October 2015 Wrap-Up

Holy Halloween, Batman, October was a crazy month for the site! We hit all kinds of milestones, and surpassed all sorts of targets. In short, October was a month of firsts!

How To Get Your Shit Together wrap up

The biggest news is that we’re now a year old! Which means that, after our first tentative steps, we’re finally finding our land legs. The past year wouldn’t have been possible without YOU — everyone who reads, comments, sends messages… All of you are the reason I keep writing. All of you force me to stay focused and keep my eyes on the prize (turning this site into one of the BIGGEST productivity sites in the world). THANK YOU!

HowToGYST.com Blogiversary

And, because of the extra exposure the blogiversary brought, the HowToGYST Facebook page exceeded all expectations, growing in size by almost 50%! I thought I was being incredibly optimistic by aiming for 500 ‘likes’ this month, but we breezed past that, even before the blogiversary on the 22nd, and have now cruised past the 550 mark. Colour me all kinds of excited!

Other social media milestones include:

As well as that, I posted my first ever collaboration video over on YouTube, where I sat down with my good friend Blaithin to discuss some simple ways to make this Halloween your best yet. It was great fun to film, and to re-live some of our own memories of Halloweens past. We even shared some of our deepest fears, what films scared the bejesus out of us, and discussed trick-or-treat etiquette (spoiler alert: forget the fruit).

Check out part 1 here: How To Get Your Shit Together for Halloween (Chats & Cheats) —  in which I share the little ritual I perform every time I stay in a strange place.

And part 2 here: Halloween childhood memories — in which I come across as a total coward (also includes my first bloopers reel!)

Other YouTube videos I posted this month:

I also ran the very first giveaway to celebrate the site’s birthday. I compiled some top productivity products, including a copy of David Allen’s bestselling book, “Getting Things Done”. Congratulations to the winner Emma-Louise, who’s now well on the way to getting her shit together. 🙂

HowToGYST.com Productivity Giveaway

And our final ‘first’ was a sponsored post for the GYST Club. I’ll admit I was a bit wary about this because I”m very conscious of the fact that people come here for advice and guidance and support, not to be sold something. But I think readers will recognise that I’m not about the “hard sell”. I don’t have sidebar ads (or any sidebar at all, for that matter) and, given that this is the first sponsored post I’ve done in over a year of blogging, I hope you’ll indulge me. 😉 But when I saw what the GYST Club were selling, I just couldn’t pass it up. Check this out:

GYST.club mug

Amazing, right?

Apart from the fact that they’re also trying to spread the GYST message (not just with mugs, but via an awesome app too), their irreverent humour was a perfect fit for me. And y’know, they said they’d send me free mugs. #priorities

Check out the GYST Club Kickstarter campaign, even if only to witness the epic beard.

GYST Club Kickstarter banner

But you know I had other great content on the site too, so click the below links and then kick back and catch up on October’s posts:

So that’s it for the ‘site’ side of things. Let’s move on to how we all got on in HowToGYST HQ (AKA home).

If you caught the September 2015 wrap-up post you’ll know I was diagnosed as having gallstones and referred to a surgeon with a view to possibly having my gallbladder removed. Well I met with him a few weeks ago and, given that I’m not crippled with pain every day and that I’m a little unsure if surgery is the best option, he’s not recommending I go ahead with the procedure right now. So he gave me a prescription to help with the pain, told me to cut down on fatty foods (which I’d already started doing and had noticed big results), and said to call him at any time if I decided to proceed and he’d happily book me in.

So that’s that. Surgery avoided. For now, at least. As I said, cutting out fatty foods (like pizza) has produced big results for me, and I’m definitely noticing a significant reduction in pain.

Pepperoni pizza goodbye

Dear pizza, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m sure we’ll have the odd dalliance in future but, right now, I just can’t commit.

I also tried a “gallbladder cleanse” I found on the internet, which I obviously don’t recommend to anyone. I’m not averse to Western medicine at all, but I’m firmly of the opinion that surgery is a last resort, so wanted to at least try something “natural” before going under the knife. (At that point, I was convinced surgery was the only option.) All I’ll say is that it wasn’t pleasant, and that the old adage holds true: Don’t try this at home, kids!

In the lighter side of the news, this month marked 11 years since I first met my husband. We both had longer hair and less money back then, and absolutely ZERO idea that this is the path we’d end up walking together, both personally and in our professional lives. It feels like a long time but, then again, our adventure is really only just beginning. So here’s to the next 11, and the 11 after that!

Laura & Sam - Disneyland 2005

Our first holiday — this was taken in EuroDisney in 2005. We both look horrendous… but happy

I also started potty training Scout. Long story short, I’ve left it for now and will be re-starting in another few weeks.

Dolly on potty

Dolly needs to pee. My daughter, on the hand, does not. Apparently.

And, as if my November wasn’t already shaping up to be pretty hectic, I’ve just signed up for a 6-week Digital Marketing course. Eek! The site has just gone from strength to strength so I figured it was about time I started investing a little more in it and turning it into a bona fide career. And on that note…

HowToGYST.com Business cards back & front

Business cards!

And it was my mammy’s birthday! She won’t thank me for telling you what age she is, so I’ll leave you hanging on that one, but she’s the cat’s pyjamas so I couldn’t let the wrap up post pass without mentioning it. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAMMY!

These posts seem to get longer and longer every month, but I’m taking it as a good sign — it means things are growing and improving and “life” is happening.

And there’s a whole lotta “life” coming up in November!


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