New Year’s Resolutions Check Up

Happy 1st of August! I can’t believe how fast 2018 has gone by so far. And looking back at the last 7 months, I’m in shock at how much I’ve accomplished as well. It’s definitely been an eventful and very fun year. And I’m very excited to see what the next 5 months will bring.

Most of us make resolutions at the beginning of a New Year and our intentions are usually good. We all say that this will be the year we finally do X, or some variation of that. But it’s easier said than done. The first couple months go well but then you get busy and you forget, or you fall off the wagon (so to speak) and you give up. Myself included. Therefore, I’ve decided to use this post to keep myself accountable for the resolutions I made in January.

If you guys want to fact check to make sure I am sticking to my word, click here to read my 2018 Resolutions blog post I wrote 7 months ago. I hate to admit that I had to reread the blog post to fully remember what I had promised myself I’d work on. I was reminded of some things I need to do better, and feel like I’m on the right track with most of the others, thankfully.

Getting in Shape and Focusing on my Wellness

This isn’t something I’d ever say I can fully “complete” as I want this to be a lifestyle change. I want to work out to get in shape and then I’d like to continuously workout and stay in shape. And same goes with focusing on my wellness. I do think I have accomplished many things when it comes to that item as you can read for yourself here.

But wellness encompasses so many different things. It can range from taking enough time for self-care by getting massages, learning to meditate, getting dressed up and feeling good about yourself every once in awhile, eating healthy, launching your own business, going on holiday, setting a daily routine, etc. In my opinion, wellness is all about doing whatever you need to do to make yourself the happiest and best person you can be. And that will always be ongoing.

However, in the last 7 months, I have made serious strides in this department. I am learning to listen to my body when it comes to activity and foods. I am still learning about balance on a social and work point of view. I’ve definitely gotten to a point in my fitness where I love my workouts and feel great afterwards. It’s been a long time, if ever, since I viewed workouts as a good thing and something I’m excited about versus dreading it. As life goes on, there will be many more things to learn about myself but the most important thing is to have an open mind about all of it, which I definitely do.

So for that resolution, I’d say I am completely on track.

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Becoming a Better Blogger

Not to sound braggy, but the numbers speak for themselves here. My Instagram following has rose a lot this year and my page views on my blog has definitely increased.

So yes, I do consider myself to have become a better blogger but I have a very long way to go still. Unfortunately, I have a full time job I work Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm. I also have a busy social life (especially now that it’s summer) and I have to clean the flat and meal prep on the weekends as well. When I do come home from work, and after days spent with friends and family, I just want to lay on the couch and get lost in the next Netflix show. It’s hard to work work work all the time.

And when I’m staying attentive and listening to my body, I know there are times I just need to sit and relax and spend time with my boyfriend. It’s all about finding the right balance to where I can still get everything I need done, but also get the time to sit and relax.

I have learned a lot in these past 7 months when it comes to blogging and being a social media presence and I plan on continuing to gain knowledge and do what I can to keep things going. I’m proud of where I got to, but I know there’s a lot more work to do!

So for that item on the list, I’d say I am on track, but I still need to keep up the momentum.

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Becoming a Better Photographer

This item links to the above resolution because a really big part of being a great blogger is having fantastic photos. All. Of. The. Time. Not Kidding.

The thing is, I need to be in them. Which makes this task a thousand times more difficult.

I do love photography, but I’ve realised in these 7 months that I like photography more from a blogging point of view.

So funnily enough, this resolution has shifted a bit as I’m spending less time taking photos of landscapes and buildings, and instead trying to see the best backdrop and insert myself in the photo doing a pose that’s definitely staged, but also looks natural, and getting someone to get the shot without getting extremely annoyed or impatient. Now THAT is difficult.

On another note, learning how to navigate flat lays and other blogger-esque photos like that is extremely difficult and one that I need a lot more practice on. I used to think I had an eye for photography but as I’ve been trying to execute it, I realise that I need a lot more practice than I thought.

The other aspect of this is the editing. I look through all these other people’s Instagram profiles and see these amazing themes and beautiful aesthetics and I’m just not there yet. I may be my own worst critic but I don’t feel like it’s good enough. So this is my current project. I’m trying to work on my photo editing skills and figure out if I want to create my own presets or use the same one on every photo, or what exactly is next for me there. Stay tuned. And if you have any wisdom to offer, please let me know. I definitely need some help.

For this resolution, I’d say I have a lot more work to do for this year.

As you can see below, the first photo with the energy ball in it is plain and boring. It’s just a photo of some packaged food. The photo with the chocolate bars in it is much more pleasing to the eye. The bars are placed strategically away from each other, I included a little wooden tray to offset the photo and have sprinkled cocoa powder around the chocolate bars to add something to the white marble background. It’s a big improvement. However, the lighting is wrong in the chocolate bar photo even after the editing process. It still needs work.

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Practice Yoga More

Yikes.

