Wow. And just like that we're already more than one week into the new year. The New Year feels so fresh, full of possibilities & opportunity. It makes me feel excited, optimistic and inspired to set some new goals for the year ahead. But before I do that, I feel like I can't get anywhere without reflecting a little on the year before.
Overall, last year felt good. Better than good actually. After feeling somewhat lost in 2015, last year was a refreshing relief and seemed to be easier. There was of course some days/weeks/months where I felt inadequate or regretted things, but on the whole I felt more positive & inspired and that made me feel really happy. I'll break it up into some main categories; work, health, personal.
2016 was a big year from a work point of view. My mindset towards 'work' evolved further and I felt much more confidence in where I was going. One of the main changes was back in June when my dad & I made the decision to stop creating new content for What to Cook. I'll write more about this in another post but it was a decision that occurred naturally and while I still feel a lot of disappointment about it, it has turned out to be a very good outcome, especially for the time being.
It has allowed me to fully focus on photography, particularly wedding photography and that excites me more than I can put into words. I wasn't planning to pursue wedding photography, but after a couple opportunities presented themselves, I realised how much I loved it and how I wanted to shoot more weddings. It now feels crazy to me that I didn't want to actively pursue it years ago.
While last year was a positive one for work overall, there were also countless times where I second guessed myself or felt super stuck. Annoying as those times are, I realised how essential they are to creating work that you actually really care about. In a weird way, I learnt to enjoy those times of anxiety & frustration which made them so much easier to get through.
I would now consider this blog to go under the category of 'work' as I plan to share a lot more photography work on here throughout 2017. It feels strange to be typing this big annual reflection post on this blog, rather than the one that started it all - The Littlest Things. I'm so happy I made the change, everything feels a lot more focused in my mind and that's what I'm constantly striving towards; focus.
Last year was a much better year than 2015 in regards to health. Both mentally & physically. There's obviously still so much more I can do to improve both & I'm really excited to actually have proper actionable health related goals for this year. My mum spent the majority of last year prioritising her health and it was one of the most inspiring things to witness. She's lost nearly 23kg and is feeling better than ever. I can't explain how proud I am - she's my inspiration.
In 2016 I read a lot of non-fiction 'personal-development' books and listened to a lot of podcasts on the same topic and I plan to continue throughout this year. I find taking an active interest in personal growth helps me to not aimlessly coast through life without direction. It helps me to get the most out of every day and that is priceless in regards to a healthy mindset. I find these topics hard to articulate yet super interesting and I'd like to try and be more open about them this year.
The topic of health is endlessly fascinating to me. On one had it can cause me to roll my eyes at every new food & fitness trend but on the other hand, it inspires me to improve myself daily. Not just in regards to food & exercise (although both are unquestionably important), but also on a broader scale. I've always been fiercely sensitive to the fragility of life. It can be awfully overwhelming at times, but it also helps me to appreciate the 'little things' and I'm so grateful for that. And it also means that, to me, good health is the holy mecca and I'll never, ever take it for granted.
Life truly is magic. George and I had such a great year and it feels like we are the strongest team ever. I grow more appreciative of our marriage every single day. The day-to-day with him is my favourite, special & so much fun. Everything we are working for feels a lot closer in reach, and while the hustle can get frustrating, I am so appreciative of it. It's taught us to be extra supportive of each other and have patience & perseverance...the hard work will be worth it.
Eddy brings a lot of the fun factor. I love nothing more than hanging out with George, Eddy & Winston...the boys! It's the best thing ever having my husband & brother be best friends, it's such a gift.
This year will be quite a big one for travel and adventures. We've booked trips to Perth, Boomerang Beach, Hunter Valley, Orange, Thredbo, London & France. We will also be booking one to Adelaide and hopefully San Fransisco. Some will be for work and others just for holidays. One of my goals for the year is to go on more weekend trips with friends - I just booked one in today so we're on the right track! Yay!
This new blog also falls under the 'personal' aspect of life as I plan to share more stories that aren't necessarily work related. I struggle to get back into that blogging rhythm as I admit it's no longer one of my top priorities. However, I do think it's beneficial for both work opportunities and documenting life, so it will be something I aim to do at least once a week throughout the year.
I am so incredibly excited for this year. This year I want to feel focused, inspired, mindful, creative, intentional, adventurous, courageous, confident & content. That's a lot of words and feels but they all depict the kind of life I want to live & I'm excited for the challenge.
My personal mission statement + manifesto for 2017 (and beyond):
To be a joyful, passionate & loving energy. To be an unshakable optimist and celebrate the magic of the everyday. To be a positive force in the lives of others.
Here's to a fresh new year full of endless opportunity. I wish you the very best from the bottom of my heart xx