I’ve always like the start of a new year. I always look at it like the blank canvas, just waiting for the artist to fill it with vibrant colours and new ideas. I like the start of a new year because it’s a chance to refresh, reflect, and restart. It’s a time of rebirth and renewal.
2017, as I’ll probably say a million times throughout this post, is going to be a pretty big year for me. My life is going to be changing in so many ways, and it’s a bit scary to try and wrap my head around just how big these changes are going to be. My whole life is going to be turned upside-down. That’s probably why I’ve decided to dedicate this year to looking after myself first, and everything/everyone else second.
This year, I’m making it my ultimate goal to be the best possible version of myself – and I mean in all areas of my life. I want 2017 to be my healthiest, happiest year so far. I want to improve my health – physically, mentally/emotionally and socially – and I want to focus on doing things I actually enjoy, again. I want to have fun again.
The following list is made up of miniature goals that i think will help me to eventually achieve my ultimate goal. Some are easier and smaller than others, and some are going to be a bit tougher to really incorporate into my regular routine. Regardless, I’m excited for the challenges. Without further ado, please enjoy my life of New Year’s Resolutions for 2017…
2017 is going to be a year where I am going to try and stress self-love and self-care. I’ve realized these past few months that I have really let my physical, mental and emotional health slip, and it’s something I really want to focus on and remedy in the new year. One of the things I really want to try and incorporate into my regular routine is exercise.
There are so many reasons that I want to incorporate exercise into my life on a regular basis. Part of it comes from wanting to get in shape and lose some weight. A larger part comes from wanting a healthy way to deal with stress and anxiety. I need to develop a healthy outlet to help me calm down, relax, and get out any negative energy that it stopping me from doing what I need to do.
I’m starting out pretty slow and simple, right now. I’m working on regularly incorporating a bit of yoga into my day to help me calm down and relax while working on stressful projects, or preparing for exams, etc. Over the course of the year, I’m hoping to gradually add more activities in, and over time improve my regular physical activity.
♥Actively keep a journal♥
There was a time, a few years ago, when I actively wrote in a journal on a regular basis. When my dad got sick, he told me to write down everything – every thought, feeling, fear. I wasn’t really sure why he stressed this so much at the time, but over the years I’ve come to understand, and I am forever grateful he did. Writing out everything that was happening, and everything I was thinking and feeling really helped me process what was going on around me, and helped me come to terms with a lot of things.
I want to try and get back into journal keeping because 2017 is going be a really big year for me, filled with some life altering changes, and I want to be able to not only process all the things happening, but I want to remember it all. I want to be able to look back on this moment in my life in a few years, and know how I was feeling, what I was thinking, what was happening. I want to have a physical and personal archive of everything I go through.
Journaling is a really great way to relieve stress/anxiety, and a way to work through tough emotions or personal problems. I want to et back into regular journaling so that I can work to relieve some of the stresses and anxieties I often let build up inside on a far too regular basis.
♥Take more pictures♥
Photography has always been a massive part of my life, and it’s something that I’ve always had a significant interest in. My dad was very much a photographer – he literally always had a camera with him – and he unintentionally passed his interest on to me growing up. I became fascinated with technique and with finding the perfect shot alongside him, and it’s a fascination that seems to only grow as time goes by.
In 2017, I want to take more pictures. I want to focus on capturing more moments. This is going to be a year of great change for me. I graduate high school this year. I head off to university this fall. I’m suddenly going to be separated from most of my friends, from my family, and from my home. I’m going to basically be restarting my life. Before that happens, I want to create a visual catalogue of all the people, places and things that are so important to me, and that I may not have the chance to see/visit as often as I do right now.
This is going to be year of great change, and I want to make sure I remember every moment of it. I want to make sure that I remember how every change feels. I want to remember everything, so that when I look back on this year, all the thoughts and feelings and fears and hopes will come flooding back to me each and every time.
♥Read 18 books by the end of the year♥
Every year, the site Goodreads allows its users to set a reading goal for the year. Each year, I look at what birthday I have coming up and I challenge myself to try and read that number of books before year’s end. At this point in my life, I have yet to actually achieve this goal. I have gotten close, though.
Last year, I read 10 out of 17 books. I’m pretty proud of myself for reaching a number that high…it’s a lot better than I thought it was going to be. This year, though, I’m going to push myself to a bit better (obviously). I want to get to my goal – hell, I want to SURPASS my goal. I am determined to clear out some of the books that have been sitting on that lovely shelf of mine for far too long. Plus, the more books I read this year, the more blog posts I can write…
I love cooking and I love baking, but they’re interests that I often find myself shying away from. I’ve never really pushed myself to explore them because I’m terrified of a) contracting some sort of food-born illness that could kill me and b) I never really had any reason to try exploring them.
