The best New Year’s resolution we can make.

I’ve given up on my usual New Year’s Resolutions, you know the ones: lose two stone, save money, be on time more, be tidier (it’s just not going to happen). And instead, I’ve started to focus on making my New Year, New! Doing new things, learning new stuff, seeing new places, meeting new people.

All the way back in 2013, I reflected on all the new things I’d done! I loved seeing them all written down in one place, a portfolio of every little experience that had changed me, grown me and sometimes thrown me that year. So, naturally, I pledged to have a year of newness in 2014 too. And here’s how it went:

January
I went to New York for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I’d always wanted to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree, to ice skate in Central Park and to watch the ball drop at midnight in Times Square, like they do in the movies.
So I did.Central Park Ice Skating

February
I joined a band. I said yes to becoming the lead female singer. And I loved it! I loved it so much. See, I’d always wanted to be in a band. So I joined one.

March
I booked a one way ticket! I wanted to leave on a jet plane and not know when I’d be back again. So I did.

April
I went glamping! I wanted to sleep under the stars in a warm, comfy, glamorous kinda way. So I did.

Glamping

May
I became a Manager. I know, right?! Little ol’ me in charge of people and projects and with responsibilities n’stuff! I always wanted to be a boss, so I worked my butt off and became one.

June
I sang in the street. Not just in a belting out a little tune at the end of my drive kinda way (cos that’s totally normal), but in a on a stage, at my village street fair, in front of friends and family and fellow villagers kinda way. I’d always wanted to be the talk of the town, and so I was (for 3 minutes approx).

Groby Street Fair 1

July
I had £10,000 in the bank. This has NEVER, EVER, happened before. And, unlikely to ever happen again. But I wanted to save my socks off for travelling and so, with the help of my soul-destroying, wardrobe minimising, utter snooze fest of a budget planner, I did. (Sidenote: on the off chance any potential online fraudster might be checking in, I can assure you, it didn’t last long).

August
I got interviewed on camera. My University wanted to know about my job as a PR Manager and Copywriter and how my Creative Writing course had helped, so they came into my work and filmed me chatting and working and even a bit of walking, and I felt all dead special! (P.S. you can watch the interview here.)

Filming

September
I said goodbye to my friends and family without knowing when I would see them again. I got on a plane and got off on the other side of the world. I marvelled at the beauty of New Zealand, I was astounded by the smiles and friendliness of the people in poverty in Fiji, oh, and I went white water rafting and, as I like to tell it, totes nearly drowned.

October
I fell from a height of 43m strapped to a harness and a wire, for fun! It was the Taupo bungee swing in New Zealand, and once I’d stopped fearing for my life, it was amazing!!

Taupo Bungee SwingTaupo Bungee Swing 2

November
I landed in a foreign country and didn’t have a plan. With my boyfriend and two friends by my side, and not much money left in the bank, we hopped in a campervan and muddled our way up the East Coast of Australia, then muddled our way back down again. We spent a night in a car, three weeks in a camper and a month in a cabin, and finally, we found a permanent place to stay for the year. And, I must say, it was SO worth the blood, sweat and excess rice consumption!

December
I experienced a hot Christmas! Pimms, paddling pools, sun cream, bikinis – the lot! We were so generously invited to the home of a fabulously fun and friendly family who treated us like their own. And we ate an enormous Christmas dinner, outside!

Aussie Christmas 1

pimms

paddling pools

Another year and another load of lovely new stuff to reflect on. Just writing it down and looking back on it makes me feel like I’m already better for it, a little bit wiser, a little bit happier and a little bit braver, even though at some points I was really freakin’ scared. And I’m proud of that.

In fact, I think it might be the best New Years resolution we can ever make, to give ourselves constant reasons to be proud, and more importantly, taking that time out to be proud, to reflect, to celebrate.

Even just with little things.

That recipe you’ve been meaning to try? Do it. The yoga class you keep planning to join? Go for it. That job that looks perfect but you’re sure you don’t have the right skills for? Give it a try. The old friend you’ve been wanting to get in touch with? Why not! That person you know you love? Tell them.

Push yourself this year. Say yes. Make you proud.

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I linked to this post over on the lovely blog below, go see what they’re up to!

Blogger Goals 2015
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The present – it’s a gift.

journey

This is so true, it’s scary. There’s no denying that we’re all guilty of it, so consumed with what’s next, what else is there, what the ‘future’ will hold, always striving for something new, something better, waiting for life to begin, that we tend to forget that this is it, our journey, it’s already happening!

I wonder if there ever comes a time where you just stop and think, ‘yes, this is it, I’m happy now,’ because I’ve never heard anyone speak about that time, but I’d love to think it exists.

I suppose, if we were ever going to just STOP for a minute and appreciate what we’ve got and how far we’ve come, it’s now, at Christmas, surrounded by the people we love, as another year draws to a close and a hopeful new one comes into view.

So if you don’t have another chance through the madness and festivities, just take a moment NOW, while reading this, to think about how far you’ve come this year, all the achievements and the memories you’ve made, the best times, and even the worst times and how you’ve learnt and grown from them.

The best thing is that if there are some things you didn’t quite get round to, a brand new year is just around the corner – your chance to make it the best one yet, full of new things and experiences and people, as well as all the lovely old ones too of course.

Sometimes it seems silly that just another day in the calendar can bring on such a ‘time to change’ attitude, but if nothing else, it just gives us hope that things will get even better. And let’s face it, if none of us had room for improvement, we’d all be perfect, and that would be terribly boring.

I feel like all the new things I did in 2013 were a complete realisation that actually if you do want to change and to open your mind to new experiences, you can. It’s only YOU that can do that, only you that can enrich your own life and mind and mood.

So, I’ve decided that 2014 will be the year I focus on the here and now, by doing something new, every month, and writing about it here. And hopefully, by focusing on that new experience, in that present month, it will lessen my thoughts about next month, my worries about the month after that, concerns about where I’ll be next year, or ten years from now, and all the other crazy little things about the future that unnecessarily fill my crazy little brain.

Because we all know life wasn’t made for worrying, but for living, today.

desert!!

With the people we love…

Together

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girlies

laughing

sam and em

love

money can't buy