Barclaycard has teamed up with writer, actress and presenter Giovanna Fletcher to launch the Barclaycard 31- day challenge – encouraging individuals to take the first step to kickstart their passion. 

Giovanna Fletcher

Giovanna Fletcher

Each day this month, Giovanna will be conquering January by starting something new from learning to ballroom dance with Harry Judd to playing cricket with Freddie Flintoff, as well as mastering cake decorating with Great British Bake Off contestant Liam Charles.

On embracing the challenge Giovanna Fletcher said,

“I’m so excited to be giving this a go with Barclaycard with a little help from a pool of the nation’s finest talent and can’t quite believe I’ll be picking up new skills like cake decorating tips from Liam Charles and hitting a six with Freddie Flintoff!

“By the end of the month I’ll be able to show off new skills from floristry and sign language to magic tricks and skateboarding and many more.  I’ve already had a blast trying Laughter Yoga with Tom – which mainly involved us rolling on the floor laughing!  I doubt I’ll be a dab hand at everything but this challenge is a great way to start the new year and I can’t wait to get stuck in and give it a go.” 

To help more people start something new this January, Giovanna shares her top tips to get you started:

Giovanna’s Top Tips on Starting Something New

Start the things you really want to do – it wasn’t until I became a mum for the first time that I really found the confidence to be completely true to myself. When I was younger, I would do what I could to please other people whereas now I realise the importance of following your own dreams and goals without being influenced by others. So make sure you find an interest that makes you happy when you’re doing it rather than just going along with the latest trend or what ‘everyone else is doing.’

Don’t sweat the small stuff – time is precious and so don’t worry if you don’t get something right the first time or aren’t a natural at something, learn what you can from the challenge and move on.  The main thing is to try something new and having that mentality can be so liberating. 

Embrace your inner child – since having the boys, I’ve watched them bring out the creativity in both myself and Tom. Buzz and Buddy have the most amazing imaginations and they have this beautiful way of making everything fun. Therefore, if you’re looking to start something new but not sure what, have a think about what you enjoyed doing as a child. Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved reading and making up stories and plays for my parents, that passion has actually transferred to how I make my living and it’s so amazing to see that dream come true.

Surround yourself with positive people – this is probably one of my most important tips and although it may seem obvious, it can be very easy to be negatively influenced by people. Take time to really look at the people around you and make sure they are the ones that will support and encourage you to start things and keep going. As well as Tom, I’m so thankful to have such great siblings in Giorgina and Mario, they always have my back and support me in everything that I do.  Equally, my friends Emma and Katy are such good fun and always very positive – they always encourage me to do something I’m passionate about – friends like that are precious and few.

Make sure to take time for yourself – as any parent will tell you, finding time to pursue a passion or interest can be tricky when you’ve got little ones to look after. But it’s so important that you make this time for yourself, even if it’s just an hour a week.  Tom and I are pretty good at dividing and conquering and it’s important to work with your partner or friends and family members to give each other that time.  

You don’t have to do it alone - pursuing an interest doesn’t have to be a solo thing.  Bringing Tom into some of the activities I have been challenged to do for the Barclaycard 31 Day Challenge, has been a great ‘date night’ equivalent.  Instead of the usual movie night or dinner out, we’ve had a blast starting things we would never normally get to do together such as Laughter Yoga!  Equally, if you can’t find that quiet hour to do something for yourself, you can always get the kids involved in what you’re doing.  It’s amazing how a giant lump of homemade dough, some cookie cutters and a chef’s hat will keep the boys entertained whilst I indulge in a spot of baking!  

Keep going if you’re having fun! – as we all know, life tends to get in the way but if you’ve found that thing that makes you happy and you are passionate about then make sure you stick to it and make the time for it. It doesn’t matter how good you are at something either - you probably aren’t going to become the world’s best violinist, but if you feel great with that violin and bow in your hands then there’s no reason to stop. Equally if you start something new but don’t fancy it, move on, there are plenty more activities in the sea!

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