So many of us make new year resolutions, but how many of us can say we actually kept them? Sarah Macdonald can. After more than a decade working as a freelance writer, proofreader and editor of educational publications, she decided 2018 was going to be the start of something new.
‘It was a post-40 thing,’ she explains. ‘I didn’t want to drift along until I’m 50 while the kids grow up doing this just because it’s easy and the money’s ok.’ And so she made the brave decision to turn down all offers of work from the start of the year. ‘It was hard,’ she confesses, ‘but I decided I would make this the year I would explore different things, do some courses, meet new people and think about what I really want to do’.
Sarah initially trained as a teacher, and it was that background which led her into educational publishing. She worked for various publishing houses in London before turning freelance. Over the past 12 years she has juggled her freelance work with having three children and has also found time to qualify as a yoga teacher.
The Digital Gum course for relaunchers came into Sarah’s consciousness through not only seeing ads on Facebook but also hearing some of her friends talk about it. ‘I thought it would be a first step back into the workplace and a good way to meet new people in a similar position,’ she recalls. ‘Plus it fitted around the school runs and it was local.’
She describes the course as a ‘whirlwind tour’ and remembers being nervous on her first day, worried that everyone else would be highflying and more capable than her. It turned out everyone felt the same, and they all quickly relaxed and got along brilliantly.
Highlights of the course for Sarah included learning about branding, trying out Canva and building her first website using WordPress. ‘My husband was impressed,’ she smiles. She found course leader Louize an, ‘inspirational ball of energy. Sometimes you need to be around people like that who believe in you and give you confidence.’
Sarah’s time on the Digital Gum course inspired her to think hard about her next steps and to start to draw up a plan. ‘You need to see what inspires you and what you’re devoting your time to,’ she adds. She realised as the course evolved that it was yoga that provided that inspiration and Sarah is now applying her new digital skills to Barefoot Yoga Caversham.
‘I came up with the name just after the course finished,’ she explains. Over the following months, Sarah has devoted herself to setting up Barefoot Yoga Caversham. She has created a website and set up social media accounts to promote the company as well as provide information and inspiration to others.
In September, she launched two weekly yoga classes – one daytime and one evening – in Caversham, and she has collaborated with Sarah Leach of Stride Coaching to set up two one-day retreats, combining coaching sessions and yoga practice with delicious food and drink in the fabulous Thames Lido.
Sarah is delighted that people are finding her website and social media accounts, and contacting her not only to sign up to the various courses she offers but also to give her additional teaching work. Her hard work and determination has truly paid off, and she is now looking into organising an overseas retreat. ‘Yoga on the beach, life coaching in the shade,’ she smiles.