I promised on Friday that I’d be back today with a lengthier, more chatty post and so here I am. I have a little confession to make: since getting really stuck into my Youtube channel last January (I’ve been posting 2 new videos almost every week since then), I’d fallen a little out of love with the blog & writing, in general. I’ve been writing posts on this blog for over 5 years now and I guess it came to the point that I needed a new challenge. I was getting a little bored. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s this Retro Flame website that started it all for me so I honestly will never stop being grateful for this corner of the internet that’s all mine, but I knew I needed to switch things up a bit in order to stay inspired.
So I started Youtube. A new challenge that has basically taken over the majority of my work-week since January. No joke. It’s probably the most time-consuming thing I have EVER done. But as the months have passed by and my filming/editing skills slowly but surely got better, I know now that it was worth every bit of the stress. I also now know that I’m ready to get back writing. I really didn’t realise how much I was missing it until I went back to Ireland and took a proper work break. I was coming back on the plane to New York last week brainstorming new ideas and my head was literally bursting with post/article concepts. I felt like I was back at the beginning again. Back when I started Retro Flame and just couldn’t spend enough time writing & shooting new posts. It was the same feeling of excitement – that feeling when you start something new.
There really are just never enough hours in the day when you work for yourself, but after the first half of 2017, I now feel ready & confident to do MORE. Of course, a big focus of mine will still be on video (I never realised how much I was going to love it) but I don’t ever want this website to be forgotten. I now feel ready to do a better job at focusing on both together…and I’m excited!
At the end of the day, and something a lot of bloggers forget to think about, is that although social media & youtube are such important platforms for us, we will never truly own our spaces there. Every day, I remind myself that I could wake up tomorrow and Instagram could be gone. And there’s not a thing in the world I’ll be able to do about it. But this website, this blog…it’s 100% mine. And I have to appreciate it. I always say, my blog is my ‘shop front’, so whenever one of you come on here, I really want you guys to get a feel for who I am, my personality and hopefully say to yourself that you really enjoy following along. I always feel most comfortable writing, I truly love it. I love sharing things I’ve learned, things I’ve gone through that I want to help you with and overall, I just want to always make sure you leave my site feeling like you’ve gained something from it. I want to help.
When I wrote the post all about ‘Why I quit my job’, I never expected how much it was going to help some of you. I still get messages from people telling me that it gave them the push to do the same and honestly, that’s what it’s all about. I truly believe that when it comes to people you follow online, there are two types. 1.) Those ones with the insanely perfect photos, who travel somewhere new every week & are always wearing that picture-perfect outfit and 2). The ones who just live their life normally & aim to inspire while doing so (in a much more relatable way).
As you’ve probably already guessed, I always aim to be the latter. My life or pictures are far from perfect, but you know what, I prefer it that way and that’s the way I’ll always keep it. This recent break at home (another Ireland video coming up tomorrow) really opened up my eyes to where I want Retro Flame to go. When you do something for 5+ years, it’s so important to take a step back every now and again to reevaluate. You know that Gossip Girl Quote? “Sometimes you need to step outside, clear your head and remind yourself of who you are. And where you wanna be.” Well, it’s a wise one. You need to know when to take a break. Always.
So while I was at home in Ireland this time, I did just that. Every now again in life, something hits you like a tonne of bricks and makes you look at every single thing differently. It opens your eyes and you honestly realise how lucky you are to just be here. It just all clicks. So if you’re at a crossroads, you’re stuck in a rut or you’re just plain ol’ fed up & uninspired. You need to take a break a go back to basics. I honestly do this twice a year, every year. I didn’t even know it at the time, but looking back, I realised I’ve done this every year for the past while. Mid-summer & the start of January – I go back to basics. And EVERY single time, I come out more determined than ever. Each time more than the last.
I know a lot of you can benefit from this too, so here is how you do it:
1. Set up meetings with 3 people that inspire you/you think will inspire you.
Even if it’s just a phone call. It is ALWAYS good to talk and something they say will always stick. While I was home this time, I spent two days in Dublin doing meetings and it was one particular meeting/person which reminded me of my ‘why’. Why I started all this and why I’m more determined than ever to keep going. Honestly, never underestimate the power of a chat.
2. Buy some new books.
As soon as I got back to New York last week, I dived into a new book. I was craving a new read, which sounds a bit crazy, but the power of a good book is something very hard to beat. Even a fee pages a day can shift your mindset BIG TIME. I’m currently reading “The Art of Less Doing” and next on my list (finally) is ‘The Secret’.
3. Go get a notebook and start physically writing things down.
The messier the better. Brainstorm new ideas, write down mottos you want to live by, make a list of all those annoying ‘life’ things you need to get done. I’m telling you, it will help you feel ‘in control’ of your life again. I did this on the plane back to New York and wow, I literally got off the plane wanting to dive into work. So often, we feel so overwhelmed by all the things we need to do (both in work & personal life) but once we introduce some sort of realistic structure, it all seems a lot more do-able and A LOT less scary.
4. Remember your ‘why’.
Why did you start and why do you want to keep going? Oh and most important of all, remind yourself exactly WHY you’re so lucky. There are always reasons, even if you have to dig deep. This is always the big eye-opener for me.
(Side note: I’m still testing out tip No.5 tip which is creating a Vision Board. I won’t recommend it just yet until I see if they actually work, but I’ve heard a lot of good things so I’m excited to try it. Stay tuned).
…& they’re the exact steps I take to make me MORE DETERMINED THAN EVER. I’m not saying they’ll work for everyone, but at least give them a go and see if they help. Even if one of them does, it’s better than nothing, right?
Every one needs and deserves a break from time to time, but the trick is to ensure that you use it wisely. I have the biggest new lease of life in me since my trip home and just can’t wait to keep doing more. I now know exactly where I want things to go over the next 6 months/year and the only thing between me & achieving those goals is hard work and focus. Where focus goes, energy flows. Always.
I hope you’re about to click out feeling inspired.
See you next time & be sure to come say hi over on my Instagram @retroflame.
(Oh and I can’t tell you how obsessed I am with this new Lavish Alice Trench Coat. It’s still roasting here in New York, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t wait to wear it. Nicest trench I’ve EVER owned!!)