For a couple of years now, I have been carrying out this exercise to help me reflect on the years that’s gone by and to think about what I want the next year to hold (link to original page below). In total it’s 50 questions that help you to consider the fantastic things that happened in the year just gone by and to plan for the year ahead.
I thought I would share my reflections with you from this year, and although it makes for a little bit of a long blog post, I hope it helps you get to know the girl behind Making it Mindful a little more.
Just incase you don’t make it to the end of this post, I want to take the chance to thank each and every one of you who has taken the time to read this blog over the last year. It means so much to me that you take time out of your day to read it, and hearing how what I’ve written has made some people think about becoming more mindful and how that has helped, genuinely makes my heart almost burst with happiness!
So here goes, my 2016 in review…
- What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?
Visiting the USA for our honeymoon.
- If you had to describe your 2016 in 3 words, what would they be?
Exciting, positive, challenging (in a good way!)
- What new things did you discover about yourself?
The power that comes from being your own permission slip. I stopped waiting for someone else to tell me I could do things.
- What single achievement are you most proud of?
Becoming a lecturer at the University of Manchester. There would of been a time where I would of talked myself out of applying. So I’m proud that I had the courage to even apply, and then actually getting the job is just insane.
- What was the best news you received?
That my first academic paper had been published.
- What was your favourite place that you visited in 2016?
- Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
Being brave and stepping out of my comfort zone has led to amazing experiences.
- Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?
I’m grateful to have such an amazing support network. My husband, my parents, my grandparents and my best friends make me who I am.
- Which new skills did you learn?
I’m trying to learn French…I’m not great but it’s fun to do something new.
- What, or who, are you most thankful for?
I’m hugely grateful for my health. Before I started this blog I suffered with health anxiety and the whole point of this blog was to help me become more mindful and I’m so so grateful to be in such a better place mentally because of it.
- If someone wrote a book about your life in 2016, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
Personal development haha!
- What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2016?
Be authentic. If it feels right and makes you happy, do more of that!
- Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
I flew on three long haul flights. Still can’t believe I did that.
- What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
There are too many to name. And although he’s not a person, always grateful for spending time with our little Bab the cat 😉
- What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
Lecturing to nearly 200 people and receiving a round of applause. I cried on the way home because I was so happy.
- How did your relationship to your family evolve?
Every day I thank God for my amazing family. They are the rock on which everything I’ve ever done is built. I love seeing my brother and sister growing up into such kind and thoughtful young people, they are two of the biggest blessings of my life.
- What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
I watched “Hungry for Change” on Netflix and have since given up diet coke. This might not seem like a big deal but for me it was huge.
- What was your favourite compliment that you received this year?
That I’m passionate about my work and that me and my husband are good dancers haha.
- What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
My morning lattes, my audiobooks, my cuddles with Bab the cat and hearing from family and friends.
- What cool things did you create this year?
I hope some of the blog posts I created were cool.
- What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
Mainly happy and grateful, but stressed at times with workload. (When I did this exercise in 2015, the answer to this question was ‘anxious’ – so grateful to have made progress on this).
- Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
- What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?
Seeing my childhood best friend get married was just amazing.
- What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
I hope that I have laid the foundation to build a successful career in academia.
- Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
That the way I look would matter to others. I spend far too much time worrying that people will judge me if I have my arms on show for example. Still working on this though.
- What experience would you love to do all over again?
Driving down route 1 in California.
- What was the best gift you received?
I loved one of my best friends buying me a new diary because it was “sparkly and positive, like me” – it really made me smile!
- How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
This year has shown me how important it is to do the things that make you happy. And sometimes that means saying no to things or people that don’t make you happy.
- What was the biggest problem you solved?
I feel like the PhD has me solving problems every day!!
- What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
The zip on my jumpsuit broke on a hen do and I had to pin it up with ‘team bride’ badges. It took a team of three people for me to go to toilet!! #squadgoals
- What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
I adore my lumie! Link below for more info.
- What one thing would you do differently and why?
I would be more mindful about my eating. Really struggle with emotional eating when I’m stressed!
- What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
Taking the higher ground.
- What activities made you lose track of time?
I loved walking to and from work and just taking things in.
- What did you think about more than anything else?
- What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
I loved looking more into creativity, ‘Big Magic’ by Liz Gilbert was an amazing book.
- What new habits did you cultivate?
I’ve been trying to connect more with people on Instagram. I have really appreciated getting to know some amazing women through it.
- What advice would you give your early-2016 self if you could?
Trust and enjoy the process.
- Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?
We recently moved out of the city into a house instead of a flat and I am loving the change.
- What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
Consistently trying to develop a more positive and resilient mindset has completely changed my life.
- What do you want the overarching theme for your 2017 to be?
Growth, positivity and flow.
- What do you want to see, discover, explore?
I’d love to do some more travelling and I am really interested in exploring life and business coaching in 2017.
- Who do you want to spend more time with in 2017?
My best friend in London.
- What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
I’d love to improve on my meditation, I don’t feel like I do enough of it but when I do I feel amazing so I need to prioritize it!
- Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
Patience and as part of that, dealing with uncertainty.
- What do you want your everyday life to be like?
I want to wake up looking forward to the day and go to bed feeling like I’ve led an authentic life.
- Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
I need to cultivate healthy eating habits for sure.
- What do you want to achieve career-wise?
I’d love to have a portfolio career, where I can teach, research and coach.
- How do you want to remember the year 2017 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
The year that I created a career and a life that I love.
- What is your number one goal for 2017?
Finally become Dr Jones 🙂
So there we have it! If you made it this far, thank you for reading and I hope that the exercise provides you with some ideas for taking stock of 2016 and planning for 2017. Get in touch by commenting below, or on Twitter here or Facebook on here.