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Sunday, 5 January 2014

New Year's Resolutions & Aims | & a 2013 Overview


2013 was a bittersweet year for me. 'Emotional rollercoaster' is a cliche term usually only pulled out of the bag by people on reality TV shows, but for me, 2013 really has been just that - a complete mish-mash of twists and turns, ups and downs and highs and lows.  2013 kicked off on a bit of a low point for me.  Having being rushed to hospital with a pretty nasty allergic reaction to Penicillin a few days before Christmas of 2012, it's fair to say that I spent the beginning of the year feeling a little bit wobbly and out of sorts.  It was the catalyst for a whole bunch of other health problems and opened up what I can only describe as a shelf full of cans of worms.  I won't go into the ins and outs, but I don't think I've ever spent so much time in a doctor's surgery or sat and had someone stab me with a needle so many times in my life.  Of course, I'm aware I should count my blessings, and that I certainly did, but I can't help but feel that 2013 dealt me a slightly cruddy hand when it came to health and well being. Annoyingly so, this little spurt of health issues and worries bought my panic attacks and anxiety to the boil and I really was pushed to my limits this year. I ended up having to have a course of CBT sessions, something I never imagined I'd have to do again, but luckily I seem to be recovering from it all now. Couple all of this with a really horrible break-up earlier in the year and it's no wonder I spent a small portion of 2013 feeling less than chipper.  However, I battled on through and although it's taken a good year to get this far, there's a lot of light at the end of the tunnel.

2013 has been one of the most successful years of my life to date.  After working in retail full-time for a few years and feeling less than satisfied with my future career prospects, I took a snap decision in 2011 to go to university and study towards something I've always had an overwhelming urge to do - graphic design/illustration. It was a terrifying thought at the time - I gave up a lovely full-time wage, a secure job and a lifestyle I'd gotten completely used to for student loans and one heck of a lot of hard work.  I can safely say I finally reaped the rewards of that scary decision this year.  So much so, I actually quit working part-time in retail at the end of January (yep - I really did cut the cord and take away the safety blanket) so that I could fully concentrate on my new little path in life.  I now have 2 internships under my belt and have a portfolio I can really be proud of. I wrote and illustrated my own children's book that proved to be a major success for me and I took the book, along with the rest of my portfolio, down to London with me in July where I spent a week exhibiting at the New Designers Show with the rest of my course - people who I can honestly say are real, true friends of mine and although I was going through a lot at the time (and felt pretty rubbish for the entire course of the week), it was still an amazing experience. I spoke to children's book publishers, swapped contacts with design agency's and possible future employers, and really got a grasp of what my future might hold.  My work was picked up by a well-known design website and featured among 'the best of 2013's show' - and I also appeared on a couple of lifestyle blogs of people who had been to the exhibition and liked my work - which of course, being a blogger, made me extremely happy!  Towards the end of this year, I found out I'm also being put forward to be part of an online Illustration Agency for 2014 - which if I manage to get in - would be an amazing little leg-up into my future career and could help with the whole 'between finishing uni and finding a job' thing. I can't believe how far I've come in the space of 1 year and I'm so excited for what the next holds. I don't know where I'll be or what I'll be doing this time next year - which is a scary but exciting thought - but I'm determined to make these final few months of uni really count towards something and I genuinely feel as if I'm actually, finally getting somewhere.  Proof that a snap decision can change your life for the better. So anyway, onto the good stuff - my resolutions of 2014.  Every year, we all make resolutions we can't keep. At least, I know I do. But I'm determined to make some changes in 2014 and really make it a jolly good year.  Here's what I hope to accomplish/achieve in the following 12 months.... and if I don't? Well, there's always 2015...

