Reflecting on 2016’s Resolutions.

I posted my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions yesterday and last year I reflected back on the previous year’s resolutions so I wanted to do the same thing this year too. There’s no point setting resolutions or goals if you don’t reflect back on them and see if you achieved them, right?

Go outside every day!
I didn’t do outside every day, I know that for a fact but that wasn’t really the point of the goal. I wanted to spend more time outside and I did that! For a few weeks, I walked home from work (it’s a two hour walk!), I walked around town more on my lunch break and because I went away on holiday twice this year, I walked so much to explore. So I think I completed this goal, I’m satisfied with that.

Further advance in yoga.
Yes! I did this! When you go to a class once a week most weeks, you do see yourself growing and advancing over time. I’m now doing poses that this time last year, there was no way I could even do at beginner level. It’s so motivating to see yourself get better at something you love.

Save money.
I did this but not for my original purpose. I was meant to be saving to take a trip to Canada, and I had started but then life stepped in the way for this one. However, I started saving towards the end of the year and I now have my first month’s rent saved so I don’t have to worry about that.

Write every day in my One Line A Day book.
The fact I stopped doing this actually does upset me. I loved that book but then I was never motivated to write in it and I always said “Oh I’ll do it tomorrow” Tomorrow essentially never came and I fell behind.

Read more books.
I read but I don’t think I read more than usual which is a real shame because I want to read more but I just can’t seem to push myself to do it.

Knit more.
I don’t think I knit one thing this year. I finished off a scarf at the very very beginning of the year then I tried to knit something for my Mum but I hardly started that.

Keep up with my blog!
I’m so happy that I kept up with the blog this year. I have loved having this platform and connecting with other bloggers, it makes the online world so much more exciting. I’m really happy with the content I put out this year and I hope that this year will be just as great.

Learn a new language.
I’m so disappointed that I didn’t do this! I wanted to learn Finnish for when Ryan and I went to Finland but we never got around to it. Definitely a missed opportunity!

Spend more time with my boyfriend.
You could say this one did but didn’t work out. We spent a lot of time together and I practically lived with him for about six months, but we broke up in September. Reminder to self: do not make a resolution about a boyfriend, you don’t know what can happen in a year (and clearly I didn’t!)

Four out of nine isn’t bad, right? 

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❤ My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions ❤

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to 2017! It’s the year we’ve all been waiting for. I hope you all have a lovely year this year!

It’s Sunday today which means there’s normally a Sunday Saves but I wanted to post about my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions instead. Next week Sunday Saves will resume, and if you come back tomorrow, you’ll see a reflection of my 2016 Resolutions. (I’ll link it here when it’s live!)

1) Take part in Veganuary.
First and fore most because this starts in January, I’ll be participating in Veganuary. I’m planning on doing a blog post later on in the week about what exactly Veganuary is and about how I became vegetarian because I haven’t talked about it on the blog yet.

2) Create a morning and evening routine.
Having a morning and evening routine is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle in my opinion but yet, I don’t have either. I want to get up earlier and achieve more with my morning before I go to work. I want to have a healthier attitude to ‘bedtime’ and have a set routine that can settle me down for the night.

3) Create a sleep routine.
This ties in with the morning and evening routine goal. Over the past nine months or so, on an average work day, I have lived on about four or five hours sleep a day. It’s not healthy, I know it’s not. Every part of me has felt the effects so I’m committed to going to bed earlier and getting up earlier too. I’m slowly killing myself otherwise.

4) Meditate more.
Ideally, I would love to do a ten minute meditation in the morning and in the evening but I don’t want to throw myself in to such a big task at first. One meditation every other morning would suit me at the beginning of the year at first and then I would want to build it up to once or twice a day.

5) Practice more yoga at home.
Okay, so I’ve covered getting into yoga and advancing yoga over the past few years but I want to take that even further by making sure I practice yoga at home rather than just in the studio once a week.

6) Live in the moment.
This is really important to me because I am either so stuck in the past or the future. I never take time to appreciate where I am right now and how far I have come. I always float back to my past and how I can’t change it or I race to the future thinking “Okay, I need to be here in the least amount of time”. I really need to take each day as it comes, go with the flow of life and take it in my stride.

7) Expand my knowledge on mindfulness.
Through therapy and reading mental health blogs, I have been really interested in learning more about mindfulness and the techniques behind it. I tend to participate in it quite often but I would like to make it a daily routine of mine because when I do, I genuinely feel better about myself. So I want to practice it as well as do my own reading and research into the ‘science’ behind it too.

8) Keep a Happy Jar for the year.
I love this idea! I featured a jar like this on one of my recent Sunday Saves but I found a post that explains it more, so if you click here, you’ll see it. I’ll do a blog post on mine once I have it decorated!


If you have a New Year’s Resolutions or Goals posts or videos, please send me them via the comments below or over on my Twitter, I love finding out about everyone else’s goals!

