In 2018, Blue Sky Mind saw 4,000 unique individuals come across the site. It saw 30-something new blog posts published, some of which were viewed up to 500 times. That’s something I’m proud of.
In 2018, Blue Sky Mind’s had its first full year out in universe. As its keeper, I wanted to reflect on the experience, in all its highs and lows.
The highs you’ll find below. That’s where I’m sharing my postes with the mostes from the year.
As for the lows…honesty hour. Most of my blog posts were seen by fewer than 100 people in 2018. And if you happened to notice, my publishing frequency has steadily dropped from one post a week, to two posts a month, to one post a month…maybe. I’m struggling to produce quality content at the rate that I’d like while having a full time job and personal life. My subscribers (the ultimate prize for any blogger) are steadily ticking up, but remain at a fairly small number.
But that’s ok. I’m just getting started! No one every said the first year of blogging would be glamorous. I’m exceedingly proud that 4,000 people would be able to find my way to their words over the course of a year. Some of those people even felt compelled to reach out with kind words of appreciation or encouragement. To all of you who’ve supported me through this first year, I am so grateful.
Please join me in celebrating one full year of writing by revisiting Blue Sky Mind’s top ten most popular blog posts of the year, along with two of my personal favorites.
The 10 Most Popular Blue Sky Mind Posts of 2018
This was the first gratitude journal I ever published on BSM, which I wrote basically as a reflection on 2017 using the “six core needs” framework. I think that people were hungry for some positivity in the face of a tough year (politically and professionally for me). To me, gratitude is that soothing balm that allows me to bring all that is right in my life to the forefront of my minds.
In December of 2017, I traveled to Spain & Portugal with my mom and grandparents. We hit all the hotspots, including Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, and Porto. I’m a notorious over-planner when it comes to international travel, so in each of my guides, I share the who/what/where/etc. and our meticulously planned itinerary. I like to think that I do the research (and make the mistakes) so that you don’t have to.
This is one of my personal favorites from the year, because I got to capture the incredible solo travel story of one of my very best friends. This is an inspiring read for anyone who has contemplated jetting off to spend three months exploring Southeast Asia (or any part of the world, for that matter).
On the one hand, I’m happy that perhaps my most vulnerable post of 2018 landed in the top five; it means that I’m not the only one who cares about their weight and struggles to manage it at times. On the other hand, it’s scary to open up about something as shame-laden as your own weight and difficulties in managing it; it means people are free to judge me for my lack of willpower or hyper-sensitivity to my appearance. But it wouldn’t be authentic for me to pretend like this didn’t matter to me a whole lot. So in this post, I share a little more about my weight journey and ultimately the strategies / lifestyle changes that allowed me to arrive at a very happy place with my body.
I like to write about positive psychology and healthy eating, but let’s be honest -- I’m clearly not the expert. Everything I believe to be true I’ve read in books or on the internet. They are intellectual and scientific opinions from experts who are far more qualified to explain an idea or phenomenon than I. That’s why when I sought to explain the concept of mindful eating -- to which I am completely devoted -- I pulled together the most resonant definitions from doctors, dietitians, and medical associations.
Is packing not one of the most stressful activities we are asked to do on a regular basis? I believe yes, and that is why I am low-key insane about my pre-travel packing lists. I do spreadsheets, hardcore research, and create a mindful time/space for the actual packing itself to take place. In this post, I publicize said research and final list for my 2018 trip to Cambodia, so that others have a comprehensive base to work off of (as well as my trial and error learnings).
When I plan a trip, I’m trying to maximize my time there. To me, it’s part of being purposeful about my travel -- how do I see and learn the most from this 28-hour round trip plane ride? Read on for where to stay and what to eat / drink in Barcelona, Spain, as well as the perfect 3-day itinerary.
I started labeling my travel posts with the term “happy travel” this year, because I feel like it encapsulates how I try to plan my vacations. Equal parts adventure, history/culture and relaxation. Mind you, there is never a trip where every moment is happy. But, there is a way to be mindful about where you travel, why and what you do when you get there. Kevin and I’s trip to Cambodia is the perfect example of this effort.
Guys, meet the book that started it all. I had never heard the term “positive psychology” until someone gifted me this book in 2016. To this day, it’s my favorite book written on the subject and this post spells out the topline takeaways that everyone can benefit from. Read the cheatsheet to see if checking out the book might be a strong move for you.
This trip again! When I went to Spain & Portugal last December, I was in for a bit of a rude awakening. It’s COLD in December. It is not the warm sunny southern Europe that everyone pictures. So that changes the packing list just a little bit. No, sorry, it changes it a lot. If you’re making your way to that part of the world at this time of year, I would encourage you to pack your warmest coat and take a peek at this list.
2 Small But Mighty Posts on Blue Sky Mind
These posts didn’t get the most attention this year, but when people landed on them, they spent a long time reading. I think that’s a pretty good indication that these posts might be uniquely helpful, and therefore worth elevating for a second look.
Here’s another post centered on the fact that life throws you a curveball now and then (like falling deathly ill at Coachella), but gratitude is the most powerful mental medicine of all. I think it’s also an ode to the simple moments and things in life that can often go unnoticed, but can be such a powerful influence for joy (like cherry blossoms or having breakfast with friends).
I’m really proud of this post. Basically, I took Yale’s seminal positive psychology course online and took all the notes and synthesized them for you guys. This is truly part 1 of everything you need to know about positive psychology and how to harness its power for your life. Follow it with part 2 of my course notes for a comprehensive crash course.
It’s been an amazing year of learning -- how to write good content, what type of content you guys like to read, what I like to write myself, etc. It wasn’t the year that I was able to produce content the most consistently, but I hope that is something I’m better able to manage in 2019.
Ultimately, nothing makes me happier or is truer to the mission of this site than helping educate and inspire busy professionals to make simple, permanent improvements to their happiness. Thanks for reading and I hope to see more of you in 2019!
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