Anyway, so I've waffled about 'What I Wore in 2012' and 'Where I've been in 2012' and I guess this one should be entitled 'Small changes I've made in 2012' seeing as the inspiration for this mini mission came from the fabulous Rockalily Blog which I stumbled across in April this year.
I posted a mini update back in October about how making some of these changes had affected my year so far and I covered off 8 out of the 10 things on the list. Now I am back to waffle at you about all 10 things!
So, here are the 10 small 'things' I took into account this year. I hope you enjoy the read and even more importantly I hope it may inspire you as much as it did me back in April when I first read the list.
1. Dress like it matters. This can be small things like wearing jeans less, or wearing more smart than casual. It may be about giving your hair a 'style' or wearing lipstick.
Brighton Jollies : Flowers in hair and new sunglasses
Teeny tiny amounts of effort can indeed make the biggest of changes, particularly to ones self confidence. Personally I have found that wearing a bit of nail varnish now and then, styling my hair differently sometimes and putting a bit more thought into what I wear day to day has made me feel that little bit better about myself, especially when you the odd compliment gets thrown your way!
2. Read more. Perhaps set a specific title you want to read, or a goal of one book a month/week/year.
I wanted to read at least 10 new books this year... Hi-5 to me! These are the 10 I've enjoyed...
Steig Larson's 'Millenium Trilogy'
Terry Pratchet's 'Reaper Man' and 'Interesting times'
Nick Hornby's 'Fever Pitch' and 'High Fidelity'
James Patterson's 'Kill Alex Cross'
Mark Haddon's 'A Spot of Bother'
Alex James 'A bit of a Blur'
3. Watch less. You could do one evening a week with no television, or even one week....or a month?
Aside from the Great British Bake Off (which I watched over the course of 4 evenings with the help of marvellous catch up telebox technology) and a few episodes of QI and The Big Bang Theory, I think this year has seen a significant decrease in telebox watching and I haven't missed it one bit. Hurrah!
4. Realise what the small stuff is, and stop getting so stressed out about it. Catch yourself doing it, and distract yourself from it. Its pointless.
Over the year running has been the way I have learnt to stop myself getting too worked up about things. I have learnt to realise when I need a release and rather than getting in a tizz I now get my trainers on and lose myself in a nice run.
Alternatively on those extra bleak evenings and since November the other thing I have also come to realise works wonders for stress and anxiety is a cuddle with these guys...
Pegs & Toby : Sunshine Towers residents since Nov 17th 2012.
5. Learn to be alone. Perhaps you need to challenge yourself to go to the cinema alone? A pub? A restaurant? A holiday? Or even just an evening alone, with no television.
I didn't really see this as much of a change as I am already at ease with my own company and living alone gives me ample opportunity to potter about my quiet house more often than not. However there are 3 significant 'alone time' moments for me that stand out from the year...
Flying to India and home again on my lonesome - scary but exciting and totally worth it!
Decorating my bathroom - not usually something I'd do alone but I did it and it wasn't a disaster!
Running - as mentioned before, my most valued alone time and something that was new for 2012.
6. Say yes more.
One little word can lead to so many adventures and opportunities. The list of places I've been to, the time I've spent with friends, the people I've met and the achievements from this year alone is evidence enough. Recognising the power of this word makes you appreciate the things you CAN do in life.
7. Stop being mean to yourself. You wouldn't call your best friend fat or ugly, so don't allow your own thoughts to say these unkind words either.
Lets just say I'm getting there with this one... losing weight through running and trying to enforce point no.1 on this list has indeed helped. So, although I have my off days I'm getting there and intend to carry on throughout 2013!
8. Forgive more. Holding onto anger, bitterness or regret only causes you pain. Try and believe that most people want to be good, but just may make bad choices sometimes.
Life is short. As hard as it may be to let go sometimes, the feeling of doing so and being honest with yourself when you do can only bring good things. It's never easy, especially when it feels like someone so close to you has betrayed your trust but just remember, they are close to you for a bloody good reason and if you can let go you'll be better off for it. I can personally and whole heartedly say this. True Story.
9. Don't wait until people die to say all of the nice things to them. Try and say some of it now, while they are here to listen.
As much as it hurts to say this, I have learnt that realising this sooner rather than later is SO important. I lost a friend this year and although we were never really close he inspired me and many of my friends in so many amazing ways. I never told him this when I had the chance. I always believed he would come through the other side and be here. Now, no matter how many late night talks up into the sky I have with him it will never make up for the fact I should have told him every time he made me smile.
Even if it's just a text message, a picture, a silly link to a song or a simple 'Hello!' to those you hold dear can make all the difference to their day let alone reinforce what they mean to you. Life is short and precious. Open your heart, be honest and take that time.
10. Seek more fun. What makes you laugh? Try and do it more.
So many things in life bring a smile to my face. Here's just a few things that I regularly indulge in and will continue to do so for many moons...
Time with my whole family, no matter how many of them, who we visit and who I'm with.
Time with my niece, every second I'm with her.
Time with my friends. Old and new, investing time always brings smiles and memories a plenty.
Food. Especially combined with the above, always brings fun.
Running and cycling, although they don't make me laugh out loud that often I enjoy them very much.
Adventures! On my doorstep, far away, at home or abroad. I love exploring!
The kittens. They make me laugh and provide so much fun even when I'm just sat on the sofa.
So... there you have it. A simple yet important list that has actually helped shape and reinforce my perspective on life this year. Although I won't be blogging regularly about this little list in 2013, it will be with me for many years to come I'm sure and I hope you can see how taking the time to sit down and reflect on even the smallest things can have such positive results...
If you have got this far through this blog post, Thank you! Thank you for reading and I hope you've enjoyed the waffle. I'm not a big writer but I do enjoy sharing some of my thoughts so I hope they inspire and raise the odd smile!
Until next time... next year now... toodlepip! ☀