My 2018 – how was yours?

I have been seeing and listening to lots of recommendations on how to plan 2019. Whilst I am keen to do this and think it is a super valuable exercise I am not ready! 

I need to take a moment to reflect on this year first, to savour the sweetness and general lack of drama. To be grateful for the opportunities I have had and the journeys I have completed and those I have only just started. 

At the end of 2017 how did I imagine 2018?

Differently! I am new to this planning the year idea – I certainly didn’t have a plan for 2018.

At the end of 2017 I had finished my maternity leave and the company I was working for sold the beauty business so whilst there were opportunities to stay I decided I didn’t want to because it didn’t fit with where I wanted to go…ok so I wasn’t sure where I was going but I didn’t like the options there.

And deep down I knew I wanted to start my own business – at the time I had no idea what that would be but it had been something I had wanted to do for years – always bouncing different ideas around but never having enough conviction in them to follow them through.

2018 – at home

At home it has been a good year – the little one has grown up from barely being able to sit up to running, climbing and talking. I know anyone who has spent lots of time with children will know this but it is so incredible how quickly they change. The speed they are learning puts us adults to shame! However it does inspire me to keep trying new things – seeing that determined little face as she tires to click the clips together or open a zipper – there is no giving up here!

What have been the major moments – honestly I don’t think I can pin point them, her first steps were not as simple as wow she can walk it is all a process and slowly but surely it happens – this is such a metaphor for my business as well. I am in a rush to get everything to happen and not satisfied with where I am at but then doing exercises like this really help to reflect and realise how much I’ve learnt and how far I have come.

I have managed to go the gym regularly about twice a week all year – now as I write this I am thinking wow that is an achievement!

I didn’t place much emphasis on getting back into shape post baby – I didn’t want to worry about it and consequently it has taken time but it has happened. I certainly never thought I would be dead lifting ever and now I am…ok not very heavy but I enjoy it – couldn’t have planned for that!

2018 – my work

I don’t know about you but in different areas of my life I have very different confidence levels. Not even areas, more situations – when it comes to moving somewhere or learning a language I am very confident – I just believe it will be fine, I guess I have done it enough times but putting my life on Instagram for everyone to see, pressing send on this post and starting my own business has been really challenging. 

I am afraid I am going in the wrong direction or it won’t be successful or it will take too long, worried about the opportunity cost of my adventure and wanting to be a good role model for the little one. All these things I can rationalise and tell myself – life is not all about money or career progression, there is no such thing as getting left behind, that being flexible and being able to decide your own schedule will ultimately make me happy but these doubts still go through my head too often…

I started this blog at the beginning of February and I have written 46 posts (plus a few guest posts) – 80,000 words (!!!) since then – some popular, some not so much – I would like to say I have a formula but I don’t. I have committed to writing one a week – it doesn’t sound like a lot but they can take a lot of time to research and plan. Because I didn’t set out goals in advance I could be disappointed with this – my default is dissatisfaction with my own work. But I am not going to be disappointed – this has been a journey – I had no idea how to build a website, write a post, add pictures, use Instagram stories – I remember those early days of pulling my hair out in frustration, my first post took days to write but now that bit is the easy bit!

I have to remind myself now often as I am pulling my hair out trying to do something new – it is just part of the process and it takes forever…so much longer than you anticipate but once you know how to do something it will be easy and you will move to the next thing and if you are like me you will forget it was ever difficult!

In about September I decided that there was a real opportunity to start a consultancy to help clean beauty brands come into Asia. And I feel that I have not got very far with that yet but there is a need and an opportunity and I have a better Idea who I want to position myself and what I can do to help these brands. it is firmly on the 2019 plan!

Another thing I did this year was volunteer on the TedxTinHauwomen committee – it was quite the experience. A lot of very passionate, energetic women coming together to create an event that really celebrates the accomplishments of women in Hong Kong. The ladies who run it – Stefanie Myers and Jen Flowers are quite incredible – they directed and steered the committee and the end result was a fabulous event – if you want to hear more from them on their mission listen to Regina’s podcast with them on hashtagimpact episode 27. I have wanted to do more volunteering for a while but had a few experiences where I didn’t feel useful which put me off – I am looking forward to making the time for more volunteering in 2019 because paraphrasing the words of one of the wonderful TedxTinHauwomen speakers Joyce Samoutou Wong – giving is what we were meant to do – it makes us feel good.

Feeling grateful

Sitting here today I am feeling very grateful, this is not to say I am satisfied with where I am at in all areas of my life by any means but taking a moment to sit back and think about 2018 (not yet over!) but I have truly had a good year. 

And no matter what 2019 brings I am ready face it with positivity and determination knowing there will be ups and downs but trying hard to enjoy the ride. 

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