My Reflections // Looking back on 2016

By Sarah - Sunday, January 01, 2017

I almost wrote 2015 in the title and boy, time does really fly, especially this year. It has been truly a year of ups and downs, but it was definitely one where I feel that I have grown and took steps towards figuring out who I am.

Personal Growth
2016 has definitely been a year of personal growth for me and one of the biggest contributions to my journey is when I started to read more and I love to take advantage of commuting time to do so. I am the biggest fan of self-enrichment books (no shame, as there is really absolutely nothing to be ashamed about trying to better your life). Library trips make me extremely happy and I do have a bad habit of borrowing tons of books at once, leading to my bookshelf having at least 10 books in rotation. I am a pretty fast reader and I usually go through a book in about a week. Winding now at night with a non-fiction really does boost sleep quality, if you ask me. My favourites this year has got to be Linchpin (Seth Godin), Small Move, Big Change (Caroline L. Arnold) and E-Sqaured (Pam Grout). Reading such books have really improved my mindset and helped me realised that my attitude towards life is more important than the circumstances that I find myself in.

I pushed myself to step out of my comfort zone quite a bit, and looking back, I am pretty darn proud of how lil ol' me managed to pull those off. The most memorable event was when I had the wonderful opportunity to host a launch event, and that was probably one of the most terrifying situations that I have found myself in. I am truly grateful for that opportunity, as I know it was a pretty big risk to hire me, and as it really stretched me and made me do something that fear would usually hold me back from. This also made me more compassionate to my kids whenever they have to do their individual presentations!

2016 was also the year I visited New York and Washington! I have always dreamt of heading there as movies and television shows make em' look so darn gorgeous. And the places really are. The food was amazing and also, let's not forget to mention all the drugstores that I've attacked relentlessly.

One of the biggest things I've learnt this year is to always be grateful, no matter how small. I had a health scare this year, and it really made me think about life, what we think we're supposed to achieve to be happy and successful and the notion that there is always time, even though time is never guaranteed for any of us. Material possessions, pride, and wealth are things that are highly sought after, and while there is nothing wrong with that (because really, to each its own), sometimes figuring out the ultimate reason why we want something can set us free and help us understand our mindset towards life.

I have tried to step up my blogging game this year and have made a few changes to Beautybyrah. Blogger may not be the best platform and boy, did I struggle when it comes to figuring out the HTML of the templates. Hopefully you do like the new look and if you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know! 2016 also provided me with new opportunities to work with various brands such as L'Oreal, and I am really honoured for the chances of collaboration as well.

Towards the later end of 2016, I redeveloped my love for swimming. I really do enjoy being in the pool and under the sun (even though it is not the best for the skin). It is really peaceful (unless you have little children haphazardly swimming zig zags in the pool) and gives me time to think while I slowly breaststroke my way across and back. As it hit November, it started to rain a ton more so swimming wasn't much of an option. I found myself heading to the gym (trust me, this is something that I rarely ever do) and using my trusty elliptical machine. It also enables me to read a little while working out, so that is definitely a plus. I'm pretty proud of my discipline, if I may say so myself, and will continue to build it up in 2017!

2016 was my official full year in the work force and being a teacher. Though I am not in the government sector, I do not belittle the time I have with my 100-ish students per week. Despite a mere 2 hours with them, I really do hope that they take back more than just the academics.Personally, I am not too sure if me sharing little bits of wisdom about life gets into their heads, but I hope that one day (as I always tell them), when the situation arises, my beautiful voice would pop into their minds and hopefully help them in some way. I got much closer to a few of my kids, and even though marking can be a true pain, sometimes I get those "this is all worth it" moments when I see them laugh and learn.

That's it for my 2016 and I really can't believe that it has flown by ever so quickly. Here I am, in the year 2017 and my 25th birthday! I can't wait to see what 2017 holds and I hope you do too. One of the biggest things that I've learnt is that the most basic choice of all is HOW to approach the day when we wake up. Attitude can truly be summed up in one word, and that is choice. For me, being grateful and telling myself that it is going to be an amazing day really helped me to find a sense of peace and calm, despite any tough circumstances that may arise.

Side note, I do find using the Five Minute Journal to be extremely helpful in my endeavour. I stumbled upon this as I follow the owners on YouTube (Alex Ikonn and Mimi Ikonn). As I am unwilling to spend on it (even though I have to say it is darn worth it for what it can do for your mind), I simply write mine down on a specific notebook that I have allocated for this purpose. You can do the same or simply support them by purchasing one for yourself!

Also, if making large and bombastic resolutions isn't the thing for you, why not try out some microresolutions? I loved using this method to slowly develop a habit (a crawl, rather than a spint, I always say). To read more, check this post on how to create microresolutions here.

I hope 2016 went great for you and that 2017 brings you lots of happiness.

Till then,

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