Happy New Year!
I hope this post meets you in impeccable health. It’s that time of the year when we take time to reflect on the events of 2018, and 2018 was definitely a year to remember for me.
Oh what a difference a year can make! A year ago, I had spreadsheets full of goal, and I would have beat myself up had I not achieved those goals, but this year taught me patience and how to live with one goal at a time because things may not always go the way I’ve planned and not everything is as it seems. A year ago there was a considerable amount of discontent in my life but now I’m very contented because I’ve realised that I may not have it all figured out but I have all that I need to be happy.
This year I learnt that the big life changes don’t happen overnight and I had to give myself time, put in the necessary effort, keep at it, and let myself be surprised with what could happen. Furthermore, this year taught me lessons in friendship, love, business and mental health. It also taught me about pain and the power of actions over words, and how everything really can change overnight. I learnt that God really comes through when we least expect it. 2018 taught me about self respect and pride/ego, and where the line blurs.
I’m proud to say that I have grown a lot in the past year, with lots of help from the people closest to me and my team (me, myself and I).
P.S: Don’t knock my team because it took a lot of effort to bring myself and I on board. It was just me for a long time there (Doyin, I know I don’t tell you this enough but I love you. I really do)
This might not be the most modest title but here are ten (10) things I rocked at in the past year:
1. I never gave up no matter how hard it got
And things did get hard at one point or the other, from when my business basically collapsed and I had to regroup and figure it all out before going in again to times when I was sure it wasn’t going to work no matter what I did.
2. I travelled
I successfully visited two states in Nigeria, excluding Lagos and Oyo; I intended to visit 6 before my 21st year came to an end, but two is good too, don’t you think. For the coming year, I’ve got a plan- I’ll pick the one place I want to go to the most, then work on what I need to do to make that trip because I’ve come to realise that my focus on too many places is what made my plans suffer from inaction.
3. I kept up the momentum on my bucket list
It was mostly the most mundane things, things that would seem ordinary to other people that made me smile the most this year, but I did some really cool stuff and my bucket list has continued to be a driving motivator with much of what I do. I’m excited that it looks like there will be even more progress made in the coming year because I keep on adding to that list.
4. I made money
Did I make a ton of money this year? Probably not by many standards. The reality is, I did okay for myself this year, which is a pretty great feeling considering there were times when I was sure I wouldn’t. At those times, I was lucky that I surrounded myself with people that believed I could. When I cried and freaked out and almost gave up, they were there for me. They made and still make me feel very blessed.
5. I didn’t compromise (much) on my golden rule
One of the primary reasons this lifestyle chose me is that I love doing more of the things I want to do when I want to do them. So I created a rule that when given the option to do something for fun or otherwise, I would do my best to choose fun. Now you can never always adhere to a goal like this, but overall I almost always chose fun, and the best part is, my work never suffered because of it. I hope this continues in 2019, because boy did I have fun in 2018!!!
6. I accepted the fact that I have a lot to learn
For all the successes I’ve had this year, one of my most profound realisations this year is that I have a lot to learn- and I know that much of my success in 2019 will be as a result of this.
7. I helped others achieve their goals
This is really huge for me. I know how it feels when you create something and you ask yourself, “what if it doesn’t work?” Luckily my friends have never had to find out the answer to that question because I did what I could to help them achieve their goals, be it personal or professional. Over the last few months, I’ve received a lot of good news from my loved ones talking about how their lives have changed and it’s been so exciting to see the progress in all our lives, because when these people are happy I am too. Their happiness has made everything I’ve done up to this point, worth it.
8. I gave up goals
I gave up goals this year just as an experiment. It turns out, I could still accomplish the same kind of things, but I just didn’t plan it out. Instead, I just followed a couple of principles and they worked, without the goals. I was able to do this not because I have accomplished a lot but because I have learned a few things that work, and I have realised that they work, with or without goals. What are these principles, you ask? Just four.
· Start very small.
· Do only one change at a time.
· Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results)
· Be grateful for every step you take
Because of these principles, I say Alhamdulillah every day. It works.
9. I made people happy
10. I created stories
My life has always been like a movie, even if I do say so myself and this year was no different because now that it’s ended I have so many stories, many of which may even seem improbable, but that’s the life that I live.
Most of my “accomplishments” weren’t goals at the beginning of the year. They just happened, organically, as I worked hard to add value to other people’s lives. I discovered that when we add value to other people’s lives, everything else tends to fall into place.
Well there you go. 10 things I’ve rocked at in 2018. What about you? What have you done well in your life and work this year? Let me have it in the comments section so I can celebrate with you.
Also, it won’t be fair if I didn’t make this list so here are six (6) things I’ve sucked at in the past year:
1. I have been a lazy ass
Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. But when you work on your own, from home or anywhere else, you will constantly have to battle yourself. When you don’t have to show up at any certain time or place, it can be all too easy to slack off and get sucked into hours and hours of surfing the net (I made sure however that it wasn’t always fun and games on the internet; I learnt and read a lot online. Made money too) However, if I’m going to take my business to the next level this year, I’m going to have to be more disciplined in all I do.
2. Follow Through
This kind of goes along with #10, but all too often I’ll put something aside, forget to send a message or make a call or let a project go on for weeks longer than it should. I had to learn at times how to be better about following through on projects, be it small or large in a much more timely manner.
