The Habit: An Unexpected Journey

AKA: The Two Daily (And One Weekly) Habits That Helped Me In 2016

img_2245It’s strange reaching the end of The Year So Awful It Became An Adjective knowing that on a personal level, it was possibly my happiest, most fulfilling year yet. It’s also strange to look back and realise that most of the lovely things which happened to me in 2016 were things I hadn’t seen coming in 2015: I got engaged, I got married and I went to Santorini (yes, these three things are connected); I got a place on a political mentoring scheme (with Jess Phillips MP as a kick-ass mentor); I performed an all-singing, all-dancing All That Jazz routine in front of an audience (although the less said about my rendition of ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ the better); I started using London’s bicycle hire scheme and now regularly zip around the capital on two wheels, grinning like a 10-year-old (although this could be because I’m high on traffic fumes).

Even if the only thing I’d done in 2016 was marry the kind, caring, supportive, loving, handsome man I did, I would call the year a success. Dammit, I’d call my life a success. And the fact that this year involved other happy achievements, too – plus the fact that I’m looking forward to 2017 as much as I am – is down to a few things, I think. Most notably: a shift in attitude to life, and most importantly, to myself. I’m going into next year feeling braver, more resilient, more confident, more me than I’ve ever felt in my whole life.

And the reason for this post is to share three habits I adopted in 2016– and which I’m taking into 2017– that I think have helped me make that shift in thinking (and feeling). They’re habits which have had brilliant knock-on effects: they’ve helped me to achieve certain goals – not least because they’ve helped keep me on track throughout the year – and they’ve helped me to deal with life, and all its challenges, better.

In short, they’re habits which I’ve found hugely helpful – and I hope you’ll find helpful, too. And they are… *drumroll*… [Read more…]

Never Too Late

wedding

Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans, as Allen Saunders (and later John Lennon) said – and that’s my excuse for not having posted a blog post for a while.

Coming into 2016, I didn’t realise this would be the year I’d get engaged, let alone married. And here I am in October, with a ring on my finger and a spring in my step and a feeling of true contentment – at the age of 45 – that I’m still getting used to.

I’ve just written about this for Standard Issue – tying it in with my joy at watching the former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

There is a connection, trust me. Because whether it’s a ballroom dancer or a bride, I hope that both my and Ed’s stories can show that it’s never too late to be what you might have been. And that we all have it in us to write wonderful new chapters in our life.