2016 was a year many of us will be glad to see the back of. So with the chimes of Big Ben approaching it is the time of the year when I look back over the last 12 months and how I did with my resolutions before looking at my resolutions for 2017.

It hasn’t been a great year and this is mainly down to me not being in a good place. I’ve struggled this year and I haven’t done things that I had hoped to do. This just adds to the problem. I debated whether to have resolutions this year and just see what happens if only just to stop the questions about why I haven’t done something yet and when I respond with an answer I receive a look of ‘yeah whatever’ (well that’s how it comes across). But no. To stop making resolutions is admitting defeat from the beginning and there is always something that I can do. I know I will do some and some I won’t but I will give it ago (even if you don’t believe me). First lets look at how I did in 2016.

First up are the red category resolutions. The top one was to get my own place and once agin I didn’t manage it. There are various reasons but ultimately they come down to me. Some people think I don’t want to which is as far away from the truth as you could get. In my head I am already planning on what it will be like in my own place where I would put things etc. I just need to move it from my head into reality. I’m also ready leave Darlington.  It isn’t the same town that I was born and grew up in. 2016 really made me think I don’t belong in the town anymore. So in 2017 me moving out really needs to happen no matter what. The second category red was to have a holiday (at least 5 consecutive  days). I sort of did this. I had a weekend in Edinburgh at the end of January (I had a brilliant time) and had 3 nights in Liverpool in October. As well as this I had a few stay overs in Newcastle. So although it wasn’t 5 consecutive days I have had a sort of holiday which is an improvement on 2015. The next category red resolution was to go out and have more fun.  I have looked through my diary for 2016 and it doesn’t show much fun. There are trips to the theatre, the two trips away, a friend’s wedding and that is it. In fact reading the notes I have made in my diary 2016 was not a fun year for me.  I really could have tried to have more fun it just shows how bad I got in 2016. The final category red resolution was dating. I think I had one maybe. That is about it and obviously not successful or in fact that memorable. I did rejoin some dating websites and updated my profile it just hasn’t happened. Online you don’t get reasons why but on some dating apps you do and its usually about how I look which really hits my confidence. Dating is about timing and luck and 2016 obviously hasn’t been a good time or a lucky year for my love life.

Right it is time to look at my amber resolutions from 2016. The first was to improve my personal wellbeing/mental health and fitness. This is an epic fail. My wellbeing this year has been bad. I have been very low, tired, lonely and confidence levels have been very low. Reasons for this are too many and probably not for a blog post although over the year I have hinted at some things. This resolution I had hoped would be one that I could improve on but in 2016 I was worse. I know I am better than this and I hope 2017 is better for me. The second amber resolution was to take more chances and break the status quo/routine. This didn’t happen I think when my wellbeing and confidence are low the idea of taking chances goes out the window.
The third amber resolution was to make time for myself and others and try to have one day a month off social media.Only when my wellbeing was rock bottom did I take some time for myself and have a break from social media but this felt quite drastic although needed. It helped and I went back to it when I was ready to . Also because I wasn’t in a great place I didn’t see when others were also struggling and let them down to  because I couldn’t see past myself. The final amber resolution was to learn to drive. This was always going to be an outside chance but I can see myself doing in the not to distant future.

Finally it is the category green resolutions. The first of which was to go to more live music. I actually went to less in 2016. The only gig being The Sons of Pitches. I need to go to more as I do enjoy concerts but I seem to be doing less of this. The second green resolution was to start a professional qualification. This I have done. Although it is early stages I have started it and will mean I am busy in 2017. The third green resolution was to write a book. I haven’t started writing a book but I did keep a notebook with me and jotted down ideas for characters and plots so it is sort of in progress. The final green resolution was to learn to salsa dance. The closest I have got to this is watching Strictly.

So 2016 hasn’t been the best year. A New Year though is a good time to draw a line under all of this and look ahead to the next year. It is like the feeling you get when you started a new exercise book at school all exciting and new and fresh.

Category Red

Get My Own Place

OK this is becoming a regular resolution but as I mentioned earlier it really needs to happen and that comes down to me. It could be the key change in my life that unlocks other areas of my life.


I have mentioned it is down to timing and luck which is true but some effort is also required. I can once again rejoin the dating sites but I also need to get out more and meet people and just ask them. No good having crushes on people and then not saying a thing to them. No one is asking so it is up to me to make an effort to ask. I’m not good at maths but statistically at some point someone will say yes… won’t they? I hope so as I am fed up of being single.

Man holding a note that reads 'call me'
Hint Hint

Put my wellbeing first 

Along with getting my own place this is up there as essential. I can’t have another year where my wellbeing is as low as it was in 2016. I need to be happier and build my confidence again. It won’t be overnight but I have a year to improve it and it can be done. To achieve this I will have 1 day a week where I switch off my phone, I will keep a journal about good things that happen in my day no matter how small, get over my awkwardness of hugs, take some time meditate and have 1 day in a month which is all about me where I can chill out and do something for me.


Get healthy and improve fitness

A few years ago I really got myself in a good shape. I lost weight and got more active but over the last year and a bit I really let myself go. I have put on weight and although I do walk a lot I need to do more. I also struggle with my body image which is odd for a guy to say but is probably more common than you realise. What I do know is that because I have done it before I can do this again.

Category Amber

Learn to Drive

Last year I included this but it was likely to be an outside chance. 2017 though it is more realistic than ever. The idea of being able to just drive somewhere is really appealing. However I won’t be saying whether I am or not until I have done it as I don’t want the pressure of being asked how its going.

Have Fun

In January I will be 36 which means I will be closer to 40 than 30. I want to start living my life and have some fun. So at least once a month I need to make time to have some fun. I need to say yes more to opportunities and offers that come along instead of saying no.

Friends – make time for friends old and new.

I need to be more sociable. If I go out its often on my own and I need to be more sociable. This will help with a lot of things especially my wellbeing as if I do have a bad time I can talk about it with someone. I also need to see if I have the right people in my life.

Save More

It is always good to save more money and this will help with getting my own place and long-term for holidays and other things.

Category Green

Go to more live music

I need to go to more gigs. They don’t have to be big arenas as long it is a decent band or artist I can spend some time listening to them. It also means I will get out and have some fun.


I hope to have some time away even if it is just a weekend but I probably will need to save some money for own place so it might take a back seat but if there is a slight possibility then I will take it.

Bake at least once a month

In 2016 I won the work bake-off (still very surprised at this) and not only did it boost my confidence at a time when I was feeling low but it made me realise I need to bake more as it had been a year since I had baked. So this could be a fun resolution.

My winning blueberry brownies in the work bake off
My winning blueberry brownies in the work bake off

Be more organised

In 2016 I felt I let things get on top of me and I needed to plan better. This goes for work, Staff LGBT Network, and personal life. If I can get things a bit more ordered then it will take some pressure off me.

Well there you have it my review of my 2016 resolutions but more importantly me looking ahead to 2017. A lot can happen in a year so let’s see what happens.