2016 in review

Thursday, December 22, 2016 Permalink

I was listening to the Let It Be podcast on my recent trip to Brisbane and Kelly and Brooke talked about a ‘Year in Review’ workbook they’d discovered and liked. It sounded ideal for someone like me who already overanalyses anything and everything.

The workbook is available over at Better than Busy and focuses on a couple of key questions (such as ‘what’s worked for you and what hasn’t’ and includes some helpful prompts). I won’t go into detail here, cos you can get the workbook yourself but on the whole….

2016: The highlights

  • I finally managed to secure an okay-paying part-time job so I have some financial security
  • I sold my apartment and bought a house I love that feels like home
  • My health has improved as I’ve lost weight
  • Spending time with my dear mother, and my best local friend and her little boy Pickle and the arrival of another blogger and avid social media user into my little circle of friends
  • Connecting with like-minded peeps at a blogging conference and their ongoing online companionship
  • Catching up with my BFF in New Zealand (along with her partner and their dogs!).

2016: The lowlights

  •  My old apartment and toxic living environment which meant I stayed away from home as much as possible
  • My weight loss surgery – though resulting in a 35kg loss (so far) – was far more traumatic than I could have imagined
  • I pretty much flatlined in terms of my writing and blogging. I didn’t add anything to the novels I’d started and – though I grew my blog readership a little – I did not pitch a single thing to a paid source / outlet in 2016.

Much of what I do is consistent with my values, but there have been a few mistakes along the way…. I enrolled in Italian lessons, thinking they’d be fun, offer a mental challenge and help me meet new and exciting people. That wasn’t the case and I need to rethink options for ‘fun’ and ‘friendships’.

2016: The lessons

I want to spend more time on my writing over the next year. I suspect this might mean less time allocated to blogging or book reviewing but am not sure. I seem to be busy doing nothing much of the time.

And despite my constant changes I’m a lover of routine and really REALLY need to settle into a routine in the new year. I particularly want to develop more sustainable habits on the work, writing, food and exercise fronts.

I’m now heading into a little end of year blogging break, but – international politics and celebrity deaths aside – 2016 has been a pretty BIG but good year for me, with the positives significantly outweighing the negatives: something that hasn’t happened in a long long time.

What’s worked for you this year? What hasn’t?

the-lovin-life-linkyI’ve joined Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the interwebs. You can link up via any one of us! This is our last link-up for 2016, but we’ll be back in 2017!!!

The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy from 50 Shades of Age
Johanna from Lifestyle Fifty (who’s currently on hiatus)
Min from Write of the Middle.
and Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit.


41 Comments
  • sizzlesue15
    December 22, 2016

    I’ve so enjoyed meeting you Deborah through Lovin’Life Linky and look forward to connecting more in 2017. My year has been a roller coaster but there are always positives. I’ve enjoyed reading about your year and what the highs and lows were. Have a merry Christmas and a wonderful 2017. Maybe catch you for a coffee next time you are in Brisbane.

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2016

      That would be great Sue. My visits to Brissy have been limited this year! (Other than some time in Feb I just had stopovers on my way ‘to’ and ‘from’ places.) I hope you also have a great Christmas.

  • Jess
    December 22, 2016

    I like that you have looked at what has worked and what hasn’t. It has been a big year for you with lots of positives! Well done!!! This year has flown I haven’t stopped to think about it at all!

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2016

      Mine’s felt a bit like that as well. So many things seem to have have just ‘happened’ Jess, but when I think about it I’ve actually made decisions so they happen: putting place on market and so forth.

  • HandbagMafia
    December 22, 2016

    I think reflection is really important and it’s something I haven’t done enough. Your post has inpired me to do the same, just for me 🙂

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2016

      Yes… I’m prone to overanalyse things Amy but not necessarily ‘reflect’ if that makes sense, which is why I liked this exercise.

  • kathymarris
    December 22, 2016

    It sounds as though you have made a lot of positive changes in 2016 Deb which is fantastic. I have had an excellent year with 5 overseas trips, one a media trip to Japan. I also published a magazine article, an Ebook and started writing for 2 Tourism Websites. So you can definitely say I’ve achieved great things. I’m looking forward to whatever the new year brings and hopefully it will be more travel, photography and good times with family and friends. Here’s wishing you a Happy Christmas and successful New Year! 🙂

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2016

      Wow, a busy year for you Kathy and so much travel – which I guess makes sense…. I hope you have a wonderful 2017!

  • Vanessa
    December 22, 2016

    I think in the routine type comments this year has been similar for me. Lots of change, some things I want to improve for 2017, but most of this year was needed and is kind of a foundation for other years.

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2016

      I like that approach and logic Vanessa – seeing some of the challenges we face as necessary evils to move on and upwards! I wrote recently about a-ha moments coming at the right time and needing to go through certain stuff before getting there and that’s kinda what I’ve done in the last few years I think. I didn’t necessarily have a-ha moments this year, but some of the positives came after some shitty negatives!

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    December 22, 2016

    Wishing you the very best for 2017, Deb!

    Like how this year’s list of highlights was much longer than the low!

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2016

      I know, and isn’t that wonderful!?!?

  • writeofthemiddle
    December 22, 2016

    I agree that the positives in your year far outweigh any negatives. Those positives are very much deserved too! Merry Christmas Deb and best wishes for a fabulous 2017! Min xo #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2016

      Thanks Min and yes… for me (personally) it was a pretty good year!

