Happy new year!!

Before we dive straight into 2017, I wanted to share my accomplished goals and my plans for the year ahead.

If you’re interested, I also wrote a post on the top 5 lessons I’ve learned from 2016.

“Biomembrane” by Florence Blanchard

2016 “resolutions” I achieved:

  1. I joined Zumba again and although I don’t attend the classes regularly it has helped kick start my fitness lifestyle I now lead. 
  2. I finally got a Kindle and read more books, more than my slightly embarrassing goal of 8.
  3. I successfully maintained the balance and effectively worked and studied throughout my second year.
  4. Since investing on a Fitbit Blaze, my sleeping habits have been great. I never miss 6 AM or see past 9 PM
  5. I gained work experience over Easter and secured a year-long placement.
  6. I bought my first camera – Sony A5000 and have used it to practice my photography.
  7. I did get on the train, more than twice. I even got on a plane! 

Other things I’m proud of, outside of my resolutions:

I did some amazing work with Code First and Diva Creative that involved my favourite hobby (i.e. coding), during this time I enjoyed being flexible and exploring the opportunities available to me beyond my degree.

I also managed to bring in some amazing habits that are now part of my daily routine! They include:

  • Taking my health seriously: I would not have thought back in January 2016 that I’d be saying I now exercise 5 times a week (6 on a good week) and eating more vegetables than takeaways and fast food. But I’ve managed to bring this habit into my life now and honestly, I feel so damn good mentally and physically.
  • Taking my mental health seriously: For the past 4 or so years, I’ve been struggling with my mental health. It’s a topic I didn’t like talking about because of the stigma attached to it but last year, I decided to talk to professionals, family, and friends and looked into meditation rather than medication.

I think this proves that you don’t need the new year to do something new whether that’s starting a habit or setting yourself goals and achieving them.

2017 – Further growth, exploration, and discovery:

A summer in the sun

During the second half of 2016, I started writing monthly round-up posts where I set goals for myself every month. Sometimes these were the same goals as my year resolutions, sometimes they were completely different.

This system allowed me to not only gain a satisfying *beep* achievement unlocked every month which continuously kept me motivated and also reminded me of the importance in these goals I’ve set in contrast to forgetting why I set them in the first place. But I’d still like to set some ‘resolutions’ to look back throughout the year. They are:

Personal/lifestyle goals:

  1. Give more – Giving in all forms (but especially donating blood) helps add value to other people’s lives, how awesome is that?
  2. Don’t rush into things – Especially relationships. Sometimes I feel like all the relationships I’ve ever had, I have loved too hard, too fast which is clearly a recipe for disaster. I want to focus on taking things slow, loving myself first and enjoying the present moment rather than always planning ahead for a future with someone who may not be there then.
  3. Let go – You’ve survived the past 5 months, you’re fine.
  4. Continue meditation practice
  5. Fully embrace minimalism 
  6. Keep travelling even if it’s just an hour or so away.
  7. Step out of my comfort zone, more often – I like to think that I have been pushing my boundaries over the past year and want to continue this. After meeting the amazing Matt Burman, President of HackSheffield, I’ve wanted to participate in a Hackathon and encourage more females to do so too! At first, it sounded a little daunting to me, especially as it’s usually male-dominated but Matt’s enthusiasm has perked up my curiosity. Hopefully, I’ll get to attend one this year! Interested in finding out more about Hackathons? Read more here.
  8. Practice gratitude frequently – by telling people how awesome they are daily and start journalling again. Back in the summer, I started Bullet Journalling but failed to keep it a habit. Inspired by Matt’s post, I’m hoping to start journalling again using the 5-minute journal.
  9. Keep eating clean, healthy, real food and learn how to cook better – Good thing I have awesome Chef-like friends who will help make this process easier (hopefully!)
  10. Become stronger, lift heavier and become more flexible
    • I will be dedicating 2 sessions a week on yoga/pilates. I will be able to do the splits (one day) and will take steps to get there.
    • By the end of the year, I want to be able to say workout complete to FitnessBlender’s 1000 calorie workout at least three/four times.
    • After much thought and asking on Twitter, I decided to share my progress so far (below) For those interested, I’ve lost around 15lbs since the first photo but I’m expecting this will increase over the year as I focus more on strength training. Seeing how far I’ve come really motivates me and spreading this motivation is what I love doing
      What the photos don’t show is the amazing effects exercise has had on my mind – I feel healthier, happier, and stronger!
Another here. (Sorry I didn’t document between July to October gah)
July ➡ Late August (cardio ONLY and eating the same)
Late August ➡ November (FB30 and FBabs program, clean eating)
Mid November ➡ December (FBabs and Whitney Simmon’s superset workouts, started lifting heavier weights rather than depending on just bodyweight)

