I hope you are all doing well and you have had a wonder Christmas and New Year. I still can't believe how fast Christmas and the festive season just flew by and how it is New Years Eve today...someone pinch me, please! I have been a little quite over on the blog recently purely because I haven't been feeling myself the last few weeks and sometimes I think time away to recuperate is the best thing. I guess we all lack motivation at some point, we are human after all, but I'm ready to jump back in full swing for 2017. I just wanted to write a little post reflecting on some of my high and low milestones this past year and of course, set myself a few blogging goals moving forward into 2017 with some personal ones thrown in for good measure. If you would like to ready last years reflection and goals you can do so by clicking here. This is going to be quite a long post so I suggest you grab a cup of team, sit back, relax and enjoy!
WOW! What can I say, 2016 has been a heck of a year with some major milestones...so, I guess we'll start at the very beginning. It feels so bizarre thinking about the past year because it honestly feels like I've just blinked and 12 months have flown by! I began 2016 jumping into my 2nd year at my full-time job and I never thought I'd be saying that moving into 2017 I will be jumping into a brand new role! I won't get too deep into work life outside of my blog but in a nutshell it hasn't been an easy year for me...I have realised a lot of things and I intend on moving into 2017 a much stronger person. My new role is within the same company but within a new Marketing department and I honestly couldn't be more excited! My passions lye within Digital Marketing and that is exactly what I will be doing - focusing on our website, our social media channels, our digital publication, new blog and so much more!
Fitness; oh, it's been a a hell of a journey this year! I never thought I'd feel comfortable talking about weight and fitness but at the end of the day I want my blog to be a safe place where I can talk about anything and everything. I started the year as I wanted to go on and with the intention of transforming my fitness routine which I am pleased to say that I 100% stuck too...well, for the first 6 months of the year anyway. I joined Slimming World (you can read my post here) and lost 1 1/2 stone which I am so proud of because I've never dieted before in my life! I also joined the gym, signed up to some group PT sessions and also took part in the 28 Day Transformation Bootcamp at the DVCC. Admittedly, after my holidays in the Summer I kind of lost my flow and I have put a tiny bit of that weight back on BUT I think upon reflection it was kind of a blessing in disguise. I got very consumed by Slimming World and my weight to the point where I wasn't eating properly, I wasn't on plan properly and I was soooo miserable! So, I plan on jumping into 2017 with a brand new fitness goal but to take this years experiences into consideration.
I went to a blogging event solo! To this day I still can't believe I actually travelled to London and went to a big event all by myself. Some people might think that is absolutely nothing but for me it is such a huge step. I am such a quiet, shy and anxious person and I am so glad that I was pushed outside of my comfort zone and said yes...even if it meant going alone. At the beginning of the year I was invited to a Benefit Cosmetics event at their Good Ship Benefit for the launch of their new Brow Collection. I was attending one of the later slots due to work commitments and when I arrived to the event I was literally in ore of everyone...there were so many inspirational bloggers and vloggers all in one room! It was incredibly daunting because everyone had their own friendship groups and you worry about approaching them with the fear of being rejected...I know that sounds silly but you never know! Never-the-less, it was an incredible evening and I want to say a huge thank you to Scarlett from Scarlett London for being so lovely to me on the night and also to Amman, Lauren and Laurretta from the Benefit team for being so welcoming and equally lovely! It can be so daunting attending an event alone, especially for someone like me so is so quite and shy BUT I am so glad I did it because the event was out of this world and I hope I do more of this in 2017.
If you have read my blog for quite some time now then you will know why the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards will always have a special place in my heart. I can't believe that I am here writing about the awards a 4th year in a row...let alone be able to say that I was shortlisted for 3 incredible awards this year. You can read all about the 2015 awards in this post, however, this year I was nominated for Best Beauty Influencer, Best Use of Social Media and Blossom Hills Influencers Choice. To be shortlisted alongside some incredible bloggers and vloggers like Fleur De Force, Lydia Millen, Chloe Boucher and more was such a dream come true. I didn't place in any of my categories this year but to even be considered was such a huge achievement for me. I walked away feeling extremely motivated and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store. I am looking forward to getting back into blogging in the New Year and working on lots of new and fabulous content.
