Thursday, 31 December 2015

What Blogging Taught Me About Myself

As we start a New Year the smell of possibility and new challenges are in the air.  It’s amazing to think that three years ago, I wrote my first blog post.  A post that was to be the beginning of a new chapter in my life and one that would be the catalyst for a life-changing experience.

I have learned so much over the past three years, not just about how to blog, but about myself and who I want to be, and it all began with a list of New Year Resolutions.

What is a resolution? 

The English Oxford Dictionary describes it as, 'a firm decision and the quality of being determined.'

It was on New Year's Eve 2012 when I set myself a challenge; sick of setting resolutions and breaking them before the mince pies ran out, I decided to set a better example and so I wrote a list of twelve resolutions - one for each month of the year.

This list included the usual suspects - lose weight, get fit, iron less and laugh more but I also wanted to challenge myself.  I included things like, 'do something new', 'give up alcohol', 'give up Facebook (that one was tough!) and many more.

Having never blogged before I thought it would be a fun way to keep me motivated.  It also forced me to be accountable for my actions – a bit like having a diet buddy.  But I knew that I wanted to keep it real and blog the lows as well as the highs throughout the year.  

As I ticked the months off, an amazing thing happened.  People from all over the world began to comment on my feeds with messages of encouragement.  Readers were being inspired to start their own challenges, and I made some wonderful new friends, all from my kitchen table.

Making that decision to step out of my comfort zone and start a blog, while tackling my resolutions in the public eye, changed my life.

I had to jump and grow my wings on the way down.  I realised that blogging was a huge amount of work, but it was also great fun, and as a first class procrastinator I found myself settling into a regular weekly writing routine and suddenly my twelve challenges became fifty-two - one for every week.

I succeeded in completing all the resolutions I set myself that year and a few more that I hadn’t thought about, and so my blogging path was set. 

Here are just a few of the things I found out in that first year:
  • Regular posts are vital to keeping you visible in the blog-o-sphere, but also, help you to establish a regular writing schedule.
  • Planning out your blog content takes away the stress of wondering what to write about.  I plan out every blog post twelve months in advance now, but allow myself some wiggle room in case I need to share some important news.
  • Interacting with other bloggers is one of the most important things to do.  I have made some incredible friends online, and I continue to read and comment on their blog posts.  Blogging is a community activity and being a part of that community is an honour.
  • I allocate time in my diary to create my blog content, post my articles and for promoting.  I take my blogging seriously because I know I get more out of it that way.
My blog has become an important part of my life, and it continues to evolve thanks to the thousands of people who pay it a visit.  I have always suffered with low self-esteem and self-doubt, as do many people, but blogging has helped me to face these fears head on.  I've grown stronger and are less critical of myself.  I used that initial challenge, and my blog content, to write my first book.  That book is currently sitting in the top 5 of Amazon's best seller list for self-help.  Without my blog I may never have had the courage to follow my dream and accomplish so much.

Last year I started a second blog, this one is for my writing, books and reviews.  It means double the work but also double the fun.  Feel free to pay it a visit at  

I am so excited about the New Year and look forward to sharing some inspirational posts with you all.  I have a new feature to introduce, ‘Real Women, Real Lives’ where we meet some incredible ladies who are changing their lives or doing amazing things for charity.  In the Spring, I will be concentrating on personal development and writing about how to empower yourself.  

I love hearing from you, so please keep the comments coming.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and abundant 2016. 
With Love, Shelley xxx


  1. Great post as always Shelley. You've achieved so much which is an inspiration to myself and others.
    Happy and healthy 2016 xx

    1. Thank you so much, Sue. Wishing you a fabulous 2016 xx

  2. Congratulations on all you've achieved. Here's to more of the same in 2016.

    1. Thanks, Julia, and a huge dollop of gratitude for your continued support. Happy New Year! xx

  3. You're currently Amazon's #1 Women's Biography. And #4 Memoir, well ahead of Sir Tom Jones! Congratulations and Happy New Year.

    1. *Taking a moment to squeal excitedly* Thanks, Douglas. I can honestly say that your kind words and support all those years ago paid off. Happy New Year xx

  4. I have just started reading your book and this is my first read of your blog. I am new to blogging myself after many years of thinking about it... I finally took the plunge last Summer and have enjoyed exploring myself. I am looking forward to working on my goals for the coming year and will using your book to keep me motivated. I love the idea of concentrating on a different item each month. Melanie x

    1. Hi Melanie, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, and huge thanks for buying my book! Hope you are enjoying it. I've just popped over to look at your blog and it's great - you have a new fan! (Here's the link if anyone else wants to take a look -
      Wishing you a fabulous 2016 x