A blink of an eye and we’re already at the end of January. Just like that new year’s resolutions are flying out the window and visions of healthier lifestyles or daily meditations are gone quicker than you can say ‘kale’ or ‘namaste’.
To get back on the right track, we’ve enlisted the help of an Australian Style Institute alumni, Alarna Hope of That Effortless Bitch. Alarna is the ultimate multi-tasker. With a thriving personal styling business, high profile clients including Swarovski, a successful blog, book in the pipeline and her very own 2017 ‘Busy Bitch’ diary, we thought she’d be more than qualified to help the rest of us get our lives together.
Alarna, let’s start with the year that’s been. Kylie Jenner’s 2016 was the ‘year of realising stuff’, what did 2016 mean for you?
2016 was the year of change and adapting.
I have a book on the way, and I thought 2016 was going to be year it was released into the world. However, as these things often go, it was pushed back. I had to re-evaluate and find a different focus. So instead, I started to develop my Busy Bitch 2017 planners. I worked on my blog a lot as well; it’s been about dipping my toe in a bit of everything.
I’d say 2016 was an ideas development year, 2017 will be when we see them all come to life.
Evaluating the year that was provides a great opportunity to ask ourselves what we want 2017 to mean. What are your tips for refocusing for the new year?
At the start of a new year I look at the goals I set last year and see if I achieved them. If I haven’t, this means I need to re-evaluate.
If you haven’t reached your goals it’s probably because you didn’t want them enough. You never end up completing a new year resolution that you don’t have your heart in. I often say my resolution is to cook more, but I’m not excited by it and so I don’t put the effort in.
I don’t roll old goals over into the new year and only set resolutions for myself that I get excited by and I want to do. The last thing you want is to have a whole year go by and have nothing changed.
We find there are always things we don’t want to do but need to be done in order to achieve our goals. How do you deal with the mundane tasks that you need to complete?
I used to have that problem with my finance. I’ve never found finance fun but needed to make a plan to get on top of my cash flow, or expand my business. So, I found another solution – I hired an accountant.
If the thought of a task makes you fall asleep, get someone else involved. For me, this meant I had to save up for the accountant but around tax time I had no stress.
Air Tasker is also a great place to go if you want to hire someone else to do your dirty work for you. Say you need a street style photographer or a graphic designer – you can find them all online.
I definitely recommend outsourcing those things that bore you to death, that way you can spend your time being a lot more productive.
We’re all about aiming high. How can we achieve our goals and see growth?
To see results you need to break down your goals and set tasks.
For example, I want to increase engagement and readership on my blog That Effortless Bitch. I know that if I don’t set an editorial calendar and yearly plan for the blog, I might not post anything in two weeks. Before you know it, 3 months will pass and I’ll have to completely re launch – which is not ideal.
I have two big tips for staying on track with your goals and resolutions:
Tip 1: Utilise list programs.
I use a program called Asana, which you can use on your phone or computer. You outline a project and properly break down each little task that needs to get done. You put dates alongside those tasks and the program will send you notifications, reminding you when you need to get things done.
Once you’ve completed a task, you tick it off.
I can’t do things very well without seeing a small result. That’s why I’m so bad at diets – I want to see the results relatively soon! Asana is great in this way because you can see the progress being made in front of you.
Tip 2: Excel spreadsheets.
Once I make a goal and I use excel to track it.
So say your goal is: increase social media engagement by 10% each month. Map out what you’d get to if you reached that target and mark it against what you actually achieve.
This can work for any tasks and show you when/where you’re lacking in results.
What goals have you set for yourself for 2017?
I’m starting two new courses next year – costume design and millinery. So my first goal is to pass these with flying colours. I want to put the qualifications towards working on films and documentaries; that’s a big focus for 2017.
I also want to create more of a passive income. This includes offering different types of services and developing a few more products. I’ve finished writing my book, so seeing that on the shelves soon is a big deal. By creating a passive income I can achieve a bit more of a work life balance, which is really important.
Any final hot tips on refocusing and getting ourselves organised for 2017?
1. Do what makes you happy.
2. Don’t be afraid to step back and clear your head if you’re working on something that’s not going your way.
3. Surround yourself with productive people.
People are afraid of shooting for the stars but if you break up the steps to get there it’s a lot less daunting – the stars often aren’t that far away.