I love this time of year, not only because of the copious amounts of food and the excuse to sit and do absolutely nothing for a week, but because it’s a time to reflect on what we’ve achieved in the past year and look forward to what the next year will hold. Usually this reflection is quite private for me but seeing as I love reading everyone else’s reflections and I have this blog, I thought I would share them with you this time, starting with a look back at whether I achieved my resolutions for 2017.
1. Read more–
- Set aside time to read every day and actually open the book or turn on my Kindle, so even if I only have the energy to read half a page I will have made progress- I didn’t do this, as I’ve tried for the last four years in a row, and I figured that if I’m too tired to read or if I just don’t want to, it’s pointless and a waste of energy to go through the charade of getting my Kindle out if I know I’m not going to read anything.
- Aim to read 20 books in 2017- Miraculously, after a very slow start, I managed to read 27 books this year (Edit: on 31st December I made it to 28!) I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be aiming to beat that total next year.
2. Write more–
- Start a new blog (this one!)– Yep, and I’ve written 16 posts and counting in 2017. It might not have been as much as I’d hoped but it’s honestly more than I expected and it’s still an amount that I am proud of.
- Write something more than emails and social media updates, either on this blog or elsewhere, at least once week- I didn’t really keep track of this one so I can’t say that I did it every week, but between my blog and all of the communications work I did with ENIL this year, I wrote A LOT of stuff so I’m going to tick this one off as achieved.
3. Worry less–
- Actively use the techniques I learn during counselling to reduce anxiety and remain open to the option of starting medication- Honestly I can’t really remember what I did, but I guess I must have done this at the time when my anxiety was high earlier in the year. The idea of going on medication still scares me but I definitely wouldn’t rule it out if it was needed in the future.
- Aim to leave the house at least 4 days a week- Ha, no! I’ve realised the reason I struggle to leave the house is because it is EFFORT! When I had periods of higher energy I left the house 6 or 7 days a week, but when my energy is low and I’m not working, 4 days a week is just unrealistic for me, especially as I don’t have my Motability car right now. I don’t pressure myself to leave the house when I am too tired but I am a lot more aware of when the last time I left the house was, and I always try and plan when the next time I leave the house will be so that I’m not just sat on the sofa indefinitely, and this helps me to feel a lot better.
- Aim to see a friend, either in person or on Skype at least once a week- Again, no. I found work in Brussels so tiring that even trying to plan Skype calls was a lot of effort, but I feel very grateful that my friends have stuck with me, even if I wasn’t in a regular contact with them while I was away.
- Fill in a Gratitude Log once a week- No, I just don’t have the self discipline for this and I know that gratitude is supposed to be the key to a happy life but I have a lot of issues with it, which I won’t go into now but I plan to write more about in the future.
- I’m also toying with the idea of taking the last week of every month off social media, but I’m not sure I really want to, so we’ll see.- I decided against this as social media is on the whole a much more positive than negative force for me. The fact that everything to do with D*nald T*ump no longer shows up on my timeline definitely helps a lot!
Even though I haven’t completed most of the sub goals here, I am actually worrying less! Looking back on this showed me just how bad my mental health was at the start of the year and what a change there has been from then to now. It’s no wonder I felt so terrible, my family had to deal with massive changes and I was about to move to Brussels and live independently for the first time with pretty much no idea what I was heading to. I found that almost as soon as I made the move and I wasn’t facing the unknown any more, my anxiety dropped dramatically. Living in Brussels was the hardest experience of my adult life and it was definitely a rollercoaster in terms of my anxiety levels, but it gave me so many new experiences that heading into 2018 feels infinitely less terrifying! I have the self confidence to know transition periods will always lead to spikes in my anxiety, and even though it’s never going to go away, I do have the knowledge and the tools to at least try and manage it effectively.
4. Complete the Whizz Kidz Young Leaders Award–
- Begin to mentor other Young Leaders this month, as part of my Supporting Others module- No, once I moved to Brussels I found I just didn’t have the time to commit to this.
- Complete 1 remaining module every 2 months in 2017- Again, once I was in Brussels my work with ENIL took priority so I didn’t get any further with the Young Leaders modules.
However, even though I didn’t manage to get any further with the Young Leaders programme, Whizz-Kidz very kindly gave me their Young Leaders Award for Affecting Change this year for my work with ENIL and on my blog, so as ever, thank you very much to the Whizz-Kidz team!
It’s been so weird looking back at where I was this time last year and remembering what I wanted to achieve. I definitely feel like I’m in a very different place now. Even though I didn’t achieve many of the specific goals in my little action plans I feel like I’ve made significant progress overall with each of the areas, and considering how I usually do with my New Year’s Resolutions, that’s pretty awesome!
Keep a look out for more 2017 review posts and my 2018 resolutions in the coming week!
I’m moving to Edinburgh in the New Year and I’m looking for Personal Assistants. Check out the ad and share it here: https://rebeccafarren.com/2017/12/27/im-recruiting-personal-assistants-in-edinburgh-deadline-extended/