I decided to take a look back at my new years resolutions from a year ago and to review how I performed against them, before deciding what I want to tackle in 2017. Have a read of my results below:
1) Reach 30,000 followers on Twitter – I only just reached 20,000 29 days ago, however I want to set an ambitious target, as this will help push myself to stay motivated and focused.
Well, I didn’t get anywhere near this figure, hitting 23,600 followers, however I did get my Twitter account verified, which was a huge deal for myself. That 30,000 figure is bugging me though, so I might make this a new target.
2) Visit at least 3 countries – with 2015 being such a quiet year, it means I will start 2016 with some money in the bank account. I want to visit 5 countries next year, but I will set a minimum of 3.
I visited Budapest twice, as well as going to Jersey, Spain and the Netherlands. That was five holidays in four different destinations, so I’m pretty happy with this. My holiday resorts were heavily influenced by stag do’s, however next year will be the big 30, therefore I have plans to visit Asia and have a massive one.
3) 5 Newspaper Mentions – I have been mentioned in the Guardian and the Daily Mail over the past 12 months, as well as many other publications, but I want to step this up and start becoming a recognised figure in the industry.
I stepped up my game in being featured throughout. I became a regular Huffington Post writer, while I was also featured in Social Media Week, Cosmopolitan, the Telegraph, Virgin, Mashable, AOL, Brobible, Unilad, Yahoo, Daily Mail, Fast Company, Irish Post, Buzzfeed, Marie Claire, CIPD, Saga, MSN, the Guardian and plenty more. I wouldn’t say I was a ‘recognised figure in the industry’ however, therefore this will have to build into next years plans.
4) Speak at a conference – I used to do a fair amount of public speaking, but I cut back and I think my confidence has disappeared a bit. I want to get back on it and achieve something truly amazing this year.
I’m ashamed to say I didn’t do a single conference talk. I was offered a couple, however my nerves beat me and I refused the offers, something I’m annoyed at myself for.
5) I want to reach a minimum of 3,000 followers on both Pinterest and Instagram. I haven’t focused enough on these platforms, yet the potential is huge, so I don’t want to ignore them anymore.
Ummm, yeeer, this one slightly slipped me by. At the end of the day, there is always going to be something that you fall short on and I don’t see Pinterest lasting for too much longer, therefore I didn’t bother putting my time into this platform. I should however have put a bit more effort into Instagram as other bloggers are gaining quite a lot of popularity through their following on the platform.
6) Become an affiliate expert – Beyond the world of travel blogging, I also work in digital marketing. I have set my eyes on building my client a complete affiliate network, however this is a completely new ground, therefore I want to see a complete transformation throughout the next 12 months.
Well, I built the affiliate network up, but it wasn’t hugely profitable. It was a big learning curve, however it might not be an area I will be focusing on in 2017, simply as it drains too much time and I should be using it elsewhere.
7) Meet a girl and settle down – Cheesy one that I HOPE nobody honestly reads, but I have been in on-and-off relationships for the past 3 years and do miss being in a proper one. I’m going to push myself to go on dates when possible and not make excuses.
Lets keep this one quiet.
8) Traffic transformation – My site received a ridiculous amount of traffic in 2014, however around September time I saw a dip, which I didn’t manage to rectify till around 13 months later. I want to bring myself back to the levels of the past. It won’t be easy, as the landscape has changed and there are many more competitors, however I am completely capable of achieving this.
I am currently performing 29% up on last year, with this being achieved at a decent time as we enter January, the most busy period for the travel industry. Approximately 25% of the entire years traffic will be received in this single month, as everyone goes crazy on holiday booking mode. I’ve not built my site to sell holidays, it is here to help offer advice on people looking for somewhere to go, so I’ll try to make sure everything is spot on for the next month.
9) Hoop Marketing – I have setup a marketing blog, on the aim of being a vlogger, however everytime I sit down to record a video, I back out. I think it is about time I manned up and made those videos!
This one fell apart, however this is due to the partner in crime giving up and not contributing, therefore I can leave this one to the side without any guilt. It did however seem like a waste of time building the site and creating all that content, to have the other person not put in any effort, but I guess I learned to be careful who I go into business with.
10) Hoop Conference – I originally made Hoop Marketing to be a conference held in Brighton on a quarterly basis, but there has been no movement in the past 3 months. 2016 will be the year it starts.
This idea evolved into TakeItOffline, the digital marketing roundtable I run with Andy, Gerry, Tristam and Kerry. We had our first event in November and it went amazingly well, with sponsorship! We will be running the next one in less than a month, as it has become a bi-monthly pub meetup.
11) Saxophone – During 2013/14 I was playing the saxophone quite a bit, but then I stopped all the way up till the end of 2015. I haven’t properly started yet, but I want to get back in the pattern of playing at least once a week and hopefully finding myself a teacher.
Oh yeah, that’s what that metalic thing is in the corner of my room. Ha, completely forgot about that. You wouldn’t guess I have ADHD. Yer I might give that thing a try at some point in the future, but I’m not kidding myself anymore, those dreams of becoming a famous musician are long gone.
12) Lecture – I have been given the opportunity to lecture at Brighton University and I want to jump at this chance as I feel it will give me the confidence to push myself much further.
They unfortunately had to cancel a few weeks beforehand, therefore I never got to run a lecture for the marketing students, however I figure another opportunity should come up some point soon.
13) Gym – I have been addicted to the gym for years, but just like everything else, it is meaningless without targets. I want to deadlift 200kg once, squat 150kg once and bench press 40kg dumbbells 5 times. Beyond this, I just want to stay committed and consistent.
Well, I didn’t get anywhere near those figures, but when I looked at a picture of my in the summer, I pretty much got to the size I always wanted to get to. I was the skinniest class in every room, so to get to the size I did was enough of an achievement to leave a smile on my face. I have however fallen off course in the past couple of months, due to Lee moving to London and me needing a new training partner, but January is a new month and a new year.
So after reading through last years plans and having a deep thought (as well as about 5 coffee’s), I’ve written up some New Years resolutions below:
- Weight train 4 days per week throughout the year, as well as including cardio sessions such as spin or body pump to see how cut I can get, before test levels drop at 30…Oh god I don’t want to get old.
- Be featured in over 10 BIG publications
- Speak at a conference
- Take a press trip somewhere fun
- Keep TIO going throughout the whole year, expanding it to become a big event on SEO’s calendar
- Increase Spaghetti Traveller organic traffic by 20% Y-o-Y
- Increase Suit Your Look organic traffic to achieve an average of 5,000 per month
- Visit Asia for 2 weeks for my 30th birthday
- No bullshit, it is time to become a vlogger. Try to produce video content at least once per week
- Meet a girl and settle down…Don’t judge me
- Increase Twitter following to 30,000, might as well aim high again