It’s that time when we look ahead to the coming year, set new goals and write down our resolutions. However, I think it is equally as productive to set aside time for reflecting on the previous 12 months, the memories you made, the changes you underwent and the lessons you learnt. I shared my 2015 reflections last year and they went down super well. 2016 was a whirlwind for me, and in many senses the best year of my life, and I want to take a moment to share my experiences with you.
Alright let’s tackle the big one first. 2016 was certainly the year of my business. Bloody hell, a lot has happened. I guess the biggest change in my career in 2016 is that I have gone from mostly personal training full time with a little bit of blogging on the side, to the complete opposite. I now work as a blogger 90% of the time and do some training on the side. I get asked all the time why I don’t give up training clients all together. Honestly, I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving fitness advice without being a practicing fitness professional. Plus I bloody love it and it keeps me learning.
In 2016 I have gone from a lone woman trying to make it in a quite frankly scary and uncertain new career, to having the most incredible team around me. It all started in January when my Sunday Times Style cover was released, following that I was approached by a couple of agents and ended up signing with Independent Talent. It is definitely one of the best things I have ever done for my career. From my PR Isla to my agents Flora, Louise and Rory; these guys have supported me through the most stressful times and I feel so lucky to have them to stand by my side and give me unbiased advice.
Blogging & Brands
So this year my blog, social media and youtube channel have come to the forefront of my job. These platforms have allowed me to do some pretty cool stuff and work with brands I never thought would know I existed such as Nissan, Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Tom. The most exciting partnership that developed this year was one with Adidas. I hosted workouts for them, created training videos with them, visited their HQ in Germany and even went to the Rio olympics with them! And to top it all off… I just signed the biggest deal of my career. I am now an Adidas Global Ambassador and will be for the whole of 2017! Eeeee!
In 2016, cool shit happened. Firstly, I made my own stuff. Stuff with my name on it! Isn’t that bonkers!!!! I released my own activewear with Sports Philosophy and then my own Strong tank tops with Active in Style. And lets not forget that I wrote a frickin book. A BOOK. Guys. That was the hardest thing I have ever done, and the most challenging project I have ever tackled. I has just been released so be sure to grab yourself a copy. It is literally my passion project and took over my life for most of 2016. You can read more about how it came about right here.
Secondly, you couldn’t escape my face, thanks to my wizard of a PR Isla. I was on the cover of The Sunday times Style magazine, Women’s Fitness & Healthy; and had spreads in ELLE and Women’s Health. This is probably the most surreal part of the whole year. Why the hell would you want my mug on a magazine? God knows, but it is pretty damn cool. I remember that when I was younger I wanted more than anything to be a model. I applied to every agency but I failed time and time again. So now I get SO excited whenever I am mentioned in any sort of press. I get copies of everything, save them, and sometimes even frame them. Nope, I am not ashamed!
GirlGains is my events company and online community which I co-founded with Tally and Vic. In 2016 we worked with huge brands from Marriott Hotels through to Virgin Active. I mean, that was pretty cool… but the coolest thing of all?! We went GLOBAL!
In 2016 we launched the #girlgains ambassador initiative. Which means we can reach more girls than ever before!!! We now have almost 20 ambassadors across the globe from Dublin to Sydney. These incredible women represent the #GirlGains message of female empowerment and self-love, and host events in their local area to bring together like minded women. We have done four events in Australia already, with more on the cards! One of my biggest achievements this year has been reaching more women through #GirlGains than ever before with messages of positivity, happiness, balance and strength,
Alright lets move on from my career. 2016 was also the year of travel. I visited 16 countries ranging from romantic weekends in Rome to volunteering in Sierra leone, travelling through South east Asia and working on my book in Australia. Travel has always been my passion, and this year I achieved my goal of being able to combine work with travel; and many of my trips were associated with blogging. I can’t pick out a favourite trip but some highlights were hiking up swiss mountains, eating brunch in Bali, watching the olympics in Rio and paddle boarding through the greek islands. I do have to admit that I perhaps travelled a little too much this year though (such a first world problem), and it negatively impacted my workload and my relationships. So in 2017 I will be spending more time here in the UK.
The best thing that happened to me in 2016, better than any career highlight or any travel experience, was spending the whole thing with my boyfriend by my side. Ant is pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me. He is ridiculously kind, considerate and humble; not to mention he makes me laugh and isn’t afraid to get into a good intellectual debate. When I get stressed, he reassures me better than anyone else and always says all the right things. He makes me want to be the best version of myself, and he is slowly making me be a better person (a tough job!). I am so grateful to have him in my life, and I can’t wait to go on more adventures with him in the future.
2016 was an interesting one when it comes to family. I set myself a resolution to see my mum and dad more, and I didn’t keep it. Life got crazy, work took over and I started to lose touch with those most important to me. I eventually started seeing them more often when someone very close to me got extremely poorly in the middle of the year. I was forced to step back from work, revaluate my priorities and visit home on a more regular basis. It was a tough time for everyone involved. However, things are much brighter now and we are able to reflect and take the positives from it. We became closer as a family unit and it shocked me into realising that my parents aren’t indestructible. We are all human and we have to make sure we prioritise those we love, and give them our time. I honestly can’t wait for 2017 and using the new year as a chance to see my family more regularly then ever!
All in All
2016 was a big year. It was a year of both professional and personal growth on so many levels. It always astounds me how much can happen in 12 months, and how much you can develop and change as a person. I have learnt a lot of lessons and I feel like I have truly settled in myself, my career and my relationships. This year has been a huge rollercoaster, and I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds. Fingers crossed it includes a bit more sleep though!