What have I been up to since we last spoke? I spent 2 weeks out of my 3 week vacation in the U.S. with my aunt and uncle, sisters, brothers-in-law, and adorable nieces and nephew. (Yes, my sisters are all grown up and have kids now. When did that happen?!) I had a great time (although it sucked that I wasn't able to see my friends), despite the rocky start that entailed me spending an unplanned night in Atlanta the day I flew in. Winter in flip flops... not as fun as it sounds!
|What happens when you take two toddlers and a baby to the tree at Rockefeller
Some of you may remember last year's post where I stated my intentions for 2016. Broadcasting these actually did keep me accountable, and while I may not have achieved them all 100%, I'm pretty pleased with where I got! I definitely intend to build up on them this year - while remaining open to all the surprises that seem to come my way!
1) Health: While I didn't quite get to my goal of running my first half-marathon last year, I did manage to run-walk my first 10K if that counts? (Those of you who know my time are probably doubled over laughing right now, but hey - I can only get better, right?!) Transitioning back into full time employment meant that I was less regular with my schedule than I would have liked, but I'm happy to report that I'm already making progress. I've started a couch to 5K programme that'll take about 8 weeks, while also committing to going for regular Zumba classes. I had my first this morning, and while it absolutely kicked my butt, I loved it!! No huge, lofty goal this year, but I aim to improve on my 10K time by the next Stan Chart marathon.
2) Comfort zone: I think this is something I always try and do - last year, spontaneous skydiving definitely was an example! I'm excited to see how I can top that this year. Suggestions are always welcome!
3) Professional development: Boy, did this take me absolutely by surprise. At the beginning of 2016, I thought I'd be doing what I had been (marketing consultancy for clients of my own), perhaps with different clients, maybe in a new location. I had absolutely NO idea the change that was coming my way! Transitioning into management consultancy at McKinsey has opened up a whole new set of possibilities for me that I never even knew existed.
4) Reading: I had planned to read 12 non-fiction books last year. I'll shoot for that again, despite the fact that I only managed 8 this year! Which ones?
Thrive, by Ariana Huffington
Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman
Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, by Lois Frankel
David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey
Bossypants, by Tina Fey
I've started off 2017 with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, by Mark Manson. I've been reading his blog for some time, and when I heard he wrote a book, I had to have it. The topic is just an added bonus!
5) Savings: Did I manage to save up at least 20% of my 2016 income? Absolutely!! I practiced what I preached in this post about personal finance, and the tips actually did work. I think it's a good goal to keep for 2017 too - but maybe this time, invest in addition to just saving.
6) Writing: Remember how pleased I was at the end of 2015 when my blog readership had grown beyond anything I had projected? Well, 2016 was that and even more! I went to events and met new people who didn't know me - but knew my blog. To say that it was heartwarming would be an understatement. 2016 also brought an unexpected surprise, when I realised I wasn't the only blogger using the name 'The Kenyan Nomad'. Thankfully, those who I met actually were talking about my blog! I started to cover more events, restaurants and people in 2016, and I want to continue that in 2017 - with a bit more travel thrown in if time allows!
7) Personal growth: I think this is quite multi dimensional, so I'm planning to continue with meditation and various forms of learning (like TED talks) this year.
8) Languages: Could 2017 FINALLY be the year I become fluent in French? I certainly hope so!
I can't start a new year of blogging without thanking all of you for your love, support and kind words. Your readership has helped catapult the Kenyan Nomad into a new stage of growth that I would've never even dared dream of! Onward and upward, most definitely.