2016 Review // 2017 Perspective

2016 New Year's Resolution Review and 2017 New Pespective With my dissertation deadline looming in early January, I didn't really allow myself much of a break over the festive period and I missed seeing in the new year because I was in bed with a bottle of wine writing my dissertation. The early days of January are nothing but a caffeine fuelled blur in my mind as I raced to meet my deadline and the days that followed were filled with lots of naps, snacks and recovery time. In short, I did not have a fantastic end to 2016 nor a particularly exciting start to 2017. However, now that my dissertation is 100% done and handed in (yay!!) I thought I'd do a bit of belated reflection... Last year I made a post summing up My Top 15 Moments of 2015 but trying to pinpoint my top moments of 2016 proved to be difficult. I know it's become a bit of a cliché to slate the past year but I think we can all agree that 2016 was a bit of a global shit show. However, I'm very aware of my privilege to be safe and happy so I've decided to leave the temptation to moan in 2016. I saw my friend Lisa tweet this week that the year never properly starts until February so I thought 'it's not too late to review my New Year's Resolutions For 2016 and set some goals for 2017!' instead...

 2016 RESOLUTION #1: BLOG MORE  I've never been the most consistent blogger (to put it lightly) but whenever I have a few free moments I love sitting down and documenting my life online. And TECHNICALLY I did blog more in 2016 than I did throughout 2015, but not nearly enough to consider it much of an achievement. I think I realised a couple of months into 2016 that I write better, more meaningful content when I'm posting spontaneously and letting the words flow, rather than trying to force pointless posts to stick to a regular schedule.  2017 RESOLUTION #1: BLOG BETTER  I never upload anything I'm not 100% happy with and so even "simple" things take me a long time to complete. This year I want to focus on creating quality content that I'm happy with rather than trying to churn out posts and fit myself into my vision of "the perfect blogger." I think if I take a more relaxed view of my little space online then I'll be more inclined to utilise it to its maximum potential, rather than letting the guilt of being a "bad blogger" stop me from posting altogether.

 2016 RESOLUTION #2: BE MESSIER  I realised in my attempts to be less rigid and controlled throughout 2016 that 'messy' doesn't fit my personality or my creative style very well at all. I like things done a certain way and although I'm now aware that it's important to be flexible, I've also realised that I need to have confidence in myself. I've being getting increasingly complimented on my fine attention to detail since I started being confident and proud about it and the things that I thought were holding me back have turned out to be the qualities that have enabled me to produce work and live to a standard that I'm happy with. I might never be a free spirited person and maybe that's okay!

 2016 RESOLUTION #3: KEEP CACTI ALIVE  My cacti are still alive!! I also purchased a huge cheese plant midway through last year and he's thriving in my new attic room where there's plenty of light and lots of warmth. I'd highly recommend purchasing one if you want a hardy plant that's going to add a huge chunk of greenery to your space! (We'll try to forget about the beautiful indoor ivy and little green fern that I've had to say goodbye to this year... )

 2016 RESOLUTION #4: SAY YES MORE  This is a bit of a funny one because in my attempt to 'just say yes!' and embrace all of the opportunities that presented themselves to me, I ended up saying yes to lots of things that I wish I didn't. I know it's easy to look at things retrospectively and see where I went wrong, but without going too much into it, I've realised that trusting my gut instinct is essential and that there's no shame in saying 'NO' to things that I don't want to do.  2017 RESOLUTION #2: SAY NO MORE  I think I've finally reached an age where I know what I want and equally, I know what I don't want. I'm starting to feel like I have the confidence to trust my instincts and be more assertive with my goals. Whilst saying yes can be help push me of my comfort zone, I think I need to focus on being more selective. I'm a very 'all or nothing' kind of person and so finding a good balance is a thing I've always struggled with and definitely something I need to work on in 2017.

 2016 RESOLUTION #5: TAKE MORE PHOTOS  This was my favourite and most successful resolutionr. I had 8 disposable cameras developed from February-November alongside the myriad of pictures I captured on my phone. I also purchased an Olympus PEN as a 21st birthday present to myself in the summer and that has made taking beautiful, good quality images even easier! I took roughly 10,000 photos throughout 2016, which might seem a bit excessive (maybe it is) but I had so much fun sorting them into folders of memories at the end of the year. A lot of them were course specific but I also made more of an effort to photograph fun little moments with friends; there's something really lovely about being able to look back on memories that might otherwise be forgotten.  2017 RESOLUTION #3 CONTINUE TAKING PHOTOS  I'm determined to carry on taking photos throughout 2017 as this year is going to be a hugely exciting transitional period of my life. I finish university in the summer and I have a lot of exciting graduate things happening around then that I know I'll want to document.

 2017 RESOLUTION #4 GET A GRADUATE JOB  It feels scary to even write this down as a resolution as I know getting a graduate job isn't easy. I don't want to tempt fate but I'm really proud of everything I've created so far this year and I hope that others will be too. We have our degree show and New Designers (hopefully) to look forward to in June and I have a feeling that those will be positive experiences, despite knowing that I don't necessarily want to design any more. The direction I do want to take career wise is becoming more clear to me and I'm excited to start taking the necessary steps to get there over the next couple of months!

 It's kinda funny to put this after "get a graduate job" as how could I not stress about that (?!) but I know I really need to trust that things will work out, even if it's in a way that I don't expect. I've realised that there's currently no possible way for me to plan post-graduate life in as much depth as I'd like. Opportunities could either keep me in Leeds or take me somewhere else entirely and I need to open myself up to those possibilities. I do worry that Joe and I will have to live apart but I'm going to try and not think about that until it is (or isn't) an issue. I've spent my whole life worrying about things that have ended up never happening and it's such a drain on my emotional energy - I'd rather put that energy into creating work I can be proud of and enjoying my final year as a student!

I hope you all managed to find some happiness and success in 2016 and that 2017 brings a whole load of exciting opportunities and happy memories! If you've set any goals or resolutions for 2017 I'd love to hear them :)

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