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Finding January overwhelming and how to get through it

January planning

I usually love January with all its newness; the blank page waiting to be filled in. I love all the planning and having fun thinking about all the exciting things I’m going to do in the year ahead. However, this year’s January is feeling rather different…

I think it’s my own fault for picking the word ‘Change’ as my word of the year. I explained in that blog post how I want to do things differently in 2020, and although I didn’t yet know how, I’d be having uninterrupted days in an air bnb to thoroughly decide upon things. Well I’m nearly two weeks in already, January is nearing its end and I don’t know any answers, and I’m beginning to panic about it!

Doubting my choices

The only thing I had decided on was to start a new portrait Instagram account, but to stop doing proper captions to go with my photos on my main account. And now I’m blimming well having doubts about that already! I had an unasked for critique of my Instagram via Twitter the other day (which I don’t mind – all feedback is useful) and she said that she wouldn’t know what to say in the comments because my captions weren’t very good, (this was even before I stopped doing them) and that’s probably why my audience isn’t growing. That, plus listening to Sara Tasker talking about Instagram on her podcast again, put a spanner in the works of that decision, and now not only am I considering writing great long captions even if it takes me a whole fucking hour and even when I’ve finally got my fat fingers to highlight the correct paragraph in the Notes app, I might actually manage to not accidentally tap the screen and lose the whole fucking highlight; I’m thinking that every business choice I make will be a wrong one.

Are you per chance picking up on my stress here?!

planning notebooks

I’m quite unused to this kind of reaction to January. But that’s why I picked ‘Change’ in the first place. Yes, I could have a nice, fun month doing all the nice planning that I normally do; but then I’d just have another reflective December being disappointed again. Nobody really tells you that marketing a creative business is really fucking hard. Anyway, before I allow this to descend into an indulgent spiral of negativity (I’ve just deleted three sentences!), let’s think of some ways to help get over this feeling. So if you’re being affected by the January overwhelm as well, perhaps we can get through this together.

How to get through business planning overwhelm

1.Journal it out. I’ve already filled in a fair few pages of my diary, but there are a more to fill and I usually find writing about my problems helps to solve them.

2. Then forget about it. I think I’ve been way overthinking things, and it’s probably time to take a step back and take some deep breaths.

3. Be kind to myself and be patient. I don’t have to think of miracle answers all in one go. Baby steps. Maybe to begin with, all I need to do is recognise that things need to change. Maybe I won’t have figured out how to go about those changes for months yet, but that’s ok.

4. Be curious. Let’s face it, it’s unlikely that I’m even going to think of a miracle answer at all (particularly with my track record!) but let’s enjoy the process of trying out new things. It’s my chance to experiment. And maybe if my June appraisal comes around and I’ve lost a load of Instagram followers; so be it, I’ll persevere once more with better captions. But also there’s a chance that I could use the extra time on Pinterest, and maybe a photo will go viral on there and bring me my customers that way instead. I won’t know unless I try.

5. Accept January for what it is. I’m tired, I’m cold; I just want to sit with a cup of hot chocolate and watch Marple. It’s instinctively time to hibernate right now, and when spring is in full swing, I expect that’s when I’ll feel more energised for all the planning again.

Peaceful flower for getting through January

How is your January going?


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