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2016 Goals Review

It's almost Christmas and suddenly it has dawned on me that 2016 is quickly coming to an end and I honestly don't know where this past year has gone. In some ways, Christmas and New Years feels like an eternity ago, but in other ways it feels like it has flew by up until this point faster than I ever thought it could. I think we can all agree that 2016 has been a pretty gross year - many of my favourite celebrities have passed away, we are still going through the whole brexit debacle, and Donald Trump was actually voted into power of the most influential country in the world. Back in January (when I was still optimistic about this year being a good one), I shared what some of my general goals were for the year (you can read all about those here) as well as some on going more light-hearted ones. I thought this would be a great post to have on my blog - it kind of makes me feel like I *have* to stick to them because you know, I've told you all I want to tick them all off by the end of the year so I'm accountable now. I don't want to be a failure come December; come now. So now it's time to see just how many I've managed to tick off and most importantly, how many of them I'm failing miserably and really need to step up to meet next year. I'm starting to think about what I would like to achieve next year so let's see what I need to work harder on and what I can strike off as an achievement:

- Use my passport: Tick. This was one I was sure would be one of the most difficult to achieve yet I went on holiday to Rome with Matt so I'm super happy to have ticked this one off and it's definitely something that's going to pop up again in 2017... But I need to step it up a notch.

- Travel somewhere alone: So this one is still a maybe. I'm determined to go somewhere - I'm thinking a city break in the UK somewhere is the likely option but failing that, I might look at my options closer to home. I try to head home to the north east as often as I can, but I always stay at my mama's house so I can see her and my brother as much as possible. Maybe over the Christmas break I could spend a couple of nights in a hotel/BnB somewhere near Newcastle and do things and visit places I never have in the area. I'd really like to go to Scotland or York too though, so I might see if it's something I can sort out asap, but it won't be the end of the world if I have to push this goal back to 2017 - I am an anxious worry wart after all!

- Positive vibes only: I definitely feel like I'm making progress with remaining positive. As someone who is incredibly anxious and worries over anything and everything, I know I'll never be a completely happy chappy all of the time, but I do think I'm trying. Teaching has been a huge rollercoaster for me - although it's an emotional job and can physically and mentally drain you from time to time (read: it drains you at least every 4 weeks - I now understand why schools have so many holidays), it sometimes has a good effect on me. I have rough days, which have become more frequent lately but maybe it's because I am goddamn tired, but I still come home and want to chat about the funny things kids said and did that day. It's made me realise that if I'm not positive for them, some kids won't have anyone else to turn to for that optimism. That has made me try my best to keep the optimistic attitude up. It's not just for me - it's for others, too.

- Use body more and don't stop: Okay so this has been the biggest fail. As I've been teaching, I have been so incredibly tired. I get home and instantly get changed into my pyjamas most nights and that has meant exercise has become a massive back burner on my list of priorities. I used to walk to and from work every day too yet now I have to commute on public transport so I've also been lacking in exercise in that way too. I do try hard to stay on my feet when I am at work though - I stay hydrated, I don't sit down during my lessons etc. but it's just not the same. It doesn't help that it is now winter and I am 100% that cliché person who comfort eats the cold away so I'm turning into one little porker at the moment. Exercise really helps my anxiety and general positive attitude too so I need to get back on it!

- Unplug and be creative: Another fail. Well, I suppose it depends how you look at it. I've wanted to really work hard on my blog this year and I can confidently say I have successfully done that, but reading, drawing, and going out to do photography hasn't been as often as I want it to be. However on the flip side of things, I might not be unplugging from the net, but I am being creative with both my blog and my job. Teaching 11-16 year olds means I have to come up with fun and engaging lessons and trust me, I can think of nothing worse than making them copy out of a textbook for an hour. So I'm always researching and reading up on different strategies and ideas for the classroom. So I guess I'm kind of hitting this goal? Sort of? Like... 50/50? Okay so maybe I need to try taking a stab at this goal in 2017 again!

- Do more, spend less: Hmm again, this is a yes and a no. I go through moments of feeling super spendy and wasting money on clothes, makeup, books etc. etc. because I can. But I've also gotten spendy to do things and that's still getting my out of my comfort zone. I took myself on a much needed holiday. I've went to gigs, I've travelled more than I usually do, I've done *more* things when I go home and visit family to make my days jam-packed and utterly tiring but worth it. I know I need to give myself a kick up the butt to keep this up and to be honest, I'm no where near where I want to be with this goal, but I'm hoping over Christmas I can give this goal one last boost. (It also doesn't help that the weather has been so bad. Bad weather = a lazy Amyleigh. Does anyone else suffer from this temperamental illness?)

- Be more blog: Ah, we're finishing on a high. I 110% know I've been hitting this target. Working full-time and being at university for the majority of this year has meant that blogging was always going to be a challenge. I absolutely love blogging but the whole process of just putting up even one post is so time consuming, it's always been a worry - and something that has happened in the past - that I will fall off schedule and lose drive and quit. Not this time. For such an unorganised person, my blog is incredibly organised. I plan ahead. I schedule like it's my best friend. I try to promote more. I've gotten more involved in communities and just generally been more conscious of my blog's aesthetic and content more in my day to day life. It's kind of strange that now, if I go somewhere for a day trip or buy something new, I immediately start to think about how I can incorporate it into NB... But I guess I kind of like that that is my current situation, too. It means I keep an almost online diary of my change of interests and a day is never forgotten as I'll have the photographs and writing to look back on. I'm super pleased with the progress my blog has made in it's short life and I'm extremely grateful for all you guys sitting there, actually reading my dribble and enjoying it - thank you!

- A.
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