Happy New Year everyone & welcome back to my first post of 2019. How are you all? Christmas really does fly by but I have to admit, it’s so so nice to be back in New York again. You may have seen that I appeared on the Ray D’Arcy Show in Dublin (live TV) on Saturday night and honestly, I just couldn’t have asked for a more exciting start to the year. Here’s a link to the interview incase you missed it. I was a nervous wreck in the lead up but thankfully, it all went really well. The biggest thank you to all of you who tuned in and sent the nicest, most supportive messages and also a big hello to any of you who might be new here. Welcome to the Retro Flame Fam :)
I actually started writing this post last week in Kerry and I’m finishing it now this morning in New York. It’s by far my favorite post of the year to do! Just incase you don’t know, I start every year with this exact same post all about…’My dream year’. I’ve been doing it here on the blog since 2016 and it’s basically where I share my personal ‘dreams’ for the year in the hope that it inspires YOU to get the ball rolling on yours too. I break it into 4 sections – Career, Travel, Relationships & Wellbeing – and all throughout the year, I use it as a guide to keep me on track.
A quote I love to live by is:
“Decide what kind of life you actually want. Then say no to everything that isn’t that.”
It always reminds me that once we know exactly what we WANT, it makes it a lot easier to actually get/do it.
It’s easy to set all these goals & plans, but often the hard part is to stay accountable to actually doing them. So having a tangible list to look back on is what I swear by. I promise you it works. So here goes, time for a look at what my absolute ‘Dream 2019’ looks like. Always a personal one, but so many of you say it helps you to make your own list, so I’m happy to share…
I’m going to kick it off with travel this year as I’m very excited to get planning. I don’t know about you, but some years travel excites me so so much more than others and I think this year will be one of those. As of right now, I have zero trips booked (always very jealous of those people who book trips months in advance – I’m a last minute-er for life!!) but I do have some vague plans and of course, a big bucket list. This is what it currently looks like:
1. Australia – my best friend Christina lives there and I’m hoping to visit in March. I’m so excited!!
2. Palm Springs / Coachella – I don’t think I can resist (it will be my 4th year going). Plus it’s very cool that Ariana Grande is headlining this year.
3. Napa Valley – Tommy & I want to make a trip back to San Francisco this year (he used to live there when we did long distance) and squeeze in a trip to Napa. It’s been on my list for SO long.
Then my 2019 bucket list destinations are…
4. Cabo, Mexico
6. Amsterdam (Really want to visit the Cluse office & finally meet the team)
9. London (Want to go visit my friend, Ciara!)
10. New York – (Putting this in here to remind myself not to take this amazing city for granted. Ever!)
I’ve made this list the past couple of years and being completely honest, almost every year I’ve only crossed off about a quarter of the places on it. BUT other last minute/spontaneous trips came up (work & pleasure) and it actually ended up being even better than I imagined. So as much as I’m going to try really hard to get to some of these places on this year’s list….I’m also excited to see what surprises the year has for me too.
I’ve literally been thinking about what I was going to write in this category all week long. I don’t really know how to explain it but I feel so so different going into this year and I’m going to be very honest with you. I need a little change. I’ve been blogging full-time for 3 years now (3 years as a hobby beforehand), added in a Youtube Channel 2 years ago and even though I still get so excited about every tiny little milestone/achievement…I need to pivot a little. I need to evolve.
“Evolve or Repeat. Your choice.”
1. Work smarter, not harder.
My no.1 career priority for 2019 is to work a lot smarter. I’ve always been a hard worker, I just think that’s the way I’m programmed. Even in school & college, I was always always working. I’ve always known that the harder I work, the luckier I get. And nothing has changed here or ever will. BUT this year, I just want to be a little smarter about how I do things & what I focus on. I’ve been doing what I do for quite a while now and looking back, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve figured out the things I love, the things I’m good at, the things I’m NOT good at…and this year is all about focusing on the things which bring most enjoyment & value to me. Sometimes when you have your own business, you fall into the trap of working IN your business and not ON your business, so this year it’s time to make sure I stay far away from that trap. I read that piece of advice a while back and I truly think it’s the most important thing an entrepreneur can remember. It all comes back to the evolve or repeat mindframe…. we have to keep making moves.
2. Switch up my priorities
Tying in with the above point, this year for me will be all about shifting my priorities onto the things which will help me reach my long term goals. This may mean cutting down a little on video/blog content to free up time to focus on other aspects of the brand I want to work towards. It would be easy for me to do exactly the same posting schedule as last year but then where’s the room for new things? I’m still figuring out what I want my blog/video schedule to look like this year but as always, I’ll of course keep you in the loop.
3. Expand Retro Flame Team
Probably the most exciting thing to come for me this year is the expansion of the Retro Flame team. It’s a small step that I just know will make a huge difference. I won’t lie, it is a daunting feeling for me handing over control but I truly believe that it’s vital to surround yourself with people that are better than you at particular tasks. Team work makes the dream work and I really am so excited to keep improving things for you guys this year! So determined to bring everything up a level.