My car accident. Now, this is definitely not a positive reflection but I thought I would write a small piece about this because it was such a huge part of the end of 2016 for me and honestly, it has opened up my eyes so much. I know I am a delicate person (everyone keeps telling me this) but I don't think anyone understands unless you have been in an accident yourself. I won't go into too much detail but for me it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was driving home from work on 1st November 2016 and I was standstill at a roundabout with a few cars in front of me when I was hit from behind at 60mph, by someone who wasn't paying attention to the road and was potentially on their mobile phone. I remember looking into my rearview mirror and seeing these bright headlights thinking to myself 'oh, that cars going really fast?!' and there was no where for me to move...I cannot begin to describe how shaken I was, the pain I experienced and everything else in-between. The worst part is my parents were out of the country at the time, we are so close and being an only child they always like calling me to see if I'm ok and to see how my day was etc. Well...we were on hands free at the time (my car has this functionality) and they heard the whole accident...the big bag, my screams...they said it was like being in a movie because you never think something like this is going to happen to you! Everything else is a bit of a blur but the police, a paramedic and an ambulance arrived to the scene and I was rushed to hospital because I hit my head on the steering wheel and I also had 2 full body x-rays where we discovered I have quite a lot of shadowing on my spine. My car was completely wrecked but thankfully, after a few weeks at the car hospital it was ok...but it took me a good 3 weeks to get back into a car properly. I am back to driving now but I still get panicky when I see bright headlines in my rearview mirror and if I see a car driving a bit too fast close by. Even though this all sounds like a nightmare I know things could have been a lot worse and I thank my lucky stars that I was able to walk away with only a few bumps and bruises. During the accident I literally had a mini 'life flash before my eyes' moment and I intend of moving into 2017 a changed person. Life is too short and you don't know what is round the corner.
A Few of My 2017 Goals
Goal #1: Transform my Fitness Routine 2.0 Edition. I know this is a pretty cliche New Years resolution but seeing the results that I achieved last year it has motivated me to give it another try for 2017.I just want to become a healthier version of myself...not necessarily lose weight but tone and change my diet. I have decided to re-join Slimming World and work on my diet primarily, given I can't jump straight back into exercise due to my injures from my car accident. I feel so sluggish at the moment and I need some change in my life! We all have to start from somewhere - wish me luck!
Goal #2: Attend More Blogging Events & Meet New People. I set this goal for 2016 and I really did try to attend more events, however, I did find myself declining more than accepting which honestly makes me so sad. I think it was a combination of things; timing, commitments, confidence, anxiety that kept getting in the way. I am such a shy person and sometimes travelling alone to an event is very daunting, especially when there are friendship groups already formed and you feel so intimidated to go up and talk to other bloggers. I really hope this is something I can conquer as I would love to meet so many more bloggers and brands next year!
Goal #3: Start YouTube & Weekly Vlogging. This was a 2016 goal and was a complete FAIL so let's hope 2017 is more successful! Starting a YouTube channel is something I have wanted to do for many years now. I have sporadically uploaded a few videos (you can see these here) but for some reason getting into YouTube hasn't been an easy road for me. I need to snap out of whatever is holding me back and stop letting excuses get in the way of something I have dreamt of doing for years now. So, if there is anything you would like to see in particular then pretty please let me know. I actually own a vlogging camera now so there is literally no excuse!
Goal #4: Increase my Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Content. During 2016 I definitely feel like I managed to switch up my writing style with posts like 5 Ways To Add A Twist To Your Day, 13 Things I Love About Autumn, My Festival LookBook and more but I want to work even harder on content for 2017 and bring you content that you want to read. I know the majority of the time I sway towards beauty...what can I say, I have a beauty addition haha, but never-the-less, I really want to work harder and create some more diverse content for you all. I want to start creating more outfit, lifestyle and travel posts. Yet again, if there is anything you would like to see in particular pretty please let me know.
