19 January 2019

My 2018 review

2018 has whizzed by.
There have been a couple of significant life changes.

We’ve (my partner and I) got our first dog, a beautiful beagle puppy called Inca – we obviously love her to bits.

Meet Inca

I actually started the year in a new job but that lasted 6 weeks as I had a niggle that wasn’t going away. I took the decision to quit my full time job and start freelancing (I still work with this same company occasionally – they’re a great bunch).

With the year over, it’s a good time for me to look back and think about what’s gone well, what’s not gone so well and set some goals for the next year.

What went well?

Work

Freelancing has had its ups and downs in my first year which I’ll write about in detail, but mostly it’s been successful and I’ve learnt a lot. There seems to be work out there for me and it’s encouraging to see that my skills set is valuable. I’ve worked with a couple of agencies this year, most of my time has been spent at Side by Side. With them I’ve worked on some great projects and it’s made me start thinking about design a bit differently.

Fitness

In September I listened to an inspiring podcast by Rich Roll; finding ultra. After nearly dying by drinking and excessive amount of alcohol which lead to obesity, he found happiness in fitness which lead to a complete change of diet and a new lifestyle. Cutting out all meat and dairy he now competes in all sorts of endurance races in a mixture of running, cycling and swimming, on a plant based only diet. I’m into my fitness, mostly running, and was so inspired that I decided to give it a go. Through September I would be plant powered (ok, vegan) to see if it could make a difference. First off, to my health – could I be more alert and reduce my levels of tiredness? After that, could I improve my race results.

I signed up for a local 10km race that I’d ran before in Sheffield and signed up to a half marathon in Brussels.

4 months on, with new PB’s from those 2 events, I’m feeling fit and healthy and I still haven’t touched meat or diary. I haven’t missed it much and I’m doing some good to the environment, so for now I’m going to continue on the quest to be the fittest me that I can be.

Worth a watch/listen:
Rich Roll, finding ultra
What the health
No meat athlete

Other achievements:

  • We got to see some more amazing countries, starting the New Year in Edinburgh for Hogmanay and finished in Munich with a trip to Morocco and Belgium in between.

Me in Morocco


What went badly

Work

I mentioned that this year has flown by which is probably down to the amount of work I’ve been doing. On top of agency work I’ve taken on additional projects which has meant I’ve seen some late evenings and little of my weekends. Of course, that’s fine and something I fully expected in my first year. Now, I’m going to take control of that and make sure I have time for myself, for my partner and the pup, who is very quickly becoming less of a pup.

Photography

Ive not made the time to get out there and take more photos as work has taken over. I’ve got some exiting trips to come this year and I have plans to get out more to take some photos.


Goals

This year my goals are simple but contain some depth.

1. Be less grumpy

I’m not actually that grumpy, it usually shows at the end of the day when I’m working late. This goal consists of a subset of goals which should all provide many positives.

I need to have a better work-life balance. To do that I have to be more selective over the work I choose to take on, which isn’t easy. I must try harder to switch off when not at work – setting office hours whether at an agency, in the office or working from home. I shouldn’t be working at weekend, or at least not every weekend.

I want to meditate. I’m going to do at least 10 minutes a day through January and look to increase it after that if necessary.

These positive changes will encourage me to spend more time doing the things I enjoy with the people I enjoy spending time with.

2. Invest some money

I don’t have loads of money but the amount I have saved only earns between 1-3% interest and that’s a waste. I wish I’d have started saving and investing sooner. It’s something that’s been on my mind for a while so this is the year I’ll be doing my research and reviewing my finances to prepare better for the future.

I will also invest money in myself. I’ll invest in technology (see goal #3!) and learn some new stuff.

3. Take more photos

I love taking photos and enjoy the activities that surrounds it. Getting fresh air in the countryside, going on a long hike, sunrises and sunsets, it’s all very therapeutic (see goal #1!). I live so close to the Peak District and I really don’t have any excuses.

My goal is to set aside 1 working day a month to spend on a photography day.


So that’s it. Already I’m feel positive about the year, I’ve got some challenging races and some amazing holidays to look forward to and I’m mega focused.