Clichéd and cheesy or not, I rather like the end of the year as a time for reflection and a chance to look back over the past twelve months.
Although on the grander scale, 2016 is being described as something of a disaster year, I've found it wonderfully refreshing to read how it's been a year of personal positivity for many people. And I'm including myself in this. It's only when I take the time to sit back and think that I realise just how much I've accomplished in 2016.
Right at the start of the year, I was still at university - a final year medical student anticipating all the final milestones on my journey to graduation. I found out I'd passed my medical school finals, then a few weeks later was delighted to hear that I'd been confirmed to have a job as a doctor once I'd graduated. Come the summer, in the midst of that heatwave, I donned a black gown and graduated from student to doctor - undoubtedly my biggest achievement of 2016.
It wasn't all about educational achievements though. I also took on a challenge I'd never have dreamed of a few years ago. I can hardly consider the annual PE cross country day and two or three schools' competitions aged about 14 much of a running career, but it was all the experience I had when I signed up for the Bath Half Marathon (under the influence of my equally inexperienced housemate and a good dose of prosecco each). But I religiously completed the three months of training - beautiful sunrise jogs around Clifton and less beautiful, rainy slogs through the backstreets of Yeovil - and actually really enjoyed myself on the streets of Bath!
2016 was also an outstanding year for me in terms of travelling. I was fortunate enough to spend a full two months in Cape Town, South Africa, mixing work and pleasure as I finished off my degree with an elective period in a psychiatric department. Then after a brief unpack/wash/repack of my luggage, I headed off for a a mini-tour of Milan, Budapest and the coast of Croatia.
Holidays over, I moved into a new flat all ready to start my new job as a doctor. I've already completed my first four month rotation, and I'm getting stuck into job number two.
So with all that behind me, what's to come for 2017?
Well, first and foremost - I'm still planning on keeping this blog going! A hectic last few months has made it tricky, but I do love writing here and keeping up with the blogging world. I'm planning on taking things back to basics, worrying less about numbers/ social media presence/ flashy photography and more on just writing about the ins and outs of day-to-day life.
Secondly, despite the previous point - I do want to work on my photography. Buying my camera this summer has honestly been one of my best investments. I love taking it out and about with me and I've finally plucked up the courage over the past few weeks to learn to use it in manual mode. My job doesn't allow for a lot of creativity, so this has been my outlet and I'm keen to keep learning.
Keep cooking. I'm very good at looking through all the cookbooks, recipe cards and food magazines on my shelf - less good at trying new things very often! I want to try and make an effort to continue experimenting and finding new favourite meals.
Well this one is definitely a cliché and I'm trying not to care too much about that! But, err, I joined the local gym... As someone's who's never set foot in a gym before this is slightly terrifying but I'm hoping it will bring good things. So any bloggers with advice - please share!
Self care. Towards the end of my last job, I was getting into bad habits of finishing work late (due to workload rather than choice), eating rubbish dinners and then pretty much getting straight into bed. Now I'm trying to make more of my evenings and actually enjoying my free time - whether that's going out and seeing people, or simply getting comfy and working through the pile of books on my bedside table...
The year will also bring a further two new jobs, yet another move and hopefully some more travel along the way!
What have been your achievements in 2016 and what are you looking forward to in 2017? Let me know!