Before I begin, I just wanted to say that yes, I know it's already the 6th January; I know it's probably a little late for posting about New Year's resolutions...but since I went on a little break for the first few days of January, I've only now returned to my routine. My very first day back at work will be tomorrow, and what better way to reflect on 2018 and set new goals for 2019 if not now? Tomorrow is Monday, and I believe that Mondays are the best days to start working towards new goals. Who cares if I'm a week late?
Last year, some of my resolutions didn't work out, but I am proud of many that I managed to stick to. I am not going to be hard on myself for the ones I didn't manage to achieve, because I am perfectly aware that life isn't perfect! Plus, there's enough social media pressure as it is, in regards to the fact it should be. Everyone seems to let you think that they've got it together, that they live this perfect life, but not everything they show you makes up for their reality. It's okay to struggle, it's okay to try and fail, as long as you get back on that horse and try again. And if you fail once more...at least you fail better!
I am proud of many things that I've accomplished in 2018: firstly, I found a job that I love and that makes me feel accomplished and happy. I have also finally managed to move into my new home, and I've decorated it to my liking, which was another one of the goals for 2018. As for not drinking soda, I have to say that I actually did better than I expected. No, I didn't go a whole year without drinking it. I drank it many, many times! But I managed to swap it for sparkling water or tea, way more often than I thought I would. I can confidently say that soda is no longer an 'addiction' of mine. I drink it sporadically, sure, but at least not every single day or every other day like I once used to. Another goal that I've accomplished was mastering adobe Lightroom. I use the editing software for work on a daily basis, and I have been learning new techniques, as well as watching Instagram and Youtube tutorials to further add to my knowledge. I also definitely watched less trashy TV, and way more documentaries, so I am very proud of that.
Now, for the negatives, I still definitely need to master the stress in my life. Stress and anxiety in particular have been growing this past year, but I am taking care of the issue. I am getting the help I need in order to regain control of my life. Furthermore, as for reducing salt and sugar intakes, I have mastered the salt, but still need to work on the sugar addiction...
I have also STOPPED going out for coffees. I used to be addicted to doing this at least once a week. And while I might have spent that money elsewhere, (on things for the house, mainly - moving house was the main reason why I barely managed to save money this year), I am still proud of that achievement.
As for drinking 2 litres of water a day, that's another thing I still need to work on this a little better. This can go one of two ways: I either start drinking water super early in the morning and make it my mission to make it to the 2L, or if I don't start early in the morning, I lose motivation and don't even feel like starting, because I know I won't reach the 2 litres in the time remaining for the day! And if it means reaching half of my goal, I would rather not do it at all.
I have also definitely nailed the 'spend more time outdoors' mission for 2018. I have gone on lots of exciting trips, hikes and simply gone out for photography purposes. I got in the car whenever I wanted to on the weekends and drove to many cute places I hadn't been before to photograph, and later write about the experience.
And finally, as for focusing more on this blog, I actually think I've accomplished this! I wrote 23 blog posts in 2018, which was way more than the year before, and looking back on all the travels, experiences, workshops and fun adventures, I'm very proud of how I managed to document all of that.
All combined, 2018 was a year of finding out who I am, settling in with my new job, and there was lots of personal growth happening behind the scenes. I am excited for what 2019 will bring, and since it's now a brand New Year, I decided to sit down and write my goals and aspirations for 2019. So here we go!
1. Find more freelance writing work!
It's no secret that I love to write, and one of the things I love the most is getting involved in creative writing projects. I want to find more freelance work that would help me not just to explore my creativity through my writing, but also help with saving extra money this year. Ideally, I want to find at least a little project every month, so that I am constantly writing and never have time off writing. Whether it's a tiny article or a full-on project that involves writing 50 or 100 posts/articles, I want to be more involved in freelancing. I also want to look into the possibility of writing guest posts for other blogs. I am looking into this already!
2. Eat healthy!
I want to continue on my vegan journey, learn more recipes, cook more and eat more greens, vegetables and fruits, rather than modified foods. I call them 'convenience' foods, since whenever I'm tired and don't want to cook, I still tend to grab crappy processed foods that I can quickly put in the oven or microwave, without having to wash the dishes or make a big mess in the kitchen. In order to fight this in 2019, I am going to focus more on meal-prepping, making fresh smoothies, and always keeping fresh fruit and vegetables in the fridge. I also want to quit my unhealthy breakfast routine. I tend to have vegan cheese and bread, and I want to swap this for a protein smoothie full of veggies and fruit.
3. Stop drinking coffee!
In 2018, the goal was to reduce my coffee intake, so this year I want to stop drinking altogether. Not only does drinking coffee does not help with my anxiety, it's really bad for my teeth and general health. Not to mention it's addictive! As much as I love coffee, I would rather have a fresh smoothie, a cold water with lemon, or even sparkling water. No more coffee in 2019!
