How I Kickstarted 2018

Normally when its been a while since I sat down and hammered out a blog post, I always seem to start it off by letting everyone know I’m back, that my break from blogging was unintended and that I’ve got my writing ‘spark’ back. This then leads to a few weeks of being super creative, coming up with tons of new content in my mind and failing to bring it to life, mainly because I’ve returned back to my normal, pessimistic self. It’s been no secret that for way too long, I’ve been trapped in a very negative mindset with only just a few brief periods of creativity and positivity before I go back to my old ways – hence the 1000 times I’ve started blogging again to give it up a few mere weeks later.

When you’re in a negative mindset, you cling to anything else that helps justify why you should feel that way. If you read some of my previous posts, you’ll see I’ve spoken heavily about the state of the blogging community at the time. How it was disheartening, turning into something I didn’t want to be a part of, the petty drama, the divide between the big dogs and the small fish in the pond. Blogging was the one hobby I felt like my mental health hadn’t taken ahold of but looking back, it certainly had. I was unable to turn a blind eye to all of the negative things that were happening. I’ve been open about never fully feeling part of the blogging community and I’ve always wondered if people cared about what I had to say; so when a wave of negativity presented itself, it was the perfect excuse to say “this is why I don’t want to be a part of this anymore” and close myself off. My hobby was no longer mine because I genuinely believed it was a huge attribute to my state of mind but the reality was, it wasn’t. I just allowed myself to believe that was the case and couldn’t focus on all the positive, amazing things it has brought me over the years.

Mid-December, I hit a bit of a turning point. I was starting to notice my good days outweighing the bad. Starting to find my life resuming to normal and starting to think happier positive thoughts. I could feel myself starting to be more content, being much kinder to myself and starting to be able to plan ahead. I have spoken before about not making New Years Resolutions – instead opting to see where life takes me than trying to dictate what happens but, stepping into 2018, I wanted to do one thing: keep up this positive mindset and do all I could to maintain it. I don’t want to tempt faith on the 4th of February but .. so far, so good. January was by no means easy; I had my wobbles, a few bad days and some fleeting thoughts on whether I was actually succeeding at staying positive but now, reflecting back on the month as a whole, I really did succeed. On top of changing my mindset, there have been a few changes I’ve made that have without a doubt been positive contributions to my physical and mental health.

One of the main things I’ve overhauled has been my diet and fitness regime; yeah yeah, so cliche, I know. I used to roll my eyes so hard when people would speak of the impacts eating healthy and working out made to their general wellbeing but I’ve been very happily proved wrong. I’m eating much healthier, cooking meals from scratch, doing Les Mills classes 3-4 times a week and it’s paying off; not only have I got much more energy, getting fitter and noticing my clothes feeling slack .. I’ve lost 10 pounds. The change in my lifestyle was all down to #shreddingforthewedding but now, it’s just about feeling good. I haven’t been tracking my calories, instead just making sure I make healthy choices and have one cheat meal per week which 10 times out of 10 seems to be pizza.

I’ve also been keeping a diary of absolutely everything from my mood, sleep, spending etc. It’s not War and Peace on the daily but it’s helping me keep track of my habits. Think bullet journal but literally, just bullet points. I don’t have the drawing skills, time or effort for one of those despite watching countless Youtube videos on them. Its been a really good way for me to see what really impacts on my day and on the spending front? I can’t believe how much I can spend without even realising it. All these little small purchases like a morning coffee or cheap eBay buys all stack up and since we’re saving for our wedding, it’s helping me reign in my once shameful spending habits.

2017 was the year I got into podcasts and audiobooks and since then, I find them a constructive influence in my life. Sometimes if I’ve woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning, listening to a motivational podcast improves my mood and snaps me out of grumpy bitch mode. I’m planning on doing a helluva extensive post on my favourite ones, split by genre etc so stay tuned for that. In January, I loved listening to The Hilarious World Of Depression –  a podcast all about, as you’ve no doubt worked out, depression. It has a lighthearted vibe to it while still tackling the serious issue. I’ve found it so comforting to the guests’ stories and it’s definitely helped me articulate how I’m feeling whenever I have my bad days. I’ve also just finished my first audiobook of the year – What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is someone I’ve always admired so it seemed natural to give this a shot and I’m so glad I did. Narrated by her, she shares snippets of her life littered with perils of wisdom and motivational advice. I took so much away from this and it will definitely be something I’ll relisten to in the future.

One final thing I think I have been doing is spending less time on social media. I’ve not had Facebook for a while now, purely because I don’t feel it’s a platform I enjoy anymore. I didn’t ever see the posts from people I wanted and had to trawl through nothing but repetitive memes constantly to see uploads from friends and family. I deleted my blogs twitter for a month and my reason for that ties into my whole intro about the negative mindset. Now I’ve reactivated, I’ve done a purge of all the negative accounts and fully utilized the mute option .. hurrah! I want to make a bit more effort with my blogs Instagram while also maintaining not spending as much time on it. Is it possible? Who knows but, I want to make sure I’m not using platforms for the sake of it and seeing the content I want.

These are only small tweaks or additions I’d made in January but I believe they are a big part of how I’ve managed to kickstart 2018 to the best start of a year I’ve had well, in a good few years. Keeping up a positive mindset is so important to me this year and anything I can contribute to that is a total priority. For a long time, I haven’t looked after myself and sadly, I’ve learned the hard way just how key it is that I do. I’m excited to see what the rest of the year brings and for the first time in a while, I’m enjoying looking to the future. It also feels great to be writing again after finally having the lightbulb moment on why I put a stop to blogging. I’m not allowing myself to get caught up in the negativity it can bring sometimes and now, I want to make more of an active effort to put more time and effort into making my little corner of the internet a happy, positive place where I can do what I enjoy most .. write.

How has your 2018 started off? Are there any resolutions you’ve put in place that you’ve already felt the benefit from? Do you do any of the above and feel they’ve also been positive factors in your life? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts below or you can always tweet or Instagram me at @whatamydid. Thanks for reading!