Over recent months, since my August birthday, I have started to do monthly updates but with the end of the year approaching December missed out.
As I mentioned in my last post things have been fairly hectic with work, college, having a life and the dreaded festive period getting in the way of me being able to blog and keep up with the exciting events of others.
During the last month a lot of thinking has gone on at my end and I have figured out what I want to do and achieve in 2017. They are not so much New Years Resolutions but rather general goals and things that will give me focus and drive throughout the year without them being over the top and too overwhelming as I often find myself setting huge goals that beat me down by about March.
Whilst I have been known to write about culture such as theatre, books, art, film and all the other jazz in the past those all took a hit when my mental health did. Now things are on the up I really want to get back to being more myself.
- I want to dedicate more time to reading. When I get into bed on an evening after being on social media throughout the day I really do not need to then sit down and browse further and that time could be more wisely used. I really want to enjoy fiction and non-fiction again, expand my knowledge and be able to interact more with people that share similar reading interests and knowledge.
- By the end of the year I want to be able to watch films and things on TV/similar series on Netflix more consistently. My attention span had previously become limited after I used to watch a whole array of things and I really want to get back into watching things to learn, enjoy and share discussions with fellow watching communities.
- I want to go to more events from the theatre to football and more in a personal capacity instead of just in a professional sense. They are all great fun to attend and it would just be nice to live in the moment more and simply provide my feedback on the event afterwards as a real viewer/fan/member of the public instead of with my journalist and reviewing hat on.
There are no good or bad people only good or bad decisions people often say but I am calling bull on that one. People certainly have good and bad motives and good and bad vibes and who has time for that sort of stuff? Seriously life is short and losing family in 2016 reminded me of that.
- Determining which people are worth keeping and forgiving in life and which should just be discarded. For too long I have pretended to be interested or get along with people for simplicity but if somebody grinds me down or does eye-roll inducing things multiple times then I have no hesistation in removing them from my life. I started doing this in 2016 and intend to be even less reserved in 2017.
- With having to waste less time on the wrong people based on the above point I intend to use my spare time to spend it with great friends, my partner and family members. Whether it’s going to see them where they are, inviting them round or meeting at a middle point I really want to spend more time with the people that helped get me through 2016 (and earlier).
- I want to interact more with the amazing people I have encountered online. Whether that be getting involved in discussions, reading/watching and commenting on their hard work or approaching them at blogger events I really want to spread more positivity and help give people the credit and happiness they deserve.
By stuff I mean products and items that I own or want to purchase. If you read my blog or see my tweets you might have noticed that most things in my life are referred to as stuff and that is simply because it is just clutter (physical and mental).
- An inventory of the items I own needs to be written and will probably appear on the blog in January. From there I will be able to keep track of certain products and help stop myself from purchasing more of the same if I already have a back up or two.
- I really want to make an effort to use stuff up and hopefully the above point will be able to help me out on motivation for this one. Using stuff up is not just about getting rid of it for me but also about enjoying the product and looking after myself too.
- I really want to shift from a quantity mindset to more of a quality mindset. By this I do not mean abandoning the highstreet but more making more selective purchases based on the level of enjoyment, satisfaction and amount of time it will last me rather than just being able to get the most for the least on that basis alone.
- On a similar idea to the one above I am going to pause and think more about things before I purchase them instead of adding them straight to my basket. If I go into town to browse and see something I will consider if it has a purpose, if I already have anything similar/enough of the item and if it is worth the pricetag. If purchasing things online I will add items to the basket but then head away from the site for a while and on returning decide whether I actually like the item at all – returns are just hassle!
If you didn’t know I love food then where have you been? But the whole reason I started this blog was to discuss food, recipes, products and restaurants and whilst the content is more varied that love is still there.
- I want to try more places and return to good ones. Not instead of good old home cooking but instead of takeaways. Going out and enjoying food, the ambiance and the chatter without even having plates or cutlery to wash up at the end is so enjoyable and if you know where to go the pricing is pretty similar too.
