My Dream 2018

Sitting Room Tour

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the first Retro Flame blog post of the year. I’m back again with my annual ‘Dream Year’ post. Each year at this time, I look ahead  and ask myself what my IDEAL year would look like (absolutely zero limits) and then write it all down here on the blog. I started doing this in 2016 and as soon as I saw the difference it made on the way I approached a year, I promised I would do it every year. You also seem to really like it too, so here I am today with my ‘Dream 2018’ version.

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I know you’re probably sick of seeing ‘goal-setting/resolution’ posts all over the Internet over the past week (I kind of am too, to be honest) but I promise you, this is not one of them. Instead, it’s a way for me to hopefully inspire you to take just 10 minutes and imagine your dream year. A year where you will finally achieve those things you’ve always dreamed of.

I know everyone says it and so many of us probably just brush it off, but life really is so short. As that quote says, ‘The problem is, we think we have time”. There’s nothing scarier to me than having a feeling of regret when I’m older and looking back on life, so NOW is the time.

Each year, I focus on 4 main areas  – Career, Travel, Relationships & Wellbeing– and below is how my dream year would (will) look….

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CAREER

I guess every year, this is where a big focus of mine goes. I know it sounds a bit cringey but I absolutely love my work and each year I just want to do better & better. I have so many ideas & hopes for what’s to come and the only way to achieve them all is to focus, work even harder than last year & truly BELIEVE you can do it. I learned a lot of lessons last year (I shared 17 HERE) and quite honestly, I’m ready for a fresh start now again. Below are the 4 big things I’ll be focusing on making happen….

1. Videos/Youtube
First up I have some very good news that I hope lots of you will be excited about…there now will be THREE videos on my channel every week. 1 VLOG & 2 regular videos EVERY single week….starting next Monday Jan 8th. Last year’s schedule was two new videos every Tuesday & Thursday and although it was even a lot of work just at that, I want to push myself even more this year. “Without change, there can be no progress”…& and so my video schedule for 2018 will be new videos every Monday, Wednesday & Friday. I absolutely loved loved loved doing Vlogmas again this year so I really want to bring more vlogs into my channel throughout the year so there’ll be a weekly vlog where I show you what I’m upto and then 2 regular ‘sit down’ videos where I chat Fashion, Beauty, Interiors, Career, New York & more! I hope you’re as excited as I am? I have a new video to share tomorrow and then the brand new schedule starts on Monday. Here’s to a new challenge!

 

Learning the hard way - EXPRESS - Trench Coat

2. Events
One of my big focuses for 2018 is to meet more of you!! It’s one of my very favourite parts of my job and I want it to be a huge part of the year to come. I’m already in talks with lots of brands about teaming up for events in Ireland…AND Kaelin & I are going to be doing something very exciting in New York too. We had actually starting planning this last year but things just got too busy for us to do it properly…so this is now the year!! Stay tuned for more details over the next month – I think you’re going to love it. :)

3. Work that’s not Retro Flame 
I won’t go into this too much, but basically I really want a few new challenges this year. Retro Flame is my baby, always will be, but after having Kaelin on board the team for over a year now and finally having a little help, I now have the time to start working on other dreams I’ve always had. I studied business in university and have parents who eat, sleep & breathe entrepreneurship so I want to start working on some other passions of mine, outside of Retro Flame. Of course, it will always be somehow connected (I couldn’t ask for a more supportive group of followers) but I truly think it’s good to step out of your comfort zone from time to time. Force yourself to learn new things & dive into new challenges and you just never know what might happen.

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4. Going Back to Basics 
..& finally, I briefly chatted about this on my Instagram stories this week and couldn’t believe how many of you wrote to me thanking me for bringing it up. But basically, in the crazy blogging world we all live in, I truly think it’s more important than ever for us bloggers to go back to basics and remember WHY we started. I never started Retro Flame with the idea of making money, I started it because writing blog posts from my room in Kerry made me more excited than anything I had EVER done before. It’s like all of a sudden I had found what I loved. I didn’t do it for the free products, I did it because it made me excited and also lots of you excited too. Then fast-forward 6 years, it’s now my full time job. I now make my living from it but it sure as hell didn’t happen overnight.