1. Graduate with a good degree & find a job within 5 months
I won't harp on about this one as I've kind of expressed my enthusiasm for my degree in my rambles above.  I finish in July of this year and really, really want to achieve a high grade and continue to achieve well. The sky's the limit.  It sounds a little bit gushy - but I sometimes have one of those reflective moments and feel so blessed that I've got the 'creative bone' in my body.  It allows me to do things a little different from the norm and the fact that I've chosen to persue a career within the field really does make me happy.  It's a really nice feeling when a career path and a passion begin to come together - and I've loved creating things ever since I first picked up a colouring crayon! I've been told by one of my tutors it usually takes an average of 5-6 months to find a design job after graduating, so that's certainly going to be an aim of mine.  In an ideal world, I'd love to have one by Christmas of next year - but it's extremely competitive out there. Wish me luck...

2.  Stop worrying about everything and get my anxiety back under control
Again, I mentioned above about my struggles with anxiety this year.  I know deep down I'll never really get rid of my panic attacks altogether - but I want to get back to how I was before the ordeal last Christmas and finally feel 100% 'me' again.  I need to stop worrying about things that won't happen, stop obsessing over things that don't matter and stop trying to change things I know I can't change.  My aim is to be a much more calmer, relaxed version of 'Beth' in 2014.

3. Save the pennies
I'm actually pretty good when it comes to saving money.  But I really do want to add to my savings accounts this year.  The design industry could take me anywhere and if I need to move for a job then I shall require some dollar in the bank!  I aim to stay local in the first few years of my career (I'm such a home bird...) - but you never know do you? 

4. Kick-start the summer body!
Oo you can't have a list of resolutions without some sort of exercising/'join a gym' goal in there somewhere can you?! I won't lie to myself and say I'll join a gym because I know for a fact I won't. I simply can't afford the commitment right now, however, this year I really do want to detox more and get my body toned and ready for summer.  I managed to keep up a really good fitness regime the year before last and I noticed such a difference so I really want to start making it a regular thing again!

5.  Get back my confidence with driving
I love driving. But I really have lost my confidence with it the past couple of years or so simply because I never need to go far.  I take the bus to uni because it's easier on the pennies and I can't remember the last time I've gone too far from home in the ol' birdmobile.  I'm actually a pretty good driver and I do genuinely enjoy doing it - so this year, I'm determined to get my driving mojo back.  I'm considering doing a couple of refresher lessons - or just putting a random address into a SatNav and grabbing the bull by the horns and just going for it. I've made it my summer task - after the stresses and strains of uni work are out of the way and I can really knuckle down on it for a couple of weeks or so.

6. Take more photos
I blame Pinterest for this resolution. I'm already snap happy but I really want to start taking photographs even more.  The type that look really considered and capture the essence of a moment - the type you see on these really put together lifestyle blogs and on people's Pinterest boards.  I need to set up a new Instagram, actually take my big beastly camera abroad with me and be more creative with my kodak moments.

7. Enjoy the moment more
Ok - this one kind of contradicts the last.  But sometimes I feel as if we are all so caught up in this over-sharing, social media obsessed world of today that we actually forget to just enjoy the moment. If something funny happens, I feel sad I haven't got it on video.  If I miss a particularly good 'artistic photograph' moment with a bunch of friends, I feel disappointed I haven't got my swishy camera with me.  So what?!?! I have an iPhone I can capture it with - albeit it might be a little grainy but who gives a hoot? I need to concentrate more on enjoying a moment for what it is and stop thinking of making everything picture perfect all the time.  It's all stored in the bank of memories anyway!

8. Blogging aims & goals...
I'm not going to set myself any blogging goals or aims this year - as I think it sets me up for disappointment, but I've recently taken a little step back and know what I need to change, what I need to keep doing and where I want to go with my blog.  All in all, I just want to continue to enjoy blogging - I think I lost sight of my blog a little in 2013.  It might not seem like it on the surface, but beneath it - I've realised I've been concentrating far too much on trying to have everything 'perfect'. I put pressure on myself when it comes to my blog and compare myself to others (as I'm sure we are all guilty of...) I just want to take it back to basics and enjoy it in the same way I did when I first started out - less planning, less editing and more enjoyment! So what if there's a pesky shadow in a photograph, or if the lighting isn't top notch or if I've accidentally left my camera on another setting and the photos look slightly 'less nice' than normal.   I'd also love to start commenting more on other's blogs the way I used to - I actually used to comment on every post I read! I think blogging has kind of shifted in 2013 - we aren't as interactive in the ol' comments box as we used to be (is it just me who feels this way?) - I'd love to take time to interact more via Blogger instead of relying purely on Twitter.  I want to reach my milestone of 4k within the next few months (because 4 is my lucky number I'm particularly excited about it) and I also want to continue to experiment with my photography and refresh/tweak my blog design over the summer.   In a nutshell - I just want to continue to be creative with my blog, continue to see it grow and enjoy it for what it is. Mine.