- The cookbooks need to come out more often. My partner got a bookcase for Christmas and put the cookbooks on the top shelf meaning they can be seen and accessed easily and as a result they are much more likely to be gravitated towards (even if it is just for Friday and weekend cooking when one or both of us are off work).
- I want to be able to find a balance more instead of being too good and then binging or vice versa. I want to be able to enjoy food guilt free and know that eating one bad thing does not ruin everything and that trying to stay on track can counter balance any harm done earlier. Fruit, vegetables and salad bring me so much joy when they are cooked right so I just need to bring them into a meal with a little badness (pastry, cheese or similar) and all will be good with the world.
We can all improve and whilst the above points will all help me to become more of who I used to be and full of knowledge on stuff I am interested in there is still room for improvement in other ways.
- Make more of an effort when leaving the house. From choosing which clothes I wear, doing my makeup and making my hair and nails look presentable more often and doing it for me not for anybody else or to make people in the street look at me differently.
- Trying to do chores more regularly like not putting off changing the bed because ‘effort’ or letting the clothes washing build up because there are still options available.. I do them and we split chores fairly evenly but they could be done more often and doing so will help me kick the laziness a bit.
- Being more positive about things and looking to find the good in a day. I intend to start a thread where I tweet everyday one good thing that happened to me or I am thankful for in the hope of reminding me that not everything is bleak and that that anything or anyone negative did not completely take over the day.
- I want to continue losing weight. In the last three months I have lost two stone but it is barely noticable so I want to see progression whilst doing it healthily. When I say there is no progress this is not the body tricking me but the reality is nobody has made a comment, I still don’t fit into the clothes size down and the stretch marks, more caused by Marfan Syndrome than weight, have not altered in appearance so wherever that two stone has gone from it’s nowhere that I particularly care about it going from urgently (typical!). Again this is for nobody but myself and hoping that doing so will allow me to go into a normal clothes shop, instead of just New Look Tall online, and just go one size up to counteract my tallness. I also want to do it to shed the weight I put on from an entire high school life as a result of comfort eating to deal eith bullies, depression and general stress and I feel losing the weight is a way to lose the negativeness of the past.
From blogging to college to being in the office there are a lot of things that come under the work category for me (though blogging is a hobby and not a job but it still involves a stack of effort).
- Don’t work harder but work better and use my time more effectively. From more logical scheduling of my day factoring in any sudden factors to setting myself strict deadlines on when to get things done by. Example: scheduling social media at work is a constant thing but saying I want to schedule up to X point by X time should help me out a bit more.
- Remember that college work is not a university essay and they are only expecting 200 words per question not 2000 and citations are not even a thing for this stuff. I need to keep it simple and stop wasting my time putting more effort than I need to as the result is simply pass or fail at the end of it anyway.
- Stop beating myself up about blogging. It happens when it happens and it is far more important to enjoy it than just churn some poorly written content with a half-arsed photo out just to meet a deadline or expectation of when a post will be up. Structure for readers is good but nobody wants to read crappy content.
- Turn my phone off more and check work messages and emails less when I am out of the office. Seriously when I finish work at 10pm I get the 10:08pm bus home and as soon as I sit down I check my emails.. if somebody has messaged in those eight minutes they can wait until the following morning or afternoon (unless I am expecting an urgent message).
Whilst I mentioned that there are things such as going to more theatre and football on my list there are a few other things I want to do too and 2017 seems as much of a good time to do them as any other.
- Go on holiday. My partner and I have talked about Christmas as just the two of us several times in the past and we are thinking of going somewhere for it in 2017. Somewhere hot or somewhere cold though is now the big question?
- Decide on a date to get married. Come mid-January we will have been engaged for TWO YEARS and together for nearly seven. With more incoming coming in and wanting to focus more on the get together of family and friends putting a date in place for at the end of the year or early 2018 would be fantastic.
- I want to have less lazy days off and just visit more parks and go for walks on nicer days or along the local high street to browse charity shops. The odd lazy day is nice where I perhaps do a bit of baking or power through a book but with so many things in Croydon and London on the doorstep it seems silly to not make the most of them whilst we can.
What are your goals, aims and hopes for 2017? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below or on twitter.