I have never really been one to embrace the whole New Year's Resolution 'thing' nor am I normally one to jump onto the 'new year, new me' band wagon BUT this past year has seen some massive changes in my life which require some attention and as a result some 'change' in my day to day lifestyle.
Owning a business and producing a two printed magazines has resulted in me learning A LOT of new skills over this past year and being a #girlboss has really seen a boost in my self-confidence and self-belief.
Every day is a learning curve, and life most definitely isn't all sunshine and roses - I don't think I need to tell you that, but at 21 (22 tomorrow!) I am taking each day as it comes and progressing as I go.
Image credit: Events Through A Lens
I have decided to set a few of my own personal New Year's Resolutions this year but also to set a few business ones too, which I am hoping you all will be able to help me with. I am the kind of person that needs sticky notes all over the house to reinforce something.
Picture the donkey and carrot stick scenario - got it? Right, well if it was socially acceptable for me to walk around like said donkey with a sticky note in place of the carrot reminding me to stay on track... I would. I have pre-warned James not to think I have gone loopy if ample post-it notes appear around the house with seemingly random scribbles on.
My first business-y resolution is to embrace video. I have been meaning to do so for a while... but the truth is - I HATE the camera. I hate the sound of my own voice playing back to me and I don't like watching myself... this is a pretty normal thing I have come to conclude but there is no doubt that vlogging is a growing industry and it is one in which I feel In The Country needs to become a part of.
In terms of engagement Insta videos gain on average around twice as many views as a standard post and tend to receive a higher level of engagement. We have so many exciting plans for video content in the future but for now... I think I ought to establish the basics.
The New Year will see the launch of our YouTube channel and I want to put together an introductory video, where I will be featuring a Q&A... (as much as the thought makes me cringe!). I am inviting you to ask me a question. Anything you like about my me, my life, the magazine, the business etc and I will try to answer as many as possible within the video. If you have any questions you'd like me to answer, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustration by Rosie Young Illustrations: visit website here.
My second business-y resolution is to ride more. I have really struggled with finding the balance between life, work and having time to ride on top of caring for Simba on a daily basis. I am working on a blog series to not only cover and explore this topic but to hopefully help motivate me and keep me on track.
Rewind four or five years... and I was riding practically every day. I have never had my own transport so I would always rely on lifts or invites from other liveries to be able to go out and about. I aim to change this in the near future. I often say to my friends who are still regularly competing or hunting... it's like anything. Once you take a break and realise you don't bounce like you used to when you were younger...it's so much harder to get back into it.
For quite a while, I think I didn't want to admit it. Now - I can confidently say (and I am not ashamed) I think I fell out of love with horses. I love my horse unconditionally, don't get me wrong BUT I had lost the passion I once felt somewhere along those tearaway teenage years.
I am not suggesting I want to go out and become the next Charlotte Dujardin or be out jumping 1.20 circuits at all... I just want to be able to enjoy my pride and joy and re-discover the love I once felt for riding.
It's not going to be easy - I know myself. It is going to take some serious perseverance and hard work but I am determined. Blogging about my experience will hopefully encourage and motivate me but also provide some entertaining and relatable reading for some of you too.
We are teaming up with some super equestrian brands to bring you some of the best content. I will be aiming to get him out hunting next season as well as attending our first (hopefully of many) unaffiliated competition in 2018. No stress - just fun.
Whatever you're doing this evening, however you're seeing the New Year in - I wish you health, wealth and happiness in 2018.
Thank you for your support this year and I look forward to seeing what 2018 holds for In The Country.
We hope you will continue to follow and support the magazine as we continue to grow.
Happy New Year!
Until next time...
Lots of love,