Saturday, 7 January 2017

Thoughts for 2017

If I had to pick a word to describe 2016, it would be progress.

I think progress can be hard to measure when you're living through it. There were times last year when I didn't think I was making any progress at all - moments of rock bottom confidence which caused me to spend lunchtimes in hiding and shed many, many tears. But as I've spent time reflecting, I've realised that many of the low points were confined to the early months and as the year went on, things got better. I still have some way to go before I feel 100%, but I'm feeling much more positive going into 2017 than I was this time last year.

2016 was the year that I finally found and settled into a permanent job. When I left university I was still in my part time job at the cinema and then I had two temporary jobs after deciding it was time to leave. Whilst I wasn't unhappy in my last job, there are obvious security issues that come with a temporary role and I'm so happy that I've found something permanent. There's something about it that feels much more grown up and stable. It's only been a couple of months, but I'm enjoying it so far!

Last year also saw me push myself out of my comfort zone and take some action towards feeling better about myself. I was offered a place on a 30 day exercise programme at my local gym, and although I was cautious at first, it was probably one of the best things I did in 2016. Going to classes meant I was held more accountable and probably did more exercise since September than I have done in whole years previously. Group exercise was scary at first and I still sometimes have to push past that to turn up to class, but I feel proud of myself for taking those steps towards my goals. More generally, I learned a lot this year about putting myself first and not worrying so much about what people think - being honest about how I'm feeling did cause a rift in one particular friendship, but the majority of people that I have been open with have been so supportive, and I'm going forward into 2017 with the knowledge that those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

I'm calling 2017 my investment year. I'm going to carry on investing my time at the gym towards a healthier and happier me - I've got a 12 month membership already paid for through employee benefits at work so there is no excuse, and I want my money's worth! I'm going to try and make it to at least three classes a week, and I'm hoping that this time next year I can write a post telling you that I feel the best I've ever felt.

My hope is that this will also mean I'm ready to get married. My self esteem issues have stood in the way, but I hope by investing time in exercising and looking after myself I will be able to kick this into touch. Paul and I will also be investing financially, with a set plan in place for how much we would like to set aside each month. Even if we don't get married for another couple of years, it will put my mind at ease knowing we are making preparations.

I'll also be investing more time and thought into self-care. Stress is never good but it has taken its toll on me in some dramatic ways over the past couple of years, and I've learned the importance of looking after yourself. Even just simple things like remembering to take my make up off after work, and take time to really do it slowly instead of scrubbing my face to death - I'll be trying to be as kind to myself, my mind and my body as I can be.

I hope anybody reading this will be safe, happy and healthy in 2017! x

Images from here and here.

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