We're well into the new year now - the Christmas decorations are down, the kids are back at school and I've finally managed to get back to the gym after over a month away!
Christmas was so, so busy and the whole of December seemed to race by in a blur so in that weird bit between Christmas and New Year I sat myself down and had a good think about how to manage my time better, be more organized and productive and really push my business forward.
As a result I decided to close the eBay shop and concentrate all my efforts on the Tilly & Tabitha website.

I've had at the back of my mind for some time now that I wanted to move away from eBay but I clung to it like a security blanket! eBay is a wonderful site that is incredibly easy to use and manage - you can sell anything from a post card to a Porsche, it takes no time at all to start selling and with a little extra effort an eBay shop is very easy to set up too. Within weeks of launching my eBay shop, that I originally intended to go hand in hand with the website, I had sales rolling in fast. 

Now, as easy as it is to set up selling on eBay the tricky bit is actually running it consistently to the highest possible standards. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I made it my mission never to let the feedback rating slip to anything below five stars on all the criteria:
- Item as described
- Communication
- Dispatch time
- Postage and packaging charges
And I'm proud to say that I never did receive anything less than five stars from every single customer :)

However, doing so well on eBay was simply making it harder and harder to leave, though deep down in my heart I knew it was time to.
So why leave eBay?
Well, at the end of the day if I'm trading on eBay I'm effectively working for somebody else, not myself. eBay has very high fees for sellers and reserves the right to change anything at any time which can be frustrating. Also I worried that when people bought jewellery from me and a friend asked where it was from the buyer would say 'I bought it on eBay' as opposed to 'I bought it from Tilly & Tabitha' which doesn't exactly help to promote my brand!  

So, with this big decision made I need now to push forward with everything I have to make Tilly & Tabitha a successful company (though by no means do I do this without fantastic support form some incredibly important people in my life)

I have recently created some gorgeous new pieces that are totally unique, personalised and packaged beautifully that I am so looking forward to sharing with you!

1st January is as good a day as any to commit to a new resolution. We all know deep down what we should be doing more or less of and at New Year's many of us declare that things will be different from now on but recent research suggests just a mere 8% of us actually stick to our new goals!

With that statistic in mind here's my top five tips on making sure you DO achieve your New Year's resolutions:

1 - Set the RIGHT goals and WRITE THEM DOWN

It's all very well boldly declaring that from 1st January you will never smoke, eat chocolate or let a drop of alcohol pass your lips ever again and on top of that you will workout at the gym at least five days a week, lose two stone and run a marathon but if you set too many goals or just down-right unrealistic ones it's no surprise when you end up not seeing them through.
Instead, commit to making as many small changes that can be easily worked into your daily routines as possible - any steps moving in the right direction are steps worth taking.
Once you have decided what areas of your life you'd like to work on your next step should be to write your goals down.
This simple exercise will be the single most important thing you can do to ensure you stick to your new commitments.

2 - Have prominent reminders around of WHY you have made that resolution

So, you've decided on what resolutions you want to commit to, you've chosen realistic goals and committed to them further by writing them down. But why have you chosen those particular goals in the first place? The reasons behind your choices can be powerful motivators to sticking to your resolutions if you keep them at the forefront of your mind.

Simple things such as a photograph of your child in your wallet that you can't help but see when you go to pay for your cigarettes can be a real help. Perhaps a little written reminder of what you're really saving for written in the front of your cheque book could help you curb unnecessary impulse buying if that's something you're trying to control.

3 - Prepare in advance for difficult situations

Another great key to success is preempting hurdles before they even arise so you can be prepared with strategies! For example if you're trying to lose weight but are attending an event where you know there will be a buffet you might choose to eat a small healthy meal before you go, that way you won't be starving hungry and faced with temptation leading you to make poor food choices.

4 - Celebrate your successes 

Don't be afraid to celebrate all of your achievements as you go. It's not just about the end result but also about your journey there. For every success along the way always take time to congratulate yourself and for every milestone you reach be sure to reward yourself in some way. These little motivators will help keep you on the right track and give you things to look forward to.

5 - Don't let a slip up mean giving up

You are human, you can't be perfect all of the time, no-one is. If you slip up or have a bad day don't throw your hands in the air and give up. Dust yourself off and get right back on track immediately. Think of all that you have achieved so far and don't let one silly mistake ruin all you have accomplished so far.


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