What are you resolutions this year? Any similar to mine?
If you've done a similar post, be sure to let me know in the comments down below!

39 comments:

  1. Good luck with the degree...I would love to have had the ability to draw....so really appreciate art....here's to a wonderful 2014. x

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. thankyou so much Jessica :) means a lot - hope you have a lovely 2014 too! xx

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  2. Good luck with everything, would love to see some of your work featured on the blog perhaps? x

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    1. Thankyou Jenny! I've been thinking about doing so - i have a little online portfolio up and running now so Im considering posting the link soon...if i dare! eek! xx

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  3. Sounds like you had a scary but great year! I'm currently going to school and contemplating 'cutting the cord', as you say, and your post made me feel a little more confident about doing it. I hope that 2014 is just as awesome for you.

    http://thecosmeticeffect.com/

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    1. Im so glad this post has made you feel a bit more confident Jade! It's good to just take the plunge and take a risk sometimes - it more than likely will pay off in the end :) I wish you all the best for 2014!! xx

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  4. Congratulations/good luck with your degree. I agree with Jenny, I'd love to see some of your work on here :)
    I'm so sorry that 2013 didn't start the way you hoped, but I hope 2014 promises better things for you :)
    And good luck with your resolutions! You deserve every success :)
    Keep in touch!
    Andrea
    www.lanouvellenoire.com xxx

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    1. thanks so much Andrea! :) I'm really hoping i pluck up the courage to share my work on here sometime in 2014. I have a website up and running now so i might do a little post about it all. I hope 2014 is a good year for you too - wishing you all of the best xx

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  5. Happy new year, Beth! What a lovely post. I'm really sorry to hear that you had a crappy 2013 in terms of your anxiety but wow, what an amazing step forward with your career! Getting that kind of experience whilst still at uni is fantastic because it really sets you up for when you graduate and puts you in a great position for finding work. I hope you have a wonderful 2014, best of luck with your resolutions!
    Summer Holly Day xx

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    1. thankyou so much Holly - and a happy new year to you too! Ohh yes the anxiety has definitely been a little blip in the road but onwards and upwards, as they say! :) Hope you have an amazing year too, lots of love xx

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  6. Great Aims and Goals for 2014, hope you achieve them all.. I hope you find the job of your dreams :) x

    thebeautyfairground.blogspot.com

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    1. thanks so much Mary :) I hope 2014 is a good year for you xx

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  7. Good luck with everything, I hope 2014 is a great year for you! x


    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD

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  8. These are some really lovely thoughtful aims for 2014 :)
    I've kinda just started my blog and I totally agree with blogging being so serious now. Everyone has amazing cameras and perfect presentation and it's so easy to compare your own blog with all that. It should be about the fun of blogging :)

    Katherine
    http://penneychic.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. thankyou Katherine :)
      it's definitely shifted hasn't it - what i used to love about blogs is that they weren't magazine perfect and they were just a hobby for many people - it should just be fun! I'm not going to take it so seriously any more and avoid falling into the trap of it becoming more than a hobby :)
      Good luck with your blog - ill be sure to pop on over now :) xx

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  9. definitely with you on enjoying the moment more, we miss so much of the world around us on our phones and laptops etc xx

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    1. we do indeed! Need to stop obsessing over everything being perfect - hope you have a good 2014 Charlotte! x

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  10. I hope 2014 got off to a better start that 2013 for you! x
    I need to kickstart my summer body & try to find exercise that I enjoy doing & that I will stick to.
    Wishing you all the best for 2014
    http://www.letstalkbeauty.co.uk/

