Monthly Check-In: Goodbye April, Hello May

monthly check-in- Jessica Lawlor

April in review: A gorgeous spring day in NYC, an afternoon at Frankford Hall with my bestie, speaking at the PHLBLoggers The Blog Connect Conference and a snap from the beautiful space where I completed my advanced yoga teacher training.

Each monthly check-in, I share three things I accomplished in the previous month and preview three things I’m excited about or hoping to accomplish in the month ahead. It’s fun to look back and forward, and as an added bonus, these monthly check-ins keep me accountable to reach my goals.

I hope you’ll join in and share your three things in the comments section! I’ve been thrilled to see that other bloggers enjoy my monthly check-ins and have adopted the format for their own blogs- this is AWESOME! If you write a similar monthly check-in/look ahead post, please feel free to utilize this format and be sure to leave a link in the comments below so we can all support you in your goals for the coming month!

In April, I…

1. Started a daily meditation practice. I’m currently on Day 23 of meditating daily! Meditation is something I’ve read about and always wanted to incorporate into my life, but didn’t really know how. I attended a wonderful introduction to meditation workshop with the fabulous Allison Sobel at Stillpoint Yoga in early April and learned SO. MUCH. I use Allison’s free meditation on her website, along with the Calm App when I meditate. I seriously LOVE the Calm App so much- I currently have the free version, but am considering upgrading, so I have access to all of the meditations on the app. I’m up to meditating 10 minutes a day, which I consider a huge win. More to come on this topic later this month!

2. Completed an advanced yoga teacher training (and stepped out of my yoga comfort zone!) April was a huge yoga month for me! The month kicked off with co-hosting my very first yoga workshop-yoga for teens! My friend Kelsie and I had about 11 teens join us for a two-hour introduction to yoga. I was super impressed with the teens- they were so mindful and mature! Also, I was *seriously* sick the two days leading up to the workshop (I had NO voice) but it literally miraculously came back an hour before the workshop. Thank you Yogi Tea Throat Comfort! In the middle of the month, I completed a five-day 40-hour advanced yoga teacher training with Brittany Policastro. It was the most incredible experience…the training was less, “Here’s how to teach this pose” and more about the energetics of being a teacher and exploring ourselves. Very transformative. Way more to come on this in a separate post. I also stepped out of my yoga comfort zone with an ashtanga class, a class in New York City with Rodney Yee (felt very Iyengar-inspired, quite different than how I’m used to practicing) and even a belly dancing yoga workshop! I taught 13 yoga classes in April.

3. Rocked month 3 of running my own biz. Each month, I’m starting to feel a little bit more confident in this whole running my own business thing. Whew! April was an amazing month in my solo biz. The month kicked off with a trip to New York City to cover the Shorty Awards for my client Muck Rack. I headed back to NYC toward the end of the month for a meeting with Muck Rack and also had the chance to finally meet up with Jenny Blake, who has been my Internet friend for more than five years. It was so wonderful to meet her in person- It felt like we had known each other forever! (She has a new book coming out in the fall!) I had a blast this month speaking to the PHLBloggers about boosting your brand and then participating on a panel at The Blog Connect Conference. My full Month 3 report and income breakdown will be out later this week. Oh! And my blog was named to One Woman Shop’s 100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs for the second year in a row. Yay! Thank you for the nominations.

In May, I will…

1. Take on month 4 of solopreneurship. I know I pretty much mention this every month, but this whole solopreneurship thing is still so new to me, I feel like it deserves a prominent space in my monthly plans. This month, I already have quite a few Personal Branding Bootcamp and Pick My Brain consulting sessions on my calendar, which I LOVE! I love meeting with folks one-on-one and discussing their personal brands and online goals. I’ve also taken on more work with one of my clients, so I’m excited to ramp up that project and get things rolling. Again, I am teaching a ton of yoga this month (see my full schedule here) and I’m pumped about it. I also *will* launch my personal branding checklist this month- please hold me accountable! I’m going to be working with Chrystina Noel on a fun blog photo shoot in the city, so stay tuned for some new pictures later this spring!

2. Begin apartment hunting. I am starting the big apartment hunt search! After time spent living at home to save money to prepare to quit my job and take my business full time, I’m ready to be out on my own. Right now, Im starting to casually look (visited a few apartments over the weekend and have a couple lined up for this week) but I’m pretty flexible on my timeframe, so I feel lucky to be able to truly wait until I feel I’ve found the right place. However, looking at apartments made me super excited to decorate, set up an office space and finally have a place all of my own to settle. Looking at apartments was also a rude financial awakening- man, all those extra costs really add up! Time to get serious about budgeting. If you have any apartment hunting tips, I’m all ears!

