A couple of weeks ago I shared with those that receive my newsletter how I am prone to self-sabotage. It started when I was 16 years old. Six weeks out from trailing for a New Zealand gymnastic team, I 'retired gracefully' from the sport. Since then self-sabotage has played out in various ways in my life.
Over the last couple of years I have seen self-sabotage rear it’s ugly head time and again in my work. Not in my physiotherapy work, but in my inability to commit to writing and blogging.
I build up a website, blog on a regular basis and create a following of people who seem to enjoy my writing. It goes well. That is ... until I decide to burn it all to the ground. I stomp my feet, state I don’t want to do it anymore and delete my website. A couple of months later I start missing the part of me that gets to express myself creatively. At which point I start again.
I’m not sure whether it’s due to a fear of failure or a fear of success. It could be that I don’t have it in me to stick to something long term. Lets be honest, I am the girl that changes jobs every two years. I get bored quickly. If I don’t feel like I’m being challenged I get itchy feet. I want to try something else. But that doesn’t help when you are trying to create something you are proud of.
And that’s exactly what I want to do over the coming year. Commit to creating something I am proud of. To kick self-sabotage’s arse and see what happens if I stick to something. A couple of weeks ago I was at the point where I thought about burning all I had created this year to the ground. But I’m kind of over doing that to be honest. And I’m glad I didn’t.
So over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how I want next year to be. What I want to do more of and what I want to do less of. All mixed in with continuing to live a quiet, simple and slow life. I’ve also been thinking about how best I can share my journey with you. But not just share it. I also want you to come along for the ride.
I also decided I need some accountability to see things through. Which is where you come in!
I’m going to tell you today what I’m going to commit to doing over the next year. I don’t know where the year will take me. To be honest I don’t even know where I want it to take me. But if you don’t start running when the gun goes off, you can’t expect to make it to the finish line. Whatever that finish line may look like.
So here goes.
One of the things I have loved about this year has been my beautiful community on Instagram. My following isn’t big, but I love knowing that when I post the same people are there liking and commenting. It has meant a lot and all my community feel like friends. So I am going to commit to being a better Instagram friend. It's the place where I want you to get to know me a little better, and I want to get to know you. I don’t want Instagram to be an app on a screen that I mindlessly scroll through. Instead I am going to commit to giving each photo and piece of writing the justice it deserves. I’m not on Instagram to gain followers. I'm there to make friends. I also want people to know I care about what they have to say and what’s going on in their life … beautiful photo or ugly photo! So if you're on Instagram too and you want to hang out, you can find me here.
I have also restarted a Facebook page called Quietly Living Life. I thought about this for a very long time as Facebook isn’t my favourite place to hang out. But I wanted a place I could share simple living articles and podcasts … and this seemed the best platform to do it on. I’m also going to start sharing a weekly, practical tip to help you find more time in your day. So if you’re on Facebook, and you want to pop over and follow along, you can find me here.
The second thing I’m going to commit to is writing a fortnightly blog post. What started out as a personal blog has morphed into writing about slowing down and finding time. I’ve realised this is what I’m most passionate about. Helping people create more time in their day for the things they enjoy. Not the things they think they should be doing. Or what they have said yes to! So this little space is going to be for those wanting to live a more slow, simple and quiet life.
I’ve decided to only blog once a fortnight for a couple reasons. The main reason is that I only want to commit to doing what I know I can get done without stressing myself out. While most weeks over the past year I have found the time to get a blog post written, there are some weeks I haven’t. On those weeks I haven’t written the impending blog post hangs over me like a dark cloud. And that’s not how I want to feel.
The other reason is that I want to do more writing outside of my own blog posts. I want to write for other publications and I want to begin writing a book. I also have another couple of projects up my sleeve, and I know I won’t time for them if I’m blogging on a weekly basis. It’s as simple as that. It’s also about practicing what I preach.
The last thing I am going to commit to over the next year is my newsletter. This is the most important commitment for me to hold myself accountable to. The fact people want me to write to them, and the fact they let me into their precious inbox each week, means so much. My newsletter subscribers are my VIPs, or my Very Important People. They are the ones I want to give most of my time to. I appreciate the support they give me by letting me take up a little bit of their time each week.
My newsletter has always been the place where I share more of myself than anywhere else. It’s the place where I write in real time. It’s where I share what’s going on in my life, the questions I’m asking and what I’m struggling with. It’s where I share the lessons I’m learning and any little nuggets of wisdom (or lack of as the case may be!).
Over the next year I’ve decided to keep writing my newsletter on a weekly basis. I’ve thought long and hard about how I can provide the most value to those that receive it. And I’ve thought long and hard about how I want it to feel when it’s read.
My main hope is that it will feel like a letter from me to you (if I could send it by snail mail I would!). I’m also going to go against all the advice and start sending it on a Sunday (apparently it’s a terrible day of the week send a newsletter!).
So why Sunday? Because this is when I would sit down and write to a friend. And it’s the day of the week I’d love to receive and read a letter from someone close to me. I also want you to feel like you're sitting down to read the Sunday paper, so it will be filled with lots of value for you.
I’m going to keep writing about all the things I talked about above. But I’m also going to start sharing more. I want you to know about the great article I read. I want you to know about the fantastic podcast interview I listened to. I want you to try the simple recipe I made during the week. And I want to tell you about the amazing book I’m reading. Basically, anything I love I want you to know about it too. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, and you’d like to receive a letter from me each week, all you need to do is click here. But if not, that’s completely fine too!
There’s also one other thing I’m going to commit to ... and that’s slowing down and simplifying my life even more than I have this year. Since leading a quieter life this year I have felt less anxious and my mind has been less cluttered. I’ve still been busy but I’ve not once felt overwhelmed. In fact I’ve achieved more this year than I ever have before. But at the same time I’ve had more time and space for myself.
I've thought long and hard about how I’m going to simplify my life and slow things down even more. If you know me well you know I believe in small changes over time. That it's the small, consistent actions we take that create the biggest change.
Which is why next year I’m going to try something new each month to help me find more time, energy and quiet in my days. Kind of like a monthly experiment to slow things down. Some may work. Others may not. If you want to try them with me I will be sharing all my little experiments in my newsletter and on social media as well.
So … that’s what I am going to commit to over the coming year. Like I said, I have no expectations for next year. All I want is for us all to slow down, stop being so busy and have more time in our lives for the things we enjoy. I want that for me and I want it for you too. And the best way I can help you do that is take you on the journey with me by sharing all I’m learning along the way.