2017: New Year Resolutions

new-year

It’s been a while since I’ve published a blog post, 10 days to be exact but having gone from blogging almost everyday in December, 10 days felt like a lot. I know that it’s the number one cliche thing to be doing right now,(publishing a New Year’s Resolutions post) but it felt wrong to have entered a new year and not address all of the goals and plans that I have for the year ahead.

In previous years I’ve stuck with the stereotypical New Year’s resolutions – get fitter, eat healthier, blah, blah, blah, you know the drill but this year I felt much more conscious of the different things that I want to do with the year and the goals that I want to achieve in the next 12 months. I figured by writing them down and announcing them to the world I would feel much more motivated to actually work for and achieve these goals.

Resolutions

1.Prioritise self-care

It’s hard to justify this one without sounding entirely selfish, arrogant and ridiculous. And you know what, it is an entirely selfish goal and considering these are my own personal goals, I probably shouldn’t feel the need to justify this as much as I do.

I’m only 20 (very nearly 21) so I’ve definitely got an awful lot left to learn in life but the older I get the more I realise that there’s a lot of “every man for themselves” going on around us and you know what, as long as you aren’t harming anyone, that’s fine. You know that quote “You’ll end up really disappointed if you think people will do for you as you do for them. Not everyone has the same heart as you.”? It’s been instagrammed, pinned, tweeted, shared thousands of times for a reason. So instead of trying to change those around me, I’m going to change my own attitude to avoid disappointment.

My friends mean the world to me, they always have and they always will. I like to think that my friends can rely on me whenever they need me because come rain or shine, at any time of the day or night I would be there for them in a heartbeat. Not everyone has always respected that and instead have taken advantage of it and that’s exactly why I prefer to keep my friend group a small circle of people that I know I can trust.

Over the course of the last few years friendships have changed, some have grown while others have sadly faded into the background but I’ve learned that all friends have different purposes and at the end of the day, the only person whose sole responsibility it is to truly care for and look after you is you.

To a lot of people, practising self-care I’m sure sounds like a load of spiritual nonsense and truthfully until the end of this year, I didn’t fully appreciate the importance of self-care myself but this year I promise to be kinder to myself and not in the “treat yo’self, buy the shoes” kind of way. I’m talking about saying no to things that I don’t want to do, not letting myself get sucked into negativity or bitchiness around me, turning off my phone and ignoring the world for a few hours when I feel like I need to, remembering that sometimes I don’t have the energy to comfort others and take on their problems because I’m also falling apart inside trying to deal with my own problems. I’m talking about eliminating all of the things that drag me down and instead filling that space only with things that bring me joy. Whether that joy be little or large, my 2017 is all about joy and so should yours. (PS Holly-Anne’s post all about Joy inspired me to make my own life more joyful. Read her post here for some uplifting, positive vibes on a January evening.)

Disclaimer: Yes I am aware that we can’t always say no to doing things we don’t want to do. Yes I’m aware that I can’t avoid negativity entirely and yes, I’m very aware that I’m far from being a selfless saint who only cares for others. Self-care is not to be confused with (nor used as) an excuse to be lazy, rude, arrogant or entitled. 

2. Digital Detoxing

Yet another slightly spiritual, nonsensical resolution that also sort of ties in with the above resolution.

It really annoys me when I meet up with friends and they sit on their phone the entire time. It makes me feel like I’m a burden to have to spend time with and that I’m not worthy of their full attention. The problem is, I do exactly the same thing and it’s something about myself that I would really like to change.

A few weeks ago, after a particularly anxiety ridden, very low week, I really felt like I wanted an escape from the world. With my family all at work or school for the day and no way of leaving the house, avoiding my phone was the height of escape that I could get.

For an entire day, I felt absolutely no desire to be on my phone. That being said, I didn’t ignore it completely. It was more a matter of not feeling pressure to reply to texts or notifications straight away, not constantly checking instagram likes and completely avoiding getting lost in the hole of scrolling through social media and it was absolute bliss. I was able to properly relax, read magazines that had been piling up for weeks, drink all of the tea and watch a movie, giving it my full attention and not the usual half-hearted watch while sitting on my phone. Although I was able to do all of those things and fully relax, it also got me thinking about just how addicted to my phone I am and how much I wish I wasn’t.

I could so easily waste hours sitting and scrolling through my phone and watching snapchat stories and I regularly do just that. That time could be spent so much more productively by working on my blog or reading a good book or going out and catching up with friends and family. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to go about this yet but I’m starting with baby steps and trying to break the habit of checking my phone first thing in the morning and turning it off half an hour before going to sleep. Slowly but surely I will curb this addiction.

Goals

1.Work

I dropped out of uni over a year ago (read my post about dropping out here) and since then have completed 4 internships and have just started my 5th. This new internship is a 6 month placement with a popular Irish magazine and upon completion, will be the longest internship that I will have done, lasting longer than the other 4 put together. I do feel as though I have gained a lot of experience over the last year and although I’m not there yet, I think by the time I have completed this current internship in 6 months time, I’ll be ready to “graduate” from the intern world and hopefully be able to get a full time job in fashion journalism.

It’s been a struggle to prove myself without qualifications to support me but had I stayed at university, this summer would be when I would be graduating from Manchester and entering the working world into a full time job anyway so the timing makes sense. I’m determined to prove that I’m worthy of a job through this internship and I will do whatever it takes to get me there. This is probably my biggest goal for 2017 so fingers crossed that with a bit of luck and some serious hard work I can pull this one off.

2. Blogging 

In terms of blogging goals my biggest aim this year is to up my photography game. I want to make my blog a much more visual space where there is a balance between imagery and written content. The absolute babe that is Kellie Scott has been helping me massively with this and honestly, I would be lost without her at this point. Thanks to all of her photography help and editing commitment I’ve been able to bring much more visual content in the form of outfit posts to this blog and hopefully I will be able to continue to do so.

I also want to improve my own photography skills so that I don’t end up torturing poor Kellie (if I haven’t already). A very generous Santa (thanks Mum) brought me the newest Olympus Pen and I’ve been watching tutorials, obsessing over photography articles and fiddling around with the camera settings over the last few days. Now that I’ve got the kit I have no excuse. Time to sign myself up for a photography course and get caught up with Read This If You Want To Take Good Photographs.

Along the same strand as improving photography and making my blog more visual, I’m planning to redesign the site by the end of this year, making the layout much more image focused so that all of this new photography can truly be appreciated and put to good use.

In terms of content, throughout December I tried to blog most days and because I wasn’t working at the time that was entirely possible and I didn’t have much of an excuse if I screwed up and missed content from my editorial calendar. For the next 6 months I’m working full time as an editorial assistant intern which means long days at the office plus commuting leaving me which much less time and energy to blog. I’m going to have to be much more organised with my time and although I’m yet to establish a routine, I’m hoping I will be able to stick to blogging everyday, bringing at least 2 outfit posts to you per week. It means being very organised and prepared, working evenings and weekends but I love my blog and I love creating content so I’m determined to make it work and at least try and keep daily blogging up for as long as possible.

So there you have it, my hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Hopefully I can look back on this post in 12 months time and be able to tick them all off, knowing that I truly gave each one my all. 2017 is not the time to do things half heartedly.

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Niamh ♥

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