The month of December is always tiring as the year comes to an end; the days become blurry as the weeks seem to go by so quickly. As 2021 swiftly comes to an end, I ask, "How was your year?" 
Taking time out to do the things that are important like: spending time with the family, taking time out to see friends, going for a walk in the park, going to the theatre or doing something for yourself that does not relate to work can often take a back seat; I know it does for me. As I become older, I ask myself what is important and how do I sustain and maintain a healthy work-life balance. It seems an easy question but it is not easy to implement and sustain. Change is never easy, but there are times when change has to happen to establish a different and better outcome; if we keep travelling the same road, we may never experience change. 
When I recently moved home, it was an opportunity to de-clutter both things/possessions and my mind. I do both regularly anyway, but moving home offered a new start, ridding myself of things that are a hindrance to me taking strides forward. 
Being self employed has its positives and negatives; it allows me to do the things I am passionate about, but it can also take its toll mentally and physically. Taking time out to wind down becomes more important than ever as the business matures. It allows me to rest my body and my mind, take stock of what is going on, refocus and prioritise. 
December has unfortunately been a month when two bereavements made me look at life and decide what I want for 2022; definitely not the same as 2021- but better! Better health, spending more times with family and friends, appreciating the simple things that are missed as I work and run around at what seems like 100 miles per hour- missing the beauty of what is around me. 

What Next? 

I often mentor and coach my students but I do not have a mentor or coach. I decided this is something I have to address if I am going to achieve my new goals. As a 'Sole Trader' you can begin to feel as though you are every role; juggling many balls in the air in the hope that none of them fall; they do. 
Learning to stand still and knowing when to and taking time out to invest in me will be the focus for 2022. Working more effectively and cleverly as opposed to working longer hours, and enjoying what I do will take priority. I know if I become more effective in how I work then I will work more effectively. 
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