Charge your coffee cup ‘cos this is a long-un!
Before I launch both feet into 2018, I want to take a moment to reflect on some of the highs of 2017, and look ahead to what’s on my mind for this year.
Taking the time to reflect is so powerful. You don’t need to wait for a new year to do this; anytime you feel like you want to ‘pause’ – do! Especially if you feel like you’re going through a weird chapter, or are unclear of your next steps, it can be hugely beneficial (not to mention cathartic) to ‘stop’ for a moment and take a breath.
Life can be so fast-paced that we feel that we too have to make decisions, or take action, at 100mph – but that’s not the case.
You are always in charge of your time, and so if a moment of reflection is what you think you need, then pull those PJs on, whip out your stationery supply, and turn your phone on aeroplane mode.
Whenever I take the time to do this, I always feel so much clearer about my goals, and it gives me a chance to acknowledge things I’m proud of too.
Going out alone
Early last year I decided to work independently of an agency. Having been with my agency for a number of years, the decision felt HUGE and I deliberated it for months.
After seeking counsel from a number of close friends and mentors, I found the confidence to go it alone, and (although my agents were always so supportive and kind) I am so glad that I did.
Becoming independent of any agency ‘unblocked’ something for me, and I felt a renewed sense of independence . This was the first big marker for me last year, and it set the tone for a more confident and free-feeling 2017.
My friend Mel wrote a brilliant article about the pros and cons of agencies and networks, and it’s a great read if you’re interested in finding out more.
Big Small Business
On April 1st last year Laura Turner and I opened the doors to 70+ guests for our very first conference.
Big Small Business is a conference and community for entrepreneurs, small business-owners and big dreamers, and the day went better than we had ever anticipated.
You can hear more about the conference here if you’re interested.
It feels so surreal looking back on the conference now, it’s one of my proudest accomplishments to date.
Laura and I have chosen to take a break from Big Small Business for 2018, but are so looking forward to putting together something special for 2019.
Let’s Discuss Podcast
Oh my word! Launching Let’s Discuss with my great friend Ella was so much more fun that either of us had expected. And it blew up more than we ever could have imagined.
Having listened avidly to podcasts ourselves for years, we were so excited to launch our own.
It was our intention with Let’s Discuss to open up the conversations we were having as friends with other women. So much of what we go through as 20 something girls can feel isolating, and we wanted to share our own experiences so that hopefully our listeners can feel less alone too.
The response we received to the show was incredible, and we accrued listeners from all over the world.
The podcast got into the top 100 podcasts on iTunes on its first day of release, and we increased our listenership by over 150% season on season.
We also welcomed some of our favourite brands as sponsors including Birchbox and House of Fraser.
We’re now working on Season 4 of the show and we cannot wait to be back in your earbuds!
Monica Beatrice Shop
It’s long been one of my dreams to launch a physical product, and in 2017 I did it with the launch of Monica Beatrice Shop and my poster series!
You can now shop three beautiful designs featuring motivational quotes on the most luxuriously-printed posters.
It’s been SUCH a joy packaging and posting these out, and I’m so excited to think that more homes will welcome these posters this year.
I’m also working on my second collection, so hopefully that will be something I can share later in 2018!
Knowing my worth and saying no
Having left my agency in January of last year, I feel like I learnt a lot about knowing my worth and saying no when things didn’t feel right last year.
This applied both in my work and in my personal life.
Overall, last year I came to appreciate the ‘true cost’ of saying yes to things.
Saying “yes”, always means saying “no” to something else. Sometimes saying “yes” is worth it (and it can be REALLY worth it), and other times it’s not.
This is something I want to continue to work on in 2018.
Now I’ve rounded up some accomplishments from 2017, I wanted to shared some of my focuses for 2018.
I’ve already shared my intention for focusing on my Health Heart Home Hustle mantra, and so these are more of a sprinkling of random intentions . . .
Scarf: Lois Avery | Dress: New Look (Past Season)
Trainers: New Balance (Past Season) | Beret: Topshop
Bag: Topshop (Past Season)
In 2018, I intend to . . .
Comment on blogs more often
As a blogger, I REALLY appreciate comments, and yet I realised that I don’t comment nearly enough on the blogs I love myself. And so this year, I want the bloggers whose sites I really enjoy, to know that I do. More commenting = more love shared, and that can only be a good thing.
Get a grip on my hormones
I’ve used the same contraceptive for ten years now, and whilst it has it’s perks, I’ve noticed that my hormonal cycles have been causing me trouble recently. I have horrible breakouts, really low days, and generally feel like crap before I come on. This year I plan on seeing a nutritionist, and learning more about my hormones so that I can hopefully understand them better, and generally feel more well and energised throughout my cycle. Clearer skin would be great too 🙏🏼
Spend time in nature
Nature is so energy-giving, and I absolutely love the feeling of being at the beach, or out on a long walk. This year I want to consciously spend more time outdoors, it’s the perfect counterbalance to working from home. It also helps to put things in perspective – you feel SO small when you place yourself in the middle of nature.
Use creative visualisation
So, spoiler alert, Oli and I are moving house soon! And the road to it actually happening has been LONG! Last summer Oli and I found our ‘dream property’. What ensued was six months of back and forth, paperwork and a lot of hurdles. Although the odds often felt stacked against us, every night when we went to bed we visualised being in that home. It felt SO real when we visualised it that somehow I knew we would get it. Even though logically it really looked like we wouldn’t. Eventually after months and months, we received the news that we’d got it! Now more so than ever I believe in the power of visualisation, and so this year I want to continue to work on it. If you’re new to this train of thought, here’s a book recommendation to get you going.
Create a home environment we adore
I am ALL over Pinterest right now. See above.
Get more personal on the blog
I’ve been blogging for seven years now, and so this corner of the internet is part and parcel of my life. Meaning, I think that you know all there is to know about me! I was talking to Oli recently, when we got to discussing how there are so many things I don’t share on the blog. Naturally I am quite a private person, and tend to internalise a lot of things (even in my personal life), and so there are many occasions when there are things going on which I don’t write about on the blog. This year I’d like to be more open with you, and I hope that in doing so it’ll give us more of an opportunity to connect. And I am ALL about that connection 😍
Ultimately, do less, and do it better
2017 really felt like THE year I grew in confidence with my career.
I tried so many new things, and launched three new ventures, as well as working full-time on the blog, consulting and running workshops.
This year, I’ve decided to ‘do less, and do it better’. I closed my consultancy business (which you may not have known I even had! Case in point: me sharing more with you!), I have put a pause on my workshops, and instead am focusing fully on: The Elgin Avenue, Let’s Discuss and my poster series. And for me, that’s plenty enough to keep me occupied with work this year. I want to really focus in on those three areas, and to push myself to make them better than ever before.
As with all things, there are many more accomplishments (and MANY more fails haha!) in 2017 I could share with you, and focuses for 2018, but those are the biggies.
Have you taken the time to reflect on last year yet? And to lay your intentions out for 2018?
I’d love to hear of some of your accomplishments and focuses! And any methods you use for taking stock.
Love, Monica x
Photography by Victoria Metaxas