The lesson I learned from the ‘Eat, Love, Pray’ movie + my goals for 2017

“Connect your passion with your story so that you can connect with your audience.” – Quote by entrepreneur Maya Elious

I took a break from my blogging.

This forced me to think about my vision for the blog and what I would like to change. As a creator and leader of a platform (my blog), you constantly have to think of ways to improve your platform – you have to be innovative.

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[All images are sourced via pexels.com]
I realised that I have been kind of fearful of a lot of things and I have not set many goals. This year will be a little different.

My word for the year 2017 will be EXPLORE. I have never chosen a word to describe how I want my year to be. In fact, for the past few years I have not had any new year’s resolutions.

I want to study something, but at the moment I don’t have the money to pay for the course. Money (or the lack thereof) could be a good excuse to sit and sulk, thinking that I won’t get what I want.

TO EXPLORE means that I will look into other ways of doing things.

SO FAR SO GOOD

blogging goals courses
During the past few days I have been part of free online courses to help with my writing. This year I want to explore more free courses that are in line with what I want to do.

The entrepreneur Maya Elious is one of the people who gave me some gems about telling my story and using my passion to help people. “Connect your story with your expertise,” is one of the favorite things I heard her say.

Also: “Connect your passion with your story.”

Another achievement: I have finished reading the first book for 2017. I have not finished a book in years!

After realising last year that I read so many blog posts daily that I could probably finish a book too, I have decided to challenge myself.

I know I won’t be able to read one book per week. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Rather, I will try to finish at least five books this year.

Even if a book does not start the way I want – it might start boring, or slow in the beginning, I will continue reading it.

[That’s what basically happened in the book I read recently – later, during the middle of the book, I read so many interesting things that I didn’t want the book to end. The book had a great ending too.]

EXPLORING SOUTH AFRICA

roadtrip south africa explore
I went to the Northern Cape for the holidays. I got the opportunity to visit good friends that I have not seen in years. Thank you Miena Jacobs and Megan Du Plessis!

Megan reminded me of something: I should explore my love for food more. Remember the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”?

Well, in the movie Julia Roberts’ character goes to Italy and learns how to enjoy food.

Megan is the Italian teacher in my life. She loves good food and we have always gone to taste a new dish or different restaurant whenever we saw each other.

One of the most memorable meet ups we had was a cookie share event that Megan took me to. Each person who attended the event had to bake cookies – whether sweet or savoury. We all then shared and got a chance to connect with other food lovers.

Megan and I always had a long distance friendship.

Years ago when we met, she worked in Botswana and I lived in Cape Town. She returned to Cape Town and then I moved to Port Elizabeth. We would always meet in Cape Town.

At the moment I live in Johannesburg and she lives in Aggeneys, Northern Cape. My parents live in the Northern Cape, so we met this year on my way back from my parents.

This year I want to work on my cooking skills – I admit that last year I was just lazy. My focus last year was motherhood and the adjustment to it.

I think I am ready to explore new things like trying out new food and visit more restaurants.

EXPLORING MY PASSION

passion explore journalism goals
The reason I applied to study journalism was not because I enjoy news. I wanted to be an author – journalism is a stepping-stone to that.

I am fortunate that I am not only learning how to write stories daily, but I am hearing and reading wonderful and peculiar stories of people.

I’ve had a few fictional characters playing in their own scenes in my head. My aim is to put them on paper this year.

One of my goals is to find a network of bookworms and other authors to connect with. I want to learn as much as I can about book publishing, and also just talk about books or favourite authors.

It’s important to have goals, because this keeps you excited about your life. Having direction means having goals. I find that I get bored easily, so it helps to have goals.

Once you’re in a comfort zone, you should challenge yourself to find a new goal, or you should have steppingstones (smaller goals) to reach the bigger goal.

What do you think of my 2017 resolutions? Also, do you have a to do list for this year yet?

Dear Readers: Thank You

I realised again this weekend I fortunate I am. We went to Hartebeespoort Dam-area on Saturday, because hubby (Leslie Javan) had a gig (show) with another musician, Bacchus Nel.

The gig was done at a family’s house. It was held outside in the huge, beautiful garden. There were about 50 guests who arrived just before sunset when the show took place.

