6 January 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017, 2017 Goals
There are basically two types of people in the world. Those who dunk their biscuits into the tea and those who eat them the right way (just kidding!). Same applies to resolutions. There are those who swear off setting any kind of plans/goals/aspirations while the rest of the world is on a mission to change their lives once the new year rolls in. I definitely belong to the goal-setting portion of people but comes 2017 I realized I have been doing so many things wrong when it came to actually STICKING to those plans. This year I am going to work on changing the way I view my goals and start taking baby steps towards those summits I want to achieve. It's true that 2k16 was a tough one. Nevertheless, it's great to look back and find the good in it, get those valuable lessons on board and step into the new year stronger and happier than ever.  So here are my reflections of 2016 and goals for 2017.

Goals for 2017
Planning comes easy. It's like a walk a park. You sit down with a pen and a spick and span brand new planner. Ready, set, GO. Those to-do's, goals and plans might be bouncing off of the paper. You're in the zone and an hour later (or "insert your time frame here") there is a list of what you want to do, improve and change in the new year. In my How To Stick To Your Goals In 2017 post I listed the tips that helped me to know what to do from the very moment I start planning. The hard work begins when the list is finished. Especially so when it comes to the "new year, new me" situation. I don't believe in the whole it's-the-new-year-so-I-have-to-become-this-new-person-right-away kind of business. It's a long process which requires a lot of patience, will power, change and growth. Needless to say, it's a fun ride!
2k16 wasn't an easy one. I wouldn't call it the worst year ever but it doesn't deserve a medal for being incredible either. So many people I know and love have told me how much struggle they went through last year. It seemed as if there was a constant tragic news roll from all over the world: Belgium, Pakistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, France, USA and Germany. 2016 was a year when many celebrities passed away ("After all this time?" - "Always"). Many of my friends and family members had issues with health, lost a loved one or struggled with their spiritual standpoint. You might remember a few of my updates throughout the last 12 months like this one. It was a tough year BUT it gave the most valuable lessons which changed (and improved in so many ways) the way I am starting the new year. Before I jump into all things 2017, I want to reflect on the good things that happened last year. There's so much to be thankful for. 

In 2016  I/we:
  • moved 
  • traveled all over the world
  • landed a teaching job at the university
  • spent a lot quality time with family and friends 
  • learnt how to "switch off" and enjoy time offline
  • celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary
  • worked with many incredible brands
  • visited the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa)
  • carved my first pumpkin
  • rode a camel
  • tried sandboarding
  • swam in the Persian Gulf
  • visited the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • was there for the Norway National Day 
  • dipped my toes in the North Sea
  • made new friends
  • improved my spiritual life
  • understood the importance of letting go
Norway collage
Norway was just out of this world. You might want to catch up on our Norway adventures here and here
Dubai collage
I haven't shared my Dubai Diaries yet but there's one VERY special post coming up later on this month.
USA December 2016 collage
Our trip to the USA in December was everything we needed & more. My Instagram has a better story to tell.
2016 was absolutely mind-blowing when it came to collaborations with brands. I have got a privilege to work with many amazing companies and share their products with you guys. These are only a few of them. I am so thankful for each and every collaboration and look forward to the opportunities 2017 will bring. 
Blogger and brand collaborations
Blogger and brand collaborations
There's always a bit of "pressure" on the new year to be better than the previous one. I am definitely going into 2017 with a different approach and a different mindset. Instead of writing down my goals, hopes and to-do's and taking a second look at them 11 months later, I am determined to make them a reality in the new year. Even though it's just a calendar change, it's a fresh leaf and a squeaky clean start.

