So here I am again at the end of another year and looking out over the horizon at what the next 12 months will bring while gladly watching 2015 disappear. Before I talk about the future it is a time of reflection on the last 12 months and my resolutions that I made.

2015 has been a tough year. My dad being diagnosed with cancer in May really blew any plans I had out of the water but I have tried to make something of the year although nowhere near as much as I would have liked. From my category red resolutions for 2015 I have failed on the main one which to move out and get my own place. Even if I had the chance in 2015 my Dad’s illness meant I needed to be at home to help out. The second category red resolution was date and I did mange to go on a couple of dates this year and did rejoin with an online dating site. They weren’t successful and it was me not interested in them and not the other way round. Still I at least tried and hopefully I can make more of an effort in 2016. The final category red resolution was to have more confidence in myself. It is a little tricky to say 100% whether I am more confident as it is a matter of opinion but I do feel more confident in my job and with my acting so I suppose that is some improvement. I just need to be more confident in social situations.

Right now to look at my amber resolutions from 2015. The first was to start a professional qualification. Although I haven’t started it yet I have made enquiries with the organisation that runs the qualification and spoken to others who have done it or are currently doing it. The second amber resolution was to be less anti social and to make time for others. I am still doing a lot on my own particularly at work and in my personal life. I have made more of an effort to sit with others at lunch time but could do more. I also need to ask people if they fancy doing activities such as cinema, theatre instead of just doing it on my own.There is no easy answer to this one and it is quite complex on many levels. The final amber resolution was to make a difference to someone or something. I did start a JustGiving account for 3 chosen charities for 2015 but this didn’t really get going and I should have done more. Once again it is difficult to validate whether I have made a difference to someone or something. I may have at work or in the work I do for the Staff LGBT Network but I can’t provide evidence that I have.

Finally it is the category green resolutions. The first of which was to travel. I haven’t really done much travelling this year. The furthest south I went was Manchester and the furthest north was Newcastle. Also not knowing what was happening with my Dad meant it was difficult to plan a holiday so I didn’t go anywhere. The second green resolution was to stress less. This is hard to validate also but I do feel as if I made more of an effort with this. I certainly bit my tongue a lot this year and didn’t say things that could upset. It has been a tough year and there were times when it did get to me so let’s just call this resolution a draw. The final green resolution was to write a book. You don’t have to check Amazon or visit Waterstones to know that I haven’t written a book this year or even started. I have jotted down ideas for books so maybe 2016 will be the start of my writing.

So a mixed year for my resolutions in 2015 but a New Year is about to start and I can draw a line over 2015 and look ahead at my resolutions for 2016 and here they are.

 

Category Red

Get my own place/move out

I know that this has been a high priority for me for a number of years and I haven’t managed it. But I can’t give up on it and from talking to other people it is the one thing I need to do if I want to move on with my life. I know it isn’t easy to do but I am excited to do this and I have to make 2016 the year it happens.

Have a holiday (at least 5 consecutive days away)

For a while I have been guilty of putting other things before holiday. It could be work, other commitments, family etc. Recently I have taken holiday because I had to and not because I need a holiday. I need to make time for holiday and that means have at least 5 consecutive days away somewhere. I have to remind myself that a holiday isn’t a luxury it is essential for my wellbeing.

Go out more and have fun

I am only 34 (35) in January but I feel as if I am older in years and I don’t do much for myself. I don’t have fun and this needs to change. If this year has taught me anything life is too short and I am only in my 30’s and should be having the time of my life. I should be going out, meeting new people visiting new places but I haven’t been. So 2016 I need to say Yes to more opportunities and just have fun and not be the shy quiet person hiding in the corner.

Date

Getting my own place will help with this especially if it isn’t in Darlington. I did make some progress in this area in 2015 but I need to do more. Going out more will help and meeting new people. I am not going to give up and think that is it for me. I need to ask people out and stop waiting for them to ask me. So in 2016 if I am interested then I’ll ask if you won’t.

Category Amber

Improve my personal wellbeing/mental health and fitness

I was going to split this resolution in two but realised that there is a link between my personal wellbeing/mental health and overall fitness. In 2014 I lost a lot of weight and got healthy and was really pleased with myself but in 2015 events going around me have become an excuse to ignore this good work and I have out on some the weight I lost. This has been tough for me and had meant the confidence I was seeing my body image has dropped. So I need to get healthy again in the New Year. Having done it before I know I can do it again. This will help with my wellbeing and mental health. I need to start being more positive about me and my life and look t the good things that are already there as it isn’t always bad. I need to learn to love myself and then people can start to love me as well.

Take more chances

Similar to the resolution about having more fun. I need to say yes more to opportunities. I always say I hate routine and love change but in reality I don’t embrace change enough and pass on opportunities. I am not going to be as extreme as Danny Wallace in his book ‘Yes Man’ but I will try to channel some of that attitude.

Make time for myself and others

As I have mentioned I don’t find time for myself as I let other things get in the way such as work and other commitments. I plan to get in touch with friends more especially those I don’t see that often. I also plan to have a day a month for myself. A day with no social media or checking my phone. Just  day to rest and be me without any obligations.

Learn to drive

When I asked for people’s input into my resolutions for this year I secretly hoped this one wouldn’t feature that highly. How wrong I was. So I am putting it on here. I will say though that it has been on my mind more this year especially with my Dad’s illness and some not so subtle hints from family and friends. I think I am ready to drive and I see an appeal for it which I haven’t before but I will do it when I am ready. That could be 2016 and if it is I won’t say to anyone until I pass.

Category Green

Go to more live music

I love going to live music events and in 2015 I only managed 2. I need to go to more. Try new music and just have fun. So anyone fancy any concerts/festivals in 2016 let me know.

Start a professional qualification 

This is a bit lower down on my resolutions this year following the responses from those who I asked about my resolutions. I can see me getting started with this in 2016 and also it will mean a new challenge at work which is something I feel I need at the moment.

Write a book

I  would love to start this in 2016 and have some ideas for books. To help with this I will keep a note-book with me to jot down ideas and write a bit. My phone is ok for notes but not that reliable so a good old-fashioned notebook will help.

Learn to Salsa Dance

This is probably the craziest thing on my resolutions and is on here it was picked by a lot of people on my resolutions survey. It would be good to learn to dance and salsa does appeal so maybe I will finally get around to doing this and cross it off my bucket list.

Well there you have it my 12 resolutions for 2016 (3 more than previous years). I hope I can achieve at least some of these and that they lead to a very happy and fun 2016.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

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