My Empty Nest Survivor Goals for 2018, are without a doubt, the most personal goals of all that I share through ChallengeClare. The challenge of dealing with the fact that my family is pretty much all grown up and working out what this next stage of my life looks like was the driving force behind creating ChallengeClare.
So Blogging forms a big part of my empty nest survivor goals for 2018. The other part is quite simply ‘funtimes’! Now my sons are more than capable not to mention legally able to be left home alone, the time has come to start having some new adventures!
A significant part of surviving my empty nest, is by finding things to do with all of this extra spare time I have, now that my boys are pretty much self sufficient.
One way that I am doing this, is through the creation of my Blog and pursuing the opportunities I’m hoping it will create for me, to try new things, visit new places, meet new people and build a social platform to help support others in working through their own challenges.
So a big chunk of my Empty Nest Survivor Goals for 2018 are basically my blogging goals for year 1 of the blog.
1. Post Regularly – Ideally Daily
At the moment I have about 25 posts on the blog, and a lot of those are generic, explanatory, this is what I’ll be doing posts. So, number 1 priority for 2018 is to get these posts written so that there is actually stuff for people to read!! To achieve this, I need a plan! The plan is pretty simple to be fair. My first step is to brainstorm blog post ideas and come up with a list.. (365?!!) then plan deadlines for writing and publishing the posts. At least if I have that done, then, when I want to have some flexibility I can make changes, but with a back up in place.
2. Properly Engage with Social Media
I love social media. Primarily because I love people and quite frankly I’m a nosy biatch!! I can lose hours on FB, Insta and Twitter, just reading bits and pieces here and there.
But, now, I want to try and use it in a way now that will help me to build the blog readership. Since I started the blog I have been literally devouring all the information I can get my hands about this and quite frankly I am befuddled!
What it boils down to simply, is that I want to find a way of sharing and re-sharing blog posts automatically, one that I can get to grips with and use effectively. So far I’ve tried buffer and hootsuite but it’s early days… The jury is out!
The reason I want to automate post sharing is so that any other time I spend on Social Media can be used to actually really engage. With other bloggers, have real conversations with readers and start to build relationships. Ultimately I’d really like to create a facebook group that I can build a challenge community… I’m hoping that this will be possible in 2018… Watch this space!
3. Network Darling!!
One reason why I started blogging was because I need to get out into the big wide world. Literally.
I am a super social person. I love nothing more than a good old random chinwag on a train! Sadly, my current lifestyle doesn’t allow for much super, social time. I work from home, alone, in a rural community. Most women my age (37) are either child free, at work or knee deep in little person carnage! Me I have 4 boys who have all left school! So it’s tricky to make new connections.
My goal this year is to focus on making new connections through the blog by attending at least 1 blog networking or group event a month. I’m also really keen to try and attend some kind of blogging conference… I’ve been checking out #blogonx I might treat myself to a ticket…
4. Learn New Stuff
I never knew that there was so much involved in blogging, I had an idea. but seriously I can’t quite believe how involved it is. For me, that makes it even more appealing because not only do I love to write, I also love to learn new things. so this is seriously a win win situation!! As I work as an online teacher I have quite a good understanding of creating content, editing pictures, embedding code that kind of thing.. But SEO, DA, automating social media, plugins, cache, hosting, e-mail lists, google analytics… The list goes on… Seriously I do not have a Scooby Doo!
Jenny, who blogs at www.midwifeandlife.com has a cracking guide for bloggers who are just starting out. I have picked up quite a few tips! If you’re interested in setting up a blog I suggest you have a read of her page here.
I have enrolled on one blogging course that I am about 25% of the way through which I will write about in the next month or so. But I am also really keen to find more learning opportunities, so my goal is to complete at least 3 blogging courses by the end of the year.
I have been a Mum since I was 18 and number 1 arrived in April 1999. For the last 18 years my life has totally revolved around my awesome kids. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way because I genuinely don’t feel like I have missed out on anything.
Personally, the beauty of becoming a Mum at 18 was that there were no sacrifices to be made. I had nothing to give up. Youth makes you feel invincible, you grow with your child and it gives you a drive and ambition you didn’t know you had. If it isn’t good enough for the most precious thing in your life, your child. Then it just isn’t good enough. End of.
That’s not to say that there has been zero time to myself. There has been the odd night out, weekend away but that’s about it. Mostly the furthest we’ve ventured has been the local pub, literally just down the road!
So now the time has come to have FUNTIMES! to do all the things we haven’t had enough time to do on a regular basis in the last 18 years. But it’s so easy for time to pass without making plans if you’re not used to having that freedom. So I’ve decided to 5 x 5 Funtime Goals for 2018. (These don’t include my travel goals.. these are here)
- 5 x Trips to Leeds to see my siblings, their partners and my squishy gorgeous niece
- 5 x Gigs
- 5 x Days out
- 5 x Comedy Nights
- 5 x Activities I have never done in my life!
What FunTimes have you got planned for 2018?