Many people will see this year as a stain in history for so many reasons. The political and social controversy, the new and ongoing wars, the natural disasters and the loss lives that affected so many of us. Of course other people have so many things that will also have contributed to their opinions of this year and will therefore be glad to see the end of it. I'm sure many of you have seen the "2016 - horror movie" video that's floating around Facebook and if you choose to see it from that perspective then yeah, 2016 was a pretty crap year.
However, when I look at my year (as in what happened to me or what I did this year) 2016 wasn't terrible. I graduated, with a 2:1 in a subject I love, I've been the happiest and most confident I've been in a long while, I got my ideal graduate job working for Hull 2017 throughout City of Culture, made amazing new friends and grew in ways I didn't know possible and therefore learned a lot about myself. Yes, the year has been challenging and there have been times I have been sad and sometimes even scared for what the future may hold, as I know many other people have too, but we came through these things. We came out stronger and like in all scenarios of significant change it became an opportunity to learn. Looking back, the past can be a useful tool to see how we could do things differently. Every year has highs and lows, and it might feel like 2016 was a whole lotta low, but there were highs during the year too, you just have to take the time to remember them, no matter how little they may seem compared to everything else.
As I have mentioned before, Little Victories are the ways I chose to look back on what had gone before in order to find something good in what felt to me like a whole lot of bad. So I am choosing to do that for the past year. And as well as looking back, I'm taking time to look forward to the year ahead.
New Years resolutions have never been a thing that sat well with me - the whole "new year, new me" crap just seems to belittle the person you were literally the day before. I'm all for self development but to set challenges that are unrealistic results in an unhealthy thought process. You don't INSTANTLY need to become someone new and 'improved' because the numbers on the date have changed. You are still you, and you are great as you are. If you want to change something then go ahead, but don't punish yourself. I guess my whole angst around this comes from peoples attitudes to fitness or loosing weight in the new year. Again, its great if people want to get healthier, in fact I want to get healthier and improve my fitness and I would encourage others to do so too. BUT, so often I hear people say they want to "loose weight fast" or they want to look like someone else. That's where I start to worry. You will always look like you, and development takes time and hard work. There isn't an 'easy' fix and honestly you shouldn't feel like you need to fix yourself.
Don't look back on the year and look at the negative, instead know that change is possible, you can learn from it and you should take each day at a time. To have goals is wise and I would always encourage people to set them, I have set goals myself for the upcoming year. But I would also encourage people to be aware that plans may change and therefore so would your goals, and these changes could effect your body, mind, career, relationships and or your finances. We as a whole seem to place so much emphasis and pressure on change, in both a negative and positive way. As 2016 ends, a year when change caused so much distress for so many, and 2017 begins, and so many are looking to change as a thing they have to do, I think we need to remember change isn't always bad, and neither is it always good. Change is inevitable, we can't control it. What we can control, is how we respond to it.
So as this year ends, remember the good along side the bad, and look to the new year with hope but also with the expectation that it too won't be perfect. Take each day as it comes, be good to yourself and try your hardest in all that you do. You got this. Make 2017 a year to remember and remember all that you can. Thank you 2016, but its about time you were over. Bring on the happy new year.