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changeI’m writing this before the New Year as I know I’ll probably feel different once the New Year hits as I will have had some time off as well as a break which I’m really looking forward to but a new year is always something positive to look forward to. I read over my blog post from the end of 2013 where I made this list of goals and remember feeling so positive, however it’s crazy to look back and not know what the year ahead will bring.

This year has probably been one of the most challenging for me. I’ve struggled quite a lot with decisions and feelings of regret, pondering what ifs and ways of thinking that get you absolutely nowhere. There’s been probably more down days than up but it’s also been a huge turning point year in my life. I remember being 22, and someone asked me what’s been your biggest turning point and I remember looking at them blankly as at that time in my life I didn’t really have one or quite know what they meant but I certainly know what the term means now.

A turning point can usually involve a great deal of struggle, a lot of conflict and resisting of change but when you break through it you get to such a different point where you do feel a shift, a change. And it doesn’t happen overnight either, it’s a long slog but I suppose you learn that certain things happen in life to teach you, to make you realise that you have been focusing on the wrong things and now it’s time to reassess, to appreciate the little things more and the people in your life and to also follow a path that’s right for you.

I think in life we do what we feel we should do so much and we can often end up feeling dissatisfied or unhappy. Sometimes it’s not even following a should, its following a dream, a passion, that you’ve put so many high expectations on and then when it doesn’t quite match up to what you thought, you’re left feeling disappointed. But life and especially your 20s is so much trial and error and making mistakes, we’re just not super well equipped with how to deal with them when we do!

You’re not taught in school how to handle a broken heart, or turning down a ‘dream’ job, or readjusting to a new place. You make decisions that you feel are right at the time and sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t but the lesson comes I suppose in how you react to what happens.

I spent the majority of 2014 pretty down. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and not feeling ‘good enough’ for the majority of it and was just a bit of a miserable mess. It definitely had an effect on my work and my relationships to the point I did make a drastic change but it was one that I felt I needed.

Do I regret it? Sometimes. I don’t regret living in a different country as it was a dream I had for such a long time and as a country, I loved Canada. For an outdoorsy person it was such a wonderful lifestyle and I loved the sense of community, being so close to the sea and waking up, jumping on my bike and cycling all round the city. I suppose my regret comes in how I went about it. But again it is only in hindsight that we can see these things and therefore you can’t spend a year beating yourself up over something you had no idea how would pan out.

Instead I can shift my focus to goals for the new year, steps I want to take to ensure that 2017 is a happier and healthier year!

One thing I definitely want to get back into is cooking and blogging. I recently moved out and thought I’d do some much cooking but actually I’ve only really cooked a handful of times, once for my housemate and another time for a friend visiting but I really loved it. I want to push myself to cook and experiment more with some recipes! My first baking attempt was a bit of a nightmare as I had the oven on grill mode but thankfully I managed to salvage it in time.

I’ve also been practicing guitar more and can finally play more than 2 songs! (just about!) I’m joining our band at work in the new year which will give me motivation to keep practicing so will see how that goes!

I’m not going to make loads of new year’s resolutions but just continue with trying to push myself a bit, write more, eat well and spend time with friends and family and on passion projects.

I think the biggest new year resolution for me is to let go of things that don’t make me happy and focus on things that do. If I can conquer that I think 2017 will be a really good one.