If you recall, I posted a piece last year about cutting meat out of my diet (you can find it right here if you don’t remember/are curious). This really hasn’t been all that difficult a change for me, overall. While there have been some days where I’ve made the odd exception to the rule, overall it’s been a really easy adjustment for me. I’m feeling a lot better, physically, and I’m way happier with what I’m putting in my body on a regular basis.
My challenge for this year is to push myself to create some meals for myself that are a little more exciting. While it’s been an easy adjustment to cut meat from my diet, it’s also been a bit bland. This year, I want to spice up my culinary skills and push myself to be a bit more creative. I want to try and make new dishes using ingredients I’m already comfortable with, and maybe even explore some new ones that I haven’t gotten around to yet. I want to do this, not only for myself, but for my mom too.
For health reasons, my mom needs to cut down on certain types of foods, and so I want to try and create meals that don’t include a whole ton of those foods/any of those foods that are still exciting and tasty and easy to make, so that she’ll be able to make them for herself and start really paying attention to how and what she’s eating, and how it affects her health.
♥Start posting videos on YouTube♥
The idea of making videos on YouTube has been something I’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years, but I’ve never really pushed myself to actually go through with it properly. Despite it being something I’m interested in pursuing, I often find myself a bit afraid to actually go through with it. It’s a very different way of creating content, in comparison to writing a blog. It’s a bit unnerving.
There is so much content that I want to create, but not all of it works well in blog format. Some of the things I want to create are better done in a video format, or they’re easier to accomplish in a video format. This year, I want to challenge myself to pursue creating some of this content. I want to push myself to step out from behind my computer screen and actually experiment with visually and verbally sharing my thoughts and ideas.
♥Drink more water♥
I’m not gonna lie, in the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty mundane goal for this year, and it’s also a bit predictable. It’s one I find myself adding to the list every year, and that I find myself failing every year. This year, though, as I am determined to start taking better care of myself in all areas, I am determined to achieve this goal.
Surprisingly, I actually did get better with my water intake during 2016. I discovered these Starbucks Via Instant Refreshers, which are powdered drink mixes that you stir into your water. Adding these in made me drink a lot more water – I especially like the Valencia Orange flavour. It made it a lot easier for me to drink water, and it made it way more enjoyable.
This year, I’m going to push myself to drink plain water more, though. Just some water with some ice and nothing else. That is the big goal this year.
♥Start learning a second language♥
I’m absolutely terrible with languages, truth be told. I have a difficult speaking proper English, let alone forming a simply sentence in French (technically my second language). Regardless, I’m deeply passionate about learning various languages. There are so many that I’m so interested in learning: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Irish, etc.
This year, I want to take some time and start learning a language. I can guarantee, I probably won’t be that great at the language by the end of the year, but I want to at least give it a try – try something new, challenge myself to do something outside my comfort zone.
2017 is, in some ways, about pushing myself beyond the comfortable confines I’ve barricaded myself in these past few years. I don’t want to continue being the fearful person I’ve become. I want to be brave and push my boundaries. I want to learn a new language because I want to challenge myself intellectually this year.
I’ve always had a really bad habit of focusing either entirely on the future, or solely on the past. I’ve never been the kind of person that focuses primarily on the present. I hate that. I hate that I’m always looking ahead, or behind, and never focusing on what is right in front of me. I miss out on so many amazing things – so many amazing moments – simply because I’m not present. I want to change that this year.
2017 is going to be a year of great change for me. I graduate this year. I’m leaving for university this year. I’ll be leaving my home, on my own, for the first time. I’ll be separated from all of my friends – some only an hour or two, some whole days away. I don’t want to waste a single moment with the people I love, because I’m not going to be able to see them as often as I have these past few years. I don’t want to take my time with them for granted when I don’t have much of it left.
I want to really challenge myself to be more engaged this year. To be more present and focused on what’s happening around me right now. I’m never going to get this time with my friends and family back, and it’s important that I cherish these last few months.
* * *
I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season, and that you all got to spend plenty of time with the people you love. I know I did. I’m super excited to see what this year holds for not only me, but for this blog, and for all of you that read it. I hope you will stick with me and see how this year goes for all of us.
Have a great week. For those returning to school, try not to stress yourselves out too much. Just take everything a day at a time. I’ll see you back here next week. Until then, much love, Britt xo.