Happy Easter (Monday)!

Well, Happy Easter Monday! I know I haven’t blogged in a while but I’m not beating myself up for it. Life gets busy, but in the best way.

I’m a huge advocate for New Years Resolution’s, I love setting new goals and I’m a list girl, so lists and goals are one of the big motivators for me. So what a perfect time to start a new slate than the day after Easter Sunday!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or reading my tweets, you know that I can’t eat a lot of chocolate but my boyfriend bought me some small raw chocolate eggs and I might have had a few too many of those, and now I feel quite ill.

So today will be a new day. Fresh food, happy food, healthy food, and just getting back on tract with the food and exercise. Taking a few days off is never a bad thing but I can’t wait to get back onto feeling myself again.

 

So you want to try yoga?

I’m not an expert in yoga at all but if you read my first yoga birthday post, I have some quite fresh experience in getting into the lifestyle, so I thought I would give you some advice if you’re new to yoga or even if you want to try it, but don’t know where to start.

Do your research.
Do you know anything about yoga? Do you know what type of yoga you would like to do? Have you done it before? Is this your first time or are you getting back into it again? These are all questions you have to ask yourself while researching about the practice.

Find classes in your area.
I’m all for watching videos online, I think it’s a fantastic resource and with so much free content out there, I don’t think you should let it go to waste. HOWEVER, for yoga especially, I think it’s an absolute must to go to a class and learn how to do the poses correctly. You will never know if you’re doing it right if you’re watching it and trying to copy it, you could end up hurting yourself.

It shouldn’t cost the earth.
It doesn’t have to be expensive either; depending on the area you live in, you can find affordable classes with experienced teachers. I live in Belfast so I learn through Yoga Belfast who have a range of classes for beginners right up to intermediates, in a range of areas, and are affordable too. There’s some drop in classes and others were you can sign up for a certain amount of weeks. There are many other yoga companies in Belfast of course, but I haven’t had any experience with them.

Get the right gear.
You don’t have to buy a £200 yoga mat, you don’t have to spend loads of money on new workout clothing, but make sure you’re equipped to work out properly. You don’t need to worry about trainers because yoga is done in either socks or in your bare feet. Try to avoid very loose clothing but don’t go really tight either, try and find a nice balance in between the two. I personally don’t like the cheap foam yoga mats because they can slide back on the floor (First week I went to yoga, this actually happened, so personal experience is talking.) but I got a good yoga mat from ASDA and it wasn’t expensive at all. I’ve heard TKMaxx or Sports Direct do some nice ones too.

Practice makes perfect.
This speaks for itself really. You can’t expect to get better at anything if you don’t practice. You’ll mess up, you’ll fall over, you’ll lose your balance, your posture will need corrected, but you know what? That’s okay, if you learn with someone who is willing to show you the ropes and if you’re willing to put the effort in, even one or two times a week, then you will gradually get better.

I am very thankful to have introduced yoga into my life, I don’t know what I would do without it. It has helped me physically; I’m now more flexible and that is particularly helpful when I go to the gym too. It has helped me mentally; I still get stressed and I still panic but yoga helps to bring me down (If only I could do yoga in work every day, now that would be heavenly!). I believe yoga is for everyone, no matter what your age, gender, flexibility, fitness level, lifestyle, whatever it is. It’s such a good focus for people to get stuck into and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I hope my advice has helped even just one person, good luck!

 

My First Yoga Birthday!

FYB

A few weeks before the end of 2014, I decided to go to a drop in yoga class because I was always interested in finding out about it. I went on my own (but I’m used to going on my own to new things now) and I met Chandra who took the class and I had a blast. I remember I really struggled with some of the poses (but who doesn’t at their first class?) but I actually really surprised myself too. It was such a relaxed atmosphere and in all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect, but it was something I knew I wanted to take further. So a few weeks passed and I didn’t see the point in beginning just before Christmas so I waited to the New Year and I signed up to a six week class with Chandra again, and I’ve been attending ever since.

The date of that first class was Monday 5th January 2015, so the 5th January is the date I’m calling my first yoga birthday!

I never knew what a positive impact yoga would have on me. Physical, mentally and spiritually. I go on Monday nights after work (Thankfully it’s just a thirty second walk from work too) and it makes Monday a little more bearable. I’ve seen such a change in myself over the past year; obviously it’s not a complete miracle worker and I have gone through a few things during the year but I haven’t thrown yoga to the side, I’ve went even when I haven’t been feeling my best, and it might not have made me a positive bunny, it still helped me a little, so that in itself is the sign of a great practice.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is to advance further in yoga. I want to challenge myself more, I want to do more, I want to see how far I can push myself (within reach of course) and  as I reflect over the past year, I don’t know what I would ever do without it now.

Reflecting on 2015’s Resolutions.

Looking back on 2015’s resolutions, I realised that I didn’t complete as many as I would have liked to. Now normally, that would annoy me and I’d be really disappointed, I’m quite the perfectionist when it comes to lists, but I’m trying to break that pattern.

