How to Make This Year Better (Step by Step)

I absolutely love the idea of a fresh start. Even if nothing bad has happened in a certain aspect of your life, it’s nice to feel as though you can wipe the slate clean and just check in to see how you feel about something, to make sure that things are the way that you want them. There’s not always a need for change but everything can be improved upon at some point. Be it, your habits, relationships, plans etc etc.

I wanted to write a post about goal setting and the best ways to do it, but I think everyone and their mother has done one of them in the last 3 days. So I sat down to have a good think about ways in which you can improve on the past year, instead of setting yourself goals. I’m all for goals and resolutions, you’ll know that from yesterday’s post, but there is a definite difference between something you want to achieve that you haven’t before, and something that you have that you can make better.

In no particular order, I’ve summarised 8 different parts of my life (and probably yours) and broke it down so that you can clearly see the points that you might need to work on. Through reflecting and then, planning, I think that this could be a different way to assess different things that you may not have noticed were bugging you in 2017.


Reflect: How did the people in your life last year make you feel? Did someone in particular suck the life out of you? Did someone come into your life and literally change it? Take note of the people who positively impacted your day-to-day life and those who you could really do without this year. Maybe you need to break up with that person, and focus on yourself. Or maybe you need to reach back out to that person who you parted ways with last year. Maybe you feel like you were better together. Being honest with yourself is key, but you also need to prioritise yourself.

Plan: Dealing with people is always tricky. Everyone has things going on behind closed doors that you don’t know anything about. While I do think you have to be careful with your time and your energy, you also need to be compassionate. Maybe someone was a pain in the ass and you would rather spend less time together this year, but everyone also deserves a second chance so just bear that in mind.


Reflect: Where to you spend your time last year? Did you travel much? If so, did you go where you wanted to go?

Plan: Over Christmas I was thinking about where I want to go this year. Usually when it comes to planning holidays, the cheaper option will always win. But at the same time, what if this was your last chance to go somewhere that you really wanted to. Plan ahead and go to the place you’ve been dreaming of. Santorini, you’re expensive, but I’m looking at you this year!


Reflect: Did you look after yourself last year? Did you exercise? Drink water? Did you get your Smear Test that you’ve been putting off? When was the last time you got your bloods done? Do you know how to check yourself for lumps in your breasts? (I don’t, I don’t even know if there is a specific way that you should?) I know that escalated quickly but you hear horror stories regularly of people who have health scares and it’s just not worth not spending 50/60 Euro to make sure that you are okay and healthy. Admittedly, I’m a complete hypochondriac when it comes to my health, which actually really stresses me out. I get my bloods done wayyyy to regularly, but I’m literally terrified of getting seriously unwell. Our health is your wealth though, as the saying goes!

Plan: Look after yourself this year. Make a plan, eat your veggies and get some fresh air as much as possible. Mark on your calendar when you need to go back to the doctor for a check up, and book in for your Smear Test if your letter is sitting in your drawer! Do it, now!  


Reflect: How were you financially this year? Were you living pay cheque to pay cheque? Did you spend beyond your means more than once? Or are you the queen of saving? Being honest with yourself about money, spending, and your future plans is so hard, but so necessary. Eventually you are going to have to start planning for the future and it definitely would be easier with a little cushioning from money that you’ve put away previously.

Plan: A lot of the time we don’t really have much control over the money coming in, but we do need to take control of the money going out. I’m going to do a really, really detailed YouTube video in the next week on saving money so stay tuned!


Reflect: How did you feel about your job last year? Are you making progress? Do you have goals in place, that your manager is aware of? Were you bored out of your tree and crying on the inside until 5 o’clock rolled around? It’s so, so, so important to be honest with yourself about how you feel in your job. It’s what you do and will spend the majority of your life doing, so it has to put a smile on your face.

Plan: Maybe you feel like you need to completely change it up, or maybe you need to be honest with yourself and plan to work a little harder, stay in a little later, and really prove to your manager that you’re worth the pay-rise or the promotion. I’ve been in that sticky situation where you have that overwhelming feeling that you’ll never be happy where you are. To be honest, I’ve quit 3 perfectly good/great jobs because I just couldn’t do it anymore. But, I never left without having a plan in place/enough savings to keep me going or a new job to go to. That last sentence is key. Planning is everything.


Reflect: How did you spend your free time last year? Did you lose an accumulation of days scrolling on Instagram? I probably did to be honest. But I don’t need to tell you that there is nothing to gain from that. Watching and analysing other people’s lives is something that we all do way too much, while we could be focusing on bettering our own lives. I read one book last year, and listened to two audiobooks…in a full year! That’s a joke!

Plan: My plan this year is to read a book a month. I’m not not doing it. If I have to stay up all night on the last day of the month then I will. 😎 But seriously, maybe you should sit down and think about how to spend your weekends or evenings. Of course you should a lot time to staring at the ceiling and debating all those things that go on in your head, but even if it’s watching a new series a month, or picking back up that language you learned in school, or watching YouTube tutorials on something you want to improve on, then plan it! Don’t lose hours of your week on Instagram, it’s not going to better yourself. And you want to make this year better, remember? 😉  


Reflect: How did you feel last year? Maybe you’re someone who suffers from anxiety or depression or anything else that can leave you feeling like you’re not yourself. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to not suffer from anything. I know myself that I’m not dealing with any of the above, and I never would claim to understand how it feels because I simply don’t and it’s not cool when people jump on the bandwagon or throw words around loosely about how they might feel. That’s another topic completely but you know what I mean. Anyway, did you practise meditation? Or mindfulness? Did it make you feel better/did you hate it?

Plan: Whatever it was, do what you enjoyed doing or not doing last year. I tried mindfulness a few times and to be honest I couldn’t get on board with it. So many people swear by it, and I wish I could do it but I’m so easily distracted I couldn’t focus on it at all. It just wasn’t for me and that’s grand! Personally, what really clears my head is sprints on the treadmill in the gym. So random, and something I dread. But time and time again, whenever I do it, I feel ten million times better. So I’m planning lots of sprint sessions per week this year! Well, four to be exact!


Reflect: Do you do things that people point out as annoying? Or maybe you do things that irritate yourself.  Whether it’s never bringing the rubbish in from the car, or letting your room get way too messy, or maybe you instantly see the bad in people before you get to know them and then you realise that you could actually be best friends? Maybe you smoke? Or always leave the immersion on, or your straightener (me!). Take note of these things.

Plan: I, for one, promise to never finish my hair without turning the GHD off at the switch and making a mental note that I’ve done it. The amount of times I’ve turned the car around on my way somewhere for fear that I will burn my house down with the dogs inside it. I need the peace of mind, haha! But for you, like I mentioned above, take note and just try and be conscious of your habits, because they are really hard to break, but not impossible.  

Okay so there you have it. Go through each of these sections and see if there are things you want to improve on, or maybe decide that everything is fine as it is. I hope that you enjoyed this Wellness Wednesday post. I started them last year and you can expect lots of wellness type posts this year too!

Happy Wednesday,

Niamh xx

Outfit courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger.

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  1. Elaine
    January 3, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    Great post ! Love your honesty it’s so refreshing ! Here’s to a 2018 living our best lives (hopefully) xx

    • cinnamonsoul
      January 15, 2018 / 4:19 pm

      Thanks Elaine! xx

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