Thursday 15 December 2016

2016 Hopes & Goals Review

As we approach the end of 2016 it's time to reflect on all of the hopes and goals I set myself at the start of the year. 

Feel free to have a little read my 2016 Hopes & Goals post if you want to catch up, but I shall be listing all of my goals below and updating on how well I done with them! 

Spend some time volunteering with animals

I'm really sad to say that I didn't get around to doing this. I feel so let down in myself for not pushing this harder but there are some reasons why it didn't get to happen. Most of the volunteer days I saw advertised on Facebook and event pages happened to fall at the weekend and it just so happened that we had plans on the dates I was looking at. I also sent off an application my local RSPCA shelter who still haven't come back to me about an induction day. So the intent was definitely there, it just didn't work out how I would have liked it to. I think I'll add this to my goals for 2017 and ensure it happens next year!

Continue to work on having body confidence through a healthy diet & exercise

I think it would be fair to say that I spent the vast majority of 2016 not really pro-actively doing anything about this and over the Summer I hit an all time low with regards to my body confidence levels. I have however now made things good by joining a new health club in October and I have been working out there on a regular basis since November. I already feel fitter and happier in myself and, although there is still a lot of work to be done, it feels really good to know that I am on the right road and a better position than I was 6 months ago.

Visit one new country and one new city

I love goals like this that are actually enjoyable and achievable! I love to travel (when anxiety isn't taking over) and so I knew that this goal would definitely get ticked off my list. I actually ended up visiting two new cities that I've never been to before - Palma De Mallorca and Edinburgh! I also visited a totally new country that I have never been to before - Scotland! 

2016 was more about mini breaks and staying within Europe for us. It has been such a great year for creating new memories and enjoying new experiences! I feel like taking a break from long haul flights and travelling further afield has done me some good and shorter flights have definitely been more manageable in terms of anxiety. I've managed to rebuild my confidence again with travelling which is great as it became really problematic for me in 2015. I do now feel like I have got itchy feet again to go further away so hopefully we'll plan something exciting for 2017 soon.  The west coast of the USA has been on my hit list for a while, as has Japan and Santorini.

Sign myself up for a course where I can learn something new

Self development and improvement has been really important to me in 2016 and at the start of the year I had a real urge and desire to learn new things. 

Earlier this year I signed myself up to an evening photography course which was one the best decisions I ever made. It was quite hard work doing an evening course and forcing myself to go out in the cold evenings to drive an hour away to the college. But it was well worth it and I really do feel that my photography and camera knowledge has improved so much. I am now much more confident and experimental when it comes to taking photographs and it's so great to look back over my work and see improvements in what I am producing.

Also along the photography theme I went along to an 'iPhoneography' workshop in Cambridge in the Summer which was so much fun! I absolutely love taking photos on my phone and I really think that there is some amazing work being produced purely through mobile technology. I picked up loads  of tips from this workshop including how to take better iPhone photos and use Instagram more to my advantage. 

I also signed myself up to a group CBT course which was another really positive experience for me. You can read my CBT Diaries here. I'm so glad that, despite my initial reservations, I pushed myself to go along to these weekly meetings. Looking back I can see that they were so helpful to me in overcoming the worst of my anxiety problems. I found the whole course to be a really positive experience and I made some nice friends whilst I was there. Thankfully I haven't had a bad episode since attending this course so I think on reflection it worked better than I even realised at the time.

Invest in a decent DSLR camera and improve my photography skills

This was quite quickly achieved when my husband kindly bought me a Canon DSLR 750D as a late Christmas present in the New Year sales! It's something I had wanted for quite a while but it was only when I made the mental decision that I wanted to improve my blog photography that I really decided that I needed a proper camera. 

I have really loved using this camera this year and I would be lost without it now! It's a great camera and pretty easy to use too which was so important to me when deciding what one to get. Going on the photography course was ideal because they showed me how to use the various different settings on the camera and use it on manual mode. It was way more technical than I had ever imagined and it has required a lot of practicing since but i'm reaching a stage now where I feel pretty confident using it.

Work on managing my anxiety levels better

Attending the group CBT course I mentioned earlier was an integral factor in this goal to work on managing my anxiety levels better. It helped so much and I found it to be a really positive experience engaging in a group therapy environment. I had so many reservations about it initially but i'm really glad that I pushed myself to keep going with it. 

I'm pleased to say that my anxiety levels have been pretty consistently low throughout the majority of this year and my mental health has been better as a result. I have and do still struggle from time to time but this is mainly with low moods. I don't feel that anxiety has held me back from doing what I have wanted to do this year which is great! 

I just hope I can continue to feel better and better as time goes on and I really hope to never relapse again. I have relapsed before, the last time being 2015, and I am aware of the risk of this happening again but now I am on a stable medication and i'm feeling better in myself I am hoping the risk of this happening again is pretty low.

Grow my blog and social media following

2016 has definitely been the year where I have started to take my blogging more seriously and I have put more effort into what I am creating. I also started my YouTube channel which was a really unplanned decision but it's been one that has helped to build my confidence and my brand. 

My Twitter and Instagram followers have more than doubled in the space of a year and I have seen a constant rise in my blogs page views and engagement. I also now have over 800 subscribers on YouTube which I never thought I would be able to achieve so quickly. 

I've definitely succeeded with this goal for 2016 and it's one that I plan to continue working at over the next 12 months too. I see it as a constant work in progress and I am constantly learning new things and developing in this work.

Dedicate one day a week to myself and self care

This is a tricky one.... I can't really say for sure if I have solidly dedicated one day a week to myself and self care but I am in a good place so I must have been doing something right!? 

I usually set aside Sunday's for a day of chilling out and doing non blog / work related activities and I am pretty good and switching off when I need to. 

My favourite acts of self care this year have been enjoying Lush baths (of course!), planning regular short mini breaks, booking myself in for regular massages, exercising. enjoying spa facilities and my favourite is always snuggling down with a nice fleecy blanket and my pets.

Finish my crochet throw (80 granny squares to go!)

PAH! I think we all know the answer to this one! 

Spend less time online and more time reading 

Hmmm.... I wish I could say that I have done well at this but i'm not sure I have. I have read a few books this year but I haven't made reading a regular activity in my day to day life. Instead I tend to have reading phases! 

When your work is so focused around being online and interacting online it is really hard to switch off from it and spend less time on it. I think the fact that I am conscious of this is a good thing and I know I need to spend less time staring at screens. I just need to work harder at putting it into practice.

How did you get on with your own goals and resolutions this year? 

1 comment

  1. I really adore this blog post babe, I'm more than sure you're going to be able to reach all of your goals by next year. Thank you for sharing sure a wonderful post 💜💫✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie. x |


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