It’s that time of year again. Time to sit down and map out this ‘dream year’ post of mine I’ve been doing here on my blog since 2016. Just incase you’re new to it – it’s a post where I write down what my DREAM 2020 would look like in relation to Travel, Career, Relationships and Wellbeing. It’s funny, this year especially, lots of you have been asking when it’s going to be ready so I was eager to get it live. But also, I didn’t want to rush it. I’ve used the last few days here in New York to really have a good think about what I want the year ahead to look like and now I’m finally ready to sit down and share it with you too.
It’s always quite a personal post and sometimes, it can even be a little daunting sharing my feelings/goals/hopes with thousands of you…but it keeps me accountable, it gets the ball rolling and it’s always very useful to have this post to look back on throughout the year.
And I think this one will be more raw and real than ever.
I know lots of you have taken inspiration from it over the years and now do it yourselves too and I’m always so happy to see the messages from you telling me how much it helps. It really doesn’t take that long at all to do, so hopefully when you finish reading this, you can take a few minutes to do it too.
Now let’s get into it….
This year, I’m going to start off with Wellbeing because to me, it’s 110% the area I need to work on most.
I’m going to be very honest with you, last year as a whole was not my happiest year. Yes, it was a year full of many amazing things/milestones (new visa, new apartment, new work achievements) but during some parts of the 2nd half of the year, out of nowhere, this weird & really low feeling of unhappiness kept creeping through. The tiniest things were stressing me out, I was for the first time in years so unfocused, I was so cranky to be around at times (sorry Tommy!!), my energy levels were the lowest ever and overall, I just didn’t feel myself.
I even feel guilty writing this as there are SO many worse things happening in the world, but no matter how ‘good’ things are going or how many successes are coming your way, if you’re not feeling 100% yourself – none of them will ever matter.
Nobody knows you better than yourself and you will always always know when something’s not right.
But after having a few weeks off at the end of the year and finally giving myself a chance to properly address what was causing it all – I can thankfully say I already feel 10000 times better and I wanted to just talk a little about it in this post.
And being totally honest, because I’m feeling better – I really thought about not even sharing this. But it’s a new year and I need to be more honest than ever with you. What’s the point of all this if I can’t share the good AND the bad? We all go through shit times. We’re human. And the more we can talk to each other about them, the better it will be for everyone.
So looking back on 2019 & taking everything into account, what are the areas I need to work on in 2020 to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
Yes, I know, I know…..such a buzz word being thrown around everywhere. But there’s a reason it is. It’s more important than EVER. We live our lives through rectangular devices which are glued to our hands, we’ve forgotten how to properly switch off & quite frankly, we’ve forgotten how to truly live in the present. Yes, it sometimes brings happiness but unfortunately, I also think it steals it from us sometimes too. When was the last time you went somewhere for a full day and left your phone at home? Yes, I can’t remember either.
I’m fully aware that technology has brought SO much good and I’ll never ever stop being grateful for it how much it has helped me in my career. But it’s 2020 now – it’s time to set some boundaries and switch back, every now and again, to how life was before it.
So in 2020, whether I like it or not, my daily routine is changing. No excuses, no stopping after January…my lifestyle has to change. My day will no longer JUST revolve around my phone, work, etc. and I (and many of you reading this) need to look after myself/ourselves.
I’m going to do a much more detailed post about this after I’ve tried out everything for enough time to see what’s actually working best to keep my mind on track but just to give you an overview for now, here are examples of some things I’ve already started to implement EVERY day:
2. At least 2L of water.
3. Some form of exercise (can just be a 20 min walk but movement has to happen every day).
4. 6am wakeup time so I have the first hour to myself, WORK-FREE each morning. (This has been amazing so far!)
5. Healthy Food and MUCH less eating out.
As I said, I’m going to expand on all this a lot more throughout the year and probably even make it into some sort of series but for now, I’m already happy with the progress so far.
This one sort of ties in with the daily routine part but I wanted to give it it’s own section because of the importance. Just this week, I found out from blood tests that I’m very low in Vitamin D. Like anyone else, first thing I did was google ‘Low Vitamin D Symptoms’ and it was like everything just immediately became clear. Every article said: Low energy, gets sick often, low mood, sore muscles, back pain. This was part of the problem!! If not the main reason for how I was feeling last year.
When it came to the end of the year here in New York, I was just about to start Vlogmas and I had never felt so burnt out in my whole life. My heart wasn’t even fully in Vlogmas which was another alarm going off in my head. I just kept thinking ‘I LOVE Vlogmas – what was wrong with me this year?!’ But I pushed through anyway, went ahead with Vlogmas and the day after I started…..I got SO sick. Emergency care kinda sick.
I think Kaelin was so tired of me complaining about always feeling tired/sick that she actually rang my Mom to ask her to make a Doctor appointment with my Irish GP so I could do my bloods when I was home. She knew I wouldn’t make time for it during my busiest work time in NY (December) but she knew I wouldn’t bail on my Irish GP. So off in I went when I got home and low and behold, there was something off. It just goes to show….we HAVE to listen to our bodies. When something feels off, it’s because something probably is.