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    1. Thankyou Vicki - 2014 has started off much more promising - aside from a case of the sniffles!
      Oh yes i need to start detoxing after all this christmas food iv'e consumed!
      Wishing you the best for 2014 also x

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  11. Aww Beth I'm excited for you when you finish your Uni & gain a degree, all the best in finding a job that you love to do, it's my dream to do a job that I love too :D fingers crossed hehe. I love that your book when down a 'hoot' & everyone loved it - i bet you're still over the moon ;)

    I hope your driving confidence comes back, but i personally think it's down to being in the car & doing lots of car journeys that makes my confidence grow :) without me sounding smug about it lol, I can drive down to Sheffield without a Satnav now & that's only me driving down there 2-3 times a year :) You get to know the roads too :) fingers crossed with you & your birdmobile ;)

    And I love your blog so much :D it's been a favourite since 2011 & i do believe other's are forgetting that it began as a hobby - i still see mine as a hobby & share my loves of beauty etc, I do try to comment on every post i read, or for quickness leave a tweet :) I believe 2014 will bring you amazing opportunites for your blog, you've worked hard at it & your nearly & 4k - a dream i hope will come true for me too :P

    Overall, the best of luck Beth for 2014 grab as much opportunities as you can in both your career & blog & have fun :D
    xxxx

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    1. Chloe your comments never fail to make me smile :)
      I've loved your blog for a couple of years now too - i'm definitely going to make it my aim to comment more again - i used to love leaving comments and letting people know id read their blogs. Ive missed doing it often so going to start again :) I'm sure you'll reach your milestones very soon - have no doubt of that :)

      Ahh yes i reckon thats what i need to do. I'll probably need to drive for a job soon so im hoping it forces me to get my mojo back! I'm fine once i know the roads properly - definitely going to utilise one's Sat Nav this year ;)

      I hope 2014 is a jolly good year for you too and you find an amazing job :) I know we've spoken about it through emails now and again and i really do wish you the best. Lots of love xx

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    2. Aww shucks Beth hehe :) glad I can make you smile :) & thank you :)
      I think it's a great way for having a 2 way interaction on people's blog, even if it's simply saying you like that person's post, it makes me happy to see someone has commented on one of my posts :) I've seen a few others tweet about less comment interaction on blogs & i will be making sure I comment on every post i read :) & thanks Beth, I'm wanting to make a few changes with my blog this year, y'know lil' tweaks here & there, :)

      Ahh just think positive ;) I keep forgetting that I can drive to other places for jobs - for when i apply for positions - silly billy haha. You know you can do it, just push your anxiety out of your mind & you'll get your confidence back again :D But make sure you have plenty of petrol - always forget that if I'm out driving haha :P

      And thanks Beth, I have high hopes for 2014, I'll make sure I don't let anything worry me & just enjoy myself. Job front is still bluergh, but hoping to change that once the christmas jobs have vanished & it's more full time jobs advertised :)
      If i could favourite this reply, I would haha
      Xxx

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  12. Great post lovely, super informative there was lots I didn't know about you that I do now :) huge good luck and I look forward to your posts this year, they are always amazing.

    Liza | Beauty & Fashion Blog Glambeautys | YouTube | Family & Lifestyle Blog Glambambini

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  13. I've actually done a whole post on my resolutions as well so to save this being a super long comment, if you'd like you can read that post! I do want to say that I understand what you mean about setting yourself up for disappointment because that crossed my mind as I was creating my blogger's resolutions. However, I decided to instead of having them "concrete", make them a little less certain. What I mean by that is make them in such a way that even if I don't complete them 100%, I'll still feel like I've accomplished something and to look at it as an improvement rather than a disappointment. And I agree with what you've said about not putting too much pressure on yourself! Anyways, I'm starting to ramble haha, here's to a great 2014!
    Amber
    Lovely Notions

