2016 was a weird one. For the most part, I had a cracking time: I graduated with a 2:1, started my MA course, made progress with my blog, completed Tough Mudder, moved house, travelled to new countries and was surrounded throughout the year by loved ones, both new and old.
But, like most people and especially in its later months, the year dealt me some shit too. Which is why January’s so important. It’s the absolute worst month of the year: I have a trillion law exams to revise for in the next few weeks, which is proving difficult without the twinkly prospect of Christmas; plus I’ve given up drinking for the foreseeable and it’s apparently not acceptable to live off a diet that solely consists of cheese anymore (boo). But January is a new beginning, and although we shouldn’t really need an excuse to better ourselves, I’m willing to grab it with both of my podgy little hands and not let go.
And what would January be without new resolutions? I’ve listed a few of mine below, mainly to hold myself accountable when the motivation wears off and I start slacking again (I’ll give it two weeks).
1. Be more positive.
As I mentioned, last year was a bit rocky for me. I had a bad time with depression over the summer, which carried on into the later months as I struggled to balance my new course with, well, the rest of my life (I love it, but by heck, it’s hard bloody work). I remember texting my best friend in November and basically putting “I don’t feel like I have anything to be positive about at the moment”, which is ludicrous, because there’s always something, however small. I’m determined to keep a happy head on my shoulders because life’s just so much easier when things are sunny. Which leads me onto…
2. Take some time everyday to do something for myself.
I’ve started this today by having a sort out of the loft space, which I’m slowly converting into an office (god, calm me down, I’m such a riot). I tend to get too het up and stressed about little things that don’t actually mean a great deal . So, this year, I’m planning on taking some time out each day to just do as I please. I’m determined to get back into my old habit of reading more, but I also want to learn how to knit or crochet (told you I’m a riot). I interviewed a group called Sixty Million Trebles recently (I’ll leave a link to their Facebook group and their website here), and the lovely ladies generously gave me a bag of wool and a crochet needle. It all looks a bit scary, but it’s supposed to be quite therapeutic, and I’m determined to at least have a go and donate to their cause.
3. Get back into blogging and make more blogger friends in Leeds!
For the first half of the year, my blog was buzzing. I grew it from basically nothing, gave it a revamp, started getting lovely comments and a lot of readers, went to events and made loads of blogging friends at uni in Liverpool. I even had sodding business cards made. Then it all stopped. I’ve written excuse after excuse, but the upheaval of moving home from uni, then moving house with my family, and obviously starting my MA meant my poor little blog took a back seat. This year I’m pushing to grow it even further, and start attending events in Leeds to make some pals further north. So if any kind Yorkshire bloggers are reading this and know of any events, please help a gal out and leave me a comment below (pretty please)?
4. Compete in a running race.
I’m shit at running. I’m trying really, really hard to get better, but my efforts just seem to get interrupted by injury/the weather/sheer laziness. “But Sophie”, you say “you’ve competed in mud runs, you can’t be that bad?”. Well, yes, yes I can. Don’t get me wrong, I love mud runs because the obstacles are great and I love working as part of a team. But I also love them because you get a ‘rest’ every now and then (if you can call hauling yourself over fences etc. a rest). 2017 is going to be the year I run a race, even if it’s just a tiny 5k. And I’ve written it on here now, so I’ll have to bloody do it.
5. Stop letting anxiety hold me back from doing stuff.
‘Stuff’ is a bit generic, but I can get really anxious and it’s something I’ve struggled with for quite a while. Most of the time, I’m okay, but sometimes it’s just things like agreeing to go on a night out and then wanting to cancel because I feel like I can’t do it. Might sound pathetic, but it’s something I’m slowly working on and getting better with.
6. Go to sleep earlier.
I say this because by the end of last term, I was absolutely shattered. I get up ridiculously early to get to uni, but instead of getting my head down for an early night, I tend to faff about for hours and end up running off about 5 hours sleep. Which, let me tell you, is nowhere near enough. I’m aiming for at least an hour more a night, which will hopefully help with the positivity thing (because everything always feels a million times better after a good night’s kip).
7. Don’t make myself smaller to accommodate other people.
I’m happy with who I am. I’m a bit goofy and way too clumsy, but I always try and be kind and generally put other people before myself. Which can be a bit problematic. I tend to play down how I feel so as not to upset others, which is all well and good until I realised that that’s probably not very good for my own well being. I’m not saying that I’m going to stop putting my nearest and dearest first, but I think it’s time that I gave myself a break and started telling those around me how I feel.
8. Start lifting weights again.
…and just generally get fitness back into my life. My issues with disordered eating have come on leaps and bounds in 2016, mainly because I haven’t been restricting myself. I’ve been enjoying life, but my fitness has suffered due to lack of time and money. I’ve only been managing a run here and there, and I really miss having weights in my fitness routine. So, even if it’s just once a week, I’m hoping to get to the gym and put a really good weight session back in my routine again.
And that’s that. I’m excited about what the coming year has to offer (I’m not that thrilled about turning 23 in March, but hey ho). Please be kind, 2017- I’d be dead grateful!
What are your resolutions or goals for the coming year?
Thanks for reading,