Lots of you wrote to me saying how you were getting so so tired of looking at all the #ads from bloggers you follow and the thing is, we wouldn’t be able to keep these blogs/youtube Channels going WITHOUT money to put back into them, so of course we have to work with brands. But in my eyes, the problem lies with the bloggers who don’t know how to say no. Just like you I follow bloggers, but as soon as I see them working with a brand I know for a fact they don’t love or if they’re very obviously buying followers/engagement – that’s where I draw the line. I unfollow right at that moment. You’ll always know when a blogger is doing this because they love it or because it’s all just gone to their head. But instead of complaining, you just have to hit that unfollow button. It really is that easy. Of course, I’ll still continue to work with brands (I LOVE) in the year to come but I also want you to know that Retro Flame will NEVER be a place just for AD’s. I started all this sharing outfits & products (that I saved up to buy) just because I loved them and I knew you would love them too…& that’s the way I will always continue to go on. It’s just a huge bonus for me when a brand I love sees that I love them & wants to actually work with me. The excitement of that never goes away.

I’m also promising more heart-to-heart & helpful blog posts – back to where it started. As well as videos every Monday, Wednesday & Friday, there will be new blogs posts every Tuesday & Thursday. Quality over quantity is the name of the game when it comes to my written content this year and I just can’t wait to get stuck in. p.s. I’m on the search for a new camera for outfit/travel shots. I’m promising myself I’m going to get better at photography this year – so I would love to hear any recommendations?

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(5. The Retro Flame Office)
Oh and one more smaller goal I have is to finally create & design my dream office for Kaelin & I in my apartment and spend some saved money on two new MAC computers. I know it won’t be the biggest office in the world but the fact that I finally have an actual room for it in New York City makes me so proud. Anything is possible.

#TimeToBeLoved - CLUSE

TRAVEL

It’s funny, when I look back on last year’s dream travel plans, I only actually ticked 2 out of the 7 off the list. But ended up seeing some other amazing destinations instead. So don’t forget to be a little flexible with your lists and be sure to say YES to every opportunity that comes up. It’s often the spontaneous trips that are the best ones. This year, I have a feeling I’ll be doing a little more traveling than last year (I I already have a few trips planned) and here are the 10 destinations I’m hoping to see…

1. Australia (my best friend just moved there)
2. Fiji
3. Jamaica
4. Paris
5. Cabo, Mexico
6. Nashville
7. Vermont (Skiing)
8. Malibu + then a stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel (this will be the year!!)
9. Santorini
10….& finally, Donegal. Yes, I’m serious – I’ve never been and I’m dying to go! :)

 

More Determined Than Ever

RELATIONSHIPS

I mentioned in my 17 Lessons I Learned in 2017 post that last year was a big year for Tommy & I as we finally are now both in New York. Finally, haha! We moved in together back in May and I really do feel more settled than ever in New York now. Tommy more than anyone teaches me the importance of life offline and I’m so grateful to have that influence in my life for the year to come. I’ve learned that it’s VERY important to have people in your life that remind you that there is actually life outside social media. We’re all addicted!! So this year I want to:

1. Be more present when I’m with family & friends – a.k.a. PUT AWAY THE PHONE.
2. Get better at replying to calls, text messages, etc. (I said this last year too but I REALLY mean it this time, haha).
3. Be more thoughtful – you never know who needs a little kindness.
4. And finally, I want to be the most supportive person I know.

Learning the hard way - EXPRESS - Trench Coat

WELLBEING 

And last but not least, something I work on every year is finding more of a ‘balance’. I’ll be the first to admit that because work is more or less me documenting my life on a constant basis, I have absolutely no idea how to switch off. I just can’t do it. But this year there are a few new things I’m going to try:

1. Meditation: Yes, I’m going to be that person but honestly I’ve just heard too many success stories to ignore it any longer. There’s a place in New York called, Inscape, that I’ve been looking into so I’m going to sign up for a class when I get back and I’ll be sure to share how I get on.

2. LESS scrolling: I’d actually be scared to find out how many hours a week I waste scrolling through social media. Honestly, it must be crazy!! So this year, things are about to change. I’m going to turn on post notifications for my favourite Instagrammers (did you know you could do this?) so that I’m only spending time looking at photos I ACTUALLY want to see. Seriously, give it a go too!

Learning the hard way - EXPRESS - Trench Coat

3. Read more: My aim is one book a month and I’m more determined than ever. I’m going to buy a new one in the airport on Sunday for the trip back so let me know if you have any recommendations? And also if you’d like more book reviews this year? It’s business books I’m usually into.

4. One social media-free trip: Ok this last one kind of scares me, I won’t lie, but I REALLY want to make it happen. I want to go on one trip this year where I literally don’t post ONE thing on social media. I know that probably sounds normal to so many of you but this is just never the case for me. Often, I spend so much time documenting my travels that they aren’t even really a holiday at all. So this is high on my bucketlist this year and it’s going to happen!

