I have no idea how it’s happened but 2016 is over, and it’s safe to say that it has been the biggest rollercoaster year of my life yet! This is definitely the most personal post I’ve shared on the blog but goes hand in hand with my goals for 2017, so seems like an appropriate time for me to bear my soul to you all and hopefully provide an opportunity to get to know me a little better.

My turbulent 2016: My ex-boyfriend of 4 wonderful years & I (very amicably) broke up, of whom I’d shared a home for almost 3 (bringing with it all of the challenges of having to adapt to an entirely new mindset), I lived with a stranger for 6 months, and moved to my current incredible insane and intense home of Hong Kong. It was also the year in which I was to find out whether or not the law firm I work for would offer me a permanent position upon finishing my training contract of 2 years, and I’m very pleased and grateful to have recently been told that I will not be job-hunting come March 2017 (especially since finding out on 22nd December meant that Christmas was very much make or break for the whole family)! Thus 2016 has definitely been a year of changes for me, but ones that have really allowed me to get to know myself better and helped me focus on what I want to achieve in 2017.

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1. Being the best version of myself

I know this might sound terribly generic and cliché, but it’s true. In the latter half of this year I feel like I’ve really gotten to know me, my strengths and my weaknesses. I could tell you exactly what I like and dislike about my personality and I can safely say that I’ve never felt so aware of (and actually also content with) myself as a person, and really want to focus on nurturing the good parts and learning how to temper the bad bits better. I’ve by no means mastered this “self love” business but after much reflection this year I’ve come to realise and appreciate that I do like myself, which is good enough for me right now. I know I can be bossy, blunt and impatient which can come across intimidating and potentially hurtful to those who don’t know me, but I’m also fiercely loyal, true to myself and honest with others, generous and thoughtful, and those are traits which I am proud of, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

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2. Being kinder to myself and others

I don’t know about you guys but I am my harshest critic and not in a “constructive criticism” kind of way. I am a perfectionist and this plays into ryry aspect of my life; I’m constantly thinking of how I could have done something better or berating myself for an entirely inconsequential mistake or decision which doesn’t 100% align with whatever I set my mind to doing. And yes, this could be anything from a piece of work I’ve done to a conversation I’ve had with someone to eating a slice of cake when I was supposed to never be eating again. Basically, I want to give the same level of attention to all of the positive things and mini-goals I (and we all) achieve day-to-day, and occasionally give myself a well-deserved pat on the back for these, and put the negative voice in my head into better perspective.

As for others, I’ve really come to realise how much of an impact our mood has on those around us. The way you walk into a room, answer a phone call, ask a stranger a question or literally even go about your walk home has almost inconceivable power to both negatively and positively impact someone’s day. Well, this is true for me at least, as I’ve noticed how much of an effect a welcoming greeting, upbeat voice, smile on a face or spring in one’s step lifts my mood and makes me mirror their positive energy. As the wise Roald Dahl once said “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”…(and make people happy). So I shall be doing my utmost to be a little bundle of joy throughout 2017 and infect others with my sunbeams. A little goes a long way, and you never know what someone’s got going on in their lives, let’s all be nicer to each other!

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3. The blog

This is going to be a big focus for me. I really want to start being more consistent with both publishing blog posts and social media content. My constant strive for “perfection” means that I ultimately feel guilty whenever I know I haven’t posted anything for a while or uploaded a picture to Instagram for a number of days, and the more I sit and aimlessly scroll through people’s perfectly colour-coordinated themed Instagram accounts, the less enthused I am to crack on with my never-ending backlog of posts and photos as the climb simply seems too steep.

BUT NO MORE! I want to be super productive and on it with the blog in 2017, particularly as I will be going travelling for 3 months post my qualification as a solicitor in March and want to have totally found my groove by then. My aim is for no less than a post a week and a photo per day (and keeping myself accountable now that I’ve declared this to the online world), and trying to learn some nifty tricks to be more efficient with photo editing tools for both the blog and Instagram (seriously, does anyone else find this soul-destroyingly time-consuming?! If you have any tips please, please enlighten me, I would literally kiss your toes!). I would also very much like one of these aesthetically pleasing themed feeds, though how one chooses one filter for all of their photos is still unknown territory for me. The mind boggles.

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4. Being more “worldly”

By this I mean educating myself on a daily basis with what is and has gone on in the world so that I don’t continue to make absolute bloopers such as suggesting Malta is in Asia or that Pearl Harbor is about the Vietnam war (in my defence, I just remember Malta being hot and I’ve never actually watched the film, but still, no excuses). We’re also fortunate to live in a time of great consumerism, but without giving much thought to how our actions negatively impact the world that we live in. Documentaries like “Before the Flood” and books such as the “China Study” and “Eating Animals” have definitely made me more mindful of my day-to-day decisions. Every positive step counts and we’re privileged enough to be on this earth I think we owe it to engage with it and look after it.

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5. Chasing adventures and living in the moment

Seriously, when did life become so serious? I know I’m technically an adult now and I have a serious job and all that, but I feel like every conversation I have with someone over the age of 30 these days revolves around “my future”; talk of business plans, budgets and mortgages and the need to have babies. I AM 24!!! I’ll readily admit I get caught up in what I personally feel is a very high-pressured demand of our generation at times, and particularly the City’s measure of one’s success as being how well you’ve got your sh*t together, but it honestly just makes me want to throw in the towel sometimes and live the good life on an island somewhere, sippin’ on coconuts all day eryday.

All I know is that I don’t want to look back and wish I’d spent more time living versus putting all these pieces in place so that I could “one day live”. The future is unknown & unknowable and life is full of surprises, so I just want to check in with myself more often and make sure I’m really enjoying and making the most of the life I’m leading at any given moment.

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So there we have it, my somewhat deep but heartfelt goals for 2017. I feel like 2016 laid the perfect foundations for everything I want to focus on and I’m determined to make it a year to remember! But what about you lovely lot? I’d love to know if any of my feelings or goals resonated with you and what your own personal goals are for this year. All I know is BRING IT ON and I wish you all the luck in the world in your endeavours.

Happy 2017! xo