Forget Christmas, it’s time to talk about the New Year. It may be a week late, but I wanted to spend some time seriously considering how I plan to change and improve myself and my life in the year going forward.
Last year, as previously mentioned, wasn’t the easiest year for me and I was under tremendous amounts of stress which took a rather large toll on my health – both mentally and physically. I’ve spent the past week wondering if I could have managed the stress better, and have come to the conclusion that I probably could have, or at least managed maybe not the stress but my reaction to it.
Throughout the year there were other aspects of my life I could have managed far more efficiently, and as we all know – hindsight is 20/20. I gained weight, spent far too much money, and didn’t work on my interests as much as I would have liked. This of course means that I came out of 2016 feeling incredibly disappointed in myself and my efforts.
Basically, I forgot to enjoy the little things and work towards the bigger things.
This year will be different though, and this is how:
Rather than having my recipes being the only stable blogging updates, I will be ensuring to blog more regularly about my life, my cooking, and what’s happening – whether it’s my latest shopping spree, what it’s like to discover my hair-dye no longer covers my greys, and even my continuing journey to secure a permanent job here in Glasgow.
Having left my home country to live overseas and in a completely different timezone, it’s understandable I don’t have many friends and so I am hoping that blogging can help me with that, also.
Last year I didn’t so much as spend money as waste money on food and alcohol. Due to long hours and the aforementioned stress, by the time I would get home of an evening I’d have no energy to cook myself dinner, so resorted to takeaways and home deliveries, from pakora to pizza, and you can imagine how much money was essentially thrown away and squandered on these. Wine and Latte also featured heavily in my diet and given the average bottle of wine costs £6, and a latte costs £3.20,drinking wine and takeaway latte’s became an expensive habit.
This year, in order to save money when it comes to food, I have started buying frozen meals to reheat when I get home – no matter how exhausted I am. Also, I am cutting back on the wine and latte, going back to plain green tea of a morning and a nice cup of decaf-white tea of an evening. Ben and I are also cutting back on our food expenditure by introducing a “kitty” that we each place money into each weekend to be put towards our groceries and shared expenses.
During the worst of my stress in 2016 I gained 20lbs and my skin looked as though a volcanic eruption had taken place, and considering how carefully I look after my skin, this was not an enjoyable experience!
But stressing less is easier said than done, right? Well, here’s hoping it’s just as easy to do as it is to say. The contract that has been causing part of my stress has now ended so that is 40+ hours a week of stress and anxiety to put behind me, so that’s a good start! Sure, I am still trying to find that coveted permanent position, but understanding and accepting that stress not only hinders the outcome, but makes the process more difficult should be enough for me to find a sense of calm within the storm and to try my hardest not to affect me any further.
Cutting back on the Latte’s, Vino’s, and takeaways will help with this one! I have gained 20lb since March of 2016, and although I have been conscious of the weight gain I haven’t actively tried to lose it which is something I am already focussing on for this year.
But it’s not just about losing weight, it’s also about eating better and healthier. What we put into our bodies affects everything from our skin, to our moods, to even our body odour, so getting back into eating cleaner and healthier will not only improve the way my body looks, but the way it feels and the way my mind works.
Last year I started work on a novel, however didn’t so much as lose interest in writing, but simply couldn’t find the time to write. It’s one of those cases of life getting in the way, so this year I am going to ensure I put time aside to finish what I started.
And finally: Travel!
One of the reasons I relocated to the UK was to make travelling through Europe easier, however, as of now it simply hasn’t happened! Over the past 18 months, due to work, I haven’t had a chance to take time off, yet that is no reason why I couldn’t have gone for a weekend away to Paris, Amsterdam, or Belfast.
This year, Ben and I have already listed out the places we’d like to visit for short trips, as well as longer adventures, to ensure we do get away every now and then, and don’t get to the end of the year, look back, and wish we had done more.
So that’s it, that’s how I plan to make this year my year, and not allow stress affect everything in my life as it so clearly has. I am entering this year with clear goals, KPI’s, and timelines and as a performance driven person, I am sure I can make it happen.
I’ve decided that this year is my year, and hopefully yours too!