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….& more than anything else, all I truly wish for is for my family & friends to stay happy & healthy. There is nothing more important.

I hope this provided a little inspiration to map out YOUR dream 2018 and I just couldn’t be more excited for another year with you all. Whatever it is you want to do, I know you can do it… make this your year. No excuses, no procrastination – just hard work & focus and imagine how happy you’ll be this time next year?

Thank you SO much for your continued support & here’s to the best year yet!
Erika x


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  1. Amy

    3 January

    Love this 😍

    • Daire

      7 January

      Nice one, Erika. Have a safe flight back to NYC and continued success to you…and Kaelin! It’s nice to see there are other bloggers out there, who don’t just work with any old brands. A little integrity goes far ;-) x

  2. Paula Benson

    3 January

    Whohoo Donegal! You would LOVE Buncrana, the most beautiful beaches 💕 2018 sounds like it’s going to be an exciting one for you!

  3. Gillian O'Callaghan

    3 January

    I love how different and inspiring this post is compared to the rest of the goal setting/resolution blog posts I’ve read over the past week. I honestly feel so inspired to write out my dream year and see what I can do to make it happen! You truly are one of the most genuine and creative bloggers I follow and I am thrilled to see everything you accomplish this year. Happy 2018!

  4. Aisling McKevitt

    3 January

    So excited to see more videos on the agenda for 2018! You do such fabulous job, I’ve no doubt you’ll achieve everything on your list X

  5. Hannah

    3 January

    Hopefully an event in Belfast is on the cards! We’d love to see you here!

  6. A

    3 January

    Wow this is so heartfelt and honest, I love it ❤

  7. Ciara

    3 January

    Omg you are the cutest! I can feel the enthusiasm beaming out of my screen haha

  8. Caroline McCarthy

    3 January

    Wishing you the very best

  9. Aoife Long

    3 January

    i really enjoyed this post, thank you. for a book try The Good People by Hannah Kent. it’s really dark as it’s about fairies and folklore in early 1800s Ireland but it’s well written and unusual for fiction. it’s also set in Kerry so nice to read a book about an area you know too.

  10. Clóda Scanlon

    3 January

    I absolutely loved this post Erika!! You are my absolute favorite blogger and 2017 has been YOUR year! It’s getting better and better for you! I’m a blogger also, and you bring me so much insightful tips, advise and inspiration that have genuinely given me better perspectives on blogging! I worked harder in the latter half of 2017 because I see how much your hard work pays off! I can’t thank you enough for continually giving me the kick up the bum I need! I hope 2018 is a sensational year for you ♥️♥️♥️

  11. Caitríona

    3 January

    I really like your travel! Just started my own one now so exciting!

  12. Jennifer

    3 January

    What a lovely post to start of the New Year. Recently I’ve become so jaded by social media but I must say I always get such joy out of your content. I had exams throughout December and every night I would watch you vlog to winddown and it really was the perfect remedy. I saw you mentioned that you wish to read more this year and thought you might enjoy this book challenge that I found today. Best of luck in the New Year. X
    https://www.penguin.co.uk/content/dam/prh-consumer/penguin/articles/find-your-next-read/games-and-activities/2017/dec/Penguin%20Read%20The%20Year%202018.pdf

  13. Linda Boylan

    3 January

    This is a very inspiring post. I love it I really want to write down the things I want to achieve this year and see how it all works out for me. I love the way you keep it real. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in store for 2018. Happy new year to you and your family.

  14. I squealed a bit when I read you want to visit Donegal! Such a nice post I can’t wait for the extra video 🙌🏼

  15. Caitlin

    3 January

    Fantastic blog post Erika !! You really are so genuine and determined. Whatever goals you set your mind to you always achieve them . You truly are inspiring . Not forgetting Kaelin who also is amazing and I just love the sisterly bond ye two have !! Can’t wait for the new YouTube videos to come.Love to sit and relax before I go to bed and watch them and yere snaps❣️I hope 2018 is good to ye as ye deserve every success and happiness 🌟Look forward to seeing the NYC snaps again soon . Can not wait to see what the year holds in store for Retro Flame xx

  16. Catherine

    3 January

    Amazing & very Inspirational 😘

  17. Catherine

    3 January

    Amazing & very Inspirational 😘

  18. Kimberly

    4 January

    Inspiring! Definitely has me thinking about my own goals in those areas. I’m excited about more vlogs and love your focus on quality over quantity in blog posts. Cheers to the best year yet for you and Kaelin at Retro Flame and in all aspects of your lives! I can’t wait to watch you succeed!

