Mid-year check-in

27th June 2018

At the beginning of the year I decided to choose a guiding word for 2018 rather than setting myself more specific goals. After having such a horrible time in 2017 when I didn’t feel like myself and I rarely ever felt happy, I put my foot down and decided that I was no longer going to feel that way. The word I chose was “Happiness”.

We’re now 6 months into the year, which is kind of hard to believe, and today I wanted to have a bit of a check-in session. I want to talk about what’s being going well, what hasn’t been going quite so well, and how I plan to move forward going into the next 6 months of 2018.

My career

It’s been 6 months since I left my full-time job and started working as a freelancer, and it’s certainly been an interesting 6 months.

I’m going to be completely transparent here and say the transition into working for myself has not been easy, and at times my freelancing work has been a little slow, but I’ve learned so much in these last few months and I really feel like I’m moving in the right direction.

There have been days and even weeks when I haven’t had any paid work to do, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working. I’ve been showing up every single day and working on something that will help me and my business, whether that be creating content for my blog, improving my coding skills, or developing products that I hope to eventually sell. In fact, I probably work more hours each week than I did when I had a full-time office job, but I do it because I love it and my work excites me.

I am so fortunate to have been able to work with some incredible people this year; people who literally make me jump around the house with excitement when they reach out and ask to work together! And the more experience I gain and the more testimonials I receive then the more my client base will grow. I’m excited for the future and I really hope I can continue to make a living out of this job.

Goals for the next 6 months: Finish building my own WordPress framework, learn how to build plugins and widgets, and open my pre-made WordPress themes shop.

My online life

In terms of my online life, I wanted to be a little more purposeful with my time. I wanted to stop aimlessly wasting time online without a good reason, and I wanted to get better at blocking and removing the negativity from my online space.

Well, I still find myself aimlessly scrolling through social media every evening, but one thing I will say is that I’m not spending as much time online on the weekends. This has obviously had a massive impact on this blog, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve not been posting as regularly, but in a way it’s a good thing because I’ve been spending my time doing other things I love.

Instead of being attached to my computer every waking hour of everyday, I’ve found myself getting out of the house more. I’ve been enjoying the beautiful weather in the garden with a good book, and Tyrone and I have been having more days out. These are the things that really make me happy.

Goals for the next 6 months: Blog more here on Empfire, and spend less time on social media during the evenings.

My home

I’m not going to lie, my home has been the cause of 90% of my stress this year!

So far in 2018 we’ve managed to tick off two major projects on our home renovation to do list; new windows and doors, and a new boiler. I’m currently in the process of gathering quotes to have a couple of the ceilings re-plastered, including my office (which if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know it’s a nightmare!). We also need some work doing on the roof and the fascia boards.

We’ve also had a few unexpected house related issue including a leaking toilet, a broken garage door and a bees/wasps nest in the roof; all of which have really challenged me. I don’t cope well in stressful situations and I hate having to call people, but I’ve dealt with all of these situations. I guess it’s just a part of being a homeowner and I’m going to have to get use to it!

Goals for the next 6 months: Finish decorating the main bedroom and my office, resolve the issues with the roof and fascia boards, and start planning the new bathroom.

My friends and family

Again, some serious honesty here: I have not dedicated anywhere near enough time to my friends and family this year. I haven’t been back to Shropshire since February/March! And while I do feel pretty terrible admitting this, I have to look at the reasons why.

I have spent a great deal of 2018 so far focusing on me, I’ll go on to talk more about this in the health section of this post. But I’ve been so busy with other areas of my life to even think about my social life. But, as I said in my post about my word for the year, spending time with my friends and family always feels so good, so it’s something I really need to prioritise.

Goals for the next 6 months: Go back to Shropshire! See my friends and family!

My health

I’m touching wood as I say this but all in all my health hasn’t been too bad this year.

I had a steroid injection quite early on in the year, and that’s been serving me well so far. I did have a little bit of a scare when my GP thought I might have arthritis in my knee, but the x-ray came back clear which is great news. And I’ve only had one cold so far but I think that comes down to not working in an office anymore.

The main area of my health that I’ve been focusing on is my mental health. I started counselling at the end of January and it has been life changing for me. I’m still having counselling even now and I’m grateful that I have been allowed to have this many sessions. I do think I’m getting stronger and I do feel ready to finish up my sessions now.

Counselling has completely changed the way I think about things. It hasn’t cured my anxiety or depression, but it’s given me ways to deal with it. It’s made me realise that life is full of challenges and that this is always going to be the way, so I have to learn to cope. It’s taught me that I’m not a bad person, that I’m not as unlucky as I think I am, and that I don’t have anything to prove to anyone.

(By the way, you can read my CBT Vs Counselling post here.)

Goals for the next 6 months: Have another steroid injection before the winter months arrive, practice mindfulness more frequently, and make time for regular check-ins with my mental health.

To summarise…

So far, 2018 has been much better than 2017. I’m definitely feeling happier, healthier and just more in control of my life than I did last year.

These first 6 months of 2018 have not been without their challenges, but I’ve overcome them and I feel like I’m getting better at dealing with what life throws at me. As I say, counselling has had a massive impact on how I feel and how I act, and I’m just so glad I reached out and got the help I needed.

Going forward into the second half of this year, I really need to focus my time and attention on my relationships, because I feel that’s the area of my life I’ve been neglecting the most. I also need to make sure that I regularly check in on myself and become more aware of how I’m feeling, especially as my course of counselling comes to an end. I’ve come so far and I don’t want to go back to where I started.

So, how have the first 6 months of 2018 been for you? Do you have any goals for the next 6 months?

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  1. You are doing great with your goals. The most important thing is that you are still working when you don’t have paid work to do. That is so hard, to keep to your goals, when other distractions are around. Well done for that!

    • Holly

      Thank you, Anca. At times it’s been really hard to keep going, but I definitely think I’m heading in the right direction.