I relish the opportunity to be a ‘#newyearnewme’ basic. If you’re reading this, you’re either the same as me and have already scrawled down a list of things you want to achieve during the year ahead… or you’re rolling your eyes.

I get it, so rather than dedicating my first post of the new year to a list of goals or ‘resolutions’ for 2019, I thought I’d spend some time reflecting on the year that’s just past and the different things I accomplished…

…the next post will be my resolutions.

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I’ve been dieting on and off with varying degrees of success for the last… decade. Last year for my birthday, Sean paid for me to have 12 sessions with a personal trainer and it ended up being one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. Since I started training with my PT, I’m not just fitter and stronger but I’m calmer, more confident and more productive. I ended last year having lost 20lbs since September, which in addition to weight lost earlier in the year, means I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since 2015. More importantly though, I ended 2018 the happiest I’ve been in some time and I’m so excited to see what I’ll accomplish this year.

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In March last year, I made the decision to transition to 100% cruelty-free beauty, skincare and cleaning products. I’ve been vegetarian for over half my life, but it took me some time to commit to going to cruelty-free and I anticipated that it would be difficult. Honestly though, apart from some mishaps with natural deodorants, it’s been a breeze and is one of the things I’m most proud of achieving last year. Some big brands like Covergirl and Dove went cruelty-free last year, and California banned the sale of animal-tested beauty products. I think this year there’s going to be a real shift away from animal testing in the cosmetics industry , which is so exciting and I’ll definitely be writing more about cruelty free alternatives.

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We should all be trying to reduce our plastic consumption and last year I pledged to stop using plastic straws. It might sound like a small change, but as a hangover from my days with braces I used to use a drinking straw with pretty much everything - even hot coffee! In 2018 I broke up with the habit and this year I’m switching to a reusable coffee cup, rather than accepting disposable ones. Small changes add up over time!

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This ones a little embarrassing to admit, but as a 25 year old woman, I still found myself reaching for authors I read as a teenager when choosing a new book. I realised I just couldn’t relate to teenage protagonists any more and so last year, I decided to grow up and start challenging myself more with my reading materials. One of my greatest feats was getting through ‘Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders’ by Vincent Bugliosi, an incredibly detailed, first hand account of the Manson trials. I’m not really sure what I was expecting but I would never have picked it up if I’d realised it was 736 pages long... I’m glad I stuck with it though. I might do a post on the best books I read in 2018, but I definitely read some interesting things!

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…twice! In the summer, I was promoted and moved to a different role and department within my company. A couple of months later, I won employee of the quarter and was awarded it again at the Christmas party. I’m really proud of these awards, not least because they were awarded after I joined a new team. I’ve gained so much confidence in my new role and absolutely love what I’m doing. I hope 2019 will be another successful year!

So, that’s me! Did you stick to the resolutions you made for 2018, and what were you most proud of last year?