I can’t quite believe we’re a month into 2023 already!
I don’t know about you, but unlike previous years, I really enjoyed January. I eased myself into the New Year and found myself relaxed, with a chilled but positive mindset.
If you found yourself bogged down by January (or any other month), I find it helpful to spend some time at the end of the month looking back and reflecting, as I can almost guarantee that it wasn’t all doom and gloom.
I particularly enjoy looking back at my photo reel from the month, as I find that a great way to remind myself of some of the nice things I did throughout the month.
Here’s a look back at what I got up to in January.
Clearing out the old
I love starting a new year (or even a new season) with a good clearout.
Those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll already be aware of my love for the free sharing app Olio. Created to help reduce food waste, you can also give away non-food items. I use Olio a lot to get rid of stuff that is no longer useful to me, but useful to other people in my local community.
Although I’m still sifting through stuff, clearing out old clutter has already freed up a surprising amount of space. And I’m not just talking about physical space. It’s incredible how much de-cluttering can also free up headspace, which in my eyes, is a win-win.
I also downloaded Vinted in January. Vinted is an online marketplace and is a fab way of selling stuff that’s too good to give away to charity or to put on Olio. But be warned – buying on Vinted can be addictive with so many bargains available! Although I love that you can keep the money you make from selling items in your Vinted account to spend on buying other things through the app. If you prefer, you can withdraw the money you earn into your bank account, but I love that it offers some flexibility.
Bringing more colour into my life
When I opened my drawers at the beginning of the month, I felt a sense of doom rising inside me. Over the last few years, I’ve got myself into a deeper and deeper clothes rut, only buying clothes when I had to and venturing in and out of shops as quickly as possible. In doing so, I’d wracked up a pile of clothes that were dull, and when I looked at them in January, they brought me a sense of ‘meh’.
Surprisingly, when I delved deeper into my cupboards, I did find some brighter clothing, so I made it my mission to bring those things to the front of my drawers and to make sure I wore something that wasn’t black or dark blue every day in January. And I honestly think this helped to improve my January mindset. For the rest of this year, I’m on a mission. Not only do I need to drag myself out of this clothes rut, I also want to bring a lot more colour and pattern into my life.
Client Book Launch
Workwise, I went straight from Christmas Market mode (I’m the social media manager for my local Christmas Market) into book launch mode!
One of my fabulous clients launched her first book on 10th January, so much of January was about promoting the book across social media and through email marketing.
It’s given me a great insight into the world of book publishing and all the stuff that goes with it.
This year, I’ve increased my freelance prices as I realised I had massively undersold myself when I set up my business two years ago. But now I have an established business, and armed with lots more experience and knowledge, I felt it was time to start getting paid what I was worth. Increasing prices as a freelancer can be tricky, but thankfully, I managed to keep my clients happy, despite the price increase. Happy days!
I also had some interesting calls with prospective new clients in January, so it will be interesting to see what comes of those initial calls. Watch this space!
Dad’s Birthday Treat
After taking Mum for Afternoon Tea at Fawsley Hall last year, Dad also expressed an interest in going sometime.
As we all get older, it’s harder to know what to buy my parents for their birthdays, but they love an experience, so it was a no-brainer to take my Dad for Afternoon Tea in the lovely surroundings of Fawsley Hall.
It was lovely to spend one to one time with my Dad, as it doesn’t happen very often. We took a trip down memory lane as he reminisced about the travel he used to do with work, stories I couldn’t remember him telling when we were younger, probably because I was too young to understand back then.
Fawsley sure know how to do Afternoon Tea! Even for us gluten-free types, the cakes and sandwiches were delicious.
It was only a flying visit back home this time, but it was great to treat my Dad and to catch up with my mum and brothers for a family meal too.
January was also a month of new experiences.
I attended a Sound Bath (which you can read more about here), tried some new restaurants, and signed up to Borrow my Doggy!
I had been thinking about signing up to Borrow my Doggy for a while, as I know a couple of people through social media who use the scheme.
The concept is quite simple. Dog lovers sign up to the app to help dog owners find someone to give their dogs a little extra care. Whether it’s walking their dogs or dogsitting while their human owners are on holiday, you can choose whatever type of dog and situation works for you. As a borrower, you pay around £12 per year, which covers you for insurance and gives you access to 24-hour emergency vet contacts.
Having lost my cat just over 12 months ago, it feels too soon to go back into the world of being a pet mum. But the thought of looking after others people’s pets was too good to be true. I’ve also always wanted a dog, so I thought signing up to Borrow my Doggy would give me a better insight into dogs and whether I might be ready to be a dog mum in the future.
So far, I’ve met up with two dogs and their humans, and I’ll be starting to walk them regularly this month.
Aside from getting out and meeting these lovely dogs, it’s also been a great way of connecting with people who live nearby.
National Three Peaks Challenge Training
As I write this week’s blog post, there are just under seven months to go until I tackle the 3 Peaks Challenge.
Although Charity Challenge recommends a 16-24 weeks training programme, I thought I would get ahead of schedule and start training in January.
It had been a while since I had been out for what I would call a ‘good walk’, so last weekend, along with my friend Rachael who will also be taking part in the challenge with me, we set off to do a local walk.
Although it was a flat walk, we covered 10 miles which is a great distance considering we only do around 6 miles with our local walking group. My legs held up well, although I developed two blisters on one of my feet. Thankfully they weren’t too deep, and they didn’t develop until we were around eight miles into the walk. I’ve got plenty of time to figure out what’s causing these pinch points and how I can avoid picking them up on longer, hillier walks!
I had a warm footbath when I got home and elevated my legs that evening to aid my recovery. I also gave myself a rest day the following day, which is something I rarely do, but I actually really enjoyed it. And after clocking up over 20,000 steps the previous day, I certainly didn’t feel guilty for not leaving the flat the following day!
If you would like to find out more about this epic challenge, or if you would like to sponsor me, you can find more information here.
That’s all for this week, but if you’re feeling inspired by my ‘Look Back At January’, why not create one of your own, and share a link to it in the comments below for others to read?