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Looking back over 2019, so much has gone down! That’s why it’s really important to keep a journal or a notebook or your dayplanner so you can look back and be pleasantly surprised at all the stuff that happened. I had already forgotten some of the things I’ve done this year to move See Heather Smile forward.
2019 was a big growing year for the blog and for my confidence in my purpose and my brand. (Isn’t it such a shame it took me three years to get it together??) I spent a lot of time on educating myself and on solidifying my workflows and schedules.
Another thing that was new to 2019 (although it kind of dropped off halfway through the year was intention setting.
Ever since I started working through Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook a couple years ago, I’ve always set a word intention for the year. (Seriously go click on that link!) My word for 2019 was Brave. But I’ve been throwing around the phrase “Baby Steps, Always” a lot, too.
For Christmas 2018, my sister gave me the Being Boss book by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson. I WHIPPED through that book and all the work sheets inside. It sparked a fire inside me! I was ready to take on 2019 and move SHS forward!
Being Boss talked about setting yearly, quarterly, monthly, and daily intentions. I didn’t opt for daily intentions, but introduced monthly and quarterly ones.
So, to finally get us into the 2019 year in review:
January was the month I launched my first free opt-in! Yes, the 5 Things You Need to Live a More Positive Life free email course was born January 2019. What a great way to start off a year of growth for the blog!
Update: I’ve since deleted this course. It’ll be made available through other freebies I offer in the future! Things sure change fast around here! Instead, I’ll just slip a different freebie here for ya!
I also received a Skillshare membership for Christmas (my family is so supportive!) and I spent January learning about SEO on it.
February’s monthly intention was Breathe. It was the month I first experimented with a version of affiliate marketing – remember when I started talking about my YXE sweater by Marquee Noir? You can still get a 15% discount with the code SHSnoir if you’re interested! Just click here!
I also spent some more time on Skillshare learning about Google Analytics. I’ve had Google Analytics for my blog since the beginning, but had never bothered to learn how to figure out what all the data it was collecting meant!
The intention for March was Happy. This is the month I learned how to use Canva which was a HUGE GAME CHANGER. See my cool title images for these blog posts? Or my Pins? The quotes on IG Stories? My new opt-ins! That’s all Canva.
March was also spent editing either my first or second draft of my novel. This would mark the farthest I’ve ever gone with my writing dreams.
The intention for April was Slow. That’s because it’s a hugely busy month as a dance instructor. Despite the busyness at work, I managed to finish editing my novel and I started learning more about Pinterest.
May’s intention was Reflection. Here’s where the year gets interesting! Within a couple weeks, the S.O. had a job interview, got the job, and moved to a different city for said job. I had a decision ahead of me – do I wait out his time in other city, or do I move with the understanding we’ll probably be there a while?
Meanwhile! I joined hope*writers (remember all my posts and emails during their sign-up period this October?) which was a big and scary investment in myself and my writing. I also signed up for a writing course which included one-on-one coaching with Australian author P.S. Malcolm and had some AMAZING conversations with her! I learned so much about publishing and launching and marketing from her.
I also listened to this episode of the Jenna Kutcher podcast featuring Kate Northrup who specialized in (sorry if this is TMI, but I’m of the opinion it shouldn’t be) period health. Cue second GAME CHANGER of the year because she talked about how women’s productivity changes during different parts of their cycle! Go listen to that podcast here.
I frantically wrote down everything I learned from that one podcast episode and used it to schedule a month-long workflow:
- Week 1 – brainstorm and scheduling
- Week 2 – creation
- Week 3 – finishing touches and details
- Week 4 – research and analysis
I’ve been working in this way since May and it has been huge for me!
By the time June rolled around, I started just focusing on the phrase Baby Steps, Always. I was solidifying my workflows and creating firmer schedules around Instagram and Facebook. I did some freelance choreography. I had decided to move cities to be with the S.O. and was considering freelance writing. I finished working at my regular jobs in my current city. Change was coming.
One of my goals for 2019 was to create a product for See Heather Smile, so July was the month I finally decided to tackle that goal. I started brainstorming eBook ideas and the Self-Care Workbook was born! I was also spending as much time as possible learning what I could from the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit 2018. And I sent my novel to beta readers for the first time!! Baby steps, always.
August was a month of driving between the S.O. and one more freelance choreography gig. I also got feedback from my beta readers that didn’t crush my soul so I was ready for the next round of edits!
September is when I really moved to the new city to be with the S.O. and I started working (mostly full-time) on the blog. Writing that down has me a little bummed out because I feel like I should be showing more results for that…
But because I was working predominantly on the blog and my novel, I started telling people that I was a writer and that I was trying to monetize my blog. This is important because when you vocalize things, it gets stuck in people’s heads and the next time an opportunity pops up, they might think of you. I’m still not very good at explaining my career goals to people (especially to older generations) which is something I need to work on.
October. My first attempt at email marketing. Purchase Genius Blogger’s Toolkit 2019. My friends get married. Plugging along. Baby steps, always.
November opened with the S.O. asking me to marry him and changing his status on SHS to fiancé! I kind of kept that one to my personal accounts so if this is your first time hearing it, that’s okay!
In terms of writing, I sent the fourth draft of my novel for a manuscript evaluation and received a ton of great feedback on it! Editing draft 5 will be happening in the new year!
I had another freelance choreography job in November and I finished drafting the Self-Care Workbook. The large task of editing and formatting the eBook began.
December has been spent continuing my education both as a blogger, writer, and fitness instructor (oh yeah, I do that, too!) and editing The Self-Care Workbook.
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Top posts of 2019:
My favourite posts of 2019:
- What is Positive Living?
- Is Reading Fiction a Waste of Time?
- Tips for Choreographing a Musical
- The Difference Between Choreographing for Dancers and Choirs
- Is a Humanities Degree Worthless?
2019 was a bit of a wild ride, but the good kind. It’s been a year of change and opportunity. And it has me looking forward to a great 2020!
Goals for 2020:
- Launch The Self-Care Workbook ebook!
- Final edits to my novel, then find an agent or publisher!
- Create a product for the dancers/choreographers out there!
Feel free to tell me about your 2019! And if you want to do some solid reflection for the past year and intention setting for the next, download Sussanah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook. It’s free and it’s so wonderful!
Enjoy the journey.