Another year over…

The first week of 2016 is almost coming to an end. And although I don’t believe in new years resolutions, this year I’d like to take some time and think about what I want 2016 to be like for me. Last year, I said that 2015 would be my year. I would do only things I really like to do, and not things I have to do. (By that, I don’t mean not paying taxes, unfortunately that’s still not an option.) I mean I choose to do work I want to do and to do only things that make me happy and not others, not things society would expect me to do. I hate being bossed around by people, so working for a boss is something I really don’t want.

Unfortunately, 2015 was not my year. Towards the end of 2014, I got a burn out. And, ignoring my doctor’s advice to take a couple of months off of work, almost one year ago now, I decided to do a traineeship and move abroad. A bold decision that I regret and don’t regret.

Regrets

I regret it because I could hardly recover doing a very demanding traineeship (I couldn’t really do my job anyway) and I found moving abroad in a condition like that extremely hard. After the traineeship ended at the end of July, I took time off to think about me and only me. What did I want out of life? How did I want to make my money? How could I make this happen? What makes me happy? Those kind of things. I found that taking this time off really helped me, and besides that I found a wonderful man who had been through something similar. We talked a lot and he really helped me speed up my recovery. He is now my boyfriend and I am truly grateful for that.

Gains

I don’t regret moving abroad because it has truly enriched my life. I finally took the step I wanted to take for so long but never had the money or guts for to actually do it. (Do you know these people who always want to do things like moving abroad or starting some studies or become a pilot or whatever, but never actually do it because they’re too scared? And then they get all upset and jealous because they see other people doing it? That’s kind of like me. Except I get frustrated. Until there comes a time that I can’t take it anymore and I don’t think, I just do it.)

This time, a great opportunity came along at the worst point in my life and I grabbed it with both hands. Even though it was very hard on me mentally and physically, I still did it and I am proud of myself because it shows me that I am stronger than I thought I was. Also, even though I couldn’t do my job as well as I probably could have if I was healthy and fit, I still learned a great lot about many things that I can really use for my blogs.

2015

So, 2015 was not my year. In the first half, I tried to recover from my burn out but it went slowly, very very slowly. The second half of the year was all about making that happen after all and, even though I still cope with energy and mood problems, I think I have come a long way. For the first time in my life, I really look forward to the next year in a very conscious way and I am all about being productive and making my freelance work and blogs grow. I am ready for doing something and making money again. I hope you are with me.

2016

So, what do I expect from 2016? I expect to make some big changes career wise but also personally. I have several blogs, of which a couple have been gathering dust for a longer or shorter period of time. I would really like to start working on them again and make them grow into something beautiful. Besides that, I will be starting yoga and body balance (a class which I absolutely love, maybe I’ll write something about that later) again.

As I said, I don’t believe in new year resolutions. I strongly believe that if you want something – may that be starting a business, losing weight, quitting smoking or finally fixing all those little things around the house -, you gotta do it right away. There’s no need to wait until the end of the year to do these things.

But this year, for me, it all just happened to be coming together towards the end of the year. Since I went to visit my family for two weeks and many of my goals require consistency, dedication and my own personal space, I have stretched them out to after the holidays. So here you find it, my goals for 2016, in no specific order:

Be happy
This is probably the most important one of my goals. Last year I didn’t make this happen, so this year I will make it work no matter what. No further explanation needed.

Get fit
In the past year, I have lost so much of my physical fitness and well being, that this is the year where I pick up and start again where I left off. I used to do work out classes at least two or three times a week and I have always been physically strong. Last year, I lost all of that and I experienced how it feels to not have any strength in your muscles anymore. I also got a lot of cellulite all of a sudden, after I injured my foot and wan’t able to walk a lot for months. I never ever want to go back to a place like that in my life so I will work hard to get back into shape. Being the lazy person that I am, that will be a challenge for sure.

