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Tuesday, 27 December 2016

A Year in Review #wwwBlogs


A Year in Review

At this time of year, it’s hard not to reflect on the past twelve months. However, it can be too easy to dwell on the negatives and forget about all the positive things that might have happened - births, marriages, new friendships, events, laughter, and love.

Before I shuffle off to enjoy a mince pie or two, I thought it would be nice to round off 2016 by doing a blog post dedicated to a review of my year. As many of my regular readers know, I do love to set goals and challenges, and I equally enjoy sharing the highs and lows with all of you. Why not do your own year in review? Feel free to add a brief summary in the comments below, or jot it in your journal. It’s a fun exercise to try.

Books I’ve Read: 50

Every year I set myself a Goodreads reading challenge. For the past couple of years, I’ve aimed to read 50 books and managed to achieve this. Some of my book blogger friends have read 200+ books this year. I think I’ll stick with my lower target of 50 for 2017! 

Here is a selection of the books I’ve read and enjoyed this year.
You can read the reviews for each of these over on my author blog.

Book/Blog/Holistic Events Attended: 11

I was on the Health and Healing Radio show in January to talk about my books.

Attended a couple of blogger/author meet-ups in Birmingham for the Book Connectors Facebook group, meeting many of my online friends face-to-face for the first time.

I was honoured to be a guest speaker at the ‘It’s Your Life West Midlands’ Wellbeing Show, where I did a talk about meditation.

After reading Writers’ Forum magazine for many years, I was delighted to appear on the glossy pages in one of their author features.

Every year I try to attend various Mind, Body, Spirit events selling my non-fiction books and crystal gifts. It’s always so much fun to meet readers in person and find out about their challenges and dreams.

I facilitated several Self-Publishing for Your Business workshops for local networking groups.

In June I went to the Annual Blogger Bash in London where I scooped the top prize for Most Inspirational Blog. 

Greatest Achievements: 2

Winning the Most Inspirational Blog Award was a huge achievement for me. Blogging is something I love to do, and yet it’s a lonely task, as is writing in general, and very often you can feel like it’s just you and your laptop. Not only was I nominated for this award (something that filled me with pride), but tons of people voted for me so I could win! That was a huge boost for my self-confidence and tugged on the old heart strings. Thank you if you took the time to vote for me, it was hugely appreciated.

I published three books in 2016, and I’ve written two more which are in the editing stages.

Guardians of the Sky (the second book in my young adult fantasy trilogy) was published in January, followed by Guardians of the Lost Lands (book three) in November. On 1st December I also published my Motivate Me! Oracle Guidebook which has received great feedback.

Goals Met for 2016:

I do love writing my New Year Resolution list but following a couple of years with health issues, having to close my holistic business, and coping with my depression and anxiety, the goals were few and far between this year. The couple I did set were based on my writing, health, and family.

  • Write and publish two books in 2016. I met and exceeded this goal!
  • Exercise a minimum of twice a week. I joined a local gym and began using the treadmill four times a week. With a recent chest infection, I’ve had to ease up on this, but I look forward to getting back to the gym in the New Year.
  • Spend more quality time with the kids. I can’t tick this goal off as it wasn’t achieved to how I’d pictured it in my head. Once upon a time I would take my three children out every month for a family fun day (ice skating, cinema, beach, etc.). However, my kids are now 18, 15, and 14 and have their routines, friends, and desires. The family days out didn’t happen very often, but I’m the only one who was upset by this. Kids grow up; the family dynamics evolve, and in 2017 I need to embrace these changes and set my family goals around the ever changing landscape that is teenage life!

