Serious question, did 2018 even happen? I know we all say this every year but I honestly feel like 2018 went by like a flash!
I am so excited for 2019, I feel little butterflies in my stomach! Aside from the impending feeling of doom over my annual blood test I have coming up, I cannot wait to get the year started!
Here are my top five (of many) goals and aspirations for 2019.
1. PHYSICAL HEALTH
I am entering this year focused on growing muscle and strength! My main goal for my body this year is strength. I would like to be able to do unassisted pull ups. It may sound insignificant but while I am slim and somewhat toned, I am NOT strong. My limbs are like sticks (thank you, dad) and are in desperate need of muscle definition!
2. MENTAL HEALTH
Firstly I want to touch base on how proud I am with how open everyone has become on social media regarding mental health. In 2018 I saw so many people come out of their shell and admit to the public their internal struggles. The awareness allowed others to feel brave enough to share their thoughts and it brought so many people together. Myself included.
Those close to me know I have battled for many years with depression and every aspect of anxiety (plus some). In 2017 and 2018 I finally decided to dedicate a big chunk of my time to professional help which included (and still includes) weekly therapy sessions, tests, assessments, and meetings. I have had a fair amount of trauma in my life and I didn’t realise for so long how badly it was affecting me.
Mental health is key to the quality of your life. I don’t have a specific goal regarding mental health as it is a journey not a destination (as cliche as that sounds), I take it one day at a time and focus on getting mentally stronger little by little. My aspirations for this year are to continue learning and expanding my knowledge on the topic. Firstly for myself , but also for others. Regardless of how hidden you try to keep it, mental illness affects every single person in your life. From your closest friends and loved ones, to the strangers you interact with in public.
I opened up on an Instagram story a few months back following a panic attack. I was having a bubble bath to try calm my body and mind, and instead of posting a photo pretending I was having a relaxing moment, I told the truth. The feedback I received from others who struggle with the same issues was overwhelming and heartbreaking. I didn’t feel strong enough to have helpful conversations with these people and it made me feel terrible. I want to keep learning and continue getting mentally stronger to ensure I can help not only myself but also those around me. With a growing Instagram audience, it is important to me for everyone to feel comfortable to contact me regarding their mental health struggles. I want to use what I learn in therapy and on my own through research to make sure I am not just a picture on the internet, but a friend for anyone for anyone who needs.
Please, always know that there is someone out there waiting and wanting to help. If you are in New Zealand you can call Lifeline on 0800-LIFELINE ( 0800 543 354) or text HELP to 4357, 24/7. They provide confidential support from qualified counsellors and trained volunteers.
3. BLOG GROWTH
I am bursting with excitement to see all of my blog posts at the end of this year! It is something I have always wanted to pursue and even if I only have 1 dedicated reader by December, I will be proud of myself regardless! I have so many drafted post ideas that I look forward to sharing and I know I will learn so much over the next 12 months! I’ve jumped down the deep dark hole of PhotoShop (for visual edits, not body amendments just FYI haha!). I can safely say it will take the whole year for me to be confident and comfortable using it, and creating the blog post edits I have envisioned. When I pick up a new hobby or something to learn about I go full obsessive mode. Photoshop and I have become very close and often stay awake past 1am together.
When Russ and I first met we went on hundreds of road trips, adventures, hikes, and mini holidays. Then we moved for six months, to his hometown Nova Scotia, Canada. It was beautiful and incredible and immediately felt like home. However we both missed New Zealand so we came back to settle down. Fast forward almost a year later and we have done hardly any travelling!
This year we are planning a mini holiday to Australia (my home country) or Thailand. Since we are saving to buy a home, we don’t have the bank account for big luxury trips. That being said, we love New Zealand and even visiting somewhere in the South Island can feel like a different country! Nelson is on the top of our New Zealand ‘to do’ list.
We also want to tick off a few places around the North Island over summer, so keep an eye out on my Instagram and here for those highlights.
Why can’t I live off wine, fries, and sushi? Why?
If you have been following me for awhile or pay attention to my Instagram photo captions ( I know it’s easy to skip over the long ones once in awhile) you will know I am Vegan. Four years, this coming March.
An automatic assumption is often “you must eat so healthy with all the fruit and vegetables you eat?!”
You are dead wrong my friend.
Maybe once upon a time I did, but currently my diet is not clean! Vegans now have access to thousands of (very convincing) imitations of everyones favourite foods. Condiments, meats, dairy products, junk foods, chocolates, and baked goods.
Up until 2017 when Russ and I moved to Canada I ate 95% whole foods and 5% processed imitation foods. It is now the other way around. Canada had the most amazing Vegan food! It changed the way I ate. When I returned to Auckland, suddenly all of my favourite items from Canada were now popping up in all of our grocery stores.
Big leafy salads with every meal became a thing of the past and so did my passion for cooking.
Thus bringing us to my fifth goal/aspiration for the year. Re-finding my passion for cooking and creating meals from whole plant based foods. Not only for me, but for Russell too. He has adopted a 90% vegan diet like a moth to a flame. He loves my cooking and misses how (humble brag) amazing our meals use to be. I feel so guilty about losing my kitchen creativity. So as of January 1st 2019, my 95% whole foods, 5% processed foods rule is back and here to stay!
If recipes and posts regarding the food I make and eat are something you want to see more of please let me know!
Thank you for reading! My Lifestyle posts will tend to be longer, as the topics require more writing. If you made it to the end, thank you!
Much love as always,