I’m remaining positive though, so I’ll talk through the resolutions I did complete or I almost completed.

Explore more cooking and baking recipes.
This is one I can say “Yes absolutely!”to. I bought Deliciously Ella’s cookbook this year and it’s been my absolute favourite. I’m actually getting her second book this month as a late Christmas present so I can’t wait to see what she’s cooked up this time. I baked a lot of her sweet potato brownies and her almond energy bites, and I couldn’t be without them now. I also cook a lot with my boyfriend too, we like to explore recipes we haven’t made before, even if they’re really simple ones like cottage pie. So far, it’s been a success every single time!

Practice more yoga and mediation.
Again, I completed this with flying colours, technically. More on the yoga front than anything. My yoga birthday (A whole year of going to yoga classes) is coming up in a few days and I think I would be lost without yoga, it’s become a huge part of my life and I’m very thankful for it.

Practice Meatless Monday at least twice a month. 
I did this for, I would say the first six months of the year, and it wasn’t actually that difficult. I don’t know why I stopped or what happened but I would say six months is still an accomplishment in itself.

Knit three things. 
I almost completed this! I almost finished another scarf on 31st December but I didn’t get it finished ): But I did knit a hat and another scarf, so two out of three isn’t bad!

Re-start my Word Press Blog again.
Technically I did this, but then I stopped at the end of June, but that’s more than six months.

Visit two new places.
I visited three places! I visited Ayr in Scotland for the day and I spent the weekend in Dublin, both with my best friend. I had been to Dublin before but I actually spent the weekend there this time so I don’t think that’s cheating. And the last place was Southampton at the start of the year to visit some college friends who were in University there.

Did I complete them all? Nope. But that’s okay. You can’t do everything perfect. If you want to look at last year’s resolutions, they’re right here!

♥ My 2016 New Year’s Resolutions ♥

Say what you will about New Year’s Resolutions, I can see it from both sides, but I think they’re so much fun and it has a little planning element to it, so I love it!

1) Go outside every day!
There’s some days where I don’t leave the house at all. I work a full time job so Saturday is normally my relaxing day and I don’t leave the house but I think even going for a fifteen minute walk would benefit me. Obviously if I’m really sick or if the weather looks like it could really blow me away, I won’t be stepping outside, but I want to make more of an effort to go outside for a little while on days where I’d be in the house all day.

2) Advance further in yoga.
As you’ll see from my 2015 Reflections (which will be linked here soon!), I came on leaps and bounds in yoga. It’s almost my yoga birthday and I don’t know what I would do without it now. I want to challenge myself even further in yoga though, and I’d love to be able to get up a little earlier in the morning to do some before work. Or even skip a Saturday lie in every once in a week, and have a good long session.

3) Save more money!
I started to save for a holiday to Canada then I started to dip into the fund around September, and it’s basically back down to it’s original amount. I have a few places I want to travel to this year as well as Canada hopefully in 2017, so I need to keep saving. I just need to figure out a reasonable amount every month that won’t make me feel like I have nothing left after rent, bills and other expenses.

4) Write every day in my One Line A Day book.
I bought myself a Q&A One-A-Day book two years ago and I missed out so much of it and I’m really annoyed with myself that I can’t go back to it seeing all the blank spaces. This is why it’s extra important that I keep this up (I don’t want blank spaces in this too!). If you haven’t seen it before, here’s a photograph from my Instagram.

5) Read more books!
So this feels quite similar to a resolution I had a few years ago, I think it was for 12 books and I didn’t succeed. I was going to set myself a goal of twelve books this year but I know if I just set myself “more” rather than a number, I might not be so hard on myself. I sometimes find it hard to read (I get very sleepy very fast) but I’m going to make a conscience effort this year.

6) Knit more!
Again, this is quite similar to the books. I don’t want to set myself on a number but I knit two (almost three) things last year so I want to pass that number with flying colours this year. I also want to try and advance myself a little too, maybe try something more difficult than the knit and purl stitch.

7) Keep up with my blog!
This was my resolution last year and I failed about 90% of it. I think if I blog what I’m passionate about then I’ll keep myself interested but it got to the point where I was just posting beauty favourites and I got really bored. This year will change that, I know it.

8) Learn a new language.
I disappoint myself knowing that I studied French for five years, including two years for GCSE but if you were to ask me to speak French, I would know the very very basics. I want to expand my language culture; I also plan on going to at least one new country this year so I want to learn their language, so even if I can learn the basics and build from that, I’d love that.

9) Spend more time with my boyfriend.
Okay, the ultimate cheesy one! We haven’t been together very long but we have so much planned to do together including starting Game of Thrones together, cook new meals, visiting new places. 2016 is just going to be such an exciting year and I can’t wait to share it with someone who is so wonderful. (Want me to hand anyone the sick bucket?)