Gratitude turns what we have into enough – Anonymous
Another year is over. For some, it’s a meaningless piece of paper in the calendar, for others a time of plans and changes. I belong rather to the second group. I have the impression that every day is a race, we do not notice how the following days and months are passing by. Only somewhere around December we incredulously trying to analyze where valuable moments have gone. Everything blends into one.
I don’t know about you, but for me, 2019 flew in the blink of an eye. I was tearing off the pages in the virtual calendar in panic. December, however, was the month in which I had time to reflect. Thanks for the Christmas break, I breathed a sigh. I charged my batteries and I’m ready for what the new chapter will bring. Because for me a new chapter begins – full of plans and events.
Looking back at the past year allows me to look at my achievements and failures from a completely new perspective. It allows me to be grateful for what happened to me and for what I was able to work out. Do you have that too?
I started doing summaries recently. At the beginning of last year, I wrote a post about what I achieved during 2018. It gave me an extremely positive kick.
The work of a freelancer is demanding and definitely it is not a piece of cake, but these summaries allow you to be grateful for what has been achieved and, above all, to appreciate the extraordinary strength that we freelancers can find in ourselves.
So. what happened in 2019?
My Polish blog – Design po Ludzku – was created just a year ago, but regular entries began to appear only from June. To be honest I was surprised because I was not aware that I had such a long break in writing. Since then, nearly 40 entries from categories related to design, remote work and branding have appeared there.
Having a blog in Polish was one of my plans for this year and it is an amazing journey. It taught me discipline and even better organization of tasks. I never really thought that I would enjoy writing so much.
I have planned new formats for this year, which I will gradually implement. I would definitely like articles to appear more often, but at the moment I don’t know if it will be possible. However, learned from experience, I know that you should plan with your head and measure your intentions.
The Facebook (also in Polish) was created at the beginning of 2019 and it’s hard for me to believe how much it has changed over the past several months. I entered 2020 with 700 fans and I couldn’t be happier.
The beginning of this year is also the start of a closed group that is addressed to both freelancers and entrepreneurs who want to exchange knowledge and experience.
they are looking for a friendly community of creative people who want to share their knowledge and support each other;
– seek help, answer questions related to design, running a creative business, remote work, marketing, SEO, branding;
– want to meet people who share a common passion.
My articles appeared on external websites and were not only related to design. On The Blond Travels blog there were articles about life in Porto, and on OK English about learning English. I can’t forget about the Grafmag articles about freelancer work and client work.
This year I’m going to write, even more, raise new topics and reach a larger group of readers mostly in English.
Help others in creating the company’s identity
My main goal for this year was to focus primarily on building the identities of my clients’ brands. Minimizing the number of small projects and focusing primarily on branding and visual identification. During these few months, I was able to help 7 companies. What amazes me the most is diversity – from a candy factory to a yoga studio. Each of these projects was different and full of challenges. Since some of them are still being implemented, I hope to share the details with you soon.
This year I also plan to continue working on projects related to the image of brands and strengthening relations with my existing, regular customers.
This year I did not make long trips, but I learned to enjoy the nearby ones spent in good company. During this year I was able to spend a few weeks in the Portuguese mountains, visit Spanish cities that have long been on my travel bucket list and spend a few weeks in Lisbon. It was quite a different experience and more comfortable in terms of work. Spending a few weeks in one place allowed me to focus more, get to know the local life better and discover some interesting places.
At the beginning of this year, I am moving to Lisbon! It’s an exciting time and motivates me to act even more. However, this year, as in the previous year, I will focus on discovering the charms of Portuguese cities and villages. Big journeys will have to wait.
I spent this year closely observing my business and discovering my goals. I started the year by creating a transparent strategy that has evolved over the years.
The strategy is not a closed creation and requires regular checking and rebuilding.
In the coming year, so I will continue to implement my plans. Based on the experience of recent months, I decided to focus on improving the balance between work and private life and developing passive income, which will also give me more freedom and allow me to make my own decisions.
I have fewer customers
13 years of work as a designer and several as a freelancer taught me that my productivity and creativity depend primarily on the free time between projects. When everyone is chasing the largest number of completed work and gaining more and more new clients, I sincerely believe that only strong relationships and comfort of work allow you to create projects that will serve customers.
This year I was able to fulfill my plans – to work for fewer clients on larger and more comprehensive projects. In this way, I could better address their needs, focus on project execution and strengthen relationships with people with whom I really want to work. A smaller number of projects, which, however, are planned out long-term, allows me to work more comfortably and take care of my and others’ needs.
I wrote about my approach to the sport before, but one of the plans for this year was regular 5km running. To tell you the truth, I was not able to implement this plan 100%, but in the first month I could be prouder of myself – my first 5km happened faster than I thought :). Regular running for six months in a row allowed me to get rid of back pain and develop a healthy routine that gave me a positive kick.
This year I’m going back to my running adventures because a healthy body helps to be more effective at work.
In recent years I have learned that even the smallest achievements should be celebrated. We tend to exaggerate failure and underestimation of success. However, this look at these small, sometimes daily wins, allows us to take the wind under my wings. Therefore, the summaries have an additional sense for me. They allow me to look at the passing year from this more positive perspective and make the necessary corrections to make the next year even better.
What was the last year like for you? What are you grateful for?