In February, life for me was all about Little by Little. Small steps to take me to big destinations because I only had so much time in each day to do all the things I wanted to do. I practiced doodling, and I wrote stories comprised of several sentences. Everything I did was short and simple, taking only minutes, and I reveled in the sense of completion.
However, January had left me depleted of energy, so I entered February on unsteady footing. I thought it was going to be a time for me to get my bearings straight, to catch my breath, and to dawdle in the gentle refrain of January’s overwhelm. But despite doing things Little by Little, I still felt as if I was running a race to catch up. Even then, I was a week behind as the days of February flew past on lightning legs.
In order to catch up, I started to become careless and make foolish mistakes that could have easily been prevented. Last week, my boyfriend actually told me that I needed a Time Out, because I wasn’t thinking straight and if I didn’t take a Time Out, I was going to do something else I would regret. (You guys, I tossed a wool hat in the wash! *cue horror face and face palm*)
During February, one of the small ways I could stay creative was doing quick ink doodles in my journal. Every day, I would draw something happy – a way to keep my heart light and a smile ever-present – and let me tell you…Last week, I could think of nothing happy because of my careless mistakes.
I became too tired to feel sad or angry. It was the point of tiredness where one becomes emotionless. It wasn’t until several days later that I was able to fill in the days with something even just a smidgen happy, but what I realized was that I needed structure – a solid foundation that will keep my feet planted on the ground, so the steps I take (whether little or large) will be steady and dependable.
A THEME FOR MARCH
You can’t build a house on a shaky foundation, or else it will all come crumbling down at the slightest quake. With this thought in mind, I know that the next step I need to take to build a steady business is to make sure the ground I am building it on is sturdy and reliable, which is why my theme for March is “Solid Ground.”
Lately, I have been flying by the seat of my pants. Doing whatever comes up and doing what I can at that particular moment. Sure, it all worked out for the most part, but more often than not, I was flustered to come out with something by a certain time, and this inconsistency made things feel even more pell-mell.
So all this month, I will be working on systems and structures, building solid foundations that will not be the demise of my future business. And of course, sticking with my January theme and February theme, these structural steps are priority as well as little steps.
1. COMMIT TO A SPECIFIC TIME
Building habits is very important to me, because I truly believe that once you get into a habit of doing something, you don’t concern yourself with trying to do it; you just…do it.
For instance, in September 2016, I worked on exercising every weekday for at least 10 minutes. I’ve been keeping up with this even to this day, and now I don’t even bargain with it; I only know to do it. And if I ever miss a day or two, I don’t ever worry that I won’t get back on track. The catch here, though, is that I’ve been doing this the FIRST thing in the morning after I wake up. It didn’t matter what time it was; I trained myself to do it right after waking up.
Seeing my success with exercising, I am going to do the same for building a business. I need to do anything Wondershins related at a certain time. For me, this will be in the morning, right after my workout.
2. PLAN AHEAD
If you don’t know me by now, you will soon understand that I am a total planning and organizational nerd! But even then, sometimes when times get too packed and hectic, I forget that planning ahead can make things a whole lot easier.
If February has taught me any lesson, it’s that I have to be ready at the starting line to be taken seriously as a race runner. Before the month is over, I need to have my content planned ahead of time, so I can go into the next month, feeling prepared and like a rightful contender.
As of right now, I have “Content Planning” scheduled in my calendar every two weeks on Sundays, so I always know which direction I am headed and what steps I will need to take.
3. SET UP A BLOG SCHEDULE
One of the things I’m working to build right now is my blog. There are many categories I want to blog about, but to keep it consistent – much for my sake as for you readers’ – I decided that each day of the week will be a specific category.
For now, I will be blogging in any of four categories – News (and other random musings), Art, Stories, and Business, the latter of which is something new for Wondershins! News posts will be published on Mondays, Business on Tuesdays, Art on Thursdays, and Stories on Sundays. So if I ever have something I want to particularly write about, I can slot it into the appropriate day of the week without fussing over when’s the best time to post.
4. SET UP A WORK SCHEDULE
Now that I know which days I want to feature specific content, I drafted up a working schedule. There are A LOT of things to do when it comes to blogging and starting a business. Not only do you have to write the blog post, you also need to set it up in the computer, and figure out the photos that go with the blog post, which means you need to do photo shoots (if you aren’t using stock photos). Then there are the newsletters, engaging on social media, researching and improving skills, and I can’t ever, ever forget about drawing and painting!
Assuming that I am only allotted an hour for my “specific Wondershins time”, I have parsed out the things I needed to do on specific days. Mondays and Wednesdays for writing blog posts, Tuesdays and Thursdays for drawing, Fridays for all things WordPress, Saturdays for photo shoots, and Sundays for fiddling with MailChimp.
Having a schedule like this means that I don’t have to look at my calendar to know what I need to do that day; I can jump right in and not feel like I am favoring painting over writing. They each have their own place, their moment to shine.
5. STAY FOCUSED
Lastly, I have been trying to tie in my illustrations to the theme of the month. January was bullet journaling for First Things First, February was doodling for Little by Little, and so I’ve been considering what I could do for this month’s theme.
I love coming up with a theme for my illustrations because it helps me narrow down what to draw, exercises my creativity, and keeps me focused with what I need to get done. So to go hand-in-hand with structures and foundations, all of my illustrations will be something that has to do with these solid things, like houses, buildings, and mountains.
This theme is a little more specific than my previous themes, but I must say that I am energized by the prospect of a challenge! If you can think of any other things that are like foundations and structures, do let me know in the comments – I would love a bit of your inspiration!