Get my food back on track 
I have many food allergies, which can make me feel really bloody awful if I don’t pay enough attention to them. If I eat something I shouldn’t, I’ll be ok if I don’t eat too much of it. But a little bit every time really builds up and makes me feel physically weak, and gives me bad moods. I really need to get my diet back on track after the holidays and experimenting too much with certain foods.

Buy a fancy camera
And by ‘fancy’, I mean a real one. A reflex one. One with one of those lenses that, by twisting it around, you zoom in, you know? One with a wide angle or however they call that. One with GPS. And preferably one with which you can record HD videos. And sometimes it comes with an extra lens which lets you take totally different pictures. That would be cool, too.

I have been interested in photography for a while now and I really like to take pretty pictures. And trust me, my iPhone 6plus works really well, but it doesn’t always take the pictures I want to take. The lighting can be very tricky sometimes and capturing anything ‘on film’ in the dark is pretty much impossible with the device. Except maybe for a well-lit night sky with beautiful fireworks during new years eve! A good camera has been on my list for years and this is the year I will make it happen. Watch me.

Travel the country more
Since I moved abroad, I haven’t had the time or physical fitness to actually go out and see something of the country. I have visited other cities in the past, but I know the beauty is really to be found in the small villages, rather than the big cities. This year, I will go out and see more of the country!

Preparing to travel the world
This is something that’s been on my list since like forever, but I hope to make a start with saving up again. Or creating some kind of recurring income or a job I can do from anywhere, that will help me to travel more.

Learn more spanish
I have moved to Spain last year. My main goal was to learn the language, but working full time in a not-so-good condition isn’t the ideal situation to also study a language at the same time. Of course, any attempt I made, was almost useless. ‘Almost’, because I do remember some of the things I studied back then. Since October I’m taking lessons for a couple of hours a week at the Official School of Languages (Escuela Oficial de Idiomas). So I’m really working on that, but I feel I can take it up a notch. Which is what I will be doing.

Grow An Aesthetic Escape
This is the first blog I’ve started for which I really had a good idea about where I wanted it to go. Until now, I have managed to blog almost every week for almost three months already! For me, this is a huge accomplishment.

I really hope that I can grow this blog into something bigger. And by that I don’t necessarily mean to make a lot of money with it, although that would be a nice bonus. I really want to inspire more people to live a healthy, sustainable life and be conscious about what they put into an onto their bodies. And I also mean that for myself. Because there are many many things I still don’t know about and there is still a lot of ground to be won. May this be a learning experience for both you and me.

Find a good direction for my other blogs
As I said before, I have some other blogs. Of those, the two main blogs would be my travel blog and my personal blog on which I have done creative writing in the past. For my travel blog, I have already been doing some brain storming but I still can’t really get a clear idea about what to do with it. I have considered turning it into a photo blog, finding unusual facts about a country, city or culture and writing these down into a story or informative piece, or turning it into one of those super informative blogs on which you can find all kinds of information. I have tried to write travel stories or ‘reports’ but I find this hard. If you have any tips on how to revitalize my travel blog, please share them in the comments below.

Get my freelance work on track
I am a freelance writer and translator. Well, actually, most of my writing – if not all – I don’t do for money, but just for me. I try to find writing jobs, though. Translating, I actually do for work. But for both writing and translating it is very hard to find jobs. And generally, it doesn’t pay very much.

Being a freelancer means that you constantly have to look for jobs and you’ll probably spend half your time searching and applying for them. As a starter or part timer, you won’t get the job 9 out of 10 times. You need a really good (extensive) portfolio to get a lot of jobs.

Myself, I am easily discouraged. You see, this is not a good combination. Add a bit of laziness to the mixture and there you have it. A whole lot of procrastinating and doing nothing because ‘I won’t get any jobs anyway’. Well, I am done with that. It is time to make some money!

Do you have any plans for the next year? I’d love to hear them! Share them in the comments below if you dare and inspire us all!

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