continued story from the previous blog (The build up to Delivering Baba in a Global Pandemic)
So we are pretty new to this blogging life, having recently launched our business and built our own WordPress website we are now looking how to increase traffic and build SEO.
WordPress offer some great training platforms so we have just taken on the WordPress Branding and Growth course to gain tips on how to create perfect blog writing and we have decided to share the journey with you…we hope to find some like minded people along the way, whilst learning.
Day 1 – we have set ourselves 3 goals on what we hope to achieve from this course
- Gain 10 followers a month for the first 3 months and then look to increase
- Publish a new blog 3 times a week
- Allocate 1 hour a week to visiting our followers blogs, reading and commenting for the next 3 months (to learn what impacts this has with the foreseeable to continue this and increase if it gives the results we need)
Why do we need to set ourselves goals?
Firstly and foremost it enables you to have focus and work towards achieving them.
Have you thought about the old cliche question “where do you see yourself in 5 years times?” It’s a typical interview question or ice breaker when you are getting to know new people and we are not sure that, that many people have an answer. I mean who asks themselves this, it’s an on the spot response of what you think you would like to be doing in 5 years times but not really mapped out and broken down to help you get there by goals.
We can’t speak for everyone we’re sure there are people out there that do ask themselves this regularly and do set goals and work to the parameters to achieve them but we guess if you are reading this blog you currently don’t but would like to start moving in that direction?! Great news as we are in that boat too and already feel more focused on our plan by writing this blog!
We have definitely approached life with a decide along the way kind of attitude, “the conveyor belt of life”, roll with it, whatever the next expected thing of us is we will do it without a plan!
All that said we completely appreciate the importance of setting goals, especially when it comes to business and starting out with the desire to achieve great things.
So tell us, Have you thought about what you want to be doing in 5 years time?
Are you clear of your main objectives right now?
Do you have a daily plan of what you want to try and achieve by the end of each day?
It is important to map out goals in order to succeed, without them you can easily lose direction and lack any focus.
Once you have set your goals, you have something to benchmark yourself against so you can determine if you are succeeding. So take some time out to set your goals and if you want to share them with us, in the comments below or in your own blog and put a link below so we can pop over and read them. We look forward to reading your goals and sharing tips from this course along the way.
We are (ok, I…!) am my own worst enemy sometimes!
I have so much drive, so many ideas and so much energy that often I don’t know where to start first, where to focus my time, how to priortise all the ideas in order of importance. I often find myself doing something, thinking I should be doing another and thinking of 2 or 3 more things I could do, that I jump over and make a start on that because I get excited!!
I always tell myself that it is just my personality and I should be able to do everything quickly. Being the creative one my mind is on overdrive a lot of the time!
Don’t get me wrong I’m not unorganised, or chaotic – ok I do refer to my desk as organised chaos! I know where everything is and why I have kept the things that I have! I know what needs doing next and make a good job of it as I always give everything I do 110%. My problem is I’m not very good at prioritizing what’s most important first, what is going to benefit us more if I do that quicker than the other! I just want to do everything now and fast! I want everything to be a success now! I want more for us, I want to do better! Constant pressure on myself to achieve… there’s nothing wrong with that either so don’t be afraid to push yourselves but what you have to remember is you can’t have success in everything overnight! You CAN’T eat a whole elephant you HAVE to eat in bite size chunks. If I remind myself of this often then I find I’m not putting pressure on myself as much and can see small chunks will make big progress over time! I just have to be patient!!
Fortunately for me, that’s where hubby comes in! He sees everything much more clearer than me – knows how to get from A to B in a straight line not via point C, F, H and Z! So I always discuss my ideas with him and then we work together to make a plan and break down the points into bitesize pieces.
It’s funny isn’t it – being in my head life is so different to how another person sees something and there I am trying to eat a whole elephant – spinning 50 plates and hoping none of them drop – funny thing is I do seem to do it quite well (I always get complimented for it!) but my head doesn’t cope with it very well and the reality is I am putting the unachievable on myself!