4. Give up sugar!
Why is this so hard??? - sigh- I want to really focus on this in 2019. I've tried it last year and failed! Why did I fail? Because I allowed myself to have 'sugar days', which meant I was nowhere near detoxed from the stuff. And the more you have, the more your body craves it, so I found myself going back to the same vicious cycle. I want to remain strong this year and not give in to temptation...
5. Start doing yoga and focus more on meditation!
I have downloaded a few apps to my phone, one of which I'm loving. The app is called 'Headspace', and you can choose how long you'd like your sessions to be. I normally meditate either 5 or 10 minutes, and I try to do it every day, however, I probably haven't done it in a week or so. So, in 2019, I will focus more on my mental health. Yoga also seems to be a great way to relax your body and mind, so I want to try it. I won't sign up for classes or anything, but I think a simple video on Youtube or an app for my phone should be enough and help me to stay more relaxed and focused on my goals on a daily basis. Yoga is a good way to declutter the mind, so I will definitely give it a go!
6. Be more positive!
I didn't know how to approach this one. I had this same goal for 2018, and I actually asked Bruno what he thought....his reply was that I'm a teeny, tiny bit better, but I'm still in 'the red zone'. This is not good! So I'm keeping this as a goal for 2019. I need to start being more positive!
7. Continue to drink more water!
No need to explain this one... 2 litres a day is the magic number! I also want to continue on a 'no soda' mission.
8. Work hard at saving money!
This really, really....REALLY doesn't have to be so hard! If I want it bad enough, I know I can be pretty thorough with my savings. When I bought my piano, I managed to save nearly £900 in less than 6 months. Saving for travelling is no different. In 2018, this was nearly impossible due to the fact that Bruno working only part-time and the huge investment that came with the new home. We had to buy so much equipment from scratch: washing machine, microwave, beds, desks, couch, TV stands...everything that comes with buying a new house. I had no idea that we'd end up spending so much money, but boy did we spend a good thousands...
Since the house is now fully equipped, there should be no reason not to save a good amount of money in 2019. Bring it on!
9. Live simply, only buy what is needed!
I tend to sometimes buy things that I don't need at all. And I don't mean clothes or beauty products; I'm talking about something different. Sometimes, and idea comes to my head, and because I'm a creative person, I buy random things for the purpose of an interesting photograph or experiment I want to do. This sounds great, because it's a way to explore my creativity, but in the long run, things just end up sitting here and I don't use them more than once. So I want to find new ways to use my creativity without spending a lot of money. I want to stop buying unnecessary things, and put that money aside instead.
10. Grow at work!
With this, I don't mean I want a promotion. I mean having creative ideas that would be good for the business. I mean focusing more on my work and proving my worth at work every single day. I mean working hard and having new ideas/solutions for problems, monitoring my progress more closely and having even more positive feedback on the work that I am doing. I want to create a better, bigger impact and add more value to the company I work for.
11. Practice more self-care and have more healthy habits!
This can mean lots of things: celebrate my successes, honour my emotions, stop criticising myself, cultivate eating consciousness, seek support and positive mentors, practice gratitude and positive affirmations, read a book...and the list goes on!
12. Enjoy the little things!
I am actually quite good at this, but sometimes I can feel overwhelmed due to all the social media pressures, and I forget how far I've come, or to appreciate what I have. For this reason, I want to be more grateful and enjoy the little things in life a lot more, in 2019.
13. Continue to be thorough and organised with the house chores!
I used to be a nightmare with all the cleaning, tidying, vacuuming... I'd do the washing up and not put the clothes away for days, if not weeks, but last year (especially the second half of 2018, I've actually come up with a pretty good system, and I am getting much better at keeping on top of of my chores. I want to continue this throughout 2019, since I believe that having a clean and tidy house helps with my mood, my anxiety, my peace of mind. I want to continue to follow people on Instagram who I consider to be an inspiration on this particular cleaning journey, (Mrs Hinch, for example), as use that as motivation to keep on top of things in the house.
14. Learn to be happier with my life!
I tend to compare myself to others a lot. I tend to look at someone else's life and think 'oh, but what if I had this or that....wouldn't I be so much happier?' Enough comparing myself to others. I want to learn how to be fully happy with my life in 2019. It takes time and patience to learn how to find joy in the little things and not to let problems bring you down.
15. Continue to explore the outdoors by going on hikes / continue to feel connected with nature!
Hiking has become a pretty cool and exciting part of my life, especially in the second half of 2018. I love to be outdoors, and I am so lucky to have found an amazing group of people who share the same passion for nature! Going on hikes helps with my anxiety and stress levels, and I want to continue to explore more of this world in 2019, developing an even deeper connection with nature.
16. Stick to the good healthy habits I've developed!
This is probably the most important of my New Year's resolutions! I want to make sure that all the positive changes I make will be permanent. I want to work on sticking with the good habits I have adopted, until they just become a natural part of who I am. That is how you achieve true self-improvement, and what I am aiming for this year.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year. May all your dreams come true in 2019.