NEW YEAR, NEW ME! Actually, I’m quite happy being myself for now…but maybe getting rid of a few bad habits and gaining some new ones instead might be nice!
So here are my 2017 resolutions, and just for the record, I never keep up my resolutions for the whole year! The reason there are so many is so that an odd couple of them I can take up for one month as a more realistic, short term goal. For instance, last year I gave up drinking alcohol for one month! I still sent out partying, but I got to do it in a totally different way AND give my liver a break at the same time. (I’d recommend it if your partial to a good cocktail or two as well, its amazing how refreshing it can feel.)
1. Purchase only vegetarian/vegan & cruelty-free cosmetic and toiletry products
This past year I have been making a conscious effort to stop wearing make-up every day following a late outbreak of acne. So, I decided to invest less money into make-up and perfumes and more into experiences, good food and things I can share with the ones I care about (films, new music, books etc.) and as a result I find myself in a financially stable enough position to pay a little more for quality, good natured cosmetics instead of products that use animal ingredients and testing. One problem I thought I would encounter would be the ever-changing condition of my Skin. I suffer from Psoriasis and as a result I have a dry skin type, and intensely sensitive skin. LUSH has been a blessing. However, purchasing my everyday shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, perfume, and lip balm (I will list the items and their names and price points below) has not only improved the condition of my skin, but also has eased the guilt I used to feel at splurging on expensive perfumes and fancy hair products.
I now purchase all of my daily, and some more luxury, items from LUSH and I can say in confidence that not only do I feel better about myself when using them, but that they last longer, in most cases work more effectively, and (despite first impressions) do NOT break the bank! The Body Shop also deserves a mention here. Their make-up range is cruelty free, and perfect (at least the cosmetics I have tried and tested so far) for unpredictable skin types.
2. Got to a Rose & Rosie meet and greet!
Rose Ellen Dix and Rosie Spaughton are happily married British YouTubers who, each with their own channels and one joint channel (Let’s Play Games), share their experiences, their comedy and their lives on YouTube with a massive and ever-growing fan base. The videos began in Rose’s attempts to spend more time with the woman she was currently dating, Rosie. The video subjects were entirely random, honest depictions of their relationship and the banter that came with it is what made them so mesmerising and wonderful to watch! You can follow their journey from dates, to moving in, to engagement, to dog and finally marriage. And the videos just keep on coming!
Now, I can’t recall exactly when I first stumbled upon Rose Ellen Dix (A YouTuber by the same name) and Roxetera (Rosie Spaughton), but I am grateful that I did. As well as entertainment, they also represent the LGBTQ community with Rose sharing her coming out experience and her struggles with accepting, and coming to terms with being a lesbian and meeting her true love. Rosie Spaughton lends a voice to the bisexual community with her coming out story, words of wisdom and experiences with being accepted and criticised. In addition to this, Rosie is also a vegan and, along with her wife, a massive animal lover! Their beautiful fluffy Wilma features in a lot of their videos, as does Flynn, Rosie’s cat that her fan base contributed and donated to save following a nasty fall and a rather heavy vet’s fee. They have given me laughs, entertainment, and confidence in my own sexuality. It would be a pleasure to meet them face to face just to thank them for that.
3. Go back to college
I did attend university to receive a degree in English Literature and creative writing, however misfortune struck when I detached myself from a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. It was a very, very hard time in my lie for me and that disrupted my university life and also my grades. After minimal guidance and empathy from my tutors, I was forced to withdraw from my course. My silver lining came to me after a really difficult year in the form of my current boyfriend (who will remain nameless for now). He was there for me during this time as a friend and as a rock, and it wasn’t long before he became so much more to me. He was there all along, I’m only sorry that it took me so long to realise this. The following year we grew stronger as a couple and moved from our hometown in York to our first home in Edinburgh. And during this year we got full time jobs, met new people and proved ourselves very capable home owners and partners. With this new found confidence, support from my man, and the re-ignition of my passion for learning I have decided to return to college and take on an Access to Highers course in order to progress back into university and get the degree that I had once lost sight of…Wish me luck!
This is the closest to ‘new year, new me’ I will get (stupid saying -.-) so here it is, for 2017 I would like to make a conscious effort to turn my sometimes uncontrollable shopping into something good and volunteer at a charity shop! During the house move, I downsized A LOT of my wardrobe and sent the bags to my local charity shop, and the feeling I got from letting go of things I was once so attached to felt really good. And knowing that the money paid for my beloved clothes would go to charity felt even better. So this time, I would like to be the one who watches the magic happen. Since I have worked in retail since I was 16, I would like to put my visual merchandising and selling skills into helping charity. If anyone has a day or even a couple of hours to spare around university, a part-time job, or just in your spare time then I recommend popping down to your local good-doers and asking for something to do as well. One good deed a day is all it takes!