I am usually not the one who shares each and every goal in detail publicly. I think your biggest hopes and plans are sometimes better kept private, especially when it comes to the baby steps and micro plans. I do want to share these resolutions/goals/plans with you though. I have a good feeling about 2017 and 
  • get organised with all things blogging: 2016 wasn't the best year for me when it came to posting as much as I wanted/hoped to (I explained a bit about that here) but this year I am determined to take things to the next level. I am going to set up a proper posting schedule, be more active on social media and finally reply to all of your wonderful comments :)
  • take time offline to enjoy life: I did a lot of that in 2016 and I am definitely not planning to stop. Life isn't about how many likes you've got or how many followers you've gained. It's not about being glued to your Twitter feed 24/7 on "killing it" on IG. Life happens when you put the phone down. If you're suffering from FOMO, this post might be very helpful.
  • get fitter and stronger: I know how negatively some people take the "lose weight" resolution. At the end of the day, if that's what you're after, go for it. This might sound like an old story being told over and over again but this year I am going to make an effort and change things. I am going to start the gym (and attend every week), change my fitness routine, walk more.
  • change my diet: 2016 was the year of binging. Not sure why and how it happened but I ended up with those extra lbs staring at me from the scale screen. It's not about the number. I don't care about that number. I want to feel comfortable and happy wearing what I want to wear. Enters the balanced diet, lots of fruit and veggies, controlled portions and no comfort eating.
  • let go: It took me about a decade to finally (!!!) come to the point where I realized this: I don't want to keep double-faced, closed-minded, jealous and negative people in my life. One teeny tiny situation on social media, which is so insignificant on its own (you might remember me tweeting about it), lifted the veil off of my eyes and I came to a conclusion. It's OK not to be friends with everyone. It's OK to let negative people go. It's OK to have a choice who you genuinely want to spend your time with. Find your tribe and support each other.
Planner for 2017, Dear Diary Planner
  • learn more: I am the kind of person who never want to stop learning. Either it's faith related, work related, blog related or anything useful, I will keep on learning. Another little challenge I wanted to set is learning a foreign language. I currently speak 7 but definitely want to get to 10.
  • travel: From the moment when I first hopped on a plane by myself heading to Washington, DC to study in the US, I knew I was bitten by the bug. Since then I have visited 20+ countries. Both hubby and I love to travel and make it our mission to go on holiday at least twice a year. In 2016 we visited Norway, Dubai and the US. It won't be easy to top that in 2017 but we will try ;)
  • be kind to others and give: I've always been a firm believer into giving over receiving. Either it's a present for Christmas or a "just because" gift, it's a great feeling to give and help others. My hubby and I have been supporting certain people financially in their specific needs, and this year won't be different as we plan to continue doing it. It's not just our parents or friends but complete strangers too. Other than financial help (every penny counts), I encourage you to volunteer. It might not be the easiest thing but it's one of the most rewarding experiences. Finally, be kind to everyone, especially those who can't "pay you back". 
  • grow spiritually: This is one of those "last but not least" points I always seem to include in my posts. I have been having my ups and downs in 2016. There were issues related to other people, personal struggles and even a bit of a "cold spell". But every day is a clean slate because God's love doesn't stop when we hit the low. I'm so happy things have picked up massively by the end of last year. Today I'm full of joy and strength more than ever. There are 3 verses that were very meaningful and spoke to me in 2016: Philippians 4:13, Isaiah 40:31 and Psalm 31:24. I started following the plan from The Bible Project in 2017 and I am planning to read more.
  • relax more: The never-ending to-do lists, constant "I have to go there"/"I must do that" and hundreds of commitments sometimes take over our whole life. Not only does all that jazz leave us physically and mentally drained, we also end up feeling guilty when we get a chance to have that "down time". I even wrote a post on How To Relax Or What To Do On A Lazy Day to help myself and you guys see that the world won't stop spinning just because you sat down to watch a movie or turned off your phone. Have a technology-free day. You can thank me later :) I am definitely going to relax more in 2017 and enjoy every second of it with zero guilt or regret. 
There are gazillion other things I want to do in 2017 and I am motivated more than ever to make all those goals come true. This time I am ALL IN and I have a strong feeling that 2k17 is going to be a good one!
Planner for 2017, Dear Diary Planner

My other LIFESTYLE POSTS you might like:
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Leave a comment and let me know what were your highlights of 2016.
What are you hoping/planning/going to achieve in 2017?

Hope you had the most amazing time 
at Christmas & New Year's with your loved ones.
Bring on 2017!

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