Oh what a year
This year has been eventful. I would venture to say it was a fraught one. There have been some fantastic highs but also some crushing low points. This year has made me question everything.
Things got broken
I started the year without resolutions. Instead, I set myself goals that I wanted to focus upon that year. I am aware that goals are just the same as resolutions, however unlike resolutions, many of these goals I will continue to try and follow for the long-term future.
Looking back at the goals I set at the beginning of 2017; I can understand why I set these and many of them I will carry on into 2018. Some of these goals were achieved at times but broken at others. The chaos of the world we live in currently has made achieving some of these goals difficult.
Change my relationship with food
This was the hardest goal personally for me. As I approach the end of 2018, I feel like a failure. My relationship with food at the moment is terrible.
I did have times where I improved the way I eat. I have been eating much more fruit and vegetables which I feel has benefited me. I have also been trying to reduce portion sizes for my main meals in the evenings. I also started to drink a lot more water during the year, but sadly that has faded out of my routine at present.
However, I still comfort eat. I still use food as an emotional comfort blanket. I feel sick when I admit this, but I still make choices I know I shouldn’t. I do not have the willpower to say ‘no’ to the packet of biscuits or ice cream.
My main problem is in the evenings when the children are in bed. I use this as a time to ‘treat myself’ but I end up going overboard and I eat naughty food in larger quantities.
This has, at present, been achieved. Currently, I have grey hair with pink going halfway down it. I first started using a toner to dye my hair purple/pink but I grew tired of it always fading.
In September I started having trouble with my scalp. I needed to top up my colour but did not want to risk a bad reaction. I left the grey roots and started to wash out the pink build up on my hair.
I have stopped worrying about being grey and I accept it. I do not care if people think I am old. After over 20 years of dying my hair, I am done. I might use a grey toner to even the colour out but apart from that I’m growing grey on my terms.
Maintain a positive outlook and be mindful
This was a major challenge. I was in constant battle with my mind throughout the year. It is all well and good to say you will be positive but achieving it is hard.
In February I embarked upon an 8-week mindfulness course. I would recommend an 8-week course to everyone, just to have the time to yourself once a week and discover how your mind works.
Through gradually weaving mindfulness techniques into my daily life I will retrain my thoughts. I am able to handle certain situations in a more calm manner; responding rather than reacting. This has helped me especially with my job and teaching teenagers. Seeing how my mind wanders away like a puppy at times or takes a ride on the ‘inner critic bus’ has helped me better navigate within the classroom.
Mindfulness has encouraged me to be more open and kinder to others. It has made me see the good in every single day and showed me that I need to cherish the time I have rather than wish it away. Since doing this, I have started to train my mind out of self-destructive thinking and making a ‘chaostrophy’ of the situation.
I still have a long way to go, I have had moments when I have slipped back into depression and negativity. However, I remind myself that the moment will pass and brighter days will be on the horizon.
Plan to be productive
Bullet journaling featured heavily this year. I have conquered the terminal ‘mum brain’ through writing everything down. I joined bullet journaling groups and experimented with ways of planning that would unleash my creative side as well as help me plan.
Before I became a parent, my memory was good. Since having my children, my ability to remember to do things has gone out of the window. If I do not write tasks down I will never remember to do them. I even write in my planner when I need to text my friends back as I am terrible, I leave it too long.
For the past ten months, I had been using my planner successfully. The past two months have seen me experience a blip. Last year at Christmas, my planner was a vital part of November and December. This year it has gone untouched and unused. This might explain the lack of excitement I have had for Christmas this year. Maybe my planner reminds me how many special things I have planned.
One successful way I have used a bullet journal has been for my job as a teacher. Having a custom-made book that I can have everything I need for a fuss-free year has helped me immensely. I have also used my planner to practice gratitude at work; every week I have a section where I can write positive aspects of my school day down.
Have more fun with the family
The eternal balancing act. Having a full-time job and a family means I forever feel ‘mum guilt’. I planned that 2018 would be a time to spend more quality time with my children and had fun with them while they are still young.
We were also fortunate to be able to go on holiday with my parents to Scarborough. The week was hectic but it was filled with fun times and memories we will cherish forever. The holiday allowed my children to build a greater bond with their Grandparents and it also consolidates how grateful I am for my Mum and Dad, I love them so much.
Autumn has been much more of a challenge in the ‘family fun’ department. The dark night and bad weather have limited the ability to go out and do things. However, we have embraced the idea of family film time cuddling up on the sofa and watching Halloween and Christmas films.
Get to my one year blog anniversary
This was such a long time ago. I achieved this in March and I have since posted roughly twice a week for the majority of the year.
Commitments with work and children have reduced it to once a week at present. I do not apologise for cutting back on the amount I post.
This blog is primarily for me. It is a way of getting all of the overthinking out of my head and onto the page. It is also relaxing. Writing has always interested me and as I am blogging, my technique is improving. I also love that other’s will reach out and say that they feel the same or that what I write has helped them.
I wanted to start to monetise my blog over the summer but unfortunately, I cannot work out what to do after much research. This is the reason I moved away from WordPress and onto Siteground. I feel like that plan was a total washout. I do not think I will ever make money from my little part of the internet. Automatic negative thoughts have took over now.
Be Kinder and more forgiving of myself
To some degree, I have achieved this. However, I still have a long way to go. I do not find being kind to myself easy and this often means that I descend into a pit of self-pity and feelings of failure. I much prefer to show kindness to others than I do to myself.
I often tell the children that I make mistakes daily, we all do. Being kind to yourself is picking yourself up after a mistake, admitting it and working to change it without judging yourself. I have a harsh inner critic who used to tell me ‘it is all your fault’, ‘nobody likes you’ and I would believe it. Having spoken to friends in the same position I have pointed out that they are not bad in the eyes of the people that love and respect them.
The area I need to work on is allowing myself ‘ self-care time’. Trying to ‘switch off’ from tasks and nourish the soul rather than achieve targets. I also would like to develop ways I can train myself to leave my work issues at work and not let them eat me up inside every night when I sleep.
Overall, I feel like 2018 has shown I can achieve my goals. It has been difficult but worth it now I am through it. I would say that 2018 was eventful in every way.
How would you describe 2018? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
Ciao for now beauties xx