With today marking the start of a new year, I’m looking ahead to 2017 with high hopes. While there was, let’s face it, many aspects of 2016 which royally sucked (multiple celebrity deaths, Trump, and more terror to name but a few), last year was a pretty special one for me. I got to travel to three beautiful destinations, meet some incredible people, make happy memories with my friends and family, continue to work on our house and also bought our gorgeous puppy — it’s fair to say 2016 is going to take some beating.
Embellished sequin dress from Misguided. Buy similar here.
Looking to the future though there are plenty of things I want to set in motion in order to achieve goals and bring happiness for the coming year, which is why instead of setting just one resolution for 2017, I’m planning on setting myself a number of targets which I’ll be trying my very best to stick to. So here we go…
White robe from The White Company. The hotel suite is at the Riu Cancun, Mexico.
2016 was the first time in nearly a decade where I was lucky to go on three holidays. My boyfriend Sam and I jetted off to Barcelona and Benalmedina in May, and ended the year with a two-week trip to Mexico. For 2017 I’m desperate to fly off again as soon as possible, with the weather in England being pretty dismal. We have already booked a trip to Spain in a few months time which I am already on countdown for, but we’re already planning other trips before the year is out — depending on funds!
Image source unknown.
LEARN TO SAY NO
A big problem of mine last year was the willingness to please others instead of myself. It’s taken me a long time but I have come to realise that sometimes it pays to be selfish when it’s your own sanity and happiness at risk. Anyone else who is a people pleaser will know that it is sometimes just so much easier to say yes to avoid any hassle or confrontation, all in a bid to satisfy others. For me, being a ‘yes’ person last year caused me a lot of stress in so many aspects of my life from work to friendships — doing things I didn’t want to do, going places I wasn’t bothered about going, taking on more than I could realistically manage, and all round thinking I was superwoman who could make everyone happy and still find time to be me and do things I’d like to do. If this sounds familiar, STOP. Seriously. Yes, you might upset some people by saying no, but at the end of the day if it’s not going to make you happy, then what on earth is the point? Of course, you’re going to have to do things you don’t want to do sometimes, but don’t let people take advantage of you and allow it to become a habit. Saying no is good for the soul — try it!
So last year I guess you could say I was a fair-weather blogger. I had big dreams to spend a certain amount of time a week writing and taking photos, and, well, let’s just say that didn’t exactly go as planned. I became busy with personal matters, I was tired all the time from not sleeping properly, my day job kind of took over, and my time management just went flying out of the window. After being diagnosed with anxiety towards the end of 2016 and suffering from panic attacks on a regular basis, I realised it’s time to prioritise my work better, set myself realistic expectations and know when it’s time to chill out and relax (something I really struggle with doing). Moving forward I have decided to allow myself my set working hours only for my day job – no staying one or even four hours late, no bringing work home, no working on weekends and sending emails in the middle of the night – and figured that sometimes you just have to let it go. My working hours are 9-5.30 and if it doesn’t get done, then I can finish it the next day. The world isn’t going to end. Plus, if you’re tired your work is no good to anybody. As for my blog and my home life, I have decided to allow myself an hour a day to work on ‘blog stuff’, so whether that’s writing, photography, or just jotting ideas down on a piece of paper — it’s all relevant. The rest of the day (or evening) is mine to do what I want and to relax, whether that be going to the gym and working out, cooking/baking, going to the movies, having friends round for dinner, or even just curling up on the sofa and watching the trashiest thing I can find while channel hopping. By being smarter about my work/life balance I already know I will feel so much calmer and be a more well-rounded person for it.
White sleeveless V-neck body from Boohoo. Khaki shorts from New Look.
LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
While I was in Mexico I was lucky enough to meet some amazing people — you know the ones who just seem to have it all figured out. Nothing phased them. I’ve always been envious of those types of people, because I know I am just not that relaxed, and if I’m honest I can be insecure about so many things. What I realised after speaking to my new friends is that the key to their happiness was that they simply would choose to see the positives in every aspect of their lives. No matter what happened to them or what they’d been or were going through, they made a conscious decision to focus only on the good things. If they saw a homeless person on the street they’d buy them food, if someone needed spare change for a taxi they’d pitch in, if someone was confrontational towards them or hurt their feelings, they would choose to not get angry simply because getting angry wouldn’t solve anything and would only make themselves feel miserable. Any negative energy was thrown away, and they would only surround themselves with people of a similar positive mindset, branding negative people (those who moan, bitch, complain, whine, get jealous, or make rude comments about others) toxic and removing them from their lives. This was so refreshing to me, and it made me realise that I too can be that negative person, and so many people I know are also really negative and have a bad attitude. So, I am going to be taking a leaf out of my Mexican friend’s book and do all I can to be a happier, more positive person and try my best to focus on the good. Forgive, accept what you can’t change, and be kinder to others. Happy New Year my lovelies!! X