Blogging/website goals:

  • Blog every week, if possible. I’ve set this a goal every month in 2016 and throughout September – December I did pretty well! I hope to keep this going.
  • Be consistent with new blog columns and old ones too.
  • Keep spreading the positive vibes and inspiring people with what I write!

Excited to see what the new year unfolds with the second half of my placement, personal growth, and opportunities ahead. Bring it on 2017! 

I’d like to end this post with easily one of my favorite quotes:

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
― Ellen Goodman

N.B: You may have also noticed the new look, it’s been a tradition since I opened up my blog to change up the website layout on New Years so I decided to make a new one (that and I was bored of the purple!) I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It’s inspired by my growing minimal mindset. I also updated a few pages and currently trying out WordPress and MailChimp together (for email notifications.) Let me know what you think ?

19 responses to “Potential”

  1. I think I’ve said this before but I always love visiting your blog Pauline! I don’t know how you do it but you are always trying to look on the bright side, even though I’m sure you have your own issues and problems, it really makes me put my own view in life or goals in perspective. One of your blogging goals that you have written there is to spread positive vibes and inspire people with what you write – you inspire me all the time! I find it hard to leave my comfort bubble but I also want to try and consistently push my boundaries and challenge myself.

    Congrats on accomplishing your resolutions! And I also liked all your monthly round up posts 😀 I always try to do accomplish my own resolutions but I always fail because I eventually forget about them. It’s also really impressive you exercise 5-6 times a week. I also think that it is important to love yourself. It’s hard to love others, when you’re not loving yourself.

    And wow! Your progress shots are amazing. Way to go!!

    (Also your new theme is amazing. I love the minimalist look <3)

  2. The new look is really nice, and very fitting for your minimalistic approach! Also, I love that it’s brand new on the first day of 2017! Perfect timing 🙂

    You’ve done a lot this year, and I’m proud of you! Yay for getting a Kindle (I swear, that thing is my life!) and doing more reading. Huzzah for working out and sharing your progress photos! It’s fantastic that you have results and that all your hard work shows 😀

    I wish you all the best in 2017 and hope you will reach your goals. You’ve set some good ones, and I should borrow some of your goals and try and see if I can improve my own self. Can’t wait to see what you will accomplish this year! <3

  3. I hope you have an amazing 2017! It’s so brilliant that you keep finding and looking for ways to have a lot of peace and balance in your life. It is really great to read about your journey.

    I actually read a lot more books since having an iPad. It’s just so easy. 😀 Although, the Australian prices for ebooks are much more expensive and sometimes the print book is cheaper… weird. :S

    1. Oh, I forgot to say, I like the new layout! 😀

  4. I love the new layout!

    I’m so proud of everything you achieve in 2016. It was so awesome to see through your Instagram as well. And I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you better over the year, as well. You da best <3

    The whole "new year, new me" thing is rubbish, I think. If you really want to do something, just do it! No point in waiting around.

    Your #3 goal is basically my goal, as well! It's good to find happiness within yourself instead of trying to search for it in others. Your fitness journey is so inspirational!

    Wishing you an amazing 2017 😀

  5. Look at you, Pauline! You’ve ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH and I’m proud of you! <3 Thank you for being you because every time I read your blog I get happy. It's a happy place, so please keep doing what you are doing.
    Also, I'm amazed at your physical transformation! You are an inspiration. 😀 Keep up the good work.

