As much as I like the whole concept of a new year signifying new beginnings and the opportunity to make big changes to our lives, I feel as though there's a sense of unnecessary pressure that comes with it. I've been known to set myself unrealistic resolutions in the past that have resulted in me feeling disappointed in myself and feeling like a failure when I haven't been able to achieve them, which is why I wanted to do something a little different this year. I've put together a list of the things I want to achieve in 2018, as well as the things I want to leave in 2017.
THINGS TO ACHIEVE in 2018
A BLOG MILESTONE
After starting my blog a couple of years ago and being quite inconsistent with my posts for a while, I feel as though taking a break last year did me the world of good as it allowed me to spend some time figuring out exactly what I want to focus on within my posts. My passion for blogging has come back stronger than ever and I feel like I've finally found my feet and discovered my own style of writing. Working full time and posting regularly can sometimes be difficult to balance, but I've made some small changes that has resulted in a huge difference to not only my attitude and approach to my blog, but has also shown an increase in numbers within my analytics. I'm aware that my blog doesn't have a huge amount of followers and I'm ok with that as I'm so much happier with my content now, but I've decided that 2018 will be the year that I put myself out there a bit more. Whether that means approaching brands and reaching out to PR companies or becoming more active within the blogging community, I want to push myself further to achieve my goals, and my goal for 2018 is to reach 2,000 followers.
SAVING A REALISTIC AMOUNT OF MONEY
At the age of 24, I feel as though I'm at the right time in my life to start saving for a house and have become a lot more strict with my finances, which has resulted in cutting down on the luxuries which realistically, I could go without. I'm making a conscious effort to stop spending money on the things that I don't need; such as clothes that I'll only wear once or twice, ordering takeaways just because I'm feeling too lazy to cook, or that bottle of wine that I know will just make me feel rubbish for work the next day. With that being said, I'm also aware that I'm not going to be in my 20's forever and I'm constantly reminded by family to enjoy them while they're here, which is why I would still like to explore the world and visit new places to a certain degree. I'm aware that I can't have the best of both worlds, but if it means taking a little longer to save but also having those memories that I can forever look back on, then so be it. I would hate to look back at my life and regret not doing certain things just because I've been so focused on saving. You only live once, and your life should be for living too.
MAKING MORE MEMORIES & TAKING MORE PHOTOS
One of my favourite things to do is to look back on old photos, which is why I'm so grateful for the technology these days that allows us to capture those little moments in life. I used to be so worried about taking photos in certain situations as I would think people were judging me, but I've taught myself not to care so much about the people around me and if I feel the need to take a photo, I will take as many shots as my heart desires to get that perfect one, whether it's for Instagram, Snapchat or my own personal albums. It may make me look silly to a random person that I'll never see again in my life for a few minutes, but it will also result in me having those pictures to look back on in the future which I know I'll appreciate in years to come. Granted, life isn't about living behind a camera lens or phone screen, but in reality, these days taking photos to look back on or to share on social media, is a pretty normal thing. This year, I want to take less photos of things such as my chilli con carne on a Tuesday night and focus more on visiting new places, taking photos of nature, and of course, my family. As much as I love using apps such as Snapchat, I've found that I've been taking too many photos with a silly filter over the top recently, and there's nothing more annoying than having a picture with the dog filter applied and wishing you had kept the original.
THINGS TO LEAVE in 2017
THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T MAKE ME HAPPY
Growing up has taught me some valuable life lessons, and one of them is to remove anyone that doesn't contribute towards my happiness. I've learnt to stop wasting my valuable time and stop caring so much about the people who don't care about me. Those who don't support or celebrate my success, show an interest in my life or even care to ask how I am when they know I'm going through a tough time. I feel as though last years events [which I will share in a blog post eventually] have shaped me into a much stronger person and as bad as it sounds, I've been very harsh with who I've stayed in contact with. If someone only cares about the negative parts of your life just because they're after a bit of gossip, they're not worthy of knowing your personal issues. I've always been a very open person but feel as though I've become very particular about who I share my personal experiences with. Trust is a massive thing to build, so once you have that, I feel like you should appreciate it.
WORRYING OVER THE THINGS OUT OF MY CONTROL
As mentioned in one of my previous posts [here], one of my flaws is worrying about the little things that I have no control over. 2017 was an extremely stressful year for me and I let my anxiety take over on so many occasions which has caused regrets that I wish I didn't have. I'm slowly training myself to have a different outlook on life and to ask myself "can I do anything about this?" If no, then to try and erase it from my mind. I'm sick of worrying over the little things that I can't change as gets in the way of so many amazing opportunities that I could've experienced. It's important to remember that if something is going to happen due to fate, then there's nothing you can physically do to stop it, so don't let it consume you. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them and you can't change something that has already happened, nor prevent the inevitable. I want to stop letting these things take over and instead focus on the things that I do have the power to control this year.
PUTTING PRESSURE ON MYSELF TO GET THINGS DONE BY A CERTAIN TIME
Something I'm extremely guilty of is putting pressure on myself and feeling disappointed when I haven't achieved things by a specific time. Of course, there's nothing wrong with having goals but I feel as though I can be quite unfair on myself at times. I have habits of saying "I want to be engaged by [this] age, moved out by [this] age and married by [this] age", but I've come to realise that life just doesn't work like that. I've noticed things actually happen more quickly once I've become more patient and let them happen naturally rather than putting unnecessary pressure on myself and the people around me, just because everyone else is doing it. It's so important to just live your life and live each day as it comes whilst waiting for those things to happen when the time is right. I'm a huge believer of the saying 'everything happens for a reason' and feel I need to take my own advice sometimes and become a little bit more relaxed about things because they will happen eventually.
What are the things you want to achieve in 2018 and the ones you want to leave in 2017?