I thought I'd take a little bit of time to reflect on all of the good things that happened in 2016. I suppose this is a bit later than most bloggers' end of year posts but I needed more time to think everything through first. This was also supposed to include my aspirations for 2017 too but the post got pretty wordy by the end of my 2016 thoughts and I had to split it into two posts!
I wrote a 2016 goals blog post last year and I feel like I have worked some way towards those, apart from the cutting down on shopping one. Oops!
Attempted to learn to drive - This was one of my main goals for last year. I started lessons with a driving instructor at the end of January 2016, however I quickly realised he wasn't the right instructor for me. He was way too harsh for my sensitive nature, he was constantly barking at me and never encouraging so I started the search for a new instructor after around 6 hours of lessons with him. I found a lovely lady who was exactly what I needed, very nice and encouraging and didn't put pressure on me. BUT. She cancelled lessons all the time, often half an hour before the lesson so I only had 3 or 4 lessons but broken up by weeks without lessons. At one point, my lesson was cancelled 5 times in a row, 1 of which being my choice through illness. This doesn't even take into consideration how incredibly nervous I am at this whole learning to drive thing and it stresses me out so much. The dread of each lesson was making me feel miserable until my lesson was over and because my lessons were on Saturdays, I was dreading every weekend! My new approach for this year was to book an intensive course where I could take a week off work and solely concentrate on learning to drive and hopefully build my confidence, rather than having 1-2 hours a week driving and feeling like I'm starting from scratch every week. I'm under no illusion that this doesn't guarantee I'll actually pass my test first time but at least I should be a long way towards it.
Passed my Driving Theory Test - Despite all of the above, I booked in my theory test on the advice of the first instructor and managed to pass first time so I was over the moon with that. This was back at Easter time last year though so need to pass my practical test before that expires!
Met Charlotte Tilbury - I was super, super lucky in April 2016 and got invited to spend a few hours with Charlotte Tilbury and some other lovely bloggers to celebrate Charlotte's launch at Fenwick Newcastle. It was a truly amazing experience and I'll never forget it. I've got a blog post here about that fabulous afternoon.
Lost weight - I was extremely unhappy with my weight this time last year due to piling on about 25-28lbs within the space of a few months at the end of 2015! I've lost around 14lbs since then without doing anything too extreme. I mainly focused on calorie counting and going to the gym. This was only really in the second half of the year though.
Went on two holidays - I went back to one of my favourite cities, Barcelona, in July 2016 and spent my birthday there. I could honestly keep going back as I love it that much! I have a few posts from the first time I visited here. I also went to Florence in September 2016 which tied in with celebrating my first wedding anniversary. It was my first time in Italy and it was such a beautiful city. I really enjoyed this trip. I was thinking I could maybe write some blog posts on these trips, if it's not too late now!
Met Ronan Keating - I've been a fan of Ronan for around 19 years or so now. I feel like I get more obsessed the older I get! I'm still a teenager at heart I think! I met him at a book signing about 16 years ago but I was so shy and practically cried. I just got my book signed and I don't even remember speaking to him to be honest! Anyway, this year I ended up paying a fortune to have my first ever front row seats at his concert, along with a meet and greet before the show. This was so worth the money and whilst it was a brief meeting, it was one of the best days of my life! Again, I barely spoke to him apart from saying the words "thank you" about 10 times but to get photos with him and just have his arm round me, it was a dream come true! I know he's famously short but I actually didn't realise he wouldn't be much taller than me so when I was stood just centimetres away, I did enjoy being at eye level with him!
Got a promotion at work - I rounded off the year by getting a promotion at work. This is the first time I've ever been promoted in a job so it felt so good to be rewarded for my work and it's made me so much happier with life in general since it happened. I felt like I was worried about what my future was going to hold as I didn't feel like I could go on much longer in my current position the way things were going so I'm glad that weight is off my shoulders now. If I was in the position to blog/YouTube full time, I would totally do that instead though!
I know this was a bit of a personal blog post but I hope you enjoyed reading it. Sometimes it's easy to focus on the bad things so I decided it would be good to look at all of the nice things and enjoy what I have done, rather than constantly chasing the next thing or thinking about what you don't have.
What made you happy in 2016?