4. Collaborate with brands in new ways
After 6 years of photographing myself, I just have to admit, it’s time to switch it up & start thinking outside the box. We’re all literally drowning in sponsored content on Instagram. How many more of the same kind of photos/collabs can we consume? If I’m bored, I know you are too. So one of the biggest challenges I’ve set for myself this year is to bring a little ‘wow’ factor to each of my collaborations. I want you to look at them and know I’ve put in hours of effort, know I truly love the brand, know I actually care and know that if I’m willing to put a lot of effort in, you can TRUST me. I want it to make you think ‘she’s still got it’ ;) And this doesn’t just go for my sponsored collaborations – this goes for my content in general. I’ve always always been a quality over quantity girl. Blog posts, videos, everything….they take me hours. Because I care. I care that you take the time to read, watch, like and I care that you walk away thinking ‘you know what, that was really well done’. I’m always open to feedback from you guys, so if there are certain things you’d like to see more of this year, things you’d like to see less of, brands you’d love to see me collaborate with, products you’d love me to launch…..let me know!! Leave a comment below, send me an email, send me an Instagram DM – whatever is easiest for you. It will be very appreciated :)
5. Retro Flame 2.0
And finally, to tie everything I’ve said above together and you have probably sensed this anyway but this is the year Retro Flame grows up :) We’re already working on a brand new website design (coming soon and will be so much easier to navigate), lots of new video ideas & ways we can film, much more interiors content & some other things which I think will pleasantly surprise you. I don’t know how to describe it, but I just feel different going into this new year. I feel more fearless. If things work, great…if they don’t, well look I tried & now onto the next thing. Life is FAR too short to let fear get in the way and so join me this year & let’s just GO FOR IT. I don’t say it enough, but I’m so grateful for you guys and I’m ready to bring it to the next level for you this year. Let’s feel the fear and do it anyway.
The next category I always include on my Dream 2019 list is relationships and this year I think I just have one main goal here – clear communication. I’m really beginning to learn that this is the key. With friendships, with family, with parents, with co-workers, with boyfriends/girlfriends… you just have to be 110% clear & STRAIGHT OUT about how you feel about things. Dancing around things is not the answer. If you’re not happy about something – say it. Confront the person, talk it out & I promise you, it will get resolved a lot quicker.
I truly think this is especially important in friendships and romantic relationships. People can’t read your mind – how are they supposed to know how you’re feeling about something? And no offense to girls, I obviously am one, but wow do we love to make up scenarios in out head. Lol. More often than not the issue is SO much smaller than we make it out to be. With Tommy & I for example, if something is wrong or something happens (which of course happens – we’re not perfect) we talk it through. Nothing beats a good conversation.
So no dancing around things this year – there are so many other things to use your time for.
Then finally, one of THE most important categories of all – Wellbeing. Nothing will work the way you want it to, unless your mind/body are all in too. We spend money, time & effort on our hair, clothes, nails, apartments, cars….but often forget that we also need to invest into our mind & bodies. I have a brief list of things I’m going to work on/add into my life in 2019 to hopefully make me feel a little more balanced & open up my mind.
Podcasts – Instead of music at the gym or when I’m out & about – I’m switching this over to podcasts. Also when I’m cleaning the apartment each week, this will be a great time to listen to an hour long one.
Wake up earlier – Bed earlier, up earlier. I’m REALLY going to try to make this a habit. I’m 10 times more productive in the mornings so I have to start talking advantage of this.
Zero Gossiping – Kind of a strange one and I know we all love a good gossip from time to time but wow, it really is a time waster. It doesn’t benefit us in any way and it’s just time to cut it out. It’s time to be nothing but supportive & so focused on your own sh*t that you don’t have time to think about any one else’s. Now’s also the time to unfollow anyone who annoys you. Serious game-changer. If they don’t inspire you, entertain your or add value to you life – it’s time to say goodbye.
One-minute rule – Lastly, I want to use the one-minute rule every single day. What is this? Basically, if something will only take one minute or less – do it NOW. How many times do we say, oh I’ll reply to that email later on, I’ll put away my clothes later on…whatever it is. It’s procrastination that all adds up and in turn, stresses out our minds waaaay more than it should. So if it will only take a minute, no more waiting to do it later. Your mind will thank you.
All small things – but I know they’ll make a difference.
And there we have it…. another year, another list of goals & dreams. I mentioned on my Instagram story (@retroflame) last week about how a new year can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. What if I don’t get all these things done? What if it’s a fail? But let’s start thinking about what if all these dreams DO come through. Imagine how happy & proud you’ll feel? Take a minute to imagine it. It will be the BEST feeling. So now the only thing getting in your way of that feeling is YOU. Do the work, make the changes, be proud of yourself on Dec 31st 2019. This is the year the magic happens ;)
It all won’t happen overnight – these things take time. So take one step at a time, don’t be too hard on yourself, set realistic goals & break them down, look after your mind & your body – you need them, put effort into your relationships, be a genuinely nice person, cut out the nonsense, get off your phone for an hour in the evening, say no to things that don’t excite you, get outside every day, work smart, dream big….& let’s see what happens. If not now, when? ;)
I hope you all have the BEST year and I’m excited for us all to do it together once again. I never ever take your support for granted and I truly am so grateful to have you here with me for another year.
Let’s make it one to remember!