Tuesday, 27 February 2018

2017 In Review


I have had this post drafted since December 2017, but after the worst start to a year I have ever had (seriously, it has just been one thing after another - I may discuss it on here eventually) am only getting around to posting it now it is nearly March - Please be patient, and pretend it is an acceptable time to be posting this!  I am usually the kind of person that has lists of goals and New Years resolutions longer than my arm, but despite my initial excitement they have been forgotten about by the middle of the year. In 2017 I tried to set ’17 goals for 2017’, with the theory that sticking to a smaller amount of goals would mean I had more focus. So, for anyone interested in how I got on, below is a summary of how 2017 treat me.


Achieved: 
Create my ‘Home sweet Home’ – After 7 years of living in shared accommodation, I have longed for my own space pretty much all of my adult life. Somewhere that I could lock the door on a Friday evening, then not see another person until work on Monday morning (Yes, I am that much of a private person). In October I moved into a beautiful 2-bed house with my boyfriend, and whilst it needs a fair bit of work it is finally somewhere that feels like home.

Be more confident – I recently wrote a post about how bad my confidence had got, and how I had begun to avoid social situation, even with my closest friends, because of my lack of self-esteem and the constant feeling of nervousness that had begun to follow me around. Now, I may not be quite where I want to be, I’m not the first to raise my hand to answer a question and I am still scared of just about every new experience, but I have had a lot of therapy over the last year, and can tell I am making some progress in overcoming the things holding me back.

Reduce my debts – I was always brought up not to discuss my debts, which meant that they remained hidden as they spiralled out of control. In 2017 I paid off 1/3 of my debts and am on track to pay off a further 1/3 this year. I have learned how to budget and save, and how to be more mindful of what I am spending money on which greatly helped.

Travel the world – It had been YEARS since I had a holiday, so I wanted to explore a little more in 2017. I didn’t get to go far on my holidays but did get to go away and I spent a week in wales with my family in September, and a few days in Amsterdam with my partner during October.

Learn to open-up in my relationship – This relationship is still different from anything I have ever been in, and despite that I still find it incredibly difficult to talk about myself and my feelings, but I have finally got used to being able to talk about anything without judgement… even if sometimes it takes me hours to get the words out!

Go to a festival – This is something else I hadn’t really done since I was a teenager, and I have always really enjoyed how heading to a festival can feel like going to some kind of post apocalypse civilisation with port-a-loo’s and beer (I challenge you not to think that at least once whilst walking through a campsite) In summer I headed to Download with a few friends, and although I am definitely too old to camp out anymore, I had the best time.

Learn a new skill – I have always wanted to be more crafty and be able to make things that are actually useful, unlike the bottle opener I designed in high school that never worked, or the wonky desk tidy I had so proudly presented to my parents. So in 2017 I had been lucky enough to hook up with Beautiful Creations and learn to crochet. I’m now about half way through making my niece a beautiful blanket which is something I could have only dreamed about before!

Learn to cook – I am still not an excellent cook by any stretch of the imagination, but over the past year I have improved quite a lot, I no longer rely on Just Eat to feed me every night, and have actually been able to plan and cook my own food most nights after work. Granted, I still have a cheeky microwave meal when I am feeling lazy, but that isn’t every single day anymore.

Find an exercise that I enjoy – I’m not entirely sure why this was ever written down as a New Year’s resolution, when the only exercise I have ever enjoyed is swimming and I knew that already. Needless to say I got back into swimming over the last year, although didn’t start doing it anywhere near regularly enough!

Not Achieved
Get to my ‘happy weight’ – As is always the case, I probably gained more than I lost over the last year. This was not made any easier by events towards the end of the year that made it difficult to look after myself, let alone eat well and exercise. It is something I am already working towards in 2018.

Make Friends – It seems crazy to have lived in this city for almost 18 months now, and yet still not have any real friends in the area. I need to get over my avoidance of leaving the house and make some friends this year – It is SO much harder than when I was in university though!

Get over one fear – OK so this goal came about when I was walking past the spider room in London Zoo. I am determined to go into that room (honestly, I couldn’t even walk near that room last time). But if that does not happen this year then I would like to be able to overcome another one of my fears – just to show that I can.

Go for the promotion at work – This definitely didn’t happen in 2017 as I was made redundant at the start of the year, then spent the next few months job hopping and trying to find a place that was the right balance of what I wanted to do, and what I wanted to earn. I’m still not sure I have struck the right balance in this area but am getting some amazing support from work on changing this. Watch this space.

Blog! – Now to say I didn’t blog last year would be a lie. I ended the year with only 11 posts on my blog, and it was pretty sporadic through the year, but what you guys didn’t get to see was the 143 draft posts, each in various stages of completion, that never made it to be published. This year isn’t going to be so much about doing more for the blog, but more about making sure I complete my ideas and posts before constantly moving onto the next thing.

Make Derby my home – I hate to say this, but I do not feel like I am ‘at home’ living in Derby. I get lost walking any further than the end of my street and can’t ask for directions without having the poor person repeat themselves 15 times. I don’t understand most of the colloquial language. Most of all, I’m homesick all the time. I know that the more I throw myself into the community then the more at home I am going to feel here, but I don’t know if I want to do that this year – or if I just want to go home.

Visit my donkey – Now I’m down to the ones I had no control over, I had a donkey adopted for me for 2017 and me being me chose to adopt the oldest donkey at the shelter because it had a name that made me feel he was ‘misunderstood’ and came from the same town as my partner. Unfortunately, adopting a donkey that was 10 years older than the average life expectancy meant he passed away before I got to visit.

Get a tattoo – Quite simply, I changed my mind. I found through my therapy that a lot of my urge to get tattoos and piercings were to ‘cover up’ some of my bigger issues, and in working through these issues was able to develop healthier coping mechanisms that did not involve needles (who guessed?).
9/17

I am going to be posting about my 2018 resolutions in the next few weeks, and a series about the psychological tools I have tried and tested to help me reach my goals. What are you hoping to achieve this year? 



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