I met a few great people, including a couple who now lives in Midrand and another red head lady from Krugersdorp. The couple from Midrand are individually from Port Elizabeth and Kirkwood. I used to work in Port Elizabeth as a journalist. The red head lady like many others were in awe of my ten month old daughter.

“Sy’s so rustig!” They would say about Princess. [They were saying Princess is such a relaxed, sweet baby.]

We slept over and the next morning (Sunday) we had breakfast with the family. It was so nice to talk about who we are and how we got to where we are today. This is what made me realise how fortunate I am: to meet all these people from different backgrounds who lives in different places than we do.

The life of a musician and his family.

While on our way back from Harties, I remembered the people we met while being on hubby’s tour in September and October this year. We drove to Cape Town for a few shows which included the areas Paternoster, Bellville-South and Tulbagh. The connections we made were great – I enjoyed listening to people’s stories. I guess that’s why I’m still enjoying my job 🙂

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As part of Sam Posselt‘s 7-Day #rsabizblogs Challenge, Day 4 is about saying “THANK YOU”.

So where do I start?

I began blogging in July 2016, because I wanted to document my motherhood journey and tell stories of women who inspire me. I also now use this platform to share what I have learned as a journalist, especially about entrepreneurship.

I have met a lot of strangers while on this blogging journey, strangers who have now become friends. Thank you.

I have also read a lot on entrepreneurs’ journeys who share their lessons learnt and stories via their blogs. You taught me a lot of things. Thank you.

I found some friends and family members encouraging me to keep on what I am busy doing – because they simply enjoy my stories and they are just like that. They support, because they know the value of it. Thank you.

Thank you all for taking time to be part of my life. Thank you all for sharing part of yours.

Lastly, thank you to my husband who enjoys sharing his career with his family. He loves tagging us along.

What are you thankful for today?

Blogger diaries: my small achievements

Hello everyone,

How has your day been? Or should I rather not ask?

Recently, I have been a bit over my head. I started blogging this year [in July], so it’s a bit difficult to juggle working full-time, being a mother and having a new hobby [blogging]. I enjoy it though.

MY SMALL ACHIEVEMENTS AS A BLOGGER
I have a lot of ideas while I am learning new things. For instance, I learned how to write a newsletter for my audience. [Ticking it off my to do list]

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I also learned how to download stock images that I can use for my blog and social media platforms. I used the Pexels site to download free stock images.
I use stock images whenever I don’t get the time to take my own images.

[While I was reading up on how to do a newsletter, my ten month old daughter was sitting next to me on the bed. I had to give her a piece of paper(s) to shred to keep her busy while I did my thing.]

IT TAKES A VILLAGE
It really helps to have a community to help you grow whenever you are busy learning something new. Like the saying goes: “It takes a village to raise a child.” It also takes a village (or community) to help you grow as a person.
My community is a group of five women who I met at a bloggers’ meet up in August in Johannesburg. We started this Mastermind group.

A Mastermind group is where people discuss their goals, plans and how to better the way of doing things – for instance – on your blog. So we discuss the changes and ideas for our blogs. Then we give input on everything we discuss.

The weird thing happened recently – we went off topic, meaning we didn’t talk about our blogs. Instead we talked about life: relationships with partners, weddings, our living circumstances, social media platforms on which you can find a partner (for those who are single), et cetera.

Of course, all of us considered sharing these juicy details on our blogs. That’s what bloggers do – they are always wearing that hat. It’s like being a journalist [I am one]: you find yourself thinking how certain things in conversations can lead to a story.

I don’t know if social workers or doctors or child carers or whoever does as a profession, continuously find themselves thinking of ideas for work. Do you?

[All images are sourced by Pexels.com]
[All images are sourced by Pexels.com]
YOU CAN DO IT – EVEN IF IT TAKES A WHILE
So, my Mastermind Group is meeting up soon in early November. #CantWait
In the past few weeks, I have learned that all of us – no matter what level you are in your industry – have overcome something. Meaning, you learned something new no matter how challenging it was and no matter how long it took you.

The trick is as soon as you are done, you should challenge yourself to try something new. That’s why you need a support base to push you, to hold you accountable, and to inform you of what you can learn.

If I had to do this on my own, I probably would have run out of ideas on what else to learn.

Have you tried something new in the past few months? Tell me what it is and how you feel now that you can do it yourself.

Thank you for reading.