Things I Want To Achieve In 2017

I’m sure the majority of people will agree that 2016 was a pretty crap year. We had our highs and lows, but I feel that the bad far outweighed the good. From a personal point of view, it was ‘OK.’ I met new people (some I have already lost contact with), gained a best friend, obtained a job that I love and gained a small amount of confidence. It’s astonishing how much can be accomplished in one year and how much time many of us waste without even realising.

I want this year to be different. I want to discover new things. I want to jump out of my comfort zone and into the unknown, despite the fact it’s terrifying. But more than anything, I want to have as many laughs as possible.

I want 2017 to have more of this.

Travelling. I never used to get the urge to travel like other people did until sometime last year when I decided that travelling is the key to discovering new experiences. Lately, I’ve been reading various travel blogs, staring at stunning pictures of Rome, wishing that I was on the other side of the world. I want to try foods that I’ve only seen pictures of, I want to people watch, I want to learn about different cultures. It’s not that I want to ‘escape’, I want to live.

Blog regularly. To be honest, I have neglected my blog. I’ve been so focussed on freelance writing for other websites that I completely failed to update my own. Firstly, I need to work out a schedule for how many times a week I should post and try my best to stick to it this time. Even if I’m really busy with other things, I’m going to make sure I plan some posts in advance instead of posting whenever I feel like it. At the very least I’m aiming to post twice a week.

Meet new people. As soon as I left school it dawned on me just how difficult it is to make new friends. Nobody seems to talk about this. I’ve been shy since birth, so it’s not a surprise that I’ve always found it difficult talking to people. I half expected people to start a conversation with me first, which I now realise is a bad mentality to have. If I want to meet new people, I have to go out there and find them. So I’m setting myself a goal to start talking to more strangers. If I see someone with a book in their hand, I’ll try asking them about it. Who knows, it could be the start of a great friendship.

Get in shape. I’ve said this for the past five years but this year I’m more determined than ever. The only thing that’s changed is my mentality. Before I wanted to lose weight, but I couldn’t be bothered to put in the work to achieve that. Now I know that the only way I can get the body I want is to put in the time and effort. I’m going to start small. 30 minute walks / 5 minute workouts. Then gradually build it up. A healthy body equals a healthier mind.

Aim bigger. As much as I love freelance writing and blogging, there’s so much more I want to achieve. I have a few book ideas that I’ve been putting off for at least two years. The reason why is because I’m my own worst critic and find fault in every idea I ever have, but this is going to be the year that I ignore those doubts, start writing a book and hopefully get most of it finished by the end of 2017.

What do you have planned for 2017? Let’s hope it’s a good one!

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Why You Shouldn’t Have A Life Plan

I don’t have a life plan. And neither should you. Are they helpful? Maybe. Are they necessary? Absolutely not.

Some people plan their lives down to the tiniest details. At the age of 23, they want to start travelling the world. By the age of 30, they want to get married and have two kids. At 63, they want to sit down with the grandchildren telling exciting stories of their adventures.

When I was much younger I used to think about my future. Like most kids, I naively couldn’t wait to be an adult. I couldn’t wait for my 18th birthday as that meant I could go to the pub with my friends, fall in love, learn how to drive, move into a one bedroom flat, and do some travelling. I’m 19 and I’ve achieved only one of those ambitions; can you guess which one?

The truth is I’m not even close to achieving these goals I set for myself. I’m still living at home, I’m single, I don’t plan on learning how to drive, I have no intentions of moving out anytime soon and my anxiety makes it difficult for me to travel. However, I don’t expect my life to revolve around the dreams of my younger self.

One of the best things about life is being spontaneous and making our own choices. If we lived by a book of rules, we would feel restricted and our lives would be unfulfilling. Not everything goes according to plan. Sometimes we have to switch paths. Sometimes we take risks that ultimately don’t pay off. Yet we are still learning. These experiences, whether good or bad, will teach us so much.

I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with my life. 

Honestly, I expected my life to be different. I had high hopes when I was younger, but when I look at what I have achieved in my 19 years of existence, it is dismal. What did I expect? I’m still young and I have a lifetime to find what it is I’m looking for. But it won’t be easy.

You can’t achieve your goals by wishing for it, you have to do it. And believe me, it’s easier said than done. But if you do nothing, your entire lifetime will be a stretch of emptiness. It’s better to fail at something than live with the regret of never trying.

There’s so much to be thankful for. 

I’m not where I want to be but at least there are other aspects of my life that I’m content with. First things first, I have a job that I love. Well, you could say it’s a love-hate relationship. The friends I have are incredible, honestly, I don’t know what I would do without them. I have a place to live and all of the necessities that some people are not fortunate to have. I know that doesn’t translate to happiness, but it’s something I’m really grateful for.

You don’t have to have it all figured out.

Let’s just imagine for a moment that you did have your entire life planned out. Would it provide you with a sense of excitement? Or would it cause you immense pressure and anxiety? The best ambitions to have are the simplest ones. To be happy and healthy and to be living. That’s what you should strive for.

Take a look at your life and realise that you are OK. You’re doing brilliantly and the most important thing is that you are doing your very best. That’s what counts. It’s not about where you are going to be in five years time. It’s not even about where you will be next year. It’s about where you are right now.