Best Bit of 2016:

Winning the blogger award was pretty amazing, as was appearing on the glossy pages of Writers’ Forum magazine, but I have to say, for me, the best bit of 2016 has been the friendships I’ve developed, both old and new.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet many online friends face-to-face this year, friends who have been a big part of my ‘virtual’ life for four years. I’ve basked in the London sunshine chatting about kids, grandkids, and life in general, and I’ve sipped coffee and talked books, writing, and blogging with people who I only knew by their thumbnail photograph (apparently, I’m much taller than my picture!!). Social media can be a scary place sometimes, but the benefits of these platforms can offer incredible opportunities, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

There are people who come into your life and change it for the better, there are those who only stay for a short time and then disappear, and there are those friends who develop into something special. I’ve seen my friendships change irrevocably over the past couple of years, and I’ve noticed who has stuck by me when I hit rock bottom while learning hard lessons about negativity and misplaced trust. I could include the friendships I’ve lost in my ‘worst bits’ section, but I don’t want to dwell on these people. I want to embrace the positive energy I’ve received from those incredible friends who supported me and continue to do so.

Worst Bit of 2016:

Depression! I know I’ve blogged about this before and I know it came as a shock to many of my regular readers just how much I’ve struggled with mental health the past couple of years, but I feel it’s one of the most important topics to talk about. We all have a bad day now and then, but depression and anxiety are nothing like the bad day’s I’ve ever experienced before. A bad day can escalate into a week of inner torment, revulsion, and guilt. I’ve tried to notice the signs of a low period before it comes, but most often I’ve been side-swiped by it and had no energy even to muster a smile. I know that I neglected my blog for a large chunk of 2016 and depression was the main reason behind this. Trying to inspire, and offer advice to others when you feel such a failure is not conducive of a motivational blog!

On the plus side, I’ve done so much research, self-care, and soul searching that I should have enough content to fill my blog for the next few years now! When I have a good day, I write. I pour the words onto the page and revel in the passion of what I love to do. When I struggle to lift my head, I now understand that this is okay, and I don’t beat myself up about taking a time out.

So, my worst bit of 2016 has taught me an important lesson in learning to listen to my body and slow down. To allow myself those dark periods but not analyse and judge them.

New Beginnings - Goals for 2017:

With the New Year ahead I feel excited about setting myself goals. I understand that I still can’t take too much on and that’s okay. I will play to my strengths in 2017.

Writing and health will take centre stage again next year, but I also hope to be able to start running my workshops again. In 2016 I began developing a range of eCourses, and so I hope to deliver these in 2017.

I’ve been playing around with the brand of my motivational blog and will continue to tweak this until it feels right. I do know that I want to include lifestyle goals, motivational elements, and holistic health in the new range of topics. If there is something you’d like me to cover in 2017, please feel free to add it in the comments below.

All that remains to be said is Happy New Year! Thank you SO much for your support of this blog; for the comments, shares, and positive energy. I can’t express how eternally grateful I am to all my readers. Please know that everything I write about is in the hope it will help you, or someone you know, and that will continue to be my mission statement for 2017.

Join me on Monday 2nd January for my first post of 2017. I’m hoping to publish a new post every Monday, so it makes it easy for you to find new content, and join in with the community.

May 2017 be full of love, laughter, abundance, and happiness for you and your family.

Blessings

Shelley xxx

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed this post. Want more? Connect with me here: Twitter @ShelleyWilson72, Instagram or check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog. You can also find me on Pinterest

9 comments:

  1. Well done you, we all need to have goals and understand that some are easier to achieve than others. Looking forward to your 2017 posts.

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  2. I do believe that dreams come true if you work hard and stay focused. Well, i used to inspire people as well and provide the guest lectures in the institutes. Read out my interview.
    Simarpreet Singh

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  3. Best wishes for 2017. I look forward to the return of the once a week blog posts!

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  4. You achieved so much Shelley! Here's to smashing all your targets for this year too ��

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  5. I hear ya on the struggle with depression/anxiety, as I've been doing the dance with darkness since I was 13 (so, only a few years ago... *grin*).

    Oh, and I bet you could've checked off the, "quality time with the kids" goal - as you said, as they get older (mine are 16, 19, 22 and all still home) the definition changes. Some of our best family moments recently have happened on the couch watching a movie (and I've learned to relax if we all can't be there at once).

    Bright New Year Blessings!

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    1. Thanks, Traci. You are absolutely right, I've had loads of movie nights, giggles and coffee dates with my kids rather than big 'planned' outings that probably mean more to them than being dragged around a castle! lol ;) Warmest wishes to you guys xx

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