December 19, 2016

I have never really been one to create New Year's resolutions. Sure I've started the new year saying I'm going to start exercising more, but let's be real, that never lasts longer than a few days so I can't really count myself as a resolution maker or keeper. I live a fairly balanced and healthy life so for me I never felt it was necessary to set up a goal for myself to fulfil throughout the year. But just like every other year that has passed before me, I sit here with only a couple of weeks left in 2016 and wonder what I want from my 2017.

For the past month I have really thought about how I can improve myself and what I need to hold myself more accountable for. I always think there is so much power in self reflection and even though it is not always easy to do, it can help us grow so much and I think it leads us to live better and happier lives. It is so easy to look outward and at times judge others who are potentially not living up to our standards of life. Just for a moment though, take the time to look inward and have a conversation with yourself. Being conscious of who you are and what you project is the only way to self improve.

So I have been taking this time to be conscious and look at myself a little closer, and think about what I can do to improve and enhance myself in 2017.

This year I want to create a completely realistic goal for myself that I can apply to my everyday life. In fact it's not even really a goal, it's more like a change in my behaviour and how I present myself publicly.

Ah! This is the moment when I reveal a little embarrassing thing I do, that after four years of living in France I am ashamed I still do. Here goes... I still use my expat status and lack of confidence in French as a crutch to get me out of social interactions in my everyday life.

I will admit that since having Oslo I have come more out of my shell and have definitely interacted more with strangers. I have been a bit forced into new conversations because having a new baby in a small village gets a lot attention. At first I dreaded leaving my house, but slowly I grew more confident to speak in French. But, I do still avoid many interactions because I am still so shy with this language that seems so foreign to me.

I have been very much in denial that I did hide behind my over used phrase ''Je ne parle pas français.'' With a little self reflection I came to terms with my behaviour and am now owning up to it. This year enough is enough, I am no longer a new comer to France and it's about time I integrate myself into French life that much more.

Plainly speaking and so you can all hold me accountable, in 2017 I will stop using my expat status and lack of French as a crutch. I will go out into the land of cheese and baguettes, and immerse myself in every awkward French conversation that is presented before me. I will attempt to give the lost little old lady directions if she asks me. I will continue to order my food in French even if the waiter hears my bad accent and starts to speak to me in English. Finally the hardest one of all, I will start to speak French in fun social environments with mine and James' friends, even though they love to speak English, and jokes in French are hard to make.

Phew, there it is! That is not easy for me to admit or write out to you, but it does feel good to come to terms with it. It also makes me feel challenged which always drives me to be a better person. I will begin my 2017 with this in the front of my mind and face my fears head on, and hopefully gain even more confidence. And really what's the worst that can happen?

Since I laid it all out on the line, I would love to know if you like to make new year's resolutions?
If so, what is at the top of your list this year? I would love to know and maybe we can all hold each other accountable in 2017.

Happy New Year you lovely lot!

You Might Also Like


  1. Oooo I have heaps I'm thinking about already...trying to find more time to call my grandad and relatives in Australia and New Zealand (I use the tricky time difference with England as an excuse because I find it so hard to find out how much older my grandad is when I talk to him and he gets confused). It seems so many of the people I follow on Instagram seem to be minimalist and has made me think about the possessions around me and want to try and be but more 'less is more' in 2017... And only buy things that are crafted beautifully or are really necessary... I think I'm a bit of a 'sale' junkie and get a bit ahead of myself when I spy a bargain! Time to slow down in 2017!
    Don't be ashamed of your resolution...I so admire anyone speaking another language - it seems to open people up to a huge vulnerability, so well done you and good luck!
    Jessica (homeisacottage)