  19. Maura Miller

    4 January

    ❤👍 enjoyed reading your post Happy New Year thanks

  20. Mia

    4 January

    Love this post, so honest and down to earth :) x

  21. Claire

    4 January

    Love it!!! Great post :)
    Happy New Year

  22. Kuv

    4 January

    *Waiting with baited breath for Monday’s video* Seriously though, this is a great post. I’m truly inspired by it. I started my own wee business last year (I’m from Scotland but I live in Tokyo) and recently I’ve been feeling a bit lost on how to make that next push, in my language-learning and in business. I can’t see beyond the next few days right now, I’m not sure if it’s post-festive period blues, or if it’s because I’m just about to enter the last year of my 30s. But after reading this post, I started to map out my ideal year and already feel more motivated and focused. Erika, I am so chuffed that only a few weeks ago I subscribed to your Youtube channel, then followed you on Instagram, and subsequently found this post. Have a brilliant 2018!

  23. Leanne Fitzgerald

    4 January

    Great post, Erika! Over Vlogmas, I was so struck by the wonderful relationships and people you have in your life: your sister, your mom, your boyfriend etc. It’s made me really look at my own life and appreciate all the people who are supporting me through my career and other things. In almost all your posts, you say thank you and express genuine gratitude and that’s the one thing I’m taking with me into 2018 (and the main reason I’ve been a loyal follower for the past year and a half!) An appreciation and gratitude for life, love, family, opportunities and more. Keep living your best life, Erika because it definitely looks good on you! Happy New Year!

  24. Ro

    4 January

    Totally agree with the #ad thing…some bloggers/influencers will put their name to ANYTHING for a few €€€€. i like that you maintain your intergity, ( the apt moving video was a bit of a wobbler and i thought Noooo she selling out too! but it made sense then when Kaelin was moving out !) and your style is your own, i put you in the same category as Emma Hill and both of your vlogs/videos are the first i will watch. Defiantly want to make it to any event you do in Ireland .

  25. Cathy

    4 January

    Great post!
    I’m in Fiji at the moment and would highly recommend going to cloud9.
    It’s a floating bar in the middle of the ocean and it’s a must see! Also not too far away is Monuriki island which is where castaway was filmed.
    X

  26. Olivia

    4 January

    Erika, amazing post! Proud of everything you’ve accomplished in 2017 (and years before). Looking forward to your 2018.

    Love from Olivia + Sebastian

  27. Lindsay

    4 January

    All good goals! Good luck in 2018 and looking forward to the content you continue to create!

  28. Such an inspiring post! I must admid I had to Google what Donegal is (never heard of it) but now I see it’s in Ireland, so maybe thats why, haha.

    Regarding the book recommendations I have heard much good about ‘How to be an overnight success’ . Haven’t read it yet but planning to

  29. Loved it, as always and am so inspired to do my own goals for 2018 – something to do this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration and hope you had amazing holidays and New Years in Ireland!

  30. Esther

    4 January

    Love this blog, your honesty and positive thinking, makes me think of my 2018 goals. Thanks for sharing.

  31. Meghan

    4 January

    Love this post! Your hard work for RF is so inspiring. I LOVE Inscape – let’s go together!? Also hoping to spend September in Paris so think you should go then :)

  32. Catherine

    5 January

    Great read Happy New Year

  33. Miuh

    5 January

    Ziele sind nie langweilig! Ich mag Deine Reiseziele, vor allem Australien … Go for it, wenn Du da jemanden kennst! Liebe Grüsse, Miuh

  34. zoe

    6 January

    I really enjoy your insta stories! I look forward to watching them at the end of the day. Nice thought for the New Year :) Keep on keeping on!

  35. Wow, this post is so beautiful and I love the idea of having a dream version of your year. I am finally getting behind the concept of vision boarding and how helpful that can be so this is really amazing!
    XOXO
    Charlie
    livinglifepetite.com

  36. Katie church

    9 January

    I love this so much! PS love your hair!

    XOXO
    wineandweekends.com
    katie

  37. […] myself – I’ve worked with different photographers for the last 4+ years. If you read My Dream 2018 post, you’ll have seen that one of my goals for this year was to give photography one more […]

  38. Jean

    13 January

    Love this idea😊…I’m defo doing this tonight…my dream is to practice more gratitude and visit NYC I the summer with my daughter🙏🏻…continued success to retro flame in d year ahead😘

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