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.
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….
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….
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!
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.
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?
(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.
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)
5. Cabo, Mexico
7. Vermont (Skiing)
8. Malibu + then a stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel (this will be the year!!)
10….& finally, Donegal. Yes, I’m serious – I’ve never been and I’m dying to go! :)
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.
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!
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!
….& 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!