wait for that first coffee once I finished the 10 day challenge, I certainly made changes to that habit and have managed to stick to it. My coffee consumption has decreased considerably and I actually enjoy it more because I look forward to my two cups a day (sometimes three, but not very often). As for wine, well, I think age has started to creep up on me and I basically don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. A glass or two every now and then is generally enough. Often having totally alcohol free days is such a good thing and means that I sleep better too. That’s got to be good.

I’m hoping that 2016 brings lots of good things; travels back to see friends and family in Australia, precious time with my wonderful children and lots of career prospects that give me job satisfaction and stability.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2016. Stay safe, be happy and love life!



Well here it is, another year…

What will 2013 have in store for us? No Jubilee, no Olympics and hopefully no major natural disasters. I must say, I’m quite looking forward to this year, not really sure why, I just feel it’s going to be different with lots of positive business challenges and opportunities.

What about Resolutions? They are always a bit of a sore point for me, I make them in my head and mostly don’t stick to them. By keeping them in my head, it’s only me who gets annoyed when they aren’t fulfilled. There is one that I would like to share and that is my determination to get my business heading in a direction that provides greater security for me and my wonderful children. I’d love to find a contract that would offer me regular work, something that I can rely upon every month and proudly fulfill. Being freelance has many benefits, working my own hours, fitting work in around my life, rather than the other way round, being able to work from the comfort of my lovely little home on a daily basis. However, it would also be nice to know that every month I have a job to do that guarantees financial security.

One thing I really want to get my teeth into is social media. My first experience of social media and graphics crossing paths was a fortunate opportunity that came my way via local recruitment firm Ten2Two. When they contacted me back in May last year to see if I could do some web banners for a Royal Mail group, Simple Ways To Grow, it became the first of many small jobs for me. I went on to produce their Facebook & Twitter graphics (covers/header/profile pics), a printed brochure for their products and an e-brochure to be viewed through their website. A very exciting, new and useful opportunity to gain knowledge of yet another area of design.  I now feel I could easily provide a range of clients with reasonably priced options for their social media platforms and hope to move into this on a grander scale this year.

I’m really hoping that I can move forward with web design, social media and other such digital options in the coming months and look forward to getting out there and marketing myself in a different way. Joining a networking group will hopefully help with this. Once a month I’ll be meeting with other local business people at what must be the most un-intimidating  network group around – An Afternoon In The Pub. No shoving business cards down each others throats, no standing up for 1 minute singing my praises and trying to find something interesting to talk about. Just a casual meeting to see what other people are doing, see if we can help each other out in anyway and even indulge in a sociable glass of wine. My perfect sort of networking group.

So, for 2013 I’ll be marketing, networking, working hard at expanding my business and above all and why I do all this, looking after my beautiful children. Bring it on! I’m looking for a challenge and hopefully this year will offer me plenty of positive ones.

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Resolutions – Tick (not!)

My first New Year’s Resolution (NYR) for this year was to simply not make any, yet for some ridiculous reason I found myself in the lead up to 31st December 2011, inadvertently making promises about things I would do in 2012. They are resolutions arent’ they? (Is it too weird that Firefox this very minute just sent me an email entitled “Keep your Resolutions with Firefox.”? The cyber spies are watching me!)

The list kept growing, to the point that I really don’t think I can call it a NYR list anymore, it’s just a rather enormous ‘To Do’ list. Adding to this blog at least once a week was up there at the top – already broken that one as this is the first blog for 2012 – rubbish start. Maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself and just attempt to write something at least once a month, or maybe I should try to stick to that and actually make the effort to be creative in a wordy way more often. This is supposed to be my design blog after all and I should really just add little bits like I would a diary. Must try harder!

Of course there are the usual obligatory promises like exercising more. I probably should delete the ‘more’ bit and just say exercise, full stop. I bought some very sturdy walking boots before the end of 2011, with all good intentions of doing what they were built for, walking. This has happened twice so far, but not just any old walking – through the woods (otherwise known as Narnia or more commonly, Ashridge) for at least a couple of hours and with the knowledge that there was a pub at the end of the trek. A girl has to have a reward for her efforts. Fortunately I have a few younger friends (you know who you are!) who generally instigate such activities and being much younger, they haven’t got to the age where one feels guilty about rewarding oneself with a glass of wine/beer/cider in the middle of the afternoon or at lunchtime on a weekend. (Why we feel guilty is another blog, another time.)

Work! Work harder, learn more and find a niche. I’m loving the work I’m doing, but I’d really like to find something that doesn’t take a lot of space to create so that I don’t have to convert my garage into a studio (as much as I’d love to, but that requires getting more work to pay for it – can you see the vicious circle, can’t you?). It has to something that calls on the skills that I already have, something that I can do from home and something that has very little overheads. Ho hum! Any ideas greatly appreciated please… (Saying that, I do have one idea that sprang to mind while working on a project for a client recently – I’ve just got to get around to doing something about it.)

Sort out my in-tray. Making a start on this job is a task in itself. I made a reasonable effort to get into it, then stupidly left it for a bit and am now struggling to pick up where I left off and as a consequence, my desk is once again covered with little [organised] piles of paper. Paperwork must be one of the most brain numbing, tedious but necessary evil of life. I must keep on top of it all otherwise life just becomes too stressful – as chaotic as life is, I do like to know where something is. If it’s in the in-tray then I know where it is, then when it’s filed away, I still know where it is and am happy that it is now in its own little paperwork home. There’s something sadly satisfying about that. As tedious a task as it is and as much as I hate doing it, it’s so so so nice to see the bottom of an empty in-tray. Shame it doesn’t last long, only as long as the next post filled with bank statements & bills.

Another brain wave had been to start writing letters again. Inspired by my ‘love letter writing’ day at Homemade London last year, I thought it would be nice to surprise a few people and actually write a few letters. Not sure how likely this one will be as I’m struggling to even find the motivation to write this blog, but it’s a nice idea. Maybe I’ll try it one wet weekend. I wouldn’t suggest watching the post too closely, this might be a resolution that is a mere pipe dream.

Whatever happens this year, I’m promising myself that I will work hard even when I don’t have a lot of work to do. Learn more about my new career and find ways to improve my skills. But, above all, I’m going to enjoy my wonderful children, partner and friends like the end of life as we know really is going to end on the 21st December 2012. Enjoy 2012 everyone! I’m certainly going to.