I’ve never been very religious with the whole New Year Resolutions thing. Except for last year when I remember sitting down and telling myself what I wanted to accomplish during the year. They were very vague things like ‘I want to keep fit’ and ‘I want to be happy’ which is all well and good if not very cliche and oh so very original. Looking back on the year now, I can say that it was nothing like I could have ever expected. So many unexpected twists and turns that changed the path that I thought I was on, yet some things turned out exactly how I had wanted them to.
At the start of the year I knew that I was going to have about 9 months off. Nine months to prepare myself for what was going to be the next big step in my life. During those nine months, I may not have been in school, but I learnt so much, about life, about myself and about my potential career. Those nine months were some of the most influential ones of my life, because I made some of the strongest friendships in a time in my life when I didn’t think it was going to happen. I made another little family with ties not of blood, but just as strong. I almost can’t believe that it’s only been a little over a year, some even less, when it feels like they’ve been in my life forever. A group of friends who, although we’re spread across the world now, remain in each other’s hearts (and in our whatsapp group chats) as we go on our own separate but similar journeys. This year has been one of lessons and mistakes, and learning from them. Of failed relationships and broken hearts but of healing and new love. Looking back on this year, I know that it wasn’t at all what I had planned but that everything happened to leave me where I am right now, which is an exciting place, with the support and love of an amazing group of people. So my first resolution for this year to come: to build on and make the most of these friendships, so that they only grow.
This year, I wanted to focus on my interest in health and fitness. I don’t go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week and I don’t eat like a saint. But I wanted to learn more about keeping my body as healthy and as alive as possible. During those nine months I mentioned before, I was very good with my workouts and I have to look back and say I’m very proud of myself. I did things that I enjoyed and that made me feel good; maintaining my weight was always my aim while building my resistance and stamina. For the first few months I was working out at home, I did the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide for a few months but then decided that it wasn’t keeping me as motivated as I wanted. So I set out to look into a personal trainer. Thankfully I had a friend who got me in touch with a relative of theirs and so I was able to find someone I was immediately comfortable with. It was the most fun I’ve ever had with fitness! We would do a mix of cardio and weights and resistance training 3 times a week and I don’t think I’ve ever felt better about myself. It’s not that I can’t work out on my own but I much prefer having someone who knows exactly what they’re talking about who can push me to my limits right then and there. Then there was the whole eating side. I’ve always been very health conscious about my eating habits, and although I would succumb to a naughty fast food once in a while, I ate very lean and got my 5 a day. Since coming to University I haven’t worked out as much as I would like but I have been eating very well. With the whole vegan experiment I did in November I discovered something new that I enjoyed. Which leads me to my resolution for this new year: to build on my interest in nutrition and fitness. I’ve decided to join the campus gym as well as take a kickboxing class once a week, because that was something I did with my trainer and really enjoyed. I know that this may seem like something everyone puts in their resolutions but if you know me well enough you know that if I put my mind to something I enjoy, then I’ll do it and keep at it. I’m also definitely going to get back on the vegan bandwagon and see where that takes me. I’ve never said I’m going to be vegan forever, but this is a journey I’m interested in and I’d like to see where it takes me.
Another resolution that I’ve decided on for this year is to travel. Trevor Noah (the comedian) said that ‘Travel is the antidote to ignorance.’ And I could not agree more. The only way you’ll ever be able to understand the world and the way things work is by seeing things through the eyes of another person from a different culture and living a different way of life even if it’s just for a week or two. The only way you’ll learn more about yourself is by learning more about other people, about the way they think, their traditions and their morals which you never know may change your life in ways you’d never expect. I’d love to scratch off a few more places on my scratch map this year, all over the globe and I hope to be able to share them with all of you here.
If you read my Single Christmas Tinsel post before Christmas, you’ll remember that I mentioned wrapping your little heart neatly in a box and placing it under the tree so it doesn’t get trampled under the feet of the couples under the mistletoe. Well now it’s time to take it out. Trust me, I’m just as wary as you are about putting it back in it’s placing and hoping for what this year will bring. But there’s no point in building walls and living in the past if it could prevent you from seeing something what may be right in front of you. I know it won’t be easy, some of us may still be healing, some of us may be ready and eager for new things, and some may only just be coming out of their shells realising that this is what they’re now looking for. Either way, be cautious of course, but be open minded and be adventurous. Be safe, but be bold. Take chances, if it doesn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t be afraid to let go and leave the past in the past so you can open your heart to new things. And don’t forget that the first person you need to let that little heart of yours fall in love with, is yourself.
Last and most certainly not least, my final resolution involves this. This little platform that I have now dedicated what may well be way too much of my study time to. I’ve found that recreating this blog and starting to put my words down again has revived a part of me that I had forgotten was still around. I love being able to share my thoughts and my experiences with all of you and I hope that together, we can grow and continue to experience this funny little thing called life.
I encourage you to put your resolutions down on paper. Have a think about what it is that you want to achieve this year and ways in which you want to improve from last year. I know that resolutions are meant to be something we do and probably will not end up sticking to but who does it hurt to try one more time. Write it down, pin it on your wall, wake up every morning of this new year and remind yourself of the optimism with which you found yourself on the 1st January 2018. All we have is this one life, don’t live it by default or by what you think others want it to be, design your life in a way that will make you happier, more successful and stronger. Make yourself proud so that at the end of this year, you can say it was one of the best years of your life. Of course there’ll be bumps on the way and I’ve learnt by now that nothing ever goes the way we think they will, but keep on your chosen path, play hard but work harder and whatever will come your way will do so for a reason. We’ll handle each day at a time and live life as it comes. We will write the pages of this year together, so let’s make it one hell of a story.
And with that, sit back, grab some bubbly and say goodbye to 2017, because I for one can’t wait to see what 2018 has to offer us now.