2018 is here at last, so I suppose it’s the time for phrases such as new year, new me and new year’s resolutions. How I hate both those terms. In my experience, these sorts of things never work out. People set themselves ridiculously strict rules, try to achieve too much far too quickly, and after much denial, they turn out exactly the same as they always have been.

2017 was a whirlwind of a year, and not always in the best of ways. For me, it was marked by a great number of changes, some wonderfully positive and some rather saddening. I have always believed in fate, in the sense that our lives are somewhat pre-destined. Each of our lives are markedly different, and no two will ever be the same. However, my belief in the power of our actions has always been stronger.

I want 2018 to be different, but what’s more, I will make it different. Now, I know what I said about resolutions. These are not resolutions. From my personal experience, I know that if I set myself a military regime, I am setting myself up for failure. Instead, I have identified a set of goals; after reflecting on the previous year. These are areas of my life that I want to change and better in the long-term, not just for the first few weeks of January. And if I succeed, well, there’ll be a nice post in three hundred and something days, won’t there?

Blog

This year, I want to be consistent in my blogging.

I started this blog back in the year 2014 and because I dedicated myself to writing, photographing, editing, posting and promoting, it was successful. Over the years, reality has tended to get in the way and my blog has taken the back seat. Posts have been sporadic, I haven’t always been entirely happy with my content and inspiration has been a struggle.

I am aiming to produce more consistent good quality posts that fit my theme of Living Like a Parisienne. Whether it’s about Parisian beauty, or the Parisian lifestyle, or perhaps just some Parisian advice I have picked up along the way, I am going to plan posts so they are executed in a much better fashion.

Finance

This year, I want to save money by budgeting.

I think I have always struggled with my finances, in the sense that I am quite stingy with the purse strings until I have saved a fair bit, and then all hell breaks loose and I buy everything. I have also become quite accustomed to buying a coffee (or two) every day, as well as lunch. Whilst I have certainly never got myself into a sticky situation, I understand this isn’t the best use of my self-employed pay cheques!

I am going to create a budget for myself, so that I am saving more than spending. As part of this budget, I’m going to add incentives, such as a new iPhone or an iconic handbag. I don’t just want to save for the unknown future, being a miser never got anyone anywhere. These incentives also mean I’ll be less inclined to spend frivolously, as I’ll have a clear goal in mind.

Health

This year, I am going to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Back in 2015, I was inspired and motivated to be healthy. Surprisingly, I found that I did indeed to stick to my plan and by the time I went to Paris two months later, I was quite pleased to hear my friends comment on how toned I looked. Since then, well, rather like my blog posts, it’s been sporadic. It’s not easy being healthy when part of your job involves Menu Development for a coffee-slash-dessert shop, and living between Warwick, Leicester and London didn’t help either.

I am aiming to make a healthy lifestyle change, instead of focusing on my body looking a specific way. This means controlling my caffeine intake, eating breakfast every day, and making exercise a regular part of my week- not just going for a 5k run here and there!

Personal

This year, I want to manage my anger and patience better.

Yes, I stand at a mere five foot one (barely) and yes, on the whole, I think I am well-mannered and kind. However, we all have our flaws, and one of mine is certainly my temperament. My emotions can cloud my judgement and most notably, where my family is concerned, my patience wears thin.

I am going to learn to manage my temper better, and work on being more patient. Flying off the handle isn’t a good look, and I seldom take angry people seriously myself. Maybe a spot of meditation will do the trick, or maybe it’s as simple as removing myself from an emotional situation, this is a personal something I am prioritising.

This year, I want to live my life in reality and not on Instagram.

Ah, yes. This is a case I have been battling with for some time now. Social Media is difficult to escape, especially when it’s the field you work in. Recently, I feel like it has taken over and as a result, it’s all too easy to compare my life with someone else’s. I have fallen into the trap of lusting after what so-and-so’s life looks like, what they have, who they are with and what they are wearing. It’s a terrible way to live life, really.

I am going to stop Instagramming every single moment in life, after all, mystery is part of the Parisian’s arsenal. Although, this is more to put life back into perspective. People only share the highlights of their live on Instagram, so why should I resign myself to envying profiles as perfectly curated as the Louvre? That, and I would like to eat a hot dinner for once.

Religion

This year, I want to be proud of being Muslim.

Growing up British is a funny thing. I am not the first person to have an identity crisis and I will not be the last. The ever-changing political climate has not been an ally, or perhaps I never considered it could be one. Over the last few years, I did as much as I could do to hide the fact that I am of South Asian heritage and that I come from a Muslim family. I only ever mentioned it when it seemed appropriate to do so. I feel inherently more British than I do Indian or Pakistani, but I was under the impression that you couldn’t be both British and Muslim. How wrong I was.

I am going to learn more about my cultural and religious heritage, with the aim to immerse myself in it as much as I can. There’s a strong chance I will never wear a headscarf, and I will always feel like somewhat of a tourist when I visit ‘the motherland’. And I have come to accept that. Instead, I want to embrace all aspects of my identity and I want to prove to myself that I can be both British and a Muslim. I can be modern and still religious.

That’s a small snippet into my plans for 2018. What goals do you have for the year ahead?

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