  • Jo
    December 22, 2016

    Great round-up. I’ve had a huge but emotionally challenging year. Endings all round, but setting up for some scary but exciting beginnings.

    • Debbish
      December 22, 2016

      Oh yes, it’s going to be a big year for you next year – but you’ve also done so much the last couple of years as well!

  • seizetheday20
    December 22, 2016

    Hey Deb – It was a pleasure to meet you at Problogger this year, and to continue our budding friendship online. Being a blogger can be quite isolated, so it’s great to know others who are in the same boat. I love the idea of a Year In Review. It’s helpful to look back on what worked and what didn’t, as it can help you plan for a more successful year in 2017. Have a fabulous Christmas and we’ll catch up in 2017! #TeamLovinLife

  • Gayel Stewart-Airs
    December 22, 2016

    You my dear have had a massive year. I love seeing your happy face in your new home. It all feels like things are working out for you finally. Here’s to a fantastic 2017 with all the good bits of 2016 following through and more turning up ! xx g

  • Denyse Whelan
    December 22, 2016

    I read this post earlier and now back to comment. Firstly I have loved getting to know you via blogging and SM this year! I know we sort of did before, but this year the friendship on line has been appreciated. Secondly I applaud you for the changes and the ways in which you have made them happen. It was a bit sad watching you earlier this year when you were struggling to decide re selling and a few other things…and then it was just the ‘best’ seeing how you took charge and got on with what needed to be done. Awesome Deb, just awesome. Thanks for your blogging support and I hope you have a good break and do settle into a routine. It will more likely happen once January is done I think…That’s an Aussie thing! Merry Christmas.. Denyse x

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2016

      Thanks Denyse and ditto – we did meet years ago, but I’ve really connected with more and different people this year via blogging and I really appreciate that. I consider so many of my virtual friends to be close ones. And yes… I just made a comment about 2017 ‘hoping’ it will be a good year, but realise that I need to take the lead again and make the changes necessary so it IS a good one for me. (Rather than be so passive!)

  • leannelc
    December 22, 2016

    Loved your year in review – highlights and lowlights are an honest reflection and I think being authentic about our journey is one of the blessings of midlife. So glad you’re out of your toxic apartment and into a happy home – may 2017 bring you heaps of joy and new challenges. Merry Christmas!

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2016

      Thanks Leanne, I’m really loving my new house. I’m sure that will wane in time and there will be challenges but it feels like a very good fit at the moment.

  • budgettraveltalk
    December 22, 2016

    Good on You! I’ve had a bit of a downer year. My darling Mum died, but I did manage to shift us and my Dad to the Sunshine Coast – a long held dream. Here’s to 2017.

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2016

      So sorry to hear about your mum and no doubt this Christmas will be hard without her, but it’s great you’re there for your father. I had the reverse in 2011 (my father passed away) and it was the following year that I moved closer to home. I probably should have done it sooner, but….

  • Katherine P
    December 23, 2016

    It does sound like a great year for you! I know from experience just how much of a relief getting out of a toxic living situation can be and congratulations on the weight loss and all the additional benefits. I need to get better at embracing routine in 2017. I’m much happier for it. Hope 2017 is fantastic!

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2016

      Oh yes Katherine, I hope things continue to get better, though I guess that’s predominantly up to me!

  • @Kanga_Rue
    December 23, 2016

    My darling friend, you are loved.

    And while the Italian classes didn’t work out, you put yourself out there, and tried something. It might not have been a good fit, so persevere until you find something that is. Love that you tried something out of your comfort zone. Bravo!

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2016

      Thanks muchly! At least I have most of the notes, so can study myself if I ever feel the urge!

  • charliegirl
    December 23, 2016

    I love this post, Deb! It makes me so happy for you. What a successful, celebratory year. I love seeing all of your photos in your new home. Cheers!

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2016

      Oh thank you so much. I’m very fortunate as it’s been a great year for me.

  • Kat @anaussieinsf
    December 23, 2016

    Congrats on the move, it sounds like it was a change that you really needed. You’re kicking butt on the weight loss as well! Gosh, 35kg is pretty epic. Here’s to more great things in 2017! #TeamLovinLife

  • Janet Camilleri (@middleagedmama1)
    December 23, 2016

    2016 has been mostly good to me, but I’m hoping 2017 will be even better! 🙂

    • Debbish
      December 23, 2016

      Oh I hope so Janet, particularly as you’re starting it with a milestone birthday!

  • Kooky Chic
    December 24, 2016

    I hear you with the routine, loud and clear. I have loved your journey with your new house and am so happy that you are sounding more content. Looking forward to reading more in 2017. Wishing you a truly beautiful Christmas and a fabulous 2017

    • Debbish
      December 24, 2016

      Thanks… and best wishes to you also and hope you continue to settle in to the new country lifestyle!

  • Ben
    December 27, 2016

    Congrats on your wins this year, happy for you!

    • Debbish
      December 27, 2016

      Thanks Ben! You too – it sounds like TCC is really taking off!

  • Kate W
    December 29, 2016

    In sum, I think you’ve had a wildly successful year – some seriously big accomplishments! I might need to take a leaf out of your book in 2017 and become a little more reflective.

    • Debbish
      December 30, 2016

      Thanks Kate. I think some of the accomplishments were very very overdue. But… guess the time was right.

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