It’s that time of year again where everyone starts the generic “new year, new me” train of thought. I’ve never been big on these dramatic changes, like getting a bikini body by March etc, that some of my friends say they’re going to make. Mainly because I know myself and know that by the first weekend of the year I’ll have fallen off the gym wagon and devoured twice as much sugar as if I’d just plodded along as normal.
However over the last few years I’ve set myself a few light goals that I’ve spent my year aiming towards and I’ve actually enjoyed looking back at them come the end of the year to see how I’ve progressed. Not because I want to sweat about the things I haven’t done but more to feel a sense of achievement on those I have completed and see how important I now find the things I haven’t. Let’s face it, we’re human beings and we’re constantly changing so I like to look back at the things that have changed over the year, often I find that my priorities are in a different place.
At the start of 2016, for example, I told myself I was going to be better with my money, which I was and subsequently Phil and I completed on our first home in the November. However I also told myself I was going to do really well with my blog and put lots more effort into keeping my relationship exciting and fresh. By the end of the year, when really being honest with myself, I knew that I hadn’t put my all into these things. But that was OK. My relationship was still going strong and I had realised where my love loss had come from with my blog. So, after a re-branding, I started the new 2017 year with a revived feeling of motivation towards my blog.
Looking back on 2017…
At the end of last year I then sat and thought about all the great things that had happened, such as my travel opportunities, personal achievements and experiences and also what I wanted to achieve this year. In the spirit of continuity, 2017 has brought me some fantastic things…
1. Phil and I adopted our fur-baby George which has to be the ultimate highlight of my year – I couldn’t imagine life without him!
2. I traveled to some incredible places…with work I went to Saint Etienne, Auckland (twice), Wellington (twice), Brussels, Vigo, Stockholm, Silverstone, Macedonia, Bergamo, Lyon, Heidelberg, Basel and Kharkiv. For personal travel I visited The Peak District, Connecticut, NYC and did a road trip around California seeing San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Venice Beach, LA, Vegas, Mammoth Mountain and South Lake Tahoe.
3. I had the pleasure of seeing my cousin get married in Connecticut followed by a short visit to NYC with the whole family.
4. My little brother Cody came to stay with Phil and me for a few weeks during the school holidays and it was lovely to spend some extended time with him.
5. I started attending blogging events and met some fantastic people that I can now call friends.
6. After not seeing her for 17 years, I met up with my godmother in NZ (she lives in Aus) for a few days which was so incredible.
7. I did my first photoshoot with a photographer which is something I never thought I’d have the confidence to do. I have 3 more scheduled for next year already!
8. My nan started the year pretty poorly but has ended the year in better health than I’ve seen her for years which is amazing for everyone who knows and loves her.
9. I had my first paid collaboration with a brand which led to more opportunities in the industry and has given me the chance to develop my skills.
10. After YEARS of wanting to, I FINALLY booked my breast reduction surgery which is in just a few weeks – eeek!!
11. I walked in a fashion show for a clothing brand which was an incredible experience.
I’m not going to lie, the year hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows and I’ve had some pretty low lows at times but dwelling on them doesn’t help so I’m concentrating on the positive!
This year I set myself the tasks of getting a dog/puppy (check ✔️ – see George!), going on holiday to somewhere I’ve never been before, preferably the US (check ✔️ – California AND NYC) and making a start on decorating the house. Our house took a backseat to financing our road trip and being incredibly busy but realistically we have so much time to do this still, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Setting Goals for 2018…
Most of my new years resolutions for the upcoming year are based around getting more organised and making life a little easier for myself in the process. Plus getting myself a bit more healthy as I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been and I was even before the Christmas gorging. I’m not overweight but I currently don’t feel good or comfortable in my body so I figure that’s about the time I need to make some changes.
At the end of November Phil and I signed up for Everdine – a meal delivery service which I can’t recommend enough (I will be doing a review of this in the new year with a discount code included so keep an eye out if it’s something you’re interested in!). We get 5 or 6 evening meals each delivered on a Saturday morning ready for the week ahead – it makes our lives so much easier as Phil gets home from work pretty late by which point neither of us can be bothered to cook a decent meal, and if we did we’d be eating super late anyway, so we end up chucking something quick and easy on – think a rolling repeat of pizza, chicken nuggets and chips and those quick tortelloni packets. Everdine has really been a savior where we both get a good variety of healthy dishes we actually like (we have quite different tastes in food) and they only take 7-10 mins in the microwave. So with some healthy evening meals sorted, and a strict two takeaways a month MAX rule (preferably just one though) that’s my first step to a healthier me.
Next step: Lunch. I’m super lazy (have I mentioned that already?!) and so I’m notorious for either not eating anything or just grabbing a Greggs sausage roll/McDonalds for lunch, not healthy! Therefore I’m going to make sure we do a small Aldi shop at the weekend for sweet potatoes (for jackets) or salad stuff to pre-make myself some healthier lunches. Chloe, a really lovely girl I met recently and fellow Mancunian blogger, at The Style Parcel put together a FAB post before on ways to make your salads more interesting which looks like a super useful way to keep lunches interesting and not feel like you’re eating rabbit food every day so I’m going to follow some of her tips.
Lastly, breakfast – I never eat it. Therefore I’m going to start having something small in order to kick start my metabolism and stop me from snacking on cookies before noon. My colleague has suggested having a banana with a bit of natural yoghurt and honey (to avoid the bitter yoghurt taste). Chloe has also done a post before with 4 breakfast on the go options which would make life in the fast lane easier! Chloe actually has some awesome recipes and make your life easier food posts on her blog so she’s definitely work a look if you want some inspo!
I’m seriously not a morning person, like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde kind of difference! This morning grumpiness tends to cause me to be lazy in the mornings and I’m so bad for sleeping in as long as possible and then just scraping my hair back, chucking on jeans, Uggs and a comfy jumper to save time/effort of choosing an outfit. I love fashion and I want to put more effort in to dressing in outfits that make me feel good – something I always tell myself I’ll do and then morning comes and I CBA. Therefore I’m going to start planning my weekly outfits on a Sunday and, to make it EVEN easier, I’m going to get one of those exposed clothes rail things to go in the empty corner of our room which I can hang the week’s planned outfits on ready to put on each morning quickly. Clothes, shoes, bag, jewellery – everything down to last detail! With this element of decision, effort and general brain power removed from my mornings I can get the end result I want without kidding myself and trying to change who I am as a person/feeling deflated when bed/comfy clothes win over style.
I’m also going to buy a proper umbrella. Because, let’s face it, Manchester is rainy. Really rainy. So where I would usually chuck on a huge unflattering coat to stay dry, if I were to wear something nice, without a hood, I’d get to work like drowned rat which wouldn’t help the situation!
My first two goals actually lead in to my final goal…go to more blogger events and be more involved in the amazing community I have been introduced to.
Usually I end up not going on the day, or I can’t go to those last minute ones I’m contacted about whilst I’m at work, as I feel like I look poop when I’ve got my comfy (lazy) clothes on. I’m also usually either hungry or tired from having not eaten lunch or eating something that’s full of rubbish and drains you. So my theory is if I’m putting more effort into making myself presentable and feeding myself better then overall I’ll feel more comfortable in myself and more spontaneous/motivated in the process.
This year is about knowing and embracing who I am, a lazy so-and-so sometimes, and doing things to make my life easier so I can get the results my lazy so-and-so side inhibits.
So for now, I’m strolling out of 2017 with a Salted Caramel Baileys in hand feeling ready to take on 2018!