I know, I know – New Year’s resolutions, yawn right? But bear with me.
The whole ‘new year, new you’ thing – pass the bucket – is a total chore. I am indeed a firm believer that if you want to make a change in your life, you don’t need to wait for January 1st to make it happen. But you’ve probably read that a tonne of times before too.
In all honesty though, I do think that despite all the cliches, the new year is a good time to reflect and then set goals, although I’m definitely focusing on the latter.
I have two ‘resolutions’, though I prefer to call them goals, for 2017. Just two. I personally think that a lot of the reason behind why we set ourselves goals but fail to reach them is because we’re overestimating what we can achieve, and trying to fire on all cylinders, instead of prioritising and focusing on the really important things that will move us forward. So, I’ve picked the two biggest things that I know will help me grow as person and move towards a more positive life, and though I will be working on other things in 2017, they’re the only goals I’m measuring myself against.
I actually settled on these and have been working towards them since around November, but now felt like a good time to share with it being New Year and all.
1. To pay off my debts
Disclaimer to start this – I’m not talking about my student loan. I don’t even want to think about that bad boy, and seeing as it just comes out of my wage automatically and doesn’t really affect me that much, it feels okay to put it aside.
I’m not one to max out credit cards – I’ve managed to restrain myself from that thus far – but I’ve never exactly been good with money. I’ve earned my own money since I was 16 and that means I’ve never really struggled, but I’ve had trouble living within my means since receiving student grants at university. I dropped to the bottom of my overdraft then and despite having since worked my way out of it, the strain on my bank account from the transition to being a freelancer and paying to run my own business this year means I’m back on borrowed pennies.
I’m also very lucky in that instead of paying finance on my car to the dealer (and a load of interest on top of that), I was able to loan the money from my parents to buy it outright, and I’m still paying them back. That’s my biggest debt right now, and though my mum is so kind about the whole thing and applying no pressure on me to give her the money, I can’t feel easy in saving and spending for myself going forward until I’ve paid back everything I owe.
So, 2017 is the year I get my finances back on track, and get myself to a point where I can start to look to the future. Travel, a house; these are things I desperately want in my life, but I can’t have them until I learn to save and manage my money. I’m going to get my balance out of the red and back to zero.
2. To reach and maintain a healthy BMI
There’s lots of ways to define being ‘healthy’, and it’s definitely not by measuring your weight and BMI alone – I know that. But, as described in this post about my prediabetes and binge eating disorder, I have a lot of demons about eating and some health issues I have to face and for me, getting to a point where I can lose the weight I need and keep it off will be a huge signifier that I’m able to overcome those hurdles.
So, my second resolution is to reach a weight of between 10 stone 7 and 11 stone by my 25th birthday on September 24th 2017. It’s very feasible if I aim for a gradual, consistent loss of 2lb per week, but I know it’s going to take a complete lifestyle overhaul to achieve. I’d already started on this journey, although the festive period over recent weeks has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works, but it’s completely possible if I focus on making my recovery a priority.
I want to wake up on my 25th birthday, look in the mirror, and feel overjoyed at the fact that I reached my goal. I want to wear a brand new outfit, made up of clothes that I actually want to wear and that make me feel good, and like myself. I want that day to be the dawn of a whole new chapter of my life which is about self love, self care and positivity, and where I’ve battled through the challenges that I know lie ahead of me now, and come out the other side.
2016 was, I think, my toughest year yet. It was the year I stood up and looked my eating disorder right in the eye, sunk lower than I ever had before, and realised the journey I’m going to have to go on to get through this.
2017 will be better. It will be the year where everything changes, where I change. It will be a year to remember for all the right reasons.