I don’t know if bloggers are naturally more introspective than the rest of the world but one thing that features prominently in the blogosphere is some form ofa year in review. Maybe it’s that we have something to work towards with our writing that seeps out into other areas of our lives or maybe we just know the importance of having a plan.
Considering the blog here at simply ellie cooper is geared around the idea of self development, goal setting and personal progression it would be shortsighted of me to neglect the year in review.
I’ve spent a lot of today tap, tap, tapping away at my keyboard contemplating the questions in my review and after a few thousand words I have decided to break it into a couple of posts. Because, really, who wants to read over 5000 words in one sitting? But I digress.
The Year in Review Process
Its a very simple process that packs a huge punch. Looking back over the previous year can really make a colossaldifference when contemplating the year ahead. 2015 marks the first year I’ve blogged my year in review and this is how I do it.
Just List out the following:
5 Big Wins
Most people look back at their year and say that it’s another year wasted. Forcing yourself to find your big wins shows you that the preceding year has something good in it no matter how insignificant it may seem.
5 Things you tried but Failed
Maybe it was your old resolutions. Figuring out what you tried but failed at helps you look at why you failed and what can be done differently if you want to try again.
5 People who made an Impact on You
Maybe these people taught you something you never knew or maybe they live the life you dream of. Noting why they made an impact helps you see what was important to you in 2015 and gives you a glimpse of what might be good to focus on in the new year.
5 Life Lessons
When moving into the new year it’s always helpful to remember what you have learned. It can help guide your decisions in the upcoming year.
5 Things you are Grateful for
Most people skip this part but remembering the things you’re happy to have in your life is really the best bit of the review.
That’s it! Gives you a great overview of the year gone by and a better understanding of where you want to go.
5 Big Wins
I Started Building my Business
One of my biggest goals in life is to never have to work a job again. I want to be one of those people who runs a lifestyle business.
For those who don’t know… a lifestyle business is one that generates enough income for the owner to be able to work to live rather than live to work. The goal is not to generate millions in profit but to support a lifestyle through a genuine product that helps others.
2015 saw me bite the bullet and muster up the courage to actually start creating the business. It’s nowhere near a state of generating income but the point is that it got started. To me, that’s a major win.
I Started Blogging
Or should I say I started posting. Blogging has been a dream of mine for a good few years at this point. I think I was 18 when I opened my first wordpress account. Between then and now, a full 8 years, I posted maybe once every 3-4 months out of pure fear of having my ideas scrutinised.
2015 saw me commit to my blog and that was further prompted by meeting Lady Nicci (who recently hit her 100th blog post) who told me to just do it. That was a few weeks ago and I’m going strong.
Hopefully 2016 should see me hit my very own 100th post and then some.
Those who are close to me know that the last few years have been nothing if not tumultuous. I’ve moved house hundreds of times and jumped from jobs like there’s no tomorrow. Relationships have been rocky and life in general was just a mess of struggling to make incremental improvements only to spiral back to rock bottom.
2015 marks a good year. The beginning of many more to come, I hope. I have stayed put in my current home for nearly 18 months and the same can be said of my current job. While I may not love my job, it is literally a means to an end. - See point one!!
4. Self Acceptance
One of the most important things you can learn to do in your lifetime is accept yourself as you are. I’m not one of those people yet but I’ve started making strides in the right direction. I still get awkward in new social situations, I still quietly wonder if people are mad because of something I have said. I still wish I was part of certain social circles.
But I’m learning that people don’t have to like me and that’s okay. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not to fit in. And I don’t have to feel bad about not being good enough. I am who I am and that’s okay. I like what I like and that’s okay too. If you don’t like it, that’s fine you do you and I’ll do me.
5. I Started Being a Grown Up
Much to my dismay I turned 26 this year. I’m officially closer to 30 than I am to 21. It’s quite odd how much that affects me. But as a grown up there are certain things that need to be taken care of and up to now I have been great at neglecting all of those responsibilities.
