Almost a month into 2018, and I feel just about ready to write my 2017 year in review blog. If you look closely enough, you’ll see that I didn’t write a single thing throughout the whole of 2017 – not for my personal blog anyway (I did a couple of guest blogs here and here).

Booooo, hisssss, I hear you shout! I know, I know, I’m a complete letdown.

But, one of the reasons I didn’t prioritise blogging during 2017, was because it was one hell of a whirlwind! It was full of ups and downs, highs and lows and everything in between. I learnt so much about myself in 2017, and to be honest, it was a year that knocked the wind out of me and forced me to do some real reflecting over the festive break about who I am and what I want my life to be. (Pretty deep I know, but I’m not one to skirt around the edges of a problem).

So, in 2017 I spoke at more events than I can count (literally, I started trying to count all of my speaking events and couldn’t!). I am proud to say that I’m a part Northern Voices, where I got to present to the Secretary for the Department of Media, Culture and Sports. I took my first climb on the property ladder and I was asked to be a part of a delegation of Northern Female Founders on a Department for International Trade trip to Atlanta, Georgia. I went to Malaysia and did a few trips to Europe, I got a new job at the Department for Works and Pensions, signed a letter that caused a bit of controversy and did my first ever TedxTalk in the Isle of Man. And best of all, in 2017 I became an aunty for the first time!

But, 2017 wasn’t all fun and glory. It was a year of heartache too. I lost loved ones and faced my demons head-on. 2017 was the year that I started to deal with depression and anxiety that I’ve felt for as long as I can remember. It’s the year I stopped ignoring the way I was feeling and started to do more to put myself first, as often as I could. It’s the year I realised that if I didn’t look after myself, no one else was going to and it was the year where I finally paused for space to breathe.

I learnt so much about myself in 2017. I learnt what resilience means to me, and how strong I really am. I learnt how to deal with social media trolls and what to worry about and what to let go of. I learnt that meditation can change your life and how to be more open with the people I love. I’ve learnt to trust my network and how to give back to the people who give so much to me. I learnt the importance of reflecting on your values and understanding what they mean to you and I learnt how much better I function with proper sleep!

All that learning has meant that I feel like I’ve truly kicked off 2018 in a positive way and have a few life changes that I will make happen this year:

  • Blog once a month – because when we’re lucky enough to have a voice we should use it. And, if I fail to blog I’m going to donate £50 to cause I don’t believe in.
  • Call a friend or family once a week – because messaging and talking isn’t the same thing.
  • Go 90% chemical free on household products – because I’m lucky enough to have a choice.
  • Cut down on meat consumption – because I want a healthier lifestyle this year.
  • Stop using Uber – because I want to stop supporting companies that go against my values.
  • Stop drinking – because I just don’t want any more hangovers!
  • Keep putting myself first – because I haven’t learnt how to say no yet.

If you’d like to join me on any of my adventures then let me know, it’s always easier to do things when you have a partner in crime!

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