3. Stand by one of my best friends as she gets married. One of my besties is getting married at the end of this month! Hooray, Rachel! Lots of wedding madness this month as we celebrate her bachelorette party (look out West Chester, here we come!) and her wedding weekend. In April we celebrated her bridal shower and I was particularly proud of my crafty gift (If you know me, you know I am *not* crafty at all, so this was a big deal). My other friend Rachel is also getting married this month- so many Rachels in my life- and I am looking forward to seeing her marry her college sweetheart. Love <3

April Posts You May Have Missed

Trade-Offs: Four Things I’ve Been Slacking On Since Starting My Business

Self-Care for the Solopreneur (Or Anyone For That Matter)

Boost Your Brand: 15 Ideas to Use Your Current Platform to Find New Opportunities

Becoming CEO: Month Two of Solopreneurship

Jessica Around The Web

Guest posts, articles and other places you can find me this month online.

100 Best Sites for Solopreneurs– JessicaLawlor.com made the list for the second year in a row!

One editor’s take on the 2016 Shorty Awards– for Muck Rack

Think Rules are Made to be Broken? Ignore These Popular Blogging Tips– for The Write Life

How to Get People to Read Your Blog: 5 Savvy Strategies You Can Apply Today– for The Write Life

Content Marketing Lessons From One Month Binge-Watching Gary Vaynerchuk– for Scribewise

Say Yes Podcast Episode 28: Yoga Teacher Training– interviewed on the Say Yes Podcast

10 Tips for Boosting Your Brand with Jessica Lawlor– Chrystina Noel recapped my Brand Boost speaking gig for PHLBloggers

What did you accomplish in April and what are you looking forward to accomplishing in May? Share your three things in the comments below!

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  • ooooh I’m excited for your new photos AND apartment hunting! Will you live near your sister? Could be a big month! 🙂

    • I am so excited, too! 🙂

      Nah, she lives in the city and I am more of a suburbs gal!

  • Ugh, apartment hunting. It’s simultaneously so exciting, but also so frustrating with all the costs that add up! I think I may be apartment hunting soon and I am not looking forward to it in the least.

    • Oh no! You are searching again? You don’t plan to stay for another year?

      It is very exciting. Honestly, I had so much fun looking at the places this weekend, but now I feel overwhelmed with planning and decisions!

  • Julia Dent

    I’m in the midst of apartment hunting, and it’s brutal! Good luck with your search! 🙂 Your meditation month has me intrigued! I need to check that out!

    • Ugh! Where are you looking, Julia? I’ve only been to two different places so far, but I am already overwhelmed! Yes, stay tuned for more on my month of meditation! I love it!

      • Julia Dent

        I’m looking in Rittenhouse, Washington Square West, and Bella Vista mostly, and it’s super overwhelming! And the good apartments go so quickly! I found a perfect one that I was approved for and everything was good to go, and then they decided to give it to someone else because I have a dog, even though I told them from the beginning about her 🙁 So I need lots of meditation to deal with apartment hunting stress!

        • Oh man! That is so rough! 🙁 I haven’t applied for any yet, so I haven’t experienced that stress, but it does not sound fun at all!

  • Crystal Richard

    I just moved apartments and let me tell you – don’t let the little less than perfect aspects of a new apartment get you down. I went from having beautiful stainless steel appliances in my old apartment to regular white fridge and stove in the new place. I was SO sad about it but now that I’m living in our new place, I’ve come to love it and found ways to jazz up the white fridge with succulents in magnets and photos that make me happy 🙂

    Focus on the BIG deal breakers. The other little things will fall into place.

    • Thanks for the advice, Crystal! This is super useful! 🙂 This is all brand new to me and very exciting, but totally overwhelming!

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  • Apartment hunting = the worst. We just spent a few weeks looking and eventually just gave up and are staying in the same cramped, dark place. Just the time commitment and deadlines involved looking in NYC – so stressful.

    Best piece of advice is to rank all the things your looking for in a “priorities” list. It’s how we realized that even if we were saving money and getting a slightly bigger space, the longer distance from the subway (top priority & could lead to more cab fairs paid) meant it still wasn’t worth it.

    • Ugh! OMG, I am sure it is 1,000x more stressful in NYC! I’m freaking out and I’m not even looking right in the heart of the city here.

      Thanks for your advice! Super helpful! Saving it for a future blog post I may write about this process.