    Happy new year, Pauline. May 2017 bring more joy to you. <3<3

    P.S. I love the new minimalist theme. <3 It looks great on my iPad too!

  6. First off, I love the new theme! I love the simplicity 😀

    I love that you read more in 2016. It’s great the the Kindle is getting you to read more than you were – I love using mine and I love being able to easily check out books from the library with it.

    This: “…you don’t need the new year to do something new whether that’s starting a habit or setting yourself goals and achieving them.” YES. You see the change and you make it effective. While it’s a good time to reflect and look forward, it shouldn’t be the only time where you implement change.

    I love the positivity of all of your goals, through giving and practicing gratitude. You accomplished so much in 2016 so I know that you’re going to kill it in 2017. You can totally see the change in your body that working out and being healthier has had – thanks for sharing those because I know that much have been hard, but you’re killing it girl! I love more though the positive effect it has had on your mind.

    I look forward to reading and keeping up with you in 2017. Happy new year!!

  7. “Keep spreading the positive vibes and inspiring people with what I write!” YES PLEASE! You may not realize it but your posts are a like a breathe of fresh air to me. Each time I read your posts, I feel so charged with a positivity and a desire to do things. Just like this post! I now am even more motivated to get back into working out regularly and making fitness and good diet a part of my lifestyle. Your transformation photos are also very motivational and makes me want to set out on my own transformation journey.

    Additionally, you make me want to be a more positive person. I think attitude is contiguous and I can’t get enough of your positive vibe. Sending much love and good wishes to you for this new year.

  8. I am so proud of you Pauline! Happy new year! 🙂 You absolutely killed 2016. I know it was emotionally rough for you a couple of times but you really pulled through and showed us all how strong you are, both mentally and physically. I enjoyed seeing the progress as you meditated, and the progress as you worked out more. The progress shots are amazing. ? I know you never shared your “before” photos at the time, but I was certain that you were working hard and your recent photos on Instagram just showed a fit, healthy, happy girl. I was so happy for you ? And I can’t wait to read more about your fitness and health goals in 2017.

    I could do the splits when I was still dancing, but I can’t now. Hahahaha. I tried a bit a couple of months ago but I decided to focus on strength training instead. That’s been my main thing so far, but I’m slowly upping the cardio since I only used to do it to warm up.

    I am totally ????? at your statement about not needing the new year to do something new. You definitely 100% don’t! That’s my gripe with general resolutions and goals. I don’t like to make those “smart” goals and don’t necessarily want the goals to be super measurable. I just want them to give me a sense of direction. I do, however, need to do a better job at checking up on how I am going every few months. (Our workplace does goals like that and we revisit them every quarter to refine them or see if they are not working out and do something that fits us best at the time.)

    I love the minimal new theme. ? I didn’t realise I changed mine so early in 2016, I think it’s cool that you decided to change yours every year. I have made smaller changes to mine over time, which is why the aqua colour has been around for so long and just stuck. ? But yeah, in light of minimalism, I hope I can encourage you to keep decluttering as well!! ?

  9. Sounds like 2016 has been a great year for you in terms of growth, congrats especially on the weight loss, I know that’s not easy to keep up especially when life gets in the way (e.g. exams and work). What I love especially that you did is set yourself goals at the beginning of each month, I think that’s something I’m going to try and do this year!

    Wish you all the best for 2017 and I hope it is a successful year for you! 🙂 (also, loving this new layout!)

  10. Did you just change your layout? It looks great!

    Happy New Year to you too!

  11. Happy new year, Pauline! Hope you’ll have a magical year~

    Congratulations on your achievements last year! I love how you’ve been hauling yourself for a healthier lifestyle – not just physically but mentally too. Good luck with your goals this year! I feel like we overlook the blessings we have sometimes and keeping a journal that helps you practice gratitude is perfect! 🙂

    Ooohooo I love the progression over the months! Such a good improvement. Keep it up!! Keep slaying ♥

  12. Congratulations on achieving so many things in 2016, I hope 2017 will be as awesome!
    Whoa at your fitness progress! I also love doing Whitney’s workouts + her humor is everything. It’s also my goal to lift heavier this year 🙂
    Love the new layout, it’s indeed minimalist!