5. Get my blog up and running!
This one seems self-explanatory, but here’s a little background story. From secondary school I carried with me a low self-esteem, questionable social skills and a lack of confidence in myself. I always wanted to vent, and unwind by making blog posts on things that interested me, things I liked and my experiences in life but felt I would have no audience out there that would even glance twice. During 2016, as my confidence grew so did my understanding that I didn’t want to set up a blog to get peoples approval or attention…the attention and approval I needed had to come from me. So I’ve decided that regardless of whether it gets seen, I need to write this blog for myself. To allow myself to express myself and not feel ashamed, or criticised, or judged by that I might want to say. And I’m off to a good start, consider this more of a diary/journal of my thoughts, feelings, and areas of interest that MAY also interest you.
6. Pay off my student overdraft
Because who doesn’t have this as a resolution every year!
7. Become less materialistic
Leading back to my ‘problem’ with shopping, I feel that in my efforts to restrict myself in what I can buy (vegan, cruelty-free etc.) I have also had less of a desire to splash out on other luxuries like new clothes, new shoes, jewellery, and pointless (but pretty) knickknacks. After choosing to stop wearing make-up daily, buying clothes every other chance I got also became a lot easier, though it still didn’t come naturally to me. This resolution stems from the fact that although I work with clothes and have always enjoyed shopping, I have bigger and more important things that I should be spending my pay checks on (see resolution number 6) and that I only hurt myself by over-spending. Oh, as well as the child labour factories and smaller independent businesses that can’t compete with the likes of New Look and Topshop. TOP TIPS: If you, like me struggle with cutting out spending all together then just limit when and where you spend your money. For example, I have begun thrift and charity shopping with a vengeance. Also, saving your money to spend on days off rather than before or after work will not only help you to anticipate and appreciate your days off more, but will also allow your loved ones to share in the experience too! Take someone to the zoo, or go see a movie OR put the purse/wallet away full stop and go soak up some culture at your nearest museum.
8. Drink more water
Like most people, I would rather indulge in a pint of Coke rather than some water for the table when I’m dining out, but recently it’s become more than that. I’ve found that now, when I get in from a hard day’s work that I would rather enjoy a cool can of pop rather than actually hydrate myself with some icy water. It could be the caffeine in the Coke that makes me edge towards the fridge, looking for a much needed revival or maybe it’s the sugar that my brain must be craving after being on my feet for 8 hours straight. Either way, I realised that after waking up with headaches, feeling dry mouthed in the middle of the night, and just feeling more sluggish than usual that my body is not getting the hydration that it needs. Hence why I went out to my nearest TKMaxx and purchased pretty in pink water bottle. Now I make sure that every night before bed that it’s filled with fresh water and on my bedside table ready for the morning. It’s the perfect size to fit in my handbag as well so it comes with me nearly everywhere I go! To work, to the cinema, on bike rides, and finally back with me to bed for those cotton mouthed evenings. Already, I am feeling the benefits! My skin looks a lot brighter and I would say that it certainly helps me to get out of bed in the morning for those 7 AM starts. I want to keep this habit up for this year and report back on how much lifestyle, skin condition, weight and general well-being have altered as a result.
9. Take up a hobby
I would consider myself jack of no trades, AND master of none. I attempted to take up violin in primary school, which after the purchase of my very first violin I decided to give up (sorry mum & dad). This like most hobbies I’ve had just seem to lose their novelties rather quickly. So this year I would like to take up a craft, art or activity to increase my peace of mind. Something relaxing and therapeutic to coincide with my increasingly hectic and fast-paced lifestyle. I’m considering either Knitting, Yoga, or perhaps return to painting (I dabbled in secondary school, but like usual, I grew bored of it). If anyone has any other ideas of a restful activity that I could take up, preferably without a cost, then comment below. Or if you could recommend any YouTube videos, books, websites or any other media that could prove helpful, be a dear and put those links below!
My boyfriend and a handful of his friends have preached the noble art of meditation to me a thousand time, which I must admit tended to annoy me more than anything else. Until recently, when I’ve found myself with a fair amount of time to myself at home where I am just looking for things to occupy myself with, and if I can’t all that happens is I tend to feel overwhelming frustration and boredom…and on some occasions loneliness and stress. So, after multiple talking’s into, he has finally convinced me that for my peace of mind meditating for as little as two minutes a day could make a world of difference. I intend to begin meditating for 2 minutes each morning (with the help of a variety of YouTubers I have subscribed to and some very peaceful soundtracks) at the beginning of February and hope to document how my mood may change and the results when I increase the time I meditate for. I will also talk about the methods I will test too, for example meditation with incense…Hindrance or helpful? And does the crossed leg pose actually do anything or is perhaps lying down more relaxing? (The results will all be based on my own personal findings, and what works best for me. NOT everyone, and I do not claim to be an expert, and your own methods may vary and will probably be more accurate than mine.)
Share your own resolutions below and bond with each other, look for support and get recognition for all your hard work, patience and positivity! HAPPY NEW YEAR and may your 2017 be the best one yet