I hope you are all doing well and you had a wonderful Christmas! I still can't believe how fast Christmas and the festive season just flew by and how it is New Years Eve today...someone pinch me, please! I have been a little quite over on my blog purely because I honestly haven't had much energy and motivation throughout December, I guess this is something we all face at some point. I thought it was probably best I sit back and enjoy these few days I do have off until I go back to work in the New Year and then jump straight back into everything with full force in 2016. I just wanted to write a little post reflecting on some of my milestones this past year and of course, set myself a few blogging goals moving forward into 2016. If you would like to read my 2015 New Year post you can do so by clicking here.
WOW! 2015 has been a heck of a year indeed with some major milestones...so I guess we'll start right at the very beginning. I began the year by starting my first ever full-time job and I can't believe a year has flown by already. I work in the Cloud Marketing BU for one of the world's leading technology companies and I can honestly say that I have loved every second of it. I never knew what was in store for me after graduating in July 2014 but I feel like fate just rolled out the right cards for me on this occasion. There is never a dull moment when you work in the technology industry, it is very fast paced and there is always something going on. I feel so privileged to be part of the Cloud BU and I have already learnt so much. I manage all of our digital presence amongst a few other things - we have a Cloud blog so if you would like to stop by and read something a little different you can do so by clicking here.
Around June / July time I decided to enter a competition with House of Fraser and the competition was all about creating a look based on your ultimate beauty icon. It was so fun stepping outside of my comfort zone and throwing myself into something a little different. I was on my way to an event with work when I got an email from House of Fraser saying that I had actually won the competition...to this day I still can't believe it! So, becoming the House of Fraser Beauty Ambassador has definitely been one of the best milestones this year. I am so looking forward to working with House of Fraser on some amazing things during 2016! You can see my full entry post here.
Another major milestone this year was definitely my Dad surprising my Mum and I to a Birthday trip to New York! I honestly still can't believe this actually happened and I got to spend my Birthday in New York City. It was the most perfect trip and we tried to squeeze in as much as possible, however, I will definitely need to go back at some point to do a few more things off my bucket list. I had been previously (around 6 or 7 years ago) but when we went I wasn't old enough to appreciate everything...especially the shopping and everything you can't purchase in the UK. Also, it was the end destination on a three way trip to Las Vegas and Mexico across three weeks so we were so exhausted by the time we got to New York. This was the first time I had ever celebrated my Birthday outside of the UK and honestly, it felt so weird yet so exciting! I still haven't posted about my trip or hauled anything I picked up so if this is still something you would like to see then please let me know.
The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards...oh, I couldn't leave this one out! I never thought in my right mind that I would be shortlisted a third year in a row...let alone walk away with an award! Honestly, I don't have the confidence in myself or my blog to be able to say I am worthy of these types things...I am such an unlucky person haha! It honestly still feels like a complete dream to me and I still can't believe I can finally say I am an award winning blogger haha! According to Cosmopolitan, this year's awards had the biggest voting count EVER with numbers in excess of 64K - WOW! I just want to say another huge thank you to everyone who has been there and supported my blogging journey and of course to anyone who took the time to vote for me - it means the world to me. As you know I didn't place in the Beauty category but I did walk away with Highly Commended for 'Best Use of Photography' and I am over the moon. If you read my blog you will know that one of my blog New Years resolutions was to improve my photography and receiving this award makes me that tiny bit closer to achieving my goal. I have definitely walked away feeling so motivated and I can't wait to get back into my blogging routine in the New Year and bring you some fabulous new content. Another highlight from the evening was definitely meeting so many like-minded people within he blogging industry and of course, finally meeting India from The Jewel Beauty (my blogging bestie)! You can read my full post on the awards here.
A Few of My 2016 Goals
Goal #1: Start YouTube & Weekly Vlogging. Starting a YouTube channel is something I have wanted to do for many years now. I have sporadically uploaded a few videos (you can see these here) but for some reason getting into YouTube hasn't been an easy road for me. I definitely feel like I have achieved something this year with uploading a handful of videos but I want to be consistent and upload regularly. I need to snap out of whatever is holding me back and stop letting excuses get in the way of something I have dreamt of doing for years now. So, if there is anything you would like to see in particular then pretty please let me know. I am also on the hunt for a vlogging Camera, so far I have narrowed it down to the Olympus Pen and the Sony A5100 - I would love to hear any recommendations and suggestions though!
Goal #2: Transform my Fitness Routine. I know this is a pretty cliche New Years resolution but it is something I feel I really need to work on. I just want to become a healthier version of myself...not necessarily lose weight but tone and change my diet. I have decided to join a slimming club in the New Year to work on my diet and go to the gym, at least, one to two day a week (baby steps). I used to be so much fitter when I was younger, partaking in a sport 4-5 days a week including gymnastics, Karate and swimming. I can't even remember why I stopped but I guess we all have to start up again from somewhere - wish me luck :)
Goal #3: Increase my Fashion & Lifestyle Posts. I have always wanted my blog to be Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle based, however, I know the majority of the time it sways towards beauty...what can I say, I have a beauty addition haha. Never-the-less, I really want to work harder and create some more diverse content for you all. I want to start creating more outfit, lifestyle and travel posts. Yet again, if there is anything you would like to see in particular pretty please let me know.
Goal #4: Work on my Instagram. I know numbers are definitely not everything but I honestly feel like my Instagram has been stuck and not progressed at all this year. It would be an absolutely dream to hit 10,000 Instagram followers during 2016 and I would love to develop it into an almost 'blog' in itself. I want to post content more often and interact with other Instagrammers a lot more.
Goal #5: Use Snapchat More: I started using Snapchat properly this year and honestly it is still so new to me. I want it to be a regular social platform like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where I can share daily snaps and vlogs. I haven't been able to video myself on there yet but it is something I want to work toward in 2016 - I am still a little camera shy haha! Until I get my hands on a vlogging camera I guess I will be vlogging from here - so if you would like to see what goes on behind the scenes then you can follow me at 'SophiaMeola'. Don't forget to leave your usernames in the comments section also :)
Goal #6: Invest in my Future. This isn't a big blogging goal but I thought I would include it. This has been a pretty big decision that has been playing on my mind throughout the majority of 2015. I want to start thinking about my future more and I want to start investing where I can. I have decided that I want to purchase my own property in 2016. Purchasing a property is not a simple task and obviously, there are a lot of hurdles in between, especially as I will be doing this all by myself. I can't wait to see if this becomes a reality!
Goal #7: Attend More Blogging Events. During 2015, I found myself declining so many blogging events and honestly it made me so sad. I think it was a combination of things; timing, commitments, confidence, anxiety and so on that kept getting in the way. I am such a shy person and sometimes travelling alone to an event is very daunting, especially when there are friendship groups already formed and you feel so intimidated to go up and talk to them. I really hope this is something I can conquer as I would love to meet so many more bloggers and brands next year!
I hope you all enjoyed diving into my 2015 reflection and talking about some of my 2016 goals. Honestly, 2015 has been full of highs and lows but they have all been part of my journey. I feel so incredibly blessed to have so many special people in my life and I can't wait to see what 2016 has in store for me. I have learnt so much over the last year and I want to start 2016 as I mean to go on. If you have stuck around to the end then thank you so much, I know this was quite a chatty post. Here is to an amazing and safe New Years Eve and an amazing entrance to 2016! Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me via my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and I make sure to ready every single comment...they really make my day!
What are your 2016 goals?
Lots of Love