2018 has been the quickest year of my life, but also one of the best. I've not spent the whole year in a whirlwind of OH MY GOD LIVING MY BEST LIFE, but as I look back over the year, nothing truly traumatic has happened, and I've really conquered some big challenges, so this is a big win of a year.
I've felt as though 2018 was a little more hopeful year for the world, although we've been faced with a lot of challenges. Brexit and its impacts are becoming ever more real and ever more alarming. I'm not sure where this will take us in 2019 (Brexit means Brexit means Brexit? Does anyone know?), but I'm hoping that we rise against the fascism and horror that is facing our society because of it. Our world is changing too, with global warming an increasing issue as the days go on. But, we're starting to really fight against it and make a difference. I'm hoping that we start to see more and more people stand up for climate justice in 2019, and I'm planning on really trying to make a difference with what I do too.
2018 mental health
2018 has been a pretty good one for my mental health, and I managed to stay on a low dose of my anti-depressants despite some big wobbles. There were a lot of tears, and a whole selection of down days, but I felt a lot more stable at times than I have done over the years.
I learnt to say no to things that don't sit right with me, or that I don't enjoy. This really was a year for taking back my own time: one of the major things I've said 'no' to frequently are nights out. I end up spending money I don't have on an experience that is not enjoyable, and then I'm plunged into an awful mood and feel rubbish, making the next day a write off. Instead of forcing myself to do them, I have a self care night: run a bath, order my fave takeout, fill in my bullet journal and snuggle in my PJs.
Probably the biggest challenge I faced this year was the 5K I did in June. I'm a renowned couch potato, but for four months, I got up on (most) Saturdays and forced myself out on a 5K walk/jog. I was SO proud of myself for sticking to this, and it really felt incredible when I managed the race, raising lots of money for a charity dear to me.
I started driving for real in July, and managed my first outing on my own. I've done motorway drives, country roads and I'm hoping to do a long drive alone in 2019 to get my confidence sorted.
If I'm honest, this has been a struggle. There have been months (looking at you December/November), where I've struggled to get any posts out. I've been finding it hard to get motivated to sit down and write, although when I do it ends up as long as this post! I've not done as many collaborations at all as I have done in recent years, and I'm just not sure what 2019 is going to hold for me. I do however know that I'm going to focus on the things I'm enjoying the most: Instagram and bookish content.
In terms of stats, I wanted to reach 5K twitter followers, 3K Instagram followers, 1K bloglovin followers and 250 Youtube subs. It's fair to say that I've not come anywhere near any of those figures, but I've made my peace with it. 2018 was a hard year for me and my blog, but I'm feeling motivated to head into 2019!
2018 top posts
Here are my favourite 5 posts that I've written over the year. They're not necessarily my most popular ones, but they're the ones that mean the most to me, and that I'm most proud of.
I'm not expecting any miracles here, but let's check in on how things are one year on.
1.) Save £1000. Nope nope nope. Not even close. I may not have saved anything (at all) for the year, but I did pay off £1300 I owed to someone, so I'm pretty proud of that.
2.) Hit 10K total followers. Another big nope - I'm at a solid over 6000 now though, and that is something to be proud of in my eyes!
3.) Do more yoga. I completed one of the 30 days of yoga with Adriene playlists on Youtube and even booked myself into a yoga class (and attended!).
4.) Fundraise for the BCRT. Yes! I raised just over £900 from my 5K and I was so so happy to be able to help the charity!
5.) Pass my driving test. It took me two attempts, but I got there, and now I've been driving a car for five months!
6.) Travel abroad. Nope, BUT ... we do have a lil something booked for the end of January, so this is definitely on the cards for 2019.
7.) Pass my six month probation at work. I did this, and I even got a promotion later in the year - I love my job and I'm so so pleased it's going well.
8.) Declutter the basement. We moved in April from a house with a basement to one without, and managed to do a massive declutter to sort everything out. I'm so glad we got to move without an extra two cars worth of junk.
9.) Come off my antidepressants completely. This is one I didn't manage, because it just never felt like the right time. If I'm honest with myself, I'm scared of coming off of them and getting 'bad again', but I know I need to do it one day.
10.) Hit 250 Youtube subscribers. This is another one that didn't come off, but I'm proud to have gotten to 165 for my tiny (and uninteresting) channel!
I'm determined to make things a little more manageable this year, and make more targeted goals, so let's get going:
1.) Save £100 a month from each paycheck. Hopefully this will help me to manage my finances a bit better, and I'll set it up so it can go straight in without me even having to think about it!
2.) Take 3 trips across the year. We're heading to Amsterdam in January, but I really want this to be the year that I really go for it on the adventure front.
3.) Come off my antidepressants. This is something that terrifies me, but with a good job, and a good support network I really think it will be doable.
4.) Exercise four times a week. Over the last couple of months, I rediscovered a joy for exercising (mostly as a stress relief), and I think this could really help me with point 3 too!
5.) Reach 8K total followers. I would LOVE to reach 3000 Insta followers, 1000 bloglovin followers, 4000 twitter followers and 250 Youtube subscribers by the end of the year. It's a big target for me, but fingers crossed it might happen! I also really want to invest in my blog to help with this. On my agenda is: a move to wordpress, a new theme to go with this, getting a hard drive and finally replacing my corrupted SD card with a new one.
6.) Get a raise at work. I work my butt off every day at my job, and I'd love to see a bit more money coming in at the end of 2019.
7.) Go on holiday with my sister. We've been meaning to do a girl's trip for just about forever now, but it just hasn't happened. I'm determined to make this a 'thing' this year.
8.) Clean and declutter the whole house. I'm talking washing windows, wiping skirting rails, the lot.
9.) Lead a more sustainable lifestyle. This is a bit vague, so I'm going to split it down into a few key areas: use reusable period products (I'm thinking of going with the special pants); switch out all my cleaning products for eco-friendly ones; have a meat-free meal once a week and cut down on dairy (especially cheese); cut down on processed foods and buy lots of wonky fruit and veg at Morrisons! These are small changes, but important ones.
10.) Go on a long car journey alone. I still haven't tackled a motorway alone yet, but I'm challenging myself to do this to increase my independence!