I can’t believe we’re saying goodbye to 2019, and welcoming not only a new year but also a new decade. Coming into a new year gives you the opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months. For me, 2019 was an eventful year filled with new experiences, exploring beautiful destinations and meeting the most amazing people who have made an impact in my life. On the other hand, I also had issues with my health and dealt with some difficult situations. No year can be perfect!
I always like to take time to think about what I’ve achieved, the mistakes I’ve made and everything in-between. I have to admit that 2019 was a very lazy year for me, I wasn’t as productive as I intended to be, and didn’t achieve many of my goals. I want 2020 to be different and ensure I’m reaching my full potential.
Over the last few years, I’ve been asked what I’m doing with my life, how I should be making plans for my future since “I’m not getting any younger”. All my friends and family have a mortgage, starting families and have the next 10 years mapped out. I don’t have the next 5 days planned, let alone years but I have made some pretty big decisions.
Deciding to apply for my Canadian Permanent Residency was the biggest decision I made. I’ve always considered this as a possibility but now I’m certain I’ll be applying. PR provides an additional 5 years in Canada, who knows if I’ll stay the entire time but it’s great to have the option.
My second decision was to make the big move from a small ski town to a city. Living in Whistler has been a blast, snowboarding during the winter and hiking in the summer. There is a quirk about living in a small town, and I’m going to miss it but I’m so excited for a new chapter in my life in Vancouver. Worst case scenario, I move somewhere else if I don’t enjoy it.
Although I love living in Canada, it does have its challenges. I’ve missed out on important and life changing events back home. My niece Lowenna was born, my sister brought a house, my best friend told me she’s pregnant again (Auntie for the 4th time, Yay!) and so many other little moments. Feeling home sick, I made two trips back to England. I ate at my favourite cafes, went on hikes in the peak district and spent time with my amazing family. I came back to Canada feeling relaxed, and happier than ever.
Every year, I love to visit somewhere new, whether that be international or local. I needed to satisfy my urge to go on a big adventure, when the opportunity came up I booked a 6-week trip to Bali. I spent my time sunbathing on white sand beaches and experiencing the culture. This also gave me the chance to see a friend after being apart for 4 years. I had the best time and I already plan to return to Bali at one point to continue seeing the rest of the country.
Travelling solo is amazing but it’s great to share the experience with friends and family. My parents flew over to Canada and we did a road trip through the Canadian Rockies, stopping in Banff, Jasper and all the beautiful lakes in-between. After, we hopped on a plane to New York City and spent 4 days exploring the city that never sleeps. Seeing these places in winter was a different experience than in summer, but was equally amazing!
I would love 2020 to be filled with more adventures and exotic locations, but this year is more focused on my PR and adding to my savings as there a little drained after the year I’ve had.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
One of my biggest focuses for 2019 was to work on my self-confidence. Before my big trip to Bali I made it my mission to get back into shape, to feel comfortable in my own skin. Over the course of 12 weeks I pushed myself to the limit working with a personal trainer and changed my diet. Instead of wanting to just “get skinnier” (which I find to be an unhealthy view), I wanted to get stronger and see what my body could achieve. I stopped using exercise as a means of punishing myself for eating a bar of chocolate; I did it because I enjoyed it. It’s about celebrating what you can do, rather than fixating on your limitations.
My mental health is always a top priority, especially when I’ve spent years trying to find the perfect balance. In the past I’ve seen a councillor who has helped me through difficult times and gave me advice from an outside perspective. Last year, I didn’t do this but when problems did occur I spoke to friends who would listen and also kept a personal journal, I refused to let my anxiety get the best of me! I have had some ups and downs during the year but managed to get back on track.
Another challenging aspect of my health is my Epilepsy; I’ve always considered it to be a burden, the smallest mistake can cause a seizure. Last year, I thought I finally had it under control but started having seizures again. Luckily, I was either around friends or in a safe place when an episode happened. I’m hoping that this year is different, I’m doing what I can to avoid another seizure, but I can only do so much. I’m making sure my medication is taken daily, not consuming an excessive amount of alcohol and trying to have enough sleep, while keeping my stress levels down.
I’m feeling positive about my health this year!
Last year I lacked focus in all aspects of my life, let’s face it, I was lazy! I barely attempted any of my goals, perhaps I was too ambitious and as a result lost confidence in myself to achieve them. It’s always important to aim high and dream big but also be realistic about what is achievable. I learnt to put smaller steps in place to make my goals more manageable and less daunting. You’re more likely to stay on track if you feel like it’s within your reach. It’s also about knowing where to invest your time and effort; there are only so many hours in a day and with an endless to-do list, you need to focus your energy in the right places.
Remember, you’re only human! Don’t feel the need to stretch yourself so thin and put too much pressure on yourself to do everything at once. You need to take care of yourself, try putting some time aside to refocus what you want to achieve. This can sometimes mean saying “no” to events or new work, so you have the time to reassess where your priorities lie.
I have so many expectations for this year, I want to excel in my career, stay in good health and try new things. I’m excited to see what happens.
What are you looking forward to in 2020?