2017 Reflections, 2018 Resolutions

If I had to sum up 2017 in a few words, I’d describe it as a year of patience. In nearly every aspect of my life it felt like I was waiting for something to happen. There were things that I had to be patient for due to my own doing but the majority of the time I was waiting for things out of my control to be decided or come in fruition. As a result, come New Year’s Eve I was left struggling to see what I’d achieved last year so I thought writing this post might help.

One big thing I wanted to tick off in 2017 was learning to drive. I’d had a couple of lessons before but hadn’t properly devoted time to learning so made it my goal to pass my test in 2017. One expired and re-taken theory test plus a failed first practical test and many lessons later, I finally passed on Friday! Technically I passed in 2018 but I put in all the hard work for it last year so I’m counting it as an accomplished goal for 2017!

Something else I wanted to sort out last year was my teeth. They weren’t especially bad but crowded enough that they bothered me so I decided to get Invisalign braces. It was an expensive decision but most definitely an investment and I felt it was the time to do it before I had too many responsibilities and other priorities. After eight virtually pain free months I was really pleased with the final result. Even though the braces were very discreet and barely noticeable, I still felt slightly self-conscious about them so they held me back from doing a few things last year but they’ve given me confidence now so it was worth the wait. I’d highly recommend Invisalign if you’re looking to have adult braces.

Another thing I wanted to do in 2017 was go for more weekends away and I went on some lovely trips to Haworth, Cornwall, Bergen and Budapest. I love exploring new places and I’m looking forward to hopefully going on many more adventures this year.

2017 also included the end of a relationship for me. It’s hard not to feel like you’ve wasted time and energy when you’ve put a lot into a relationship and it doesn’t work out but there are always lessons to be taken from it and there’s nothing like a break-up to make you realise what you do and don’t want!

On that note, I feel like I can see much clearer now and know what I want to achieve this year. To start with a cliché, I hope to be healthier and get fitter. I didn’t set myself a particular fitness goal last January but I turned into a bit of a gym bunny (in the loosest sense) – not something I ever thought I’d describe myself as! I go to a few classes a week and it not only helps me feel better physically but mentally too. Body Combat is the best if you need to get some frustration out! I improved my fitness last year and I’d like to continue to do so, as well as tone up. I need to get back into it after what feels like weeks of eating all the festive food!

People always see my book reviews and think I must read a lot but I don’t feel like I do! I only read around 20 books last year, which is nothing for a book blogger! I’d like to not only read more books this year but in particular, the classics I should’ve already read by now!

Every year since I got my sewing machine, I say I want to learn how to make my own clothes. With no clue how to even use it, I attended a workshop on how to make a simple cushion cover at The Makery in Bath last autumn and I’m hoping to make lots with mine this year and track my progress on the blog (let’s see if that happens…)

I really love writing and spend the majority of my time blogging for work and pleasure but I hardly do any creative writing, which I used to enjoy. This year I’d like to do an online creative writing course in my spare time, which might encourage me to start writing fiction again.

My final, less specific, goal for 2018 is to be proactive and say yes to more opportunities. Being an introvert, it’s so tempting to hide away and avoid anything out of my comfort zone. From friendships and relationships to work and blog opportunities, I often wait for things to come to me rather than go after them myself. My dad always says that you make your own luck and that’s what I hope to do this year.

With that said, I also need to be kinder to myself. I’m the worst for putting pressure on myself to achieve more and very rarely feel proud of what I have accomplished. In a world where it’s so easy to compare yourself to others and feel inadequate, sometimes we all need to take a step back to see how far we’ve come.

In the first couple of years after graduating from university, so much in my life kept constantly changing and 2017 for me was the first year in which nothing major happened. Although I’m not a massive fan of too much change, I sometimes feel like it’s the only way to keep making improvements but that mindset can actually be counterproductive. This year has made me realise It’s OK not to make big changes and instead lay the foundations for more exciting things to come. For that reason, I haven’t set myself any significant life goals for 2018 other than to try and strike the perfect balance between being patient and proactive.

I didn’t intend for this post to be quite so long and personal but it’s helped me reflect on last year and realise what I want to achieve in 2018. If it’s helped you in even the smallest of ways too then that’s even better.

What are your resolutions for this year? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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