So I’ve now stocked up on Vitamin D (and also b12) and I just couldn’t be more excited to hopefully see a big overall improvement. I’ll keep you updated & if you are overdue a bloods test, schedule it in for next week.
And lastly, MORE time off this year. Proper time off. Since starting Retro Flame, I’ve been conditioned to think I need to always be working. Always sharing everything. There’s always something I could be doing so why would I be taking time off!? But after 8 years, I’ve finally got wise to the fact that time off actually helps. Who knew!? Lol.
I took a week off from posting over Christmas and I just loved every second. It made me see things clearer when I went back to work, my mind is so much more focused this week and I feel like I can finally think straight again.
So goal for the year – PROPER time off every few months and a few phone-free hours every single weekend.
If you also work for yourself, you’ll know that this is often easier said than done but let’s make 2020 the year we keep this promise to ourselves.
Then moving onto my dream travels for the year. Where am I hoping to see in 2020?
2. Hawaii (Was on my list last year too – so need to make it happen this year!)
3. Mexico (Could possibly be going for a work trip which is exciting)
4. Nerja, Spain (Tommy & I have a wedding there)
5. Napa Valley
I also have a fun girls trip planned to Miami, would love to possibly re-visit Paris at some stage (you can never have too many trips to Paris) and would also love to take any opportunity to see more of the US.
Honestly, I’m open to it all this year. I might tick all 8 off the list, I might tick 1 or 2. I’ll be grateful for whatever comes my way & all the spontaneous trips in between.
I do always love to be a bit bold with my travel goals because when you look back at a year, your travels are always one of the first things you think back on. So why not see more of this beautiful world we live in? Always worth every penny.
Next up: My career goals for 2020. Always the list that takes up most of my thoughts this time of the year (& I’m sure the same for a lot of you).
What is it about a new year that just adds that extra little bit of get up and go to us? I have to say, I love it.
I usually write a very long & more broad piece about my career goals but this year, I’m going to keep it a little more brief & specific. I’m going to be really honest about them – no fluffing around.
I sat down on Monday here in New York and just jotted down the first things that came into my head. I didn’t want to overthink it, I just let them flow naturally and these are the things I wrote:
1. New Website (it’s almost ready & it’s amazing!!!!).
2. Re-brand my socials.
3. Film a full apartment tour & bring more focus back to interior videos.
4. Reach 100,000 subscribers on Youtube.
5. Create some new series both on my new website & Youtube channel that will truly HELP people. Back to where it all began.
6. Focus way way more on Second-hand/Vintage clothing & outfits. Create a new series around this.
7. Do a design collaboration with an Interiors brand (this is ambitious I know, but when I wrote it down it brought the biggest smile to my face so I need to make this one happen).
8. Use my platform to work with a charity.
… a snippet of some of my dreams for the year ahead. There are a few more big ones too but if I can tackle this lot first, I’ll be happy.
*p.s. I recently listened to THIS podcast and one thing that really stood out to me was when he talked about the importance of keeping the promises you make to yourself and how it helps your confidence so much. Will definitely be keeping this in mind all year when I’m working towards these goals.
And then last but definitely not least, how do I want my relationships to look in 2020?
One word: Better.
It really is true when they say that you have to work on yourself before you can fully be the best person for other people. When I wasn’t feeling 100% at times last year, I know myself I was far from the best girlfriend, sister, daughter, friend and so on.
I let my stresses affect how I reacted to things.
But I learned so much from it. And I learned how I WANT to be this year.
I don’t say it enough, but I really am so lucky with Tommy. We’re not perfect, no couple is. But it’s really only as you get older, you realize what’s important. I’d be lost without him. I’d also be lost without Kaelin, my parents, my friends (+ our WhatsApp groups, haha). If you’re lucky enough to have good people in your life, you need to make the biggest effort you can to be just as good back to them.
So this year, let’s all make a pact to put our phones away when we meet a friend to catch up (and if my friend, Ciara, is reading….I promise I’ll be better at being on time in 2020 :) ), to be more present when with loved ones & to really carve out quality time together. Also just because you see what someone you know is doing on social media, don’t forget the importance of sending a check-in text or making the time to call.
Good conversations & quality time together – that’s what’s important.
And one last thing too… let 2020 also be the year of re-connecting. Maybe you’ve fallen out with someone over something stupid, maybe you’ve just become distant over time. Make the effort to re-connect this year. It’s not always the easiest thing to do but it’s something I started to do last year (& want to continue to do this year) and I can’t tell you enough about the impact it had on me. It’s so unbelievably freeing to just move on.
I’ll definitely talk more about this throughout the year too if you’d like to hear about it.
Anyway, this has taken me hours to finalize at this stage, haha, so I’m going to leave it here. I really really hope you enjoyed reading and hopefully took a thing or two from it to inspire you for your year ahead too. One thing I keep saying to myself is ‘Old ways won’t open new doors’. Take the risk (so what if you fail), be brave, try new things & get out of your comfort zone. None of us want to be sitting here in 12 months time looking back on a year that looked the exact same as the last one. That is NOT how life should be.
So here’s to an incredible 2020. I truly wish you all so much happiness & health and I’m excited for yet another year together :)
Talk soon & thank you for reading,