The one thing that is on my desk putting some of this chaos into order in our weekly planner it is like our bible and everything we need to do, new ideas we think of, daily routines, people to call are all added on here. Along with what baba had to eat so I can track any allergies as we are working our way through the weaning journey and navigating life as a working mama!
I must let you know that all our stationery products are made from recycled papers.
Oh and if you want to get your hands on one of our character art wall arts then pop over to our Etsy store to order a personalised piece for your babies nurseries or kids bedroom https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/859748665/nursery-wall-art-o-rainbow-animal-wall?ref=shop_home_active_5
So does any of this sound familiar?! Do you have the same problem?
How do you manage your workload and ideas? Are you a whole elephant or bite size pieces?
Please share your stories and any tips with us below!
So in August 2019 we found out we were expecting a baby, our life was turned upside down and the excitement we felt was amazing! We’d waited a long time to have a baby and now the time was approaching. Our due date was May 2020 and back in August, September, October, November, December, even January when I was sat on the sofa with my sister in law and heard the news about this virus in Wuhan, China.
I was sat knitting a mustard yellow cardigan in readiness for baba’s (we had found out in Dec we was expecting a girl) arrival when the news came on and as we sat and listened I was concerned about parcels arriving to the office from China needed decontaminating but I wasn’t in a million years expecting it to spread like it has. There was definitely no way I saw isolating ourselves as the future upon us!
Moving forward from Jan the weeks continued, working in the office, meetings continued, trips to London (antibac in hand!) took place and the more the time past, the news got worse of the events in China, the spread of the virus getting worse, the more nervous I got about going to work, touching things and not only was I already getting more and more nervous about driving; being heavily pregnant and feeling baby moving around so much inside – it was starting to become more and more real.
March 16th came and the government announced pregnant women along with the elderly needed to go home and isolate! I worked from home for a month before mat leave began, as did hubby. I must admit I felt very scared, on edge about anything we came in contact with – food bags, post, parcels etc. but we took caution and continued to stay safe and think the time would pass quickly and we would soon be back to ‘normal’.
Reality however, started to kick in and as our due date got closer and all our midwife appointments became solo visits for me, midwifes in full PPE. We didn’t have to wear a mask at this point, so I didn’t but something made me feel on edge! I use to stand in the waiting room, not daring to touch anything, feeling anxious in the waiting room the whole time of someone else coming in, coming near me! It was such a bizarre feeling and so sad to be spending what should have been the most exciting time of our pregnancy, feeling so anxious and worried.
I bombarded my midwife with questions of panic everytime I saw her, wondering if/how we would get through the delivery of baba safely with possible COVID ‘in’ the hospital, would hubby be allowed with me… all these fears and panics that I shouldn’t have to even consider in a pre covid world!
Again I had to start to accept that nothing was going to change anytime soon, despite the fact I kept telling myself things will be better soon, watching others still continue to live a usual life while I couped up back at home only going out for those appointments and trying to stay safe. All I could think about was going into hospital and getting out safe with baba and would hubby be able to deliver baba with me? How could I possibly do this on my own, I need him with me, he has to be with me, it’s only fair…. my mind as on over drive and there was definitely no off switch!
The news got worse and worse and the cases were rising, the lockdown took place and most people seemed to be taking it seriously. If you went out for a walk it was really quiet, the roads were quiet, life felt different. Thankfully the weather was gorgeous in April and May so I spent a lot of time in the garden chilling, sunbathing, knitting, talking to baby, eating orange lollipops! In the last 2 weeks I started reading a hypnobirthing book mainly to try and calm my nerves. I had always thought I didn’t want to know anything about the birth, what would happen would happen and we would just go with it. However the nerves were kicking in more and more that hubby might not be with me and I need to have some awareness, the ability to know what might be coming and how to act to control my anxieties.
Our due date came and past, no signs. I kept reading the book and practising my breathing! It was working, I was listening to a lot of reggae music, reminiscing of our Caribbean holidays and feeling chilled out!
My phone was getting inundated with messages! Note to self don’t tell anyone your real due date!
