I wanted this blog post to be a little more personal and not your usual tips and advise type list. Seeing how we’re heading into the Christmas holidays, a lot of you will be busy with family and celebrating. So I see this is as the perfect opportunity to share with you my year in review and goal setting for the coming year.
Over the last couple of weeks, my YouTube subscription feed videos and email inbox have been about preparing for 2019. It’s really gotten me into the mindset of planning and growth.
Some of my favorite year in review and goal setting videos you should check out are:
- How to Set Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 2019 from Erin May Henry
- Pre-Planning for 2019: End of Year Recap from Rowena Tsai
- 10 Things to do to Start your Side Hustle in 2019 – New Years Resolution Ideas from Muchelleb
- 8 Habits to Break in 2019 from Rachel-Lee
- 2019 Goals & Theme | Plan With Me New Year’s Resolutions from Lavendaire
Before I share with you my goals for 2019, I want to do a year in review. Hal Elrod actually recommends this in his book Miracle Morning as a way to combat the negative self-talk that we haven’t accomplished enough. We’re always going to have those thoughts unless we reframe them. Elrod suggests keeping a daily journal and reviewing them at the end of each year. By doing so you will see that you’ve actually accomplished quite a lot in the 365 days.
While I haven’t kept a daily journal I do agree that I’ve accomplished a lot this year.
2018 – A YEAR IN REVIEW
Mental health relapse
At the beginning of this year, my anxiety symptoms and depression recurred. It increased to the point that it affected my quality of life. It’s not necessarily an accomplishment BUT I feel like I need to mention it for context. If it wasn’t for this personal crisis I wouldn’t have had the amazing year I did and found purpose. I went back on Cipralex (an antidepressant/anxiolytic medication) and within a month I started to feel better. I then made some life-changing decisions that affected my future plans.
This year I quit my job at a call center because of my mental health relapse. I had been receiving social assistance since October 2017 when I had my surgery and this continued once I became unemployed. While it provided me the time to build my online business, I don’t recommend this route to anyone unless it’s necessary. The income is extremely basic and you have nothing to put into your business, which means it’s VERY slow growing. I’m still receiving financial assistance and working towards getting off it.
Launched Caffeine and Conquer
In February 2018, unemployed, I launched a hobby website to keep myself busy. Originally named Sarah Fournier, I changed its name to Caffeine and Conquer a couple of months in and decided to blog professionally. In nine months, I wrote over 75 blog posts, had 12,000+ views, 255 comments, connected with online entrepreneurs across my social media accounts, wrote guest and sponsored posts and collaborated with some amazing women online.
Started offering Pinterest Virtual Assistance
By July 2018, I was looking for ways I could monetize my online business. In the beginning, earning an income from affiliate sales and sponsored posts is hard because of low traffic. I decided a way to offset this as my traffic grows is to offer Pinterest virtual assistance to other bloggers and small businesses.
I was having the most success promoting on Pinterest, felt I had a good grasp on the platform and could help other people learn too. So, I launched in July and have gained an ongoing management client and completed an audit for another business owner. I’m extremely grateful to them for trusting me with their Pinterest growth and excited to take on more clients in 2019!
Started making money online
It’s no secret that I’m trying to build a business online through my website and personal brand. With advice from other blogging professionals, I’ve incorporated a few ways to earn money through my business. For example, I’ve had some success with affiliate commissions, sponsored writing, virtual assistance, and advertising. I’ve been working 5-7 hours a day since February 2018 and as of August, I started to have some income I could rely on each month.
Launched my YouTube channel
I’m terrified of public speaking, so this was a big deal to me. In July, I made my first YouTube video, a product review of Frostbeard candles. The video is horrible (I filmed it vertically and with the front-facing camera), but I expect all my early videos will be! I’ve since uploaded three more videos. I’m hoping the more recording I do the less anxious I will feel. I’ve become a fan of a lot of popular YouTubers this year and aspire to get to their level someday.
Completed two online courses
As I mentioned above, it’s really difficult to invest in your business when you’re receiving social assistance. It doesn’t mean you can’t build a business, it just means it will take longer. With that said, I have had two opportunities in 2018 to really invest in a couple of courses to help me move my biz forward. These courses were 30-Day Blogging Blastoff and Pinterest With Ell.
Learned a lot about business
I was seriously a sponge this year. I tried to get a grasp of the blogging profession while doing it and learning as I go. I’ve learned so much in 2018 that I’m positive 2019 is going to be an amazing year for my biz. For one thing, I’ve learned to break down my business goals into quarterly sections throughout the year. I’m also going to have an editorial calendar to plan out my seasonal content. Lastly, I learned that launching a product takes time and planning. Meaning, I start researching, creating and advertising months before the actual product launch.
