It seemed as though I blinked and 2016 was gone. A whole year, vanished before my very eyes, and a festive season that passed quicker than I could even take to soak it all in.
I’ve been a little quiet of late on my blog. When I say, a “little”, I mean, “completely”. The weeks ran away with me, I struggled to feel inspired to write and before I knew it, it had been two months since I last posted a blog; and another month before that. I had fallen out of love with this online space of mine. But a fresh year tends to signal a fresh start, and the opportunity to start writing again and making this blog my friend, hobby and passion once more.
I hate new year resolutions. Or rather, I hate the notion of them. I’ve set my fair share of resolutions in the past – lose weight, drink less, save money, start running – but I rarely stick to them. And then, I feel like I’ve failed, a vicious circle to fall into.
That’s why this year, rather than setting myself goals that I’ll likely struggle to keep and will eventually lead me to a rather miserable, chocolate-indulging state, I’ve decided to make it a year about wanting MORE. I don’t want the next 12 months to be about quitting certain things, doing less of certain things or cutting certain things from my life. I want it to be a time of enrichment, of perseverance, of drive. From the big things, to the small, we could perhaps all do with a little more this 2017.
This is on so many levels: connect more with friends, with family, with my boyfriend and with myself. From picking up the phone to call a relative, to texting a friend just to see how their week is going, to spending time with myself to find out what I want, who I am and how I’m feeling, connection is something I want more of. Put down the mobile phone, turn off the TV and connect with what really matters.
Having the freedom to read when, where and what we like is one of the greatest gifts on earth. A bookworm since I was old enough to hold one, books are my escape. So why don’t I do it more? Why have I let modern day and a busy schedule get in the way of one of my greatest loves? To make this a goal I can actually achieve, I’ve decided to set aside two, regular evenings a week to read in bed before I go to sleep: Tuesdays and Thursdays. It only has to be 30 minutes, or it can be more, and of course I can stray into other days of the week if I want, or have time. But I want to read more, and not be restricted with what I read: old classics, new novels, cookery books, thrillers, children’s literature, self-help bibles…whatever I want.
Practice more yoga
Perhaps my biggest discovery in 2016 was yoga, and the fact that I actually quite like it. I only started going to classes regularly toward the end of the year, so I’m by no means a bendy guru (yet), but I feel like it’s the exercise I was born to do. I have a new yoga mat, some new workout gear and am ready to stretch myself that bit further.
Whether it’s reminiscing over a coffee with a friend about silly memories, watching a series like Friends or Big Bang Theory (my faves) or finding the ability to poke fun at myself, this year I want all the giggles, belly laughs and hysterics.
Treat myself more
With boring, grown-up things to pay for like mortgages, window cleaners and car tax, one often forgets to treat themselves. While I’m partial to the odd TK Maxx and H&M splurge, I want to focus more this year on treating myself with a good old pamper. When having my brows waxed, nails painted and hair treated makes me feel so much better about myself, why wouldn’t I spoil myself with a little more “self-maintenance” every month? From now on, I will book more regular appointments at the beauty salon, indulge in more bubble baths and dig out that trusty Dove gradual tan.
Have the power to say no more
If I don’t want to do it, why bother? Of course, there’s always things in life you can’t say no to, as much as you want to. But there are also things we can say no to, without the guilt. Saying no more, and focusing on what I really want, is key.
To others; to the news; to podcasts; to myself. We go through life more deaf then perhaps we realise, not listening to the world around us, or those who cross our paths. I want to listen to old music that reminds me of being a care-free teenager, and new music that might become a new favourite: I want to listen to inspirational podcasts about creative women, as well as real-life crime stories and murder mysteries (my guilty pleasures): I want to listen to the news, not just watch it, and hear how it might affect not just myself but my future generation. And most importantly, I want to listen to myself, my body, my most-loved and those who need someone to hear them. Perhaps if I can listen more and be more attuned with what surrounds me, I’ll get a better picture of the world we live in, and why I’m a part of it.
What will you be doing more of in 2017? Let’s help each other do more, be more and learn more.