Posted: by Jo Thursday, 30 November 2017 @ 16:58
So, we are nearing the end of 2017, and
coming to the end of our #mybestself campaign for the year.
We were aiming to see a very different person
at the end of the year: someone healthier, stronger, kinder, braver, more
confident, more authentic, calmer and happier. The idea was a year of making
wiser choices and better decisions, and taking more considered actions. A year
of slowing down, prioritising the right things, paying more attention, and
being kinder to ourselves and others.
So, how did we get on, and how did you get
Let’s see how some of us in the Mantra team
got on first:
For me, it was an inconsistent year.
I started off really well, with an energetic
January of making healthier choices, drinking more water, and going to bed
earlier. I definitely felt better for some earlier nights, so have kept that
March also struck a real chord with me, about
being more appreciative of all the good things I have I my life. I now
consciously spend my journey to work thinking about all the people,
experiences, qualities and things that I have in my life that make it so
I also focused hard in June on clarifying
what my dreams and goals for the future are; and made sure I had a clear vision
for this. And I found the November advice, to simply ‘slow down’ when we feel
too busy, profoundly useful.
But I have found it hard when work and family
life are busy to keep the focus on becoming a better person. It’s all too easy
to rush through life on autopilot when we have a lot on our plate, and simply
focus on getting things done.
I do believe the year has made a difference
to me though. I feel calmer. I feel like I don’t worry so much about the detail
of how something will happen – I just
trust that it will. And I am better at emptying my mind, and finding moments of
One thing I have found useful is to hold onto
my ‘myMantra’ necklace, when I feel like I need to slow down. I had it engraved
with the words, ‘Love, laughter and sunshine’, to remind me of the things that
are most important to me in life, and I find this a useful reminder.
2017 has been a huge year for me, I got
married and bought my first house in the same week, so I’d like to think our
#mybestself focus helped me to achieve these goals.
January started well, I wanted to feel and
look my best for my summer wedding, so with some family and friends we planned
to meet weekly for weigh-ins and to chat about what we’d done well that week,
to inspire each other. I started to look
at some fitness challenges that I could take part in, as I realised this motivated
me a lot more.
May was another stand out month for me, I
took part in the ‘my marathon’ challenge, where you run 26.2 miles over a
month. My aim was to run 7miles a week
(essentially a mile a day) Our theme for the month was happiness and having
never ran in this way before, I didn’t think this would be something that went
with me being ‘happy’ but I discovered a real joy from running. It made me feel good, it got me outdoors and
I realised that little and often exercise worked well for me, I’ve now signed
up for my first half marathon next year.
June was a difficult month for me, our
wedding was just around the corner, we’d had an offer accepted on our first
house, but things weren’t moving forward very quickly, I was anxious things
wouldn’t be completed on time! Having a
focus on dreams made me think about my end goals and what I wanted to
achieve. This took the attention away
from what was being done and allowed me to just focus on the positives, I was
getting married, I was buying a house – if it took a little longer than
planned, it didn’t matter, I was still making my dreams come true. I also booked my ‘dream’ honeymoon.
In September, we did our first ever ‘Facebook
Live’, this was something new for all of us and I was asked to be a part of it,
which I was very nervous about, it took me back to school and giving
presentations which I hated. But the
theme was courage, so I channelled that and got through it and it wasn’t that
bad. Since then we’ve done a few more
live videos and we’ve done loads more of filming that I’ve been a part of. Sometimes you just have to be brave.
On reflection, I’ve achieved a lot this year,
I’ve tried lots of new things and challenged myself in ways I haven’t
before. The year had its trials but I
got through them and I’m a better version of me for it.
For me, 2017 has been an exercise in
balancing different areas of my life.
As I’m sure is the case for many of us, I
started the year embracing the ‘New Year, New Me’ trend. I devoted the first
few months of 2017 to self-improvement and adopted resolutions to help me be
more productive and healthier. Unfortunately most of these habits quickly fell
by the wayside but I maintained at least two healthy resolutions: cutting out
too much sugary food and too many fizzy drinks.
I also tried to be a little more active, and
have taken up running in my spare time. In March, I cycled 100 miles over 4
days as part of the Mantra Team’s fundraising Initiative for International
Women’s Day: Spin for Smart Works.
Over the summer, I paid heed to the
friendship mantra: “side by side or miles apart, you are always with me”. I
made sure to devote some quality time to reconnecting with old friends from
school and university, spending time together on girls’ holidays and at music
In autumn, my focus was on the importance of
family. My older sister’s wedding became a huge family reunion which brought
together family members from the UK, Canada and India. I met many of them for
the first time, but we speak daily, and it was lovely to make so many new
As Christmas can often be a stressful period
for many of us, I am spending the tail end of 2017 indulging in some self-care,
and making sure to enjoy the festive period without letting the (many!)
responsibilities it brings get on top of me.
So overall, a good year but one with lots of
room for improvement. Bring on 2018!
Now, we’d love to hear how you got on.
Share your stories with us, for your chance
to win a Lotus necklace from Mantra. This necklace represents the mantra, ‘Be
the best version of you’, which is very apt.
We are also continuing our quest to become
our best selves throughout 2018.
I am a firm believer in the value and
importance of role models: of learning from people we admire, to see what they
do differently from us; and using this to motivate and inspire ourselves.
So, come back in January to read about the
first of our truly inspiring women, and find out who they themselves look up to
and take inspiration from.