As another year is drawing to a close, it is time to reflect back on what has happened and see what to take away from it all. It hasn’t been the smoothest of years on many levels, on a national, international and personal scale. But amongst all of the difficult times, there have been so many positive moments that have shaped me and made me so much stronger and more confident of myself.
I want to share with you some of the things that I have learned from 2016, which I will be taking with me into the new year and beyond.
Take those Risks
There have been many occasions this year where I have decided to go with what my heart is telling me to do, rather than sticking with the same thing. They really have been the greatest decisions I have made, as well as being the best things I have done to get one step closer to my dreams. For so many years I have held back from going with what I really want to do, for the fear of failing at it.
The unknown is terrifying to think about but if staying with what you know isn’t moving you forward to where you want to be, then making that leap of faith could be the best move to make.
Be Kind to Yourself
Heaven knows how much self-doubting I do on a daily basis, despite the fact that I have come so far in recovery from my mental illnesses. Yet, like everyone else, I am always lacking faith in myself, and don’t give myself enough credit for what I actually do. This year, I really made a conscious effort to be more caring for my body, mind, and soul, which is where the Be REAL Project was created. It has given me a whole new understanding of myself, as I have got to know my strengths and work out how to improve on areas that I am not quite confident in, such as self-belief.
Beating yourself up over not being good enough, pretty enough, fit enough, smart enough or worthy enough, is such a detrimental to your long-term health and happiness. By being kind to yourself from the beginning of your journey, you will feel more positive along the way and actually start to feel pride in what you are achieving no matter how great or small.
With the approach of the January Gym Bonanza and everywhere advertising ‘slimming’ diets and ‘low carb’ low fat’ ‘low sugar’ blah blah blah, it can be so hard to stay focused on your own personal and unique way of maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle.
Now more than ever before, I am embracing life to the full, including a wide variety of different food groups throughout the year, never limiting myself or restricting anything from my food intake. I train when I want to and for the love of being active. My body requires rest like every other, and so I always make sure I get a few days off every week. Of course, I sometimes get those niggling thoughts of ‘needing’ to exercise, but I don’t ever act on them. Only now am I FEELING healthier, stronger, more confident and most of all happier with myself and life as a whole.
Learn when to say NO
Who else feels the need to people please? It is something that I have done for my whole life and has affected my mental health as a consequence of it. Do not get me wrong, it is lovely to make someone else feel happy but at what price should we really do so? Doing right by others may not always fall in your own benefit, which would mean that your life isn’t enhanced because of it.
Learning to say no can really make a big difference to your self-esteem and self-confidence. Not only are you standing up for yourself, you are putting your hopes and dreams first. After all, no one else can lead your life in the right direction but yourself.
Live in the Moment
In such a fast paced world it is all too easy to get lost amongst the chaos that surrounds us 24/7. As a blogger who is very active on social media, it is difficult to stop ‘living’ in a digital world and actually be present in reality and focus on your own life. Social media is a such an incredible place, and I for one will be the first to shout from the rooftops about how amazing it can be. It has given me so many unbelievable opportunities this year, so I cannot wait to see what 2017 brings.
However, like many of you, I can find myself comparing my life to others, longing to have what they have and looking like they do. People choose what they show on social media, getting the right angle, adding a filter and some will even photoshop their appear for the sole purpose of achieving more ‘likes’. Instead of constantly checking my feed every couple of hours (at its worst it was every single hour) I only go on to check after I have uploaded my own content, and spend my time searching for those who I like to catch upon. This has allowed me to have more time to do more of what matters to me, placing more value on the present and giving more to my family and friends.
Now, I hope that you read this thinking that the new year will bring a new you. Change can happen anywhere at any time, there is no ideal timing for things to change. It all comes when YOU are ready for that change. It was during the summer that my mindset took a real positive turn and altered the direction of my future for the better. Go with what is right for you NOW not what is ‘suppose’ to happen at a certain time of year.
I am wishing you all a happy, healthy and memorable 2017 for all the right reasons. Whatever may come your way, believe that you are capable of overcoming anything you set your mind to and that you can achieve your dreams.
Happy New Year
Lots of love