Okay, so this is ever so slightly terrifying because (and I know this is cliche) it genuinely feels like only 5 minutes ago that I was writing out my Relaxed 2018 Goals. Yet (cliche as fuck again) when I think about it properly, SO much has changed that somehow it feels like forever ago at the same time.
It’s weird, I almost feel like a completely different person compared to this time last year. I was literally saying just the other day that this year has been simultaneously the best and the worst of my life so far. Everything has felt so extreme; the lows have been unimaginably horrendous, but the highs have been incredible, and I’ve overcome things I never thought I’d have the strength to deal with.
I’ve started a new job, made, nurtured and rekindled friendships, become more secure in myself, moved into the best flat with the best housemate, started a podcast, saved actual money, found love (vom, soz), regained my independence, exercised, eaten well (for the most part) and stepped outside of my comfort zone time and time again.
I’ll be honest, I don’t actually think I’ve read my 2018 goals post since I wrote it, so I’ve completely forgotten what they even were. Let’s have a look, shall we?
Remember my roots
I wanted to spend 2018 focusing on my friends and family who aren’t just around the corner. With family who live abroad and friends spread all over the UK (along with a tendency to rely on them visiting me) this hasn’t been easy, but I’m pretty proud of my commitment to this one.
Just to prove it to myself, here’s a few things I got up to this year:
- Had my Mum and brother (who I hadn’t seen in 2 years!) to visit in January
- Celebrated my Auntie Paula’s 60th with my cousins in London
- Went up North for the first time in 3 years (and to my hometown for the first time in 5!) to see my family and friends there
- Visited my cousin Meghan on my way back home
- Stayed with my lovely friend Alice in Edinburgh and caught up with other friends (namely Vicky, Daisy and Grace!) whilst I was there
- Popped over to France for a week with Rachel to stay with my Dad, Kathryn and Jack
- Whizzed up to Liverpool for a night with Michael
- Welcomed my nephew Henry to the world up in Manchester
- Then I’m rounding off the year with a trip over to Spain to stay with my Mum and Neil. NAILED IT.
Of all the goals I set this time last year, this is the one I knew I needed to focus on the most. I’m going to throw in massive cliche number 3 of the post (impressive) and say that I do not know how I’d have coped this year had it not been for the incredible people around me. From my housemate in the next room to friends and family as far away as Hong Kong, I’ve felt the presence of so many people this year, and I will be forever grateful.
Improve body positivity
This one is a tricky one. Specifically, I wanted to remove diet culture from my life and my daily thoughts, which I do think I’ve achieved for the most part. Bar a few wobbles, I’ve definitely developed a more healthy relationship with food this year – and I’ve taken up swimming a few times a week too, and have managed to do it with the intent of improving my mental heath and because it makes me feel good, rather than to change the way I look.
I can’t say that I feel great about myself all the time, because I still struggle a lot with my body image and – particularly in the last few months – I’ve been pretty unkind to myself a lot of the time. It comes in waves, and I generally find that when my anxiety ‘flares up’ (if that’s the right term), my body image takes a turn as well. I think it’s because my anxiety is to do with control, so the desire to take back that control manifests itself in the desire to restrict my eating and change my body, which has been my coping mechanism in the past.
Anyway, I am getting somewhere, and I knew it wouldn’t be an easy road. I’ll just keep working on it, and hopefully this time next year I’ll have improved even more!
Do more for me
For a large portion of 2017, I had some real problems spending time on my own. I’d become extremely anxious, not know what to do with myself, and often experience panic attacks that I couldn’t control.
These days, things are very different! I’m still generally an extremely sociable person and I love being around people, but I actually find that I NEED some time out to get shit done, and I’m more than happy to hang out by myself. It’s sort of happened naturally because my living situation has changed, I’m a lot more content in general and (cheesy as it sounds) I’ve kind of ‘found’ myself again in the process. I go swimming, I write my blog, I go to events where I don’t know anyone, I cook, I listen to podcasts… and I haven’t had a panic attack for a VERY long time!
Re-evaluate my spending
When I set my goals for 2018, I actually felt a bit unwell thinking about how much money I spent, and how little I had to show for it. This year, although I’ve still had a fair few nights out, I’ve also said ‘no’ when I haven’t fancied it/wanted to spend my money elsewhere. I’ve invested in a few bits and pieces like a new laptop, clothes that make me happy (though I’ve cut back on that in recent months!), furniture for the flat and my laser hair removal, and I’m proud to say that I’ve started a little pot of savings too. In fact, I even wrote a blog about tips on how to save more!
Better my blog
I had pretty ‘big’ blogging plans for 2018, including a new logo/general redesign (which happened, and which I love!), twice-weekly posting (lol, no), more Instagram posts (yep, I post once a day most days now!), improved photography (not sure about that one…), scheduled tweets (who uses Twitter these days?), more networking (I’ve met some amazing people through my blog this year!), and discussing topics I’ve been too scared to talk about (that was referring to my PCOS, which I’ve now opened up about – even if it did take until December!). A mixed bag, but I’m happy with my progress given the year I’ve had.
Paint my nails
It sounds silly and a bit superficial, but I wanted to paint my nails more often, because it makes me feel ‘put together’ and weirdly more confident. I now have painted nails probably 90% of the time (okay, the other 5% I’m probably moaning that they’ve chipped and that I need to paint them again, but that’s not the point). Not the most important goal I set last year, but I’m still calling it a success!
How did you get on with your 2018 goals? Are you planning to set more for the coming year?