Ok so if you reread the original resolution post, I mentioned that I started the first few months of the year doing the BBG program. And on most Saturdays, I would do a yoga routine. Eventually, I tired of BBG and wanted to do something new and started Sarah’s Day’s lifestyle challenge which had all the workouts written down for me.

As I am still doing that, I don’t really have much time for yoga. And I definitely have not been working on this as much as I had initially wanted to for this year.

I am glad that I have written this blog post today to remind me of this resolution. As it’s still summer and we’re still having nice weather, there isn’t anything stopping me from heading to the park in the morning on a weekend and doing some yoga to wake me up.

However, I have started meditating recently which I absolutely love doing after my morning workouts. It has significantly altered my days and has put me in a much better mood. I have noticed a big difference on the days I meditate versus the days I don’t. So I definitely think that if I add yoga into the mix, it will help me even more.

In this aspect, I know I need to work on this one. I plan to start with 10 minutes of yoga a week, or more, and see where that takes me. Even if it’s immediately as I wake up on Sundays, or waking up 10 minutes earlier on Monday mornings, it needs to be done.

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Manage my Finances

Ok this has always been a hard one for me, but I do think I have made some strides here. I’ve never been a good budgeter but in the last few months, I have become much more attentive to the amount of money I am spending during the month.

I write down my monthly income and then write down what bills need to be paid. I allow myself a certain amount for groceries and spending money, especially if I have plans on the weekends, and then the rest goes to paying off my US credit card.

I am very careful about what I buy on Amazon, ASOS, and skincare products. I’ve begun to find cheaper products instead of splashing out on the ones that are trending. I generally don’t shop at all except for the stuff I know I need, unless I know I can spare some pounds. I do have a splurge every once in awhile because I’m still a spender and it’s not an easy thing for me to completely give up. Especially when we’re still not 100% completely done with decorating the flat yet.

However, I did manage to set aside enough money to pay for my half of the holiday we’re going on in October so I consider that a big win. Obviously, I am planning on keeping up with that so I can finally get to a point where I can pay off all my debt. To be honest, I am looking forward to having more weekends spent at home and in London instead of traveling around the country. It’s been fun, but I also love chill weekends at home. Summer always brings tons of plans – parties, weddings, outdoor events, holidays, etc. And I love being busy but I am also ready to be done with all that. Money needs to be saved. And Sam is very very tired.

With regards to my finances, I have gotten a lot better and managed to save for a holiday so I consider myself on track. I do have a lot more work to do as I want to get to the point where I’ve finally paid off my credit card debt and can start saving my money here for our future together. So…. TBC 🙂

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Working on my Patience and Being Kinder to Others

This is another one of those things that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say “completed.” To be fair, my resolution was that I wanted to work on it and get better. And to that standard, I definitely have accomplished that.

I have come a very long way in being more patient. I’ve also become a lot more forgiving. That’s something that D has rubbed off on me as he is an extremely kind and forgiving person. He is an amazing friend to the people he loves and in that area, he is much better than me.

To be fair, I’ve had my heart broken by the majority of the best friends I’ve had. And after the 5th or 6th time, you stop trusting people and you build up a wall. Not the one Donald Trump is on about, but more of an emotional wall. And I set my standards incredibly high. Sometimes, too high though. I have spent this year realising this and trying to correct it.

I do think friendships and relationships here in the UK are valued much more than in the US. I’ve made amazing friends here and I know quite a few of them will be lifelong friends even though I’ve known some of them for only a year.

With all that being said, I have changed a lot this year. I have learned to be more patient with people and not hold them to ridiculous standards. I’ve learned everyone has their baggage and most of the time, people aren’t intentionally trying to hurt you. I’ve learned that accepting an apology means forgetting, not just forgiving. And I’ve learned grudges will eat you up, and eventually will only hurt you.

So er, um, yeah. I’ve definitely managed to get this one down. It’s a work in progress because it’s still not easy for me to do. I’ll keep working on it though, and eventually I’ll get there.

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All in all, I think I’ve done a very good job. I didn’t set my expectations too high when I made these resolutions. I knew that certain things take time and I need to give myself that time. If I surpass my original resolution, then that’s amazing, but if I just managed to improve even a little bit, it’s better than nothing and I’ll consider it a win.

With the next five months, the main things I need to focus on are keeping on track with my health and fitness and including a little bit of yoga every week. I need to continue working on my photography and getting better and better as time goes on. I need to continue working hard on the blog and using the free time I have to devote to it. And I need to make sure I’m not spending money willy nilly and remembering that holidays and experiences are far more important than £100 pair of shoes.

With that being said, I still really want to get a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses…..

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Tell me, have you guys kept up with your New Years Resolutions? Take some time today to examine how far you’ve come, what you’ve accomplished, and what you need to work on. Thankfully, we still have 5 months left of 2018 so there is still time to get yourself back on track to where you need to be. Comment below and share your stories with me!

Much Love

xx

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