  13. first of all, love your photo and love your red coat! it’s so vibrant and stunning and eye-candy!

    i first knew about zumba from a japanese variety show that i love to watch, featuring my favorite japanese group (the only group i care), lol. ANYWAY, zumba looks so tiring omg! kudos to you for doing it! watching people do zumba tires me out already so really, people who do it on regular schedule are amazing! dang, then again people who work out are amazing. *i am a sloth*

    i’m actually surprise you bought the sony A5000 as first camera instead of their alpha series dslr. i mean, a mirrorless is good too since it’s smaller and works almost like dslr …i guess it’s just me thinking that if i were to invest on my first camera ever, i’d take a dslr for long term commitment. then again, to each their own. i hope the A5000 works great for you! i’ve been wanting a mirrorless camera myself too haha (see, this is the con: my A77 is too bulky!)

    i’m glad that meditation works for you when it comes to dealing with mental health. i constantly struggle with depression and anxiety myself but i’m not interested in meditation. yea, people are probably gonna say “don’t knock til you try it, bro” but for me, i’d rather approach it from the scientific perspective instead of…well, spiritually — if you get what i mean. meditation is, imo, a spiritual approach and i prefer reading things from science which i deem as more…logical. again, it’s just my opinion. i still am happy to hear that meditation works for you though because it does have its health benefits too, right. i have never talked about it to anyone other than my boyfriend and best friend though so yeah, i never seek help from a shrink or anything and my family isn’t the kind who’s open minded about mental health so… i kinda have to manage by myself, so to speak :’)

    i like your list of lifestyle goals! and i like that you call it goals instead of resolutions, pfft. goals is more of a long term thing and i like the sound of it better. if i were to list down mine, one of them will definitely be “learn to let go” too and of course, learn to forgive myself.

    p.s: love the new blog theme 😉

  14. Beautiful new layout <3 Anyhow, I wish you luck in all your goals whether they are short or long term! I believe we all have potential, all of us, even me. Despite the abuse, I can be my own person, reclaim my life and be happy in the end. I can have a good quality of life and smile all the time with those that love besides me.

    I think we shouldn't wait until the first of the year to have goals, but everyday in fact. There's never a late moment to have a goal in mind and stick to it.

  15. Congratulations on achieving so much last year!

    Your health and fitness journey is so inspiring. I hope that I can post before and after photos that like that next year. Can’t believe that’s within six months! I wish I had your motivation.

    What are fitbits like? I keep hearing so much about them, but thought they were just step counters. I need to get into a good sleeping routine. I generally go to sleep at midnight and get up at 6, which is not very good for me at all. No wonder I have no energy!

    Congratulations on doing so well with your placement. You’re going to have so much on your CV when you finish university! If I were to go back and do my degree again, that’s what I’d be doing – I got so many rejections for not having enough experience!

    Good luck with achieving everything this year! Love the new theme btw!

  16. I’ve already said this but I LOVE the theme!

    Your progress shots area amazing and I hope that in the future, they’ll inspire you. I’m so glad that you’re taking initiative to be involved your hobbies and that kind of inspires me to do the same.

    As for mental health, I’ve found myself frustrated at having to rely on medication to maintain my well-being and I really hope to develop a habit of meditating and exercising so that I don’t have to rely on it as much.

    I can’t wait to read more of your blog throughout the year!

  17. Wow, good job on all of your achievements in 2016! I think that’s great that you paid attention to your physical and mental health. I also love that you shared your progress photos. You look so good! It’s so inspiring!

    I also think those are great goals for the new year. I love how you always strive for more positivity in your life. 9 and 10 are ones I want to do too! I feel like I always set those, and then I fall out of habit part way through the year. I think it’s amazing how you’ve really stuck to a healthier lifestyle!

    Happy new year Pauline! I hope 2017 will be a good year for you!

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