Wednesday, 4 January 2017

2017: Hopes And Dreams

Ahhh. Don't you just love it when a new year begins? You can take the opportunity to set yourself bigger goals, create even better memories and make it the best 12 months of your life so far.
If you read my last post (you can do so here if you haven't already), you will see that I had a pretty amazing 2016. There were so many things that I did, which I would have never thought possible if you had asked me about them at the beginning of the year. It just goes to show that determination and perseverance are key, especially when things seem tough at first!
The goals that I've set today are realistic in my opinion, so hopefully I'll be able to achieve all of them by the end of 2017. There will be a 6 month update in June and then a post at the end of December concluding what I have and haven't achieved. I've seen a few of these floating around the internet over the past few days and so I became inspired to create my own version to share with all of you! I don't do 'resolutions', because I don't personally agree with the term and I'd much rather just create my own ambitions that I can work on throughout each day in my own time.
1. Try to read for at least 30 minutes each day.
Not all of you will know this about me, but reading is something that I've always absolutely loved to do. It makes perfect sense considering I write for magazines and write my own blog, because reading is a part of the whole process after all. Having said that though, I didn't read many blog posts or books during the latter part of last year, so I suppose I have a lot of making up to do. I've always been a bookworm at heart, so it's only right. Whether I read a couple of chapters in the bath or before I settle down to go to sleep each evening, I want to make more of an effort to read books and different genres, because I don't want to lose the love I have for it. I won't give myself a set task as to how many I should read each month, but we'll see how it goes.
2. Engage more with other bloggers and up my social media game.
Since my following on Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin' has rapidly expanded, I feel like it's only fair that I make more of an effort. Yes, I'm trying my very best, just like I always do, but I know deep down that I can do more. I want to push myself - and that's exactly what I intend to do. I'm going to set alarms to remind me when it's time for my favourite weekly Twitter chats. I'm going to retweet people's links and encourage others to show them some love. I'm going to comment on people's posts if I think they deserve extra credit. I'm going to support my favourite brands and promote the work I do with them. Why shouldn't I be proud of the content I create? We all should be. Hard work always deserves recognition in my opinion!
3. Improve my blog in more ways than one.
Thinking about it, my blog has already improved greatly compared to how it was when I started back in April 2015. I've got my own custom domain name, a professional template, a personalised header, and better quality photos already. I want to get a proper camera for my birthday in March, a tripod, some different props for my photos, a custom email and I want to start scheduling tweets more regularly, get a proper logo to sign my posts off with (if that's what it's called) and advertise my blog with other people. Hopefully, things can only improve from here! Who knows, I may even get interviewed or feature in the press? We shall see..
4. Switch to using cruelty free products as often as I can.
Quite a few of the products that I use and own aren't tested on animals and they are from cruelty free brands, but not as many as I would like there to be. By the end of the year, I hope to have switched to using as many cruelty free products as I can with only a small minority being from brands that haven't yet made that transition. I couldn't bear to part with my beloved MAC lipsticks, so even though they test on animals, I'd still keep them, but the rest of the makeup look would most likely be cruelty free (well, 90% of the time anyway!)
5. Get good grades in all of my GCSE exams.
Okay, so I'm not going to lie to you - I'm terrified about sitting my GCSE's in the Summer. They are literally months away now and as each day goes by, they just end up edging closer and closer. I can't say I feel prepared in the slightest, but I'm trying my best and I shall continue to work my socks off until I can confidently say that I reckon I'll reach or exceed all of my (incredibly high) expectations. That's the aim anyway! I go back to school tomorrow and I get my results for my mock exams on Friday, so let's all cross our fingers and pray to God that I didn't fail every single one, but hey, if I did, who cares? It will be a wake up call and it will no doubt motivate me to try even harder the next time I have a test. It's all a learning curve!
6. Continue to challenge all of my anxieties and face my fears.
Something that I was incredibly proud of last year was the fact that I dealt with things in an incredibly positive, headstrong way. There were, of course, many things that worried me and even though some of them were tiny looking back on it, they were a massive deal at the time. Progress is progress, no matter how big or small. I only had one day off from school, which was for my sister's graduation anyway and that's an amazing achievement. I used to skip school quite a lot in primary and other years, just because I was scared of PE or worried about not having a partner in any subject that I dreaded. It's okay. It's okay to be scared. It's okay to feel panicky. You just need to have a positive, determined mindset and try to be strong. In order to achieve something, you will most likely have to face a fear at one point or another. Think about how proud you will feel afterwards. It will all be worth it. This year, I want to continue working on all of the anxieties that I have, so I can get through anything that life throws at me and embrace all of the challenges as I go in order to succeed in all that I do.
Let me know what your hopes and dreams are in the comments below! Do you have any fears that you're going to try and face? Remember to encourage and support each other too!
Lots of love always,
Jade xo

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