3. Branching Out More
This works on so many different levels, personal and career-wise. I did a lot in past years, but I sort of played it safe this year. In the next year however I hope to take a few more chances, exploring things directly related to some of my personal and professional interests and unique projects.
4. Leveraging Facebook
Facebook is at almost ONE BILLION followers. Well as of right now, out of nearly a billion, less than a hundred like “Virago” and “Smallee Writes” combined. Many people have proclaimed that Facebook is their number one source of traffic – for me it’s not even in the top 3. I’ve been hesitant to jump in, but I may find the time to take it more seriously this coming year (if I can stop being a lazy ass)
5. Content Creation
When it comes to this blog, content creation comes easily to me, but when you have an online business such as mine, just about everything you do is related to content creation. More content, more value, more eyeballs, more income. It’s pretty much as simple as that. While I’ve put out a lot of content over the last couple of months, it’s time to up the ante. Discipline will prove extremely important, and I know that if I want to take things to the next level, I need to up not only the amount of content I create (in various forms) but the quality as well.
Until disaster struck (insert many laughing emojis), I didn’t particularly know the power of saving but I learnt the hard way and it’s not something I’ll take for granted this coming year. No, sire, no.
So after going through all of the things I’ve sucked at, you know what I’ve realised? I have some work to do. Luckily, I’m in very good company.
Do you have any confessions of your own? Let me have it in the comments section.
This post wouldn’t be complete without one of my “random facts about me” lists now, would it?
Well, here you go:
1. I’m still very curious. I don’t think it’ll ever change.
2. I spend so much time on things that nobody I know would care about.
3. I will no longer have anybody in my life who doesn’t want me in theirs.
4. I haven’t had to fight with any of my friends in a serious way (be it physically or verbally) in the past year and I plan to keep it that way.
5. I still overreact when there’s no real reason and may not react at all when there’s a real reason to do so.
6. I started my first blog in 2014 and the url is bumstrausse.blogspot.com, if I remember correctly.
7. I’ve learnt better use of social media.
8. I find it extremely difficult to speak my mind sometimes but all that’s about to change, hopefully.
9. I talk too fast when I get excited, or angry.
10. I don’t take as many pictures as I used to, and I really don’t know why.
11. I don’t change my bio often but I make sure that it’s up to date.
12. I value friendship. I really do.
13. I think a lot. Sometimes I overthink. And that’s why I like silence much. Or loud music playing in my earpiece.
14. I was offered a free tattoo earlier this year. I still haven’t taken him up on the offer.
15. I’m not a morning person but weirdly, I like the feeling of being up early in the morning.
16. I’m not mentioning things I’ve never done in this list because until I’m dead, I still might do them.
17. I play too much and I’m the funniest person I know.
18. I can still get along with almost anyone and I think it’s a gift.
19. There are times when I get so engrossed in an activity that eating or sleeping are chores. The activity often involves computers, with our without internet connection.
20. I still love sad songs.
21. I’ve always been able to interact easily with people older than myself.
22. It’s now more than 2050 words but I don’t want to stop writing.
23. I love Thomas Hardy’s poems, especially the Wessex poems.
24. I cringe at some of the things I have done, and laughing at myself comes easily to me.
25. I love making people laugh. I’ll never stop.
26. When I’m tasked with something repetitive or monotonous, I find the most efficient way to complete it, often testing different strategies to speed up the process.
27. I’m dancing to Rudimental & Major Lazer’s Let me Live as I type this.
28. I’m still a Manchester United fan. Always have been, always will be.
29. My guilty pleasure is pimple popping, but I’m trying to stop.
30. I have an endless supply of silly songs and nursery rhymes stored in my memory banks. I often burst into them when someone says something in conversation that reminds me of one.
31. When I listen to some songs, I pretend someone is serenading me. That’s one of the ways I entertain myself.
32. I still like having new experiences, be it good or bad.
33. I embrace my bubble nature and I’m not willing to put my joy in a cage. Never.
34. My mathematic skill set is impressive, even if I say so myself.
35. I think I have a bigger appetite when I’m in love.
36. I’ve learned that it takes more courage to admit to feeling vulnerable (or sad) than it is to deny it, and it feels so much better once you do.
37. I think I have more interests than the average person.
38. My taste in music is eclectic.
39. I love life in every way. I wake up in the morning and I am so happy to see that ray of sunshine peeking through my window. My days aren’t always perfect but they always start out so.
40. I like movies now more than I used to.
41. There are 9 seasons and 208 episodes of How I Met Your Mother and I have seen every single one.
42. I’m more likely to avoid conflict than engage it head-on, unless I think it’s absolutely necessary.
43. I prefer it when people shoot straight with me.
44. I don’t think ignorance is bliss.
45. I prefer calls to texting, but it depends on who’s calling.
46. I don’t think I have any “ideal” first date. As long as there’s junk food or real food and I can talk to the person I’ve gone out with, I’m fine.
47. I mostly tell the truth, but I’ve found that I can also be dishonest when I’m trying to protect my ego. Never again.
48. I don’t usually remember my dreams when I wake up in the morning.
49. If I could pick between infinite money and unending love, I think I’d choose unending love. Yep, still a hopeless romantic.
50. Lastly, I’m still a crybaby.
That’s the overview of the past year, guys. I hope you had as much fun reading as I did writing this.
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