Read 14 books
This is the FIRST year I finally made my reading goal! It’s probably because I became unemployed earlier in the year, and thus had more time to read. However, I’m also investing time in books that will benefit my wellbeing and business. I’m really excited about this accomplishment because I value books so much. For a list of the books I read this year, check out my reviews!
GOAL SETTING FOR 2019
With my year in review out of the way, moving into 2019 there is so much I want to accomplish for myself and my business. Motivated by all the empowering YouTube videos and emails I’ve received, here is a list of my goals.
Continue providing valuable content on Caffeine and Conquer
In 2019, I plan on continuing to provide you guys with valuable content related to personal growth and blogging. I’m narrowing down my niche to those two topics and will be retiring my sustainable living category. The older posts will continue to stay on the blog for the foreseeable future until I decide it’s the right time to remove them. During 2018, I’ve learned that I enjoy writing about personal growth and blogging more, and they mesh well together. I’m more inspired to talk about being your best self and helping people launch their own blog than I am writing about sustainability. I still care about the environment, I just feel like my blog is going in a different direction and it doesn’t fit in anymore.
Continue to take on Pinterest VA clients
I’m so excited for 2019 and would love to take on more ongoing Pinterest management clients. My goal is to onboard two more management clients during the first three months of 2019. I’m also going to continue to make available my audits, optimizations, set-ups and graphic designs throughout the year.
I wouldn’t be personal growth and self-care advocate without some daily habit goals for myself going into 2019. I could list a hundred goals here but if I try and learn too many habits at once I’m more likely to fail. So the most important habits, to me, that I want to adopt in 2019 are meditation and stretching. I already started stretching in the evening this month and it’s so beneficial if you sit at a desk all day. Meditation is important to me because I feel like a calm mind means a more focused mind.
Launch an e-course
I’m extremely excited about this goal. I’ve been growing in the blogging industry long enough now that I feel I have enough experience to share with others. I want to present this information as premium content and what better way to do that than an online course. Launching this course is also part of my financial goal for 2019. I’ve never created and launched a course before and I can’t wait to add that to my skills list.
Launch Facebook Group
In January, I’m launching a Facebook group for Caffeine and Conquer. The purpose of the group is going to be like a mastermind. The groups I have found most valuable for me have been those with challenges, feedback, and useful information. If you haven’t yet, complete the survey to add your input into the development of our future Facebook group!
Edit (11/07/2019): I did launch the Facebook group but quickly learned I needed more value to provide you guys other than daily threads. For the meantime, the group has been archived until I decide to relaunch with a bigger and better idea for the group.
Make a five-figure income
I can’t discuss business goal setting without having a financial goal. Whether that means taking on a part-time job while I build my income from Caffeine and Conquer, or I hustle hard and land the perfect VA clients, I need to make a five-figure income in 2019. Supporting myself with social assistance and the start-up income from my business has been tough this year, but that is going to change moving forward.
Connect with new people and learn more from others
Moving forward in 2019, I’m making it my goal to connect with new people who are also online entrepreneurs. If I can I would love to find other bloggers in my city, however, I understand many of these connections will happen online.
Grow my email list
I wrote this goal down the other day and it’s that I want to build my email list to 1,000 subscribers by the end of 2019. This means more opt-ins for you, more value, content upgrades and inclusion in my exclusive email list!
Strategically share on my YouTube channel
I keep saying I’m going to do this but I haven’t acted on it yet, probably because I’m not comfortable being on camera. BUT, that’s probably because I never go on camera. When I think about my channel I visualize it as having new content each week, like my blog. So one of my goals for 2019 is to strategically upload a new video once a week to help grow my channel and build awareness about my personal brand.
Invest in a mastermind membership
Lastly, I want to invest in a mentorship or mastermind membership. Leveraging the experience of a more seasoned online entrepreneur will help move my business forward in the right direction. I will learn things I wouldn’t have known otherwise as well. I’ve noticed a lot of high earning entrepreneurs have invested in business coaches or masterminds so it logistically seems like the next step for me.
BRING ON 2019!
This year has been a life-changing decision for me and I’m so happy I took this direction. I can’t wait for next year and the goals I plan on focusing on. There are some big things happening so look out for those announcements!
If you did goal setting going into 2019 I want to know what your top ones are! Share them or your year in review in the comments below and let’s start a conversation.