It’s always nice, at the end of a year, to do a little reflection on things that you’ve tried out during the year.  Whether they have worked well or not.  From significant, to shallow.

Smoothies = WORKED

Fruit smoothies have been a consistent addition to my diet since early summer, and possibly one of the best things I’ve done for my bodily health in a while.  Every week I buy a punnet of strawberries, raspberries, something else, bananas and peaches and some juice.  Then mentally divide the whole lot into 4, meaning that 4 days out of 7 I’m getting more than my 5 a day in one delicious concoction.  I also add a teaspoon of chia seeds (supposedly a good protein source, and good for hydration) and half a teaspoon of super green powder.  It’s hard to say, but I feel like I’ve had less colds so far this winter, than I might have had otherwise.  Either way, I’m doing something good for my innards, which is delicious and easy.

Amazon Lockers = WORKED

Such a great system, that is miraculous for people like me who are usually out of the house during working hours.  Now I can order something from Amazon and free of charge (although you can pay £2 for next day delivery if you want), get it delivered to a “locker”.  In my case, these lockers are located inside a small supermarket-large local shop about 2 miles away.  There I know that my package is safe and secure until it is convenient for me to collect it.  No more wondering which dodgy courier they are going to use this time, where anything can (and does) go wrong, and my package ends up in Wellingborough or something mad, and if I want it at a time I’m sure to be in, I’ve got to pay for the privilege.  Screw you couriers, I’m with Amazon Lockers now!

Netflix/Amazon Instant = WORKED

Technically these were set up Summer 2014, so this was my first full year with them.  Both cost me around £7 a month, and Amazon Instant comes with my LoveFilm disc subscription anyway.  Both have proved to be fantastic investments.  I’ve seen loads of great stuff through them, particularly Netflix, that now I wouldn’t be without them.

The clothing ban = WORKED

In September I decided that I wasn’t going to buy any more clothes until the end of the year, because I had enough.  And I think I did quite well!  There was a £5 Primark dress in the sale, which was too nice/good value to resist, and I’ve worn it loads.  There was a fluffy sweater-dress which I paid for with vouchers, and a Christmas party top.  And I haven’t missed shopping.  In fact, I used to go into town at least every other weekend for a mooch/coffee, but the clothing ban has broken the habit, and I don’t think I’ve been into town for anything since at least early November.  I’ve currently got no desire to visit the clothes shops…  Occasionally an urge hits, but then I go and look in the drawers or in the wardrobe and realise, actually…  No.

Online Christmas shopping = WORKED

This year, I resolved, as much as possible, to do my Christmas shopping online, and with the exception of a few food-related bits, I succeeded!  I had it all delivered to school (the Amazon Locker system seems to shut down around December – I assume too much demand) which worked like a dream.

Mini-breaks = WORKED

One of the best times I had this year was my one-night stay in London over Easter.  I did what I wanted to do, no catering for others and their whims, and it was perfect.  I have resolved to try and “mini-break” more in 2016, finances allowing, as it does great things for my mental health.  In the same category I could put “a proper summer holiday”, and by that I mean “get out of the country”.  My summer 2015 trip to Cape Verde was one of the best things I did for myself all year.  Mental health investments are worth any amount of money, I think.

Things to work on in 2016 –

I wish I’d read more books this year.  According to my records, this was my worst year for total books read since 2011.  That being said, the last 18 months I’ve been pretty dedicated to the ‘Outlander’ series.  Of which I am currently on the 8th book of the (currently) 8-long series, where each one is 800-900 pages of dense, dense type.

I also want to find more time, generally, to read.  I feel like it is something that is good for me, that I should shoe-horn into my daily schedule a little more than it is now.

I’ve also taken on a 2nd year university mentee to work with until at least the summer.  Initial introductions have been made, but now the ball is in her court to make the next step.  Something tells me this isn’t going to be a blinding success, but I’m willing to make the effort if she is.