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My 2015 Review + 2016 Goals

Goals, Challenges and Successes – 2015

Artist: Yan Nagaya

Wow! It's already December! This is my review of 2015 – what went well and what didn’t go so well. These are my goals, challenges and successes of the year. I’ve also included a few of my 2016 goals.

2015 Goals
  1. ·         Learn French
  2. ·         Complete my masters degree
  3. ·         Inspire others
  4. ·         Say ‘Yes’ to new projects
    • Yakhani. Community projects. Volunteering.
  5. ·         Attempt a 10k marathon


Learn French 
I found this to be a challenge because.... although it was a great idea I only had a simple plan to complete this: using a 8 French Discs.

At the beginning of the year I was determined to listen to all 8 French discs and be able to speak French once completed. I got halfway through and found it too difficult to progress so I just kept repeating the same one. After three repetitions I "took a break".


I told myself it was just a short break but days turned into weeks and weeks into months. And by this point I had lost my confidence. So, I tried to resolve my lack of confidence by downloading a language app – DuoLingo.

This is a great app as it works by teaching you words, asking you to translate them and then to construct simple sentences with them. This is a very helpful tool for me. I can now practice for 10-15 minutes anytime I want. Unlike the hour long French discs, I was able to do this more frequently. 

Say ‘Yes’ to new projects
This was a confidence boost, as I pushed myself to be involved with new experiences. I enjoyed most of the projects and learnt a lot. 

But.... as I took on so many new projects, I struggled to fulfill all of my responsibilities and felt completely overwhelmed. I hardly had enough time for myself.

My lesson from this is:
  1. To be more selective of the projects I get involved in.
  2. Carefully analyse my time and priorities before accepting.
  3. Fully dedicate myself to the projects I do accept. 
Attempt a 10k marathon
This was an ambitious goal to set for myself this year. Last year I trained and ran a 5k park run, so I thought I would easily be able to do the same for a 10k.

Honestly I just wasn't motivated enough to do this. (Apart from running for a bus) I did not go for a run or put together a training schedule all year. I'm disappointed that I wasn’t able to complete this but I have decided to forgive myself, because if it was something I really wanted to do I would have done it.

I definitely need to have an exercise plan for 2016 so that my fitness levels can improve. (See my new plan below - 2016 goals)


Complete my masters’ degree

I completed my masters’ degree in Structural engineering this year and can officially write my name followed by two titles: BEng(Hons), MSc.

This was one of the highlights of my year. It was a huge accomplishment for me to complete the course after overcoming many challenges throughout. I thank God, my family and friends for the constant support they have given to me.  

Inspire others

I was able to complete this goal in a variety of ways: by taking part in community activities, volunteering and much more. 

Here is a summary of some of my projects.

  • Yakhani – being part of the team for Yakhani: a collective for women of colour that my friend Yan founded has been a great way to inspire others. We planned and organised a variety of events during the year that focused on women of colour being heard and celebrated. [Read my previous post about it HERE]

Twitter: @yakhvniInstagram: founder Yan Nagaya: @yansight

  • Afro Futures – this was a great event organised by Florence a woman in STEM, I previously blogged about her HERE. The AfroFutures event had a number of astonishing speakers that came from around the world to talk about what AfroFutures means to them and how it impacts us today.

Source: @AfroFutures_UK
This was an amazing event for me to be part of and I was honoured to be a guest speaker. I spoke about my own experience in STEM and who/what inspired me to follow the path of engineering.

I was enlightened by all the new information I was learning about AfroFuturism. That day completely changed my perspective on many aspects of life as a black person today. There are many negative and positive influences on the black experience in our modern society that I realised I should be more aware of.

This short summary doesn’t do it justice so a full blog post on my insights will follow in the new year!

Website: Afrofutures. Twitter: @AfroFutures_UK. Florence: @FINOkoye

In 2015 I also:
  1. ·         Made new friends
  2. ·         Had new experiences
  3. ·         Gained many new life skills
  4. ·         Learned a lot about myself

2016 goals

 Personal development

This year I realised the importance of being organised and making life goals/plans. Thus for 2016 I would like to focus on improving my productivity and performance in all areas of my life both professionally and personally.

I plan to do this in the various ways, by being more:
o   Organised
o   Focused to achieve my goals
o   Intentional in all decisions
If you would like to learn more, you can receive my Top 10 tips to being more organised by subscribing to my blog.

Blog more

It is actually my 1 year anniversary of being a blogger this December and I am glad to be continuing this in the New Year. I have noticed that my blog posts were a bit sporadic this year, so in 2016 I would like to have more consistency with writing new blog posts.
Hopefully the year will be filled with exciting opportunities and experiences to update you!

Learn French (new plan)

As I am still determined to improve my language skills, I have set a simple plan for me to continue to learn French. I created this plan after reading several tips on how to learn a new language. This will definitely make life easier for me.

I have broken this down into daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly goals to help me stay on track.

·         Daily – 15 minutes on Duolingo app.
·         Weekly – 1 hour listening to French disc OR speak to someone in French 
(I know 3 people I see on a weekly basis who speak French)
·         Monthly – watch a French film.
·         Quarterly - Review my progress

Finally I will not pressure myself to be fluent in 1 year, instead I will celebrate every little success achieved in my language skills.

Health and fitness

After much thought on which sport I would like to do to stay fit I have decided to get back to kick-boxing. I absolutely enjoyed this form of exercise while at university but since I left, I haven’t been able to continue and practice.

So in 2016 I will get back to kick-boxing – the classes are unique as they combine Kung-Fu and kick-boxing. I am so excited to get back to martial arts, as I have always enjoyed it. Hooray for my health, fitness and confidence.

Dedicate myself to 1 or 2 main projects

After learning my lesson to not spread myself too thin between many projects, I will dedicate my time and efforts to two main projects, so that I can do my best in each project. Then I will be fully committed to each project. 

There you have it! My review of 2015 and my goals for 2016. 

How was your year? Let me know in the comments below how your year went.

Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

As always love, comment and share!
Natalie-Claire x

PS: Don't miss my next post - Subscribe to my blog & get a FREE guide to being more organised!  


  1. Hey Natalie-C.
    I have set myself the goal to run a 10K this year - and signed up to the Great Manchester 10k Run to make me actually DO it. I am going from zero exercise right now (I hate to admit it but it's true...) but on the website they help you with a free training guide. In 8 weeks I will apparently go from a 10 minute brisk walk to a 20 minute non-stop jog...! We'll see!! Anyway, I just wanted to recommend it to you. Apparently it's a really good day out whether you walk or run, really motivating etc. The entry fee is quite pricey but the way I see it is that it's cheaper than signing up to a gym!
    Let me know how you get on.
    Best wishes,

  2. Hi Sonia, thanks for your comment. I will check it out!
    Two years ago I completed a 5k with the  help of the NHS couch to 5k podcast, so if it's similar I would consider it.
    All the best with your training and race. I hope you enjoy it.


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