I was booked in for a sweep which didn’t cause any ‘signs’ to start and as 2 weeks was beginning to pass quickly I was booked in for an induction! Hey ho, I had no way of controlling it now…
Mind of matter I was getting more uncomfortable and baby needed to come out so I had to suck it up and face the fact I was potentially deliver our baby alone. The more the news developed, the rule was that partners weren’t allowed into the hospital until the woman was in established labour. Facing the inevitable induction I was going to be alone for the first part and I was absolutely p**ing it! BUT, what could I do!
Those last few days passed and still no signs so bags packed and to the hospital we went. Hubby dropped me off and in I went, with the biggest deep breath I have ever taken!
I just talked to baba and tried to calm myself the whole time.. I won’t go into the induction details but Covid test was taken and induction took place. Another lady joined the ward in the same situation so I found myself chatting to her to distract my nerves more than anything! THEN, the best thing ever, the midwife came to see me and ask if I wanted to go home (I mean a few hours passed, hubby had stayed in the car park for a bit but then drove home waiting to hear from me to say I was in further labour) they let me go home as I was a low risk pregnancy!
I snapped her hand off, I hadn’t even contemplated it being an option. Hubby picked me up and home we went! It was around 7pm. We was in bed soon after and I managed to get to sleep quite quickly. It was 8:30am when I woke up to strong period pains – all this time I had spent wondering what it would feel like and now I finally knew!
The plan for me now was to stay at home as long as possible (ideally until in established labour) so as the contractions began I went into hypnobirthing breathing mode….
If there is one thing we have learnt over the many years of working then that is to ‘believe in yourself’.
We are big believers in praising people, making them feel good about themselves and their achievements. Why? Because that empowers them to do more, do better and push themselves to the highest ability and ultimately get job satisfaction.
That’s how I manage my team and encourage them if they are feeling demotivated. Praise them when they have done well and guess what – more often than not they pick themselves up and motor on, leaving the office with a smile and come back the next day to strike again!
Sometimes you don’t get that encouragement from those around you so you have to dig deep and praise yourself. If you believe in yourself then you will be driven, focused and able to achieve more. It goes without saying the harder we are on ourselves for not achieving something, or doing badly at something the more deflated you feel. While we find ourselves with a lot of time on our hands it is important to give yourself daily tasks and praise yourself for doing it. Even if it is getting out of your pjs, going for a walk, cooking a meal.. don’t sit at home feeling sorry for yourself as it is a downward spiral.
I am speaking from experience as many years ago I suffered from severe anxiety and the more I allowed myself to mope around the worse it got. Mental health (if you can spare any donations to this great charity please pop over and donate what you can) is spoken about on a daily basis at the moment and I can totally sympathise with people who are feeling down, lonely and isolated during these difficult COVID-19 times. It is important if you are struggling that you speak out to someone and tell them you need support. It is easy for me to sit here and type and say focus on the good but that is what you need to do. Think positive and you will be positive, the day will seem easier, your mood will be better. Go for a walk and look up at the sky not down at the floor and you will feel different. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it is easy to just move on and feel better but you have to start with you, you have to focus your mind and believe in yourself. So I task you with this, grab a paper and pen or open notes app on your mobile and jot down a couple of things that make you feel happy. It might be something you have achieved in the past that made you proud, a holiday you have been on, or a recent walk, a special memory with friends or family. You may have a few things that bring back happy memories, more positive feelings than those you are feeling today. So jot them down and then jot down a couple of things that you want to do that will give you the same feeling… something to look forward to, something that you can go and do tomorrow or at the weekend. Refer back to this list every time you have a down moment and remind yourself of happy times and that something that you are going to go and do soon. Please hold on to the fact we will have that life back soon enough, but if you need to talk make sure you reach out to someone and ask them for their help.
In the meantime set yourself some small goals like we said in our previous blog and pat yourself on the back for doing something good each day. It doesn’t have to be a big thing but it will make you feel motivated to do something else the next day and give you a focus.
We all miss our friends and families and socialising as we use to but it is important that you see the positive in this situation and take time out for you (and your family) and take it as an opportunity to recharge your batteries, find a new hobby, or like us start a new business!
I always say only you will look out for number 1 (you) so start today and believe in yourself you can achieve amazing things if you let yourself!
I look forward to hearing what goals you set yourself, leave a comment below!