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  14. Happy new year, sorry to hear 2013 wasn't a great one for you, I know how that feels as it was a pretty rubbish year for me too. Hope all your hopes & dreams for 2014 come true
    Belle x

    <a href="http://partofbellesworld.blogspot.co.uk>Part of Belle's world</a>

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  15. great post! i relate to so many of these with you! thank you for sharing ! Hope you had a fab new years!

    http://thisgirlloveschic.blogspot.co.uk

    xx

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  16. Ah I'm sorry you didn't have such a great 2013 :( I was the same, really bad health problems hit me in December 2012 and it made if so difficult to start 2013, especially as I had so many exams to sit as well. Starting my blog was actually one of the things that really improved my year - and I think blogger interaction was a big part of that! I love nothing more than reading comments and feeling like I'm getting to know any one who reads my beauty rambles! I really need to get twitter for my blog as we so I can join in with #bblgger chats.

    Best of luck with the rest of the year, it sounds like you've got a solid idea of what you want and how to achieve it which is the best way to go about it! I'd love to see some of your work too.

    Katydesu.blogspot.co.uk

    Katy xxx

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  17. I had a pretty rubbish 2013 with anxiety and OCD too but 2014 is the year I turn it around, I can feel it. Good luck with all your resolutions! <3 <3

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  18. This is such a lovely post - I'm sorry the start of your year was so tough, but well done for everything you've achieved at uni and with your career! I completely agree with you about your resolution to live in the moment - sometimes I feel so obsessed with taking photos of everything that it almost becomes the point of the occasion, when it should be about having fun first :) you seem like such a lovely girl and I hope you have an amazing 2014 because you really deserve it

    Cate xxx

    The perks of being a hipster

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  19. You really have had a rollercoaster year, but have been achieving so much! I hope very resolution goes well, and I'm looking forward to reading much more of your blog in 2014 :)

    Sophie
    http://what-sophie-said.blogspot.co.uk/
    xxx

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  20. I can really relate to having an "emotional roller-coaster of a year" as you put it, there were so many ups and downs and unexpected turns last year. I can also really relate to your live in the moment yet still take more photos resolutions as well, I often worry that I'll forget all the wonderful days spent with friends and family. Thank you for this post, I think you've inspired me to write a similar one! :)

    Hazzie xo
    restless-beauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. loved reading this post beth, your writing style is just lovely to read :) although you said your head wasn't quite in your blog this past year it definitely did not show, which makes me excited to see whats to come for you and your blog now you are feeling more in to it!

    love laura
    xxx

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  22. I am so sorry to hear that the year started out horribly for you. I was in hospital at the beginning of 2013 and had to face by depression so I know exactly where you are coming from with that. I am glad it is getting better for you.

    Congratulations on your career success sweetie. It takes a lot of time and effort and dedication so it is something to be proud of.

    Hope 2014 brings you all the best luck in the world as you deserve it too.

    Lots of love
    Nafisah xxx

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  23. I think your New Year's Resolutions are similar to mine because I want to enjoy the moment more, rather than wishing I had my DSLR with me! I'm sorry to hear that the start of 2013 was tough, but I'm proud that you managed to overcome your anxieties, it's something I can relate to.

    Best wishes for the year ahead! :-)

    beautyfalconer.blogspot.co.uk

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  24. Fantastic, amazing post - the first 2014 reflection of 2013 that i've actually enjoyed reading on the blogs. Onwards and upwards for this year love!

    Carlie @ pugginawesome@blogspot.se

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  25. beautiful selection of products girl!

    http://thisgirlloveschic.blogspot.co.uk

    xx

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  26. I love these kinds of posts. I think people who actually make a point of jotting things like this down are always the harshest of critics to themselves. You achieved so much in 2013, I'm sure 2014 is going to be just as good, if not better!

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  27. great resolutions - good luck with everything!!

    www.sparklethiscity.blogspot.com

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I always read all of my lovely comments. Make sure you check back as i often reply but if you do have a specific question and want a quicker response then please do email me over at birds.words@yahoo.co.uk or tweet me (@Beth_BirdsWords). Thank you for all your support! x