I honestly can't believe that we're half way through the last day of 2014, where has this year gone? It seems like only last week I wrote my first blog post, but that was almost 9 months ago! Over the last few weeks I've had a chance to think about this blog and the direction I want to take it in 2015, so in order to help me achieve my goals I've come up with a list of resolutions. I'm not normally one for making New Year's resolutions, partly because I rarely stick to them for more than a few weeks and partly because I like to change when the mood strikes rather than when I feel like I should, but with a new year I feel like now is a good time to let some of my blog goals be known, hopefully that way you'll all hold me accountable if I don't stick to them.
1. I resolve to - Review more international brands
So far I've mainly been trying out and reviewing UK based brands, obviously there are some things available in other countries, but a lot of the comments I get are along the lines of "I wish I could get that in my country". That's not fair to you, if it wasn't for you reading this, I wouldn't be writing it, so it's only fair to you that I try to expand my brands and talk about more products that more of you can try, after all, the majority of you don't live in the UK.
2. I resolve to - Shop smart
I'm a little ashamed to admit that towards the end of this year I've got myself into a little bit of financial difficulty. I'm not in debt, but I don't have the kinds of savings in the bank that I used to, and that's because I haven't been keeping track of what I've been buying. I plan to start writing down everything I buy, so I know what I've reviewed, what I haven't and how many posts I already have products for. That way I won't be able to justify spending so much money with 'I need it for a blog post'.
3. I resolve to - Re-design the blog
I've been wanting to get a custom template designed ever since I started blogging in April, but it seems like a lot of money, and I wasn't sure how long I was going to be blogging for. But now that I've been doing it for a while and know that I love to do it and don't want to stop, I think it's time I bit the bullet and got it looking as I envisioned it. It'll still be simple and easy to navigate, but hopefully will look sleeker and a bit more professional. If you have recommendations for a designer, please let me know.
4. I resolve to - Improve my photography
This is something that I'm always trying to improve, and something that I feel I have already gained a fair bit of knowledge on. If you look back on the first couple of posts you'll see how bad I was, and that was less than a year ago, I plan on re-taking a lot of photos so I'm not embarrassed by them any more. I'm constantly reading posts on how to take better photos and am currently taking an online photography course, so with any luck things will continue to get better.
5. I resolve to - Stop paying attention to stats
This is something that has really bothered me over the last couple of months, and I have no-one to blame but myself. I've read so many blog posts saying not to look at your stats and I completely ignored them, well I'm finally paying attention. I started this blog for me, with the hope that a couple of people would enjoy my writing style or find my posts useful, as long as I keep that in mind and am happy with my posts myself, the stats shouldn't matter.
6. I resolve to - Take part in Twitter chats
This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but the main reason I haven't really taken part in any Twitter chats is because I'm too shy. I see people tweeting and answering questions, but I feel rude just jumping in on a conversation. I need to stop that thinking and remember that if it was a private conversation it wouldn't be happening over Twitter. I'd love to make more blogging friends (or friends in general) and that's not going to happen if I'm too scared to talk to anyone.
7. I resolve to - Attend a meet-up
I've seen a few meet-up's being posted about over the last 6 months or so, and they always look like so much fun, so I really want to make the effort to try and get to at least 1 next year. It's difficult living in Wales and not driving, as most meet-up's appear to be a fair distance from me, plus I have to rely on my health being ok a few weeks or months in advance, and that's always tricky. Still, I'm sure I could get to at least 1.
8. I resolve to - Take a better photo for my profile
I hate having my photo taken, so much so that there are huge chunks of my life without any photos. I'm much more comfortable being behind a camera, but I hate the profile photo I have up at the moment, and I've changed my hair colour since then so it's not really relevant any more. I'm just going to have to put my big girl pants on and get it done.
9. I resolve to - Get more organised
Lists lists lists, that pretty much sums me up. I have notebooks all over the place, and that's the problem; I've tried to be so organised that I now need to organise my organisation! Rather than grabbing to nearest notepad I need to have a few more and only write in them what they're intended for, I'll have 1 for blog post ideas, 1 for photos, 1 for Manicure Monday etc. That'll help with the stress and keep me from spending 1/2 hour flipping through numerous pads trying to find the list I'm after.
10. I resolve to - Install Disqus
I've saved the most annoying for last. I can't even tell you how many times I've tried to install Disqus on this blog, but I can never get it to work for me. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's a tool that allows you to comment easier on blogs and websites. It works similar to the You Tube comments, in that people can vote your comment up or down and other people can interact with you and see your profile. The Blogger comments really bother me, the only way you can see if someone has replied to you is to follow the thread, and that way you get a notification every time someone comments on the post, which can get a bit much. I much prefer commenting on blogs with Disqus installed so I really want it on here too.
Fingers crossed by putting my blog goals here for you all to see, it will force me to stick to them, if I don't you have my permission to tell me off. So, that's it for 2014, it's been a great year for me, I really hope it's been great for you too. I'll see you in 2015, thank you for all of your support this year, you've all been great and it's hugely appreciated. I wish you all a very happy new year, have a great night whatever you're doing.