Happy New Year!

(It’s okay to say this on January 10th right…).

Each year, since 2013 or 2014, I’ve started the new year by reviewing the previous year based on the goals I set myself. So here’s how 2015 looked…

The year began in London, and ended in New Zealand. In fact, this time a year ago I had just packed up and moved to London. Now I’m sitting in a cute cottage in Wellington writing about my goals for the year ahead, not knowing where it will end or what will happen.

On reflection, 2015 has been everything I wanted and more. It has been a great year for travel and to some degree, my career too. Most of my trips have been fairly spontaneous and I’ve met so many great people from all around the world.

I’ve learnt a lot this year:

‘Living the dream’
In coming to New Zealand, many people have commented that I am ‘living the dream’, but I’ve realised I was actually in the process of building the life I wanted at home but I never stopped to appreciate it. I didn’t notice the potential that was right there in front of me, I just needed to make a few changes. But if I’d never come here, I wouldn’t know this, and I’m never ever going to regret coming to New Zealand.

Try to find happiness in the little things.
Maybe if I practice this I wouldn’t crave these big adventures. I think it’s a theory I need to test.

I can do anything I put my mind to.
I’m brave, I’m beautiful and I do have the confidence to get out there and attempt my wildest dreams.

New Zealand is truly a beautiful place.
And where I need to be right now.

Appreciate as you go.
This is acknowledging everything you’ve achieved, or every experience you’ve had, taking a moment to enjoy these memories and then thinking about ways of pushing yourself in the next thing. This is appreciating now, living in the moment and being present (things I’ve been working on).

Know yourself, know what you want.
Often, people are looking for something but they don’t know what. If we are truly in tune with ourselves, and if we search deeply enough, I think we know what we want – our deepest desires and ambitions, they’re all in front of us, or locked within ourselves but are we brave enough to fulfil them? Life itself is an adventure. It’s figuring things out. Trying different things. Seeing what’s a good fit.

It’s better to try than always wonder.
For the longest time, I have been determined to be a ‘do-er’ not a ‘say-er’. But sometimes this is easier said than done. Thinking back to childhood, people would often say ‘just try it’, the rebel soul in me would love to not do what I was being told. I’ve always been fairly open minded, my parents were good teachers. Now I want to try. Even if things don’t work out how I envisage, plan or hope. It’s better to know than to always wonder.

Good people are important. Really important. 
Nothing especially bad has happened this year, and not all relationships will stand the test of time, people drift and change. Sometimes you just come to a natural end point. But it’s good to surround yourself with good people. It’s not something that just happens, you have to actively make good choices and decisions, but as I’ve got older, it’s become easier to figure people out. Being in touch with who you are will make it easier to surround yourself with the people you really want to be around.

In life, there will be things you want:
Ambitions, dreams, jobs, holidays etc but when you get there, things may not be as you thought they would – in which case, I ask you: what are you really looking for? Being able to answer this question by yourself, from within will make things easier – I believe. I guess this ties in with finding happiness in the little things.

Taking time to like yourself is important.
After moving to London, I started a new health kick. I got ‘My Fitness Pal’ and recorded everything I ate for 7 months, I walked two hours a day to and from work and start doing yoga in my room in the evenings. By summer, I was in the best shape of my life, the most confident and comfortable in myself I have ever been. This confidence and self-acceptance was a new thing for me, but I’m determined to keep it going. Because I’m worth it. And so are you.

Balance is important.
It’s not necessarily easy, but it’s important. It’s applicable to every aspect of life, but it’s something I need to work on.

I love… Travel, exploring new places and having adventures. But for me, the people are as important as the places and experiences.

Solo travel is lonelier than I expected. 
I’m not saying I feel lonely all the time, or that people shouldn’t solo travel. I can do it, I currently am, but I don’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. There are times when I’m alone and I love it. I feel so free, I can do whatever I want and I don’t have to rely on anyone else. But, sometimes I’m alone and there is nothing more that I want than to share this experience with a family member, a friend or even just a random person. Just someone to turn to and share this memory with. Maybe this is just where I’m at in life.

✔️ = Completed
✖️ = Not completed
➕ = A work in progress

1. Save £1500 ✔️
2. Learn to be kind to myself ➕
3. Read one book a month ✖️
4. Practice French, everyday day consecutively for a month. (To be specific… Minimum of 20 mins per day) ✖️
5. Take a photo a day for a month ✔️
6. Complete a ’30 day…challenge’ (exercise related) ✔️
7. Go to Paris! (It’s been on my list since the list existed… This is the year!) ✔️
8. Try to blog once a month (please… Having draft after draft does NOT count) ✖️
9. Make a few lifestyle changes; drink more water & exercise regularly ✔️
10. Cross something off my bucket list ✔️➕

Many of these ticks and crosses are not as black and white as they first appear… The majority of challenges were not a complete fail, for instance, I didn’t manage to read one book a month every month, but some months I read more than one – this was also true of posting blogs. However, I set these challenges as they were to be just that, a challenge.

Although I don’t have concrete rules for setting these targets, goals and challenges for the year ahead, I try to make them challenging but achievable, with some variety!

These are my new targets or goals for 2016:

1. Commit to my very own happiness project and complete it
2. Join a book club and commit (in real life or online – it’s okay to try different ones)
3. Post a minimum of one blog a month and keep it maintained
4. Add a ‘Book Review’ section to my blog and post once a month
5. Visit 5 countries I have never been to
6. Formulate a comprehensive bucket list and tick something off it
7. Maintain health goals throughout the year (drink more water, exercise more often, make better food choices)
8. Take a beginners yoga course (it’s okay if I end up not liking it)
9. Finish writing my New Zealand bucket list and complete it before leaving
10. Read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings
11. This is the little extra, the one I didn’t complete in 2015 so I’m determined to this year: read one book a month for a year

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