2016 was a lukewarm year for me because it wasn’t exactly empowering or incredibly eye-opening and amazing because I think I went through all that in 2015 where I went through a year of self-discovery and self-love. 2016 was more of the year of improvements for me. A year where I try to make positive changes in my life and gain things that would add to the quality of my everyday life. However, it wasn’t a huge success but it wasn’t a total failure as well, which is why I call it a lukewarm year. It’s not cold, but it’s not that hot either. It was pretty much in between, some good things happened and some bad things happened. Where should I begin?

Let’s start with the positives :

  • I finally upgraded from a Samsung Galaxy S3 to an iPhone 6S. I know it seems really materialistic of me to include this in a year-in-review and call it a positive but I truly think it made some positive changes in my life. Phones, as much as it makes me sound like a true millennial, I really enjoy them. I’m in no way, a tech geek. I know nothing about phones and its specifications, which is why I appreciate the iPhones, no matter how damn unreasonably expensive it is. It is simple, it has a good camera and I can do things on them.
  • In May, I went on my first ever, self-funded trip overseas. My country of choice was South Korea, I visited its capital which is Seoul and made an entire series on it. If you haven’t seen it, click on the link. It was crazy amazing how I travelled on my own and survived 10 days in a foreign country, that speaks little to no English at the age of 20. Since then, I’ve travelled a ton, which really took a toll on me, and actually visited the same country in December. The number of flights and airplanes I’ve been on for the past year helped me with my travel anxiety, which is always something to be grateful for.
  • In November, I finally completed my Diploma programme at UiTM Kota Samarahan and graduated with a Vice Chancellor’s Award. Ever since my Dad mentioned such an award when I first entered university, I knew I had to have it to prove to myself that I can achieve something really great academically. In high school, I always felt like I had to compete with everyone because that’s what school teachers do. They compare you with the person sitting right next to you and create this competition that shouldn’t exist. But in university, you’re allowed to do things at your own pace and achieve greatness together. I have to wait another year till I get into my robe and pink sash to get my script but I’m proud of myself anyway. This achievement was for nobody but myself.
  • At the beginning of the year, I told myself I would socialise more and make new friends. I still suck at socialising, I still can’t make small talk with people and come off as a cheerful person but I did gain a few new friends and became close friends with a few acquaintances. it’s nice to be surrounded by people who really get you, who goes about life the same wavelength as you, and it’s nice to be able to talk about things with people, have healthy discussions about opinions and stuff.
  • In October, a company e-mailed me about a collaboration. It was something completely unexpected, I’ve never gotten to collaborate with a brand, on my own before. Everything that I’ve done prior to this particular collaboration has been with the help of Sarawak Bloggers, which isn’t exactly a third party that manages my blog life but they help in a sense where they give bloggers more exposure and give them opportunities to work with brands. A month later, they invited me to become a guest writer or content creator on their own blog, or in more formal terms, online magazine and it has been a huge honour to be able to do that. As you may or may not know, I’ve written for a publication before but I felt like that part of my “writing career” restricted me and my creativity as a writer so I’m glad that with this particular online magazine, I’m allowed to do things at my own pace, come up with my own ideas and present myself as myself, as a writer of my own words and identity.

Here are some of the things I wish didn’t happen :

  • At the beginning of the year, I went on a skin journey where I would focus on my skin and making a vast improvement with it. By June, my skin was glowing. I had very little acne and most of my acne scars from years back, has faded. However, by the end of July, I started breaking out again, contributed by a lot of stress, bad eating habits and lack of sleep. My last semester really took a toll on my body, my mental health and my skin. Now, I have a lot more to work on than I did last January but I’m going to continue to fight and be more patient.

I can’t think of anything else that went extremely badly this year. There were a few awful things that happened but it didn’t make that much of an impact that I would actually put it in a review, especially when some of those things eventually contributed to some of the good things that happened. You always have to go through a storm to see a rainbow on the other side.

So, what are some of the things that I want to achieve this year? I know some people are against the idea of coming up with a new year’s resolution because they think it’s ridiculous to wait for the new year to come up with goals but it’s not about that. I don’t think anyone actually waits for the new year to come up with a list of things they want to improve on. What the new year’s bring to a lot of people is hope, it brings on a new breath of fresh air and I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If someone wants to make the beginning of a new year something really special to their heart, why shouldn’t they? I make new goals with every breath that I take but I like to go about the new year as a time for me to reflect on some of the things that happened in the past 12 months and see how I can improve another year that I can’t get back.

My resolutions are pretty simple, nothing too big or bombastic :

  1. Wear sunscreen on the daily
  2. Travel less, not because I hate travelling but I need some time to focus on some of the things I need to like working, and figuring out what I want to do now that I’ve completed my Diploma programme and I need to use my money somewhere else like number 3
  3. Invest more in skincare
  4. Work hard and do it right
  5. Read the Quran more, this I have definitely lost in 2016. I did it a lot in 2015 but somehow, I got really carried away with life, I kept on procrastinating on the one thing I have to do at least once a week and ended up not doing it at all.
  6. Listen to more podcasts, I love podcasts. They are so empowering, so magical and so motivating. Not all of them are great but there are plenty you can choose from.
  7. Learn to destress to reduce anxiety
  8. Count my blessings
  9. Drink more water
  10. Do the laundry more often

So, that’s it for my year in review. It’s a little bit long but I hope you found empowerment, motivation and inspiration in this post. How was 2016 for you? Was it good or bad? What are your resolutions if you have any? Share them with me and the other readers in the comments section down below! There’s a reason why I put that section in.

Talk again soon,
Hani Lutfi

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