Looking back at 2019

Does anyone else keep forgetting we’re not only heading into a new year, but a new decade too?

I considered looking back at the last decade in this post, but I’m looking forward to drawing a line under it and moving on into the new decade with a fresh perspective, embracing new opportunities and living in the present.

However, I do feel it’s necessary to look back on the last 12 months, largely because I set myself 5 goals at the end of 2018, that I wanted to focus on in 2019. These were things I wanted to achieve, take a break from, or to improve on throughout the year.

The five goals, and the reasons I set them can be found in my blog post New Year, New Goals.

As a summary, they were:

  • To cut down on social media time
  • To make new ‘London’ friends
  • To eat healthier and to exercise more
  • To travel more
  • To spend more time focusing on my self care and well-being

So, how did I get on? Read on to find out more…

To cut down on social media time

I started the year in a good place with social media.

I deleted Facebook and LinkedIn, and haven’t missed either of them. Deleting Facebook was slightly more frustrating as I had built up a good degree of support for my blog through that platform. Although my blog took a bit of a hit to begin with, throughout the year, the impact has been limited.

I have also cut down on using Snapchat, and to be honest, now only use it for the camera (which is much better than the camera app on my phone!).

I stopped using my personal Instagram account, and have focused on making The Mindful Gingernut Instagram account a better reflection of me, as well as a way to promote my blog.

In a more radical move recently, I have muted most of my apps, including WhatsApp. This has made such a huge difference to the amount of time I‘m spending on my phone. It instantly made a difference to my mental well-being, and has freed up a ridiculous amount of time.

Whilst over the course of the year, there have been huge peaks and troughs with my social media use, I do think that going into the new decade, I finally have a much healthier relationship with social media and my phone.

To make new ‘London’ friends

Whilst I’m still battling away with this one, small improvements have been made.

More friendships have been created through work, due to there now being less of a divide between senior management and the wider team, which has meant the occasional drink after work, and more enjoyable socials.

I was also introduced to Kathryn by a friend from uni, who happens to live not far from me in London. We exchanged numbers, and have stayed in touch, meeting up now and again with or without our friend who connected us.

London is a notoriously difficult place to make new friends, however, meeting Kathryn has given me hope that at least I’m still capable of making new friends!

I’ve also removed myself from toxic ‘friends’ this year as I continue to learn who I can trust and who I can’t.

There’s still work to do here, but one I’m definitely not giving up on as we move into the new year.

To eat healthier and to exercise more

Overall, I have made improvements in both of these areas.

I’ve definitely been snacking less, and the types of meals I’ve been cooking have been healthier.

I still struggle with portion size, particularly when I’m only cooking for one. And I hate to waste food.

I tried using some Slimming World recipes, with mixed success. I now use a healthier oil spray rather than olive oil or sunflower oil, and when I’m really hungry, I try to pack my plate full of healthy vegetables rather than potatoes or rice.

Exercise wise, I’m fairly pleased with the progress I’ve made. Up until December, I had been exercising at least twice a week (more when time allowed). During the spring, I was jogging around the local parks, and once the autumn hit, I started doing a work out at home instead.

I know I still need to improve my daily fitness as some days I don’t even come close to hitting 10,000 steps.

I’d also love to notice a bit more weight coming off my belly. This is another goal I’ll be looking to further improve on in the new year. Hopefully with a bit more work life balance (🤞🏻), I’ll be getting home earlier so I can make the most of the lighter evenings once spring arrives, and until then I’ll continue to persevere with my home workouts, and walking as much as possible.

To travel more

Hmm, well this one took an interesting turn.

After a fantastic few days in Portugal back in February, it was time to make a decision.

Was I going to take lots of mini breaks this year, or book one trip, but make it the trip of a lifetime?

For those of you who regularly read my posts, you will already know which I opted for.

India had been calling out to me for a few years. I couldn’t ignore it’s pull any longer, so earlier this year I threw caution to the wind and booked a two week trip, travelling from Delhi, through Rajasthan, down to Mumbai, and finishing in Goa.

I head off in 2 days time, and couldn’t be more excited!

To spend more time focusing on my self care and well-being

Despite a great start to the year from a self care and well-being point of view, this is an area I haven’t paid enough attention to this year.

At times, it felt as though so much crap was being thrown my way, that I just couldn’t see beyond it.

My work life balance has been massively off track, I’ve had some really challenging situations to deal with at work, and I had my health scare. On top of that, my brother went under the knife for yet another operation, which was followed by another trip to hospital later in the year following an accident.

At times, I forgot to put myself and my well-being first. And it’s taken it’s toll. Next year, my self care and well-being are going straight back to the top of my goals list and will be my main focus over the next 12 months.

Transition Year

This year has been nothing short of odd.

I started the year in a great place mentally, despite going through a relationship break up at the end of 2018. I was on top of my self care and well-being, and I had my sparkle back. Yet as the year moved forwards, I felt out of sorts.

Whilst 2018 was a year of self discovery, 2019 has been packed full of challenges.

The more I reflect on the year, the more I feel as though 2019 has been a year of transition. I believe 2019 has been preparing me for a year of new, exciting opportunities in 2020.

2019 hasn’t all been about dealing with challenges. It has led to new friendships, and something spiritual continues to provide me with much needed guidance when I most need it.

And I found love again. An easy, happy, simple kind of love. Everyday, our relationship taught me something new. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

Moving into 2020

Whilst I’ve started to think about my goals for next year, I am not quite ready to commit to them.

I sense that my trip to India will have a pretty epic impact on my life. I want to go to India, with a free mind. I am certain that when I return, my goals for the new year will be much clearer.

It’s time to embrace the next phase of my road to self discovery and to come back in the new year with a fresh outlook on the things that are important to me.

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