2015 saw me pay the vast majority of my bills on time. I went to the doctor for a checkup for the first tim in years. The same thing happened with the dentist. I also came to the conclusion that take aways most nights of the week is no longer okay… well my waistline told me that.
I’m getting old (in my head anyway) and that’s scary. I’ve always had so many things I wanted to accomplish by different ages and to date I’ve hit very few of them but seeing as I am now a grown up I might start getting sh*t done.
5 Things I Tried but Failed
As I mentioned above, frequent takeaways featured prominently in my diet in 2015. Pair this with a huge sugar addiction, a party lifestyle, high-stress environments and a poor sleeping schedule and you have the pythagorus theorem for weight gain.
True to form, I looked for quick fixes. The Paleo Diet, Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet, The Low Carb High Fat/Keto Diet were all in the 2015 diet spotlight. Obviously none of them worked. They were quick fixes. Shocking my body into losing weight was never going to work.
Recently, during one of my Netflix health documentary binges a single statement literally jumped off the screen and hit my square across the Jaw.
Weight gain is not the problem. It is a symptom of being unhealthy. BAM!!
Can you guess what route I’m taking in 2016? Improving health rather than losing weight. Using mini-habits of course, one of my 2016 year in review success points should be Lost Weight by Becoming a Healthier Version of Myself.
2. Building my Business
I know that starting to build my business was a key point in my successes above and it still is deemed a success. But a combination of fear, laziness and procrastination stepped in to prevent it from becoming profitable in 2015. So in essence I failed at building a profitable business in the calendar year.
3. Quitting Smoking
I really wanted to quit smoking this year. 8 years in and I thought I had had enough. Having joined a gym and started eating healthier, I decided the best thing I could do was quit smoking. A quick search online helped me find a prescription course of drugs that would aid in kicking the habit.
At €150 per prescription, per month for 3 months I figured it was worth a shot. If I quit it would be money well spent. After 3 weeks of no success and a constant urge to puke I gave up.
A few weeks later, still determined, I booked myself in with a hypnotist. The day came and went. Lets just say I’m still smoking. Do I think hypnosis is a valid way to quit? Yes. But I think the sheer arrogance of the man I dealt with truly put me off.
Maybe 2016 can be the year I finally kick the habit.
4. Reduce to the Bare Minimum
I have this dream. A wonderful one in it’s simplicity. I would like a curated home. Filled with only the things I love or need in my life. If I could wave a wand over my abode the laundry baskets dotted around the house would disappear. The millions of odds and ends would either vanish or be restored to their natural home.
The disarray in every room would be no more and I would live in perfect harmony with my few belongings and my 3 housemates. There are 3 main issues here. 1. I have too many things. 2. I live with 3 other people and 3. It’s such a huge task that I am afraid to start.
Top this off with the fact that I would love to create some form of video detailing mt actions and you’ll find me here on the platform at procrastination station, watching all the trains pass by.
Marie Kondo entered my life this year and I do intend to put her wise words into practice in the new year. Stay tuned to see my house transform.
I have a confession to make. For pretty much the whole year, If I haven’t been working I have been at home. Doing Nothing. How unbelievably boring is that?
I have a friend who is amazing at doing things. There really is no other way to phrase it. She is always at a talk, a concert, an event, on holiday or out with friends. Her day to day is jam packed and when she does find the time to call over for tea - because lets face it, I’m at home. She always has a limited amount of time because she has other things to do and her chats are always filled with exciting trips and excursions.
I’d love to be more like that. And intend to be in the new year. I think I’ll start spending more time with her and see where that takes me. Minimum I’ll have to do one “fun” or different thing per month.
Part one and two have been completed and I’m feeling good. I’ve had quite a love-hate relationship with 2015. Nothing spectacularly brilliant happened but there was also nothing devastating that puts a negative spin on the year.
Parts three, four and five have yet to come and should be up by the weeks end and then it’s time for the fun part… Goal Setting.
Are you a blogger? Did You do a year in review? Do you think it’s worth the time and effort or is it all a load of baloney? Let me know in the comments…