Happy New Year you beauties! Hope you had a lovely start to 2017. Let's start with a disclaimer - this post is in no way a dig at others who are going down this route! 'New year, new me' works for a lot of people and provides them with the motivation they need to reach their goals and targets for the year ahead and I am totally supportive of that *you go guys and girls*. In the past, I've been guilty of using this phrase repeatedly as the new year rolls in. However this year, I won't be saying it. Not at all. This year, I'm focusing on 'new year, improved me'. Which I guess you could say is kind of similar, but in my mind there are some very clear differences. Firstly, I'm not aiming for a new version of me. I'm not looking for a complete overhaul of my life. There's a lot that I am content with in my life, however there are also some improvements I want to make. No big changes, no radical transformations, just some little improvements.
I guess the main reason I'm going down this route is that improvements or tweaks seem a little less scary than a 'new me' or a drastic transformation. I've never been very good at resolutions or sticking to them - in fact the last year I made no resolutions whatsoever. Also, let's throw the word resolutions out the window as that's making me freak the hell out too. I'm okay with change, I adapt well, especially when I'm all for said change...but I need a softly softly approach. You know? Not like 'OH OKAY LET'S CHOP OFF MY HAIR, DYE IT PURPLE, QUIT MY JOB AND MOVE TO TIBET.' That sort of thing sends me running for the hills (or realistically building a duvet fort wondering if I could stay in there forever). I'm hoping this doesn't make me sound boring? Oh God, I'm boring aren't I. Sometimes I'm jealous of the people who can live like that, making spontaneous choices and huge changes. This isn't to say I'm not spontaneous - fancy a trip away? Let's go! I like to think I'm selectively spontaneous...which is deeeeeefinitely not boring at all haha.
(I'm currently wondering if I can ever write something without going completely off at a tangent - the answer is probably no. Maybe that should be on my list of '2017 tweaks'). So as we say hi to 2017, I must admit it's a timid welcome from me. No big drastic changes, lots of little lifestyle improvements and a heart full of hope for a decent year. I won't be talking about 2016 on here, not that it was a bad year really but I'm all for looking forward. CLEAR EYES, FULL HEART, CAN'T LOSE. And if you didn't get that reference, then can I recommend you put Friday Night Lights on your list of things to do this year. (Aaaand there's another tangent for you - this is a good start to 2017!)
I've seen a lot of bloggers saying they're making their new year goals reachable and realistic this year, and I think that's a really positive thing. I know I'm guilty of putting a lot of pressure on myself and that's not something I want to carry over in to 2017. Hence the new year tweaks rather than resolutions as such. I was actually watching Sunday Brunch the other day (love a good cooking programme) where one of the guests was a doctor and something he said really resonated with me. He said that the only thing we can really do as humans to prolong our life and to live a healthier life...is to be happy and to be rid of stress. No diet or regime alone can prolong your life and improve your life as much as being happy and stress free. Blimey. So after chewing that over and over in my mind, I created a little action plan of my 2017 tweaks.
- Maintain a fitness regime - this was something I did for most of last year but I fell out of a routine and haven't been back to the gym. I'm not fitness bunny, I don't love going to the gym and I'm always that sweaty mess who's out of breath draped over a cross-trainer after 5 minutes BUT it was such a good method of stress relief for me and helped my body and mind stay healthy. So I plan to get back in to my old routine ASAP (just maybe next week...as this first week has been like hello are my eyes even open?)
- Mindfulness - okay easy with the eye rolling, I see you. I was actually really in to my yoga and meditation for quite some time and then life got in the way and I stopped going. Terrible excuse really and I do miss the sense of calm and control I used to get from a good yoga session...even if I could never touch my toes! My plan is to start going back to my one yoga class a week and if that goes well, I'll start introducing some 10 minute bedtime and morning yoga sessions to chill out and start the day afresh.
- Step away from the screen - oh my, this is the one that will be a challenge. My job involves computer work all day and then I tend to come home and sit on my laptop - whether that's working on blog content, editing photos or prepping for our house move in Feb! (I have a full on spreadsheet planning everything out. No joke. It's all colour coded too...where's that nerd emoji?) I'm going to make sure I've switched off any screens for a minimum of an hour before bed to give my eyes and body time to relaaaaaaax. I'm hoping this will help me get to sleep quicker and catch some more zzz's.
- Broaden my horizons - I realised I often waste my evenings by slouching on the sofa and binging on Netflix. That won't change much, I do bloomin' love a good series, but I'm going to start using my evenings to broaden my horizons as such - basically a fancy way of saying I'm going to ease up on being a massive couch potato. I love languages so I want to get back in to brushing up on my French and learning Portuguese too, as well as reading more books! I've always been a total bookworm but lately I've been watching more TV than reading and, well, I miss it.
- Connect - I've been wanting to connect with local bloggers ever since I moved to Essex nearly three years ago! I've had some lovely chats and met a few lovely bloggers but this is something I really want to improve on in the next year and get to know some likeminded blogger peeps. So if you're in the area and fancy a natter over a coffee (or tea) hit me up! I'm going to try my best to attend more blogger events this year too, I missed out on some goodun's last year.
And that's it! My 2017 tweaks. I haven't made too many as I want to be able to make these improvements, and I've chosen key areas I really want to improve such as destressing, maintaining a stress-free, healthy lifestyle and getting involved in the local blogging community. I would love to put more travel on there, but what with buying a house I think my holidays might be pretty low key this year...but we shall see! Here's to a relaxing, fun and adventurous 2017. Have you made any tweaks/resolutions this year?