Happy New Year! And yes, I’m aware that it’s pretty beyond the new year now, but I was in Valencia and this is the first time I’ve sat down this year! 2018! I sometimes find New Years Resolutions to be a waste of time. Who actually sticks to them, eh? Certainly not me. But there are things I want to do this year and I’m (hopefully) a bit more determined to see them through. I’ve also kept these resolutions as a note on my phone, and may write them into my 2018 day planner/diary so that I’m reminded of them more often. There’s no point in a resolution if you forget about it until November and then say “ahh well, too late now”!
- Read More – to get through two book challenges, the Popsugar 2018 and the Book Riot 2018 Read Harder. Now, I don’t have to complete both challenges. In fact, I don’t expect to. At all. But I want to read more, and more varied, and this is a good place to start. Like last year, I can count a book for both challenges if it fits, which takes the pressure off somewhat. Also related to this resolution is to read more non fiction – journals and commentaries – to expand and grow and learn more about the world around me. I’d also like to keep up with my reading log more this year.
- Get fit and healthy. I haven’t been confident in myself for a long time, and I know that it’s more than just my body but it needs to be done. Losing weight would be excellent, but for now I’m concentrating on getting fit and toning up. The rest will come. I have a gym membership and I’m going to start going through the week after work. I’m also going to try and walk home from work more. Every little helps!
- Watch what I eat. This (obviously) ties directly with getting healthy. I need to start cutting down on the junk and start cooking healthily, not just dinner “when I have time” but making extra to take for lunch and actually getting up to have breakfast. It all counts. And also eating more good food. Fruit and veggies etc. My diet has been lacklustre over the holiday period, and I need to get back on track. New year, new me! Or…at least slightly improved me.
- Watch my finances. My flatmate and did a budget for the first few months I was here and it was great! I had money left over at the end of the month, we weren’t overspending on food we don’t eat, I wasn’t spending a fortune on lunches at work. It was great. Then we slipped out of the habit and the spending spiralled a bit more. Honestly, budgeting doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m more likely to buy something on a whim and then later think “huh. Should I have bought that? Oh well, live and learn”. I never learn. But this goes hand in hand with other resolutions which I think will make it easier, or at least more rewarding. Making extra at dinner so I can take lunch to work means that I’m not spending 5 quid everyday for lunch. Eating healthy and filling meals, and taking a snack, means I’m not as likely to hunger-buy on my way out of work and before I get home. Wanting to do things that cost money means I will naturally cut down and save more so I can pay for it. It all adds up.
- DO MORE. I want to start doing more, and interacting with the world around me. I’ve been in a bit of a funk for a while, honestly, but I want to get out of it. I want to see more shows at the theatre (and even go to the cinema more), I want to go to book talks (there’s a bookshop in Edinburgh that does regular events like this), I want to explore new things in my city. And I’m starting strong. I’m going to a reading by a new Scottish crime writer this week, I’ve managed to book tickets to see My Dad Wrote A Porno Live (my favourite podcast) in Edinburgh this year. I’m going to see The Greatest Showman with friends, and I have a list of theatre shows I’d like to see if I get the money together in time (see how the resolutions link?). I’m going to do more, and not waste all of my evenings at home in front of the TV (although I still need unwinding time so there will be plenty of evenings at home. Plenty).
- I’d like to travel a bit more this year. Sometimes this isn’t an attainable goal. It relies on so many factors. Do I have enough money? Can I get the time off work? Do I have people to go with (or, alternatively, is it somewhere I feel I can go by myself)? But I’m already doing well! My flatmate and I went to Valencia, Spain from 2-6th of this month, and it was an amazing way to start the year. I’m feeling refreshed, I have a glorious time, we saw part of the Three Kings Parade which was magical. I’ve also already booked train tickets to go down to Aberystwyth in Wales to see my best friend and platonic soulmate. I’m going in February so that’s the first two months’ holiday quota met this year! I’m also planning on going to Toronto, Canada with my flatmate in late spring/early summer, and I’m hopefully going to Amsterdam, Holland with my other best friend for her birthday in July. So this resolution is already taking flight (…see what I did there?) and there’s lots of excitement on the way. I love travelling and I want to see the world. Hopefully there’ll be plenty of opportunity for it in 2018.
- Be more creative. I’m a creative person, and I love creating, but sometimes when everything’s on top of me and I’m so burned out, creating is the last thing on my mind. And that makes me even more sad and anxious and burned out. So my last resolution is to create more. It doesn’t really matter what it is, though I’m first and foremost a writer. I’d like to create more blog posts, more regularly. I’d like to write more, whether it’s fanfiction to get me in the mood, or working on my own original novels/scripts, or just short little poems/drabbles that no one but me will see. I’d like to doodle more, and maybe hone my drawing and painting skills a bit more. I’d like to take more photographs, and learn how to edit them properly. I’d even like to colour more – we have what seems like hundreds of colouring books around. I’m aiming to do something each day, whether it’s writing or colouring or going somewhere new to take photographs on a weekend.
And that’s it! Honestly, I think my resolutions are far more attainable this year than they have been in the past sometimes. Some of them – like to travel more – have already begun. And a lot of them are related, which will make it easier to check them all off. But I don’t think it’s about checking things off a list this year, unlike in the past. If I meet my goals this year then I will feel better in myself. I’ll be able to have political debates. I’ll have created content that I’m proud of. I’ll have lost a dress size or two (maybe, or maybe I’ll just have more stamina and energy which is good too). And that’s my main goal for this year, a goal that doesn’t have a bullet point or a number, a goal that will be achieved, maybe, hopefully, if I manage to achieve these goals. My main goal is to be happy. Or happier. Happier on the 31st December 2018 than I was on the 31st December 2017, or 2016, or 2015. We can get there. Or we can get pretty damn close. I know we can.
Have you made any resolutions or goals? Please share them in the comments. I’m going to be doing some updates throughout the year, and I’d love it if we could all support and encourage each other. You can do it! And so can I.