Goal #5: Work on my Instagram. I know numbers are definitely not everything but I think its always nice to set yourself personal goals. My 2016 goal was to hit 10,000 but with the new Instagram algorithm it literally threw a spanner in the works...it sucks! So, I'll be setting my 10,000 goal again for 2017 and fingers crossed we'll be able to achieve it! I'm going to aim to post something every single day and interact with other instagrammers a lot more. Instagram is one of my favourite platforms and I love taking photos!
Goal #6: Use Snapchat More. I may not have a huge following on snapchat but I feel like I achieved a lot with it this year. I actually filmed myself which was a great starting point, I snap vlogged a few times including one time in London with everyone watching...I even snap vlogged with no makeup at one point! I want to start how I mean to go on and I want to keep the snaps and snap vlogs coming in 2017!
Goal #7. Push Myself out of My Comfort Zone. This is such a big goal for me because I am such a shy and anxious person but I want to move into 2017 wanting to be able to say YES more, push myself outside of my comfort zone in all aspects of my life and love myself more. This is a goal that will be shaped to all areas of my life as the year progresses but lets hope that this time next year when I write my reflection post and 2018 goals I can say we smashed it!
Goal #8: Get More Organised. Admittedly, working full time means I am not always on top form with my blog and it is something that I want and need to work on because blogging is such a huge love in my life. My favourite quote it 'Don't Compare Your Chapter 1 To Someone Else's Chapter 20' and I need to constantly remind myself of this because we are all different! I want to be able to post between 1-3 pieces of contented on my blog per week, film a YouTube video once a week or bi-weekly until I get the hang of it haha and of course keep on top of my social media. I don't want to stress myself out over this because I don't want to resent my blog as it's a safe place for me to express myself but I definitely need to get more organised!
Goal #9: Invest in my Future. This isn't a big blogging goal but I thought I would include it. This has been a pretty big decision that has been playing on my mind throughout the majority of 2015 and 2016. I want to start thinking about my future more and I want to start investing where I can. I did set myself a goal to invest in a property in 2016 but honestly I didn't find the right place I was looking for and I don't want to rush into anything that I may regret. Purchasing a property is not a simple task and obviously, there are a lot of hurdles in between, especially as I will be doing this all by myself. I have 12 more months to see if this is something that will become a reality but even if it does't it just means I have more time to save and find the perfect place for me.
Goal #10: Learn Something New. This goal can be moulded to so many different things and it is one that really excited me because I love learning new things. Maybe I could learn a new recipe (I do love to bake!), learn how to code a website, learn Yoga, brush up on my Italian or even learn a new language! The possibilities are endless!
I really hope you enjoyed diving into my 2015 reflection and talking about some of my 2017 goals. Honestly, 2016 has been a year full of highs and lows but they have all been part of my journey. I feel so incredibly blessed to have so many special people in my life and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for me. I have learnt so much over the last year and I want to start 2017 as I mean to go on. A huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, like a photo on Instagram, retweet something on Twitter and everything else in between. The support is incredible and I couldn't thank you enough! Also, another huge thank you to all of the brands who I have collaborated with this year - it's been a dream come true and I look forward to hopefully working with you all agin in 2017!
If you have stuck around to the end then thank you so much, I know this was quite a chatty post. Here is to an amazing and safe New Years Eve and an amazing entrance to 2017! Like always lovelies, if you have any questions, requests or if you just want a chat you can contact me via my social media or leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you all and I make sure to ready every single comment...they really make my day!
Here's to an amazing 2017...let's start page 1 of our 365 book!
What are your 2017 goals?
Lots of Love
*Left image created by Sophia Meola // Right image sourced from Pinterest