My 2016 Ambitions

My 2016 Ambitions

‘Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.’ – Tony Robbins.
‘The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.’ – Melody Beattie.

A new year.

You can almost smell the promise and hope on the wind that blows in off the Irish Sea. Gusts blast us as we inch our way along the cliff  top, stopping every few minutes to take more photos and to exclaim about how perfect the light is – shafts of sunlight pouring through huge, angry looking purple clouds that hang low and menacing over the ragged, pounding sea. Despite our perch, high above the waves, we can still hear the fury of the churning maelstrom below and taste the salt spray on our lips. The wind sends gigantic breakers rolling towards the shore, where they crash and shatter and smash and pour over the rocks, which have been there for millennia, unbeaten and unbroken by tide, time or wind.

The cliff top walk is an invigorating way to begin the new year. 2016 holds so much potential, enormous capacity for me to travel, learn, grow, develop and expand my horizons. Already, with the plans I have falling into place, 2016 is looking like it will be a wonderful year. But I want more than just a wonderful year. I actually want to achieve something and although I don’t tend to go in for new year’s resolutions (I believe that we can and should make changes to our lives at any point throughout the year, not just on the 1st of January), this year I do have a specific goal in mind that I’d like to accomplish.
It’s simple, really. My single objective for 2016 is that I want this blog, How The Mind Wanders…, to develop into something more than a part-time hobby. At present, I’m still not entirely sure what I want from this blog – whether I’d like to possibly try and generate an income from it at some point or if I’d like it to remain as my (quite detailed) online travel journal, a portfolio of work that may help me find writing jobs in the future. I still have so much to learn when it comes to the blogging industry, and I need to develop my skills so that my aspirations can be realised.
Therefore, in order for me to achieve my objective for 2016, I need to break it down to more attainable objectives.

Buy my own domain name.

Simple, really. I need to pick one and purchase it. Whilst the web address for my blog may change, the blog will keep the same name – How The Mind Wanders… – as I’d like to keep my blog open to a variety of topics that I may wish to write about if travel is not inspiring me at any given stage.

Learn how to build my own website (or get help to build my own website). Gain a better understanding of the mechanics behind running a website.

I am undecided yet whether I’d like to pay someone to build a website for me, get someone to teach me how to build my own website, or just learn by watching online tutorials and muddling along until I’ve got something I’m happy with. However, you can expect changes to my blog this year – the layout and theme will change, but the content will remain the same, of course.

Practise, practise, practise my photography skills.

I want my blog to contain beautiful pictures as well as beautiful words and wonderful stories. So I need to up my photography game and keep honing my skills so that I can build up a photo gallery I am truly proud of.

Read more blogs to continue being inspired and gain valuable insights into the industry.

This one should be easy. I already have seven blogs that I follow religiously, for various different reasons, and many others that I read occasionally or if I remember. I am, however, always open to finding new blogs (be they travel-related or not). I think it’s important to read different people’s writing styles and find out which you like the best. Chances are, if I enjoy one blog in particular, I am likely to write more like that person, and I can gain inspiration from them and improve my creativity.

Attend a TBEX blogging conference to learn more about the industry and meet like-minded people and fellow bloggers.

There are three TBEX conferences in 2016 – one in Minnesota, USA; one in Stockholm, Sweden; and one in Manila, the Philippines. I  personally would really like to attend the one that is being held in Stockholm, so watch this space! I’ve wanted to go to one of these conferences since I started taking blogging more seriously and I realised conferences about travel blogging existed!! 2016 is definitely going to be the year that I make it happen.

Travel more (so that I have something to write about!).

That’s a given, really. I have travel plans throughout the first six months on 2016, with a trip to whichever TBEX conference I end up attending also in the pipeline. More travel is likely to follow after July. Nothing is booked yet, so for the time being I’ll keep quiet until I’m ready to let you all know where I’m going! Needless to say, it’s exciting and I can’t wait.

Maintain the loyal and steady readership of my blog and hopefully increase the traffic to my social media pages and to the new website once it is up and running.

I will continue to tell the stories of my travels as creatively and as well as I know how, and I hope to maintain the faithful readership that my blog already enjoys. However, once I launch my new website later this year, I also hope to increase traffic to my blog and grow my readership. I would also like to gain more followers on my social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – where I promote my blog fairly regularly.

my 2016 ambitions pembrokeshire

Ultimately, I want to enjoy my blog as much in 2016 as I did in 2015. I am extremely proud of my blog and of how it has progressed in 2015. It has become something I am deeply passionate about and it really excites me.

Last year, I spent many hours thinking about my blog, looking for ways to improve it, make my content better, write more creatively, take better photographs. My walk home from work every day was invariably spent in happy daydreams about my next post – how I would write it, what I’d say, what pictures I’d choose to compliment the story. I have also taken great pleasure from hearing the kind words that people say about my blog, urging me to write more, complimenting my posts and sharing the content I put up. It has been the driving force that keeps me writing, keeps me posting.
So let 2016 be the year when my blog grows up. The content will remain the same – my voice, my stories and my life. But the visual style of my blog will look slicker and become more professional and I really hope you’ll like it and stick with it as it evolves. And I really hope that as my blog progresses, you’ll see the changes in me too, as my life continues to move forward and I continue to grow. I hope that this time next year – January 2017 – I will take another blustery cliff top walk to blow away the Christmas cobwebs and I’ll look back at this blog post and feel proud that I have managed to achieve everything I set out to do.
Here’s to a wonderful 2016 – may yours be healthy and full to the brim of fun, laughter, friendships, travel, new experiences and all the other good stuff. I hope you achieve all your ambitions.

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