So we are in November – this truly AMAZING. In fact, it has been two full years since I re-launched The Residents. I can’t believe it. Honestly, pinch me!
Over the last two years, I’ve had so many incredible experiences through starting a blog – meeting lots of amazing people, travelling, trying new products and seeing lots of wonderful shows. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself. It hasn't always been fun, or easy, and at times I've seriously considered chucking it all in. What was it that kept me going (besides caffeine and lots of Lily Pebbles videos)?
I thought I’d do a fun wee summary of what I’ve found out about taking life by the horns since blogging took over my life. Here are some of the lessons I've learnt along the way...*
*Stay reading to the end to find out how to win the Summer Kickstart giveaway (you can win one of two of this amazing prize: a set of Ipanema Girl Leggings of your choice from their website [read about Ipanema girl and see some of their styles in previous blog posts here, here and here] plus a one month pass at Hot Yoga For The People - one of the most fabulous Yoga Studios in Wellington! TWO of these prizes are available.)
1. Write the book you want to read – no-one else will do it otherwise!
Girl – this is YOUR LIFE. And if you don’t start something that you love, no one else will do it for you.
Before I started blogging, I’d feel sad that I didn’t get to experience amazing things my creative friends got to do. I'd wound up studying law and was convinced I'd taken the wrong turn in life somewhere. I thought it was because they were lucky and brave that they were going out there and things happened to them.
What I now know is that you just have to START SOMETHING and you can build it right where you are, on top of the skills you already have. You don't need to scrap everything and start again. You can build outward and expand your horizons by starting something new around your day job. What's stopping you? People who are passionate can always manage to find the time (unless you are a Mum - shout out to Mums!) If you don’t start a project, whether it is doomed to fail or not, how can you ever give yourself the chance? SO don’t delay – open that Etsy shop, record that podcast, open that shop. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
2. Consistency is key
I know I might bang on about it, but consistency is so important. Years ago, not long after I began yoga at Yoga For The People (I've been going to for the last 8 years on and off), I asked my teacher how many times I should come a week. Her wise answer was “It doesn’t matter how many times you come – you just need to be able to come consistently – so if its 2 times a week, come two times. Don’t come 6 times one week and then have 3 weeks off.” Ugh. Such sensible-ness. But that lesson stuck with me and is one I employed for blogging.
Consistency is how we evolve. It takes hard work and discipline but is so worth it, as you see yourself grow. Until very recently, when I started to give myself some time to recharge (more below), I posted Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the blog every week – and sometimes Saturdays. To date – I’ve posted over 350 blog posts, 1,150 Instagram posts and 1,859 tweets (okay – twitter took me longer to get into).
Without consistency, people don’t know whether to come back or not. That's why it is the number one thing I recommend to anyone wanting to start a blog or any other project. I’m proud of my consistency but also have had to learn to be kinder to myself. Which leads to…
3. Breaks are okay
If you feel like you suck and work or whatever you do is getting you down, take a break. Breaks are the best way to recharge your creative fuel.
I used to be very bad at this but I am trying to change. I’ve eased the pace off blogging this last month, and instead of beating myself up I’ve been being kind and just shrugging it off. I couldn’t have necessarily done this if I hadn’t been consistent for a long time to start with, but when I was feeling down and lacking in creativity, the only way to cure it was to get offline and do something that took my mind off The Residents. Which leads me to....
4. Exercise is KING (or QUEEN?)
I hate to admit it, but having a routine with exercise wins every time, especially when you have a creative block. I do yoga right now at this studio, Yoga For The People on Tory Street, but I spent most of 2017 not doing any exercise except walking around.
Once my best friend suggested we take up yoga again before her wedding, I realised that only with exercise do my best ideas come out to play. I usually leave class with a great blog post idea, but if I didn’t put my body first, it wouldn’t have come. Yoga For The People is the studio I dig. I love that it is hard work, yet low key. Plus, I’m a fan of holding 26 postures in a room at 37 degrees for 90 minutes. Whatever works for you though - run, jump, walk, swim, cycle - just clear your mind and move your body!
5. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
So many of the amazing collaborations I’ve done have come about because I’ve approached a brand I really like and asked them to work with me. I don’t do it for the free stuff (though it is a perk of the job) – I do it because I love to collaborate with fun and interesting people.
One great example is Ipanema Girl *see that relevant linking going down?*. Originally, I noticed that they’d been following me on social media and liked some Instagram posts. So, after making sure I liked what they did, and their brand fitted with the stuff I put on here, I contacted them and I asked if I could try some of their products. I loved the leggings and tops they sent me so much I’ve been a passionate advocate for the brand ever since. It makes me so happy to work with cool brands - but if you don't tell people who you are, they might never know to ask. It helps make life more interesting when you brave up and just ask the question. You never know what might happen!
So that's my 5 lessons! Thank you so much for sticking with me over the last two years (or if you're new, welcome! To make sure you feel the love, I've gotten busy teaming up with the aforementioned brands to help you Kickstart Summer by getting your butt moving.
HOW TO WIN THE GIVEAWAY
sign up to my mailing list; and/or
follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; and/or
subscribe to The Residents YouTube Channel.
And THEN leave a comment below HERE in the comments section stating your real name, contact email, and your favourite post in the last two years (and platform which you signed up with! You can sign up to as many as you want!)
The more platforms you click to subscribe or follow on, the more likely you are to win!
You can enter as many times as you like! Open until Wednesday 15th November.