You may have seen my last post, which was a bit of a round up of my greatest achievements and highlights from the blog in 2017. I started talking about other achievements of the year, and my goals for next year, but it made sense to keep the two separate (and not put you through the world’s longest blog post), so I decided to focus on blog achievements there, and here I want to talk about my resolutions from last year and if I achieved these, things I learnt in 2017, and what goals I have for the year ahead. Hopefully you might get some inspiration for your own goals if you are still unsure of what resolutions to set this year, or just take away some of the things I learnt that might help you too.
Each year, when I get a new diary, I like to write out my resolutions or goals for the year, and then they are always there in a place that I go to every day, so I can never forget them, and I can look back at the end of the year to see how I did. Last year my goals were:
Exercise at least twice a week
Drink less alcohol
It’s safe to say that I definitely smashed my gym goal, as this year I found a real love for fitness and training and ended up in the gym around 5 times a week and loving it. Part of the reason I feel like I did so well with this goal is because I didn’t set myself something that was too difficult or unachievable. I always find it much easier to set yourself smaller, more achievable goals, which will eventually become habit and second nature to you, rather than huge commitments like going to the gym 5 times a week or cutting a food out of your diet completely.
For someone who wasn’t really going to the gym at all, twice a week felt like something I could commit my time and energy to, without overwhelming myself and completely changing my habits to facilitate. Sure, for the first few weeks I may not have stuck to it completely, but I didn’t beat myself up about it, I went as often as I could, and eventually got into a routine. I found times that work for me meaning I didn’t compromise anything else to try and fit my gym sessions in, and after a couple of months I absolutely loved going. I started to research different forms of training and exercise and experiment more in the gym, finding a passion for weights along with the results I began to see from it. And with this came more learning and research, following some amazing and inspirational women on Instagram and YouTube, adjusting my diet to power my workouts and refuel my body afterwards, and something that became part of my lifestyle and just the way I love to live now.
All that isn’t to say I am 100% healthy. I try to remain healthy throughout the week, and more often than not I enjoy some epic meals and drinks to match at the weekend. I don’t restrict myself of ANYTHING – if I want something, I’ll have it. I go to events with my blog quite regularly so I will never say no to a few glasses of fizz and some delicious food, and I’d honestly say that I eat about twice as much in a day now, than I did last year, and feel totally happier in my own skin for it.
The less alcohol goal was definitely one that I didn’t stick to; and is pretty much the opposite story of my fitness related goal. With celebrations, family gatherings, seeing friends and attending events, I enjoy indulging in a tipple or three, and have actually learnt that I don’t need to try and set such a huge and probably unachievable goal for myself. Some people are really great at turning down a glass of wine and opting for a soft drink or mocktail instead, but as you know, I am a food and drink lover, and never one to say no to a deliciously indulgent meal and a few drinks to accompany – so this goal was never really one I could stick to. As with my gym goal, setting myself a the challenge of something smaller and more achievable is definitely the way forward – maybe just having a couple less drinks when I’m at home chilling on a Sunday evening, or replacing the calorific cocktails and beers with a refreshing gin and tonic every now and then is enough.
Because of my healthier lifestyle, I do tend to make healthier choices with many things, simply because that is now what I love to eat and drink; the foods I eat everyday taste amazing, leave me feeling full and satisfied, and I never feel guilty for eating or drinking anything. I have learnt that if I really want something I should just have it and never beat myself up over it, so even when I have something that isn’t ‘good for me’ or I enjoy a few drinks at the weekend – so what? I work hard for it, I enjoy socialising, and I adore food, and that’s just who I am. What would life be without enjoying all of the parties and celebrations with fizz, foodie events, lunch meetings with friends, family gatherings with amazing home-cooked food, and simply having dinner with my other half after work?
Planning better and being positive are very similar in that they are both things that I have worked on and definitely improved on during this year, but there is still some way to go. Being so busy every single day of the week has meant that I have had no choice but to plan better to fit everything in, but I do admit that I am still the queen of procrastination when it comes to things I really don’t feel like doing. I have taken some big steps with my blog, setting aside certain evenings to work, scheduling regular posts each week – as well as social posts to match, and still trying to fit my life in around it and see family and friends. This year I plan to work more on this, and probably refine how I organise my time to get the most out of every moment.
Being positive is something I have tried to do more in 2017, but I have certainly had multiple moments when everything feels like too much, and it can be hard to find the positive in what seems like a negative situation. I am definitely a more positive person than I was at the beginning of the year, but I know that this is an ongoing goal and something I can always build on and grow with. I have always been super laid back, so that does help – when things go wrong I can quite easily go with the flow and come up with a quick back up plan, or laugh something off that might annoy others. That said, I can also be a huge worrier, rather sensitive and quite quick to see the negative in situations, rather than look for a positive outcome. These are all things I am aware of and am trying to get better at – taking each situation as it comes and dealing with it my own way. That isn’t to say you should ignore any of your feelings – if you are upset, disappointed or angry then those feelings exist and are real, so don’t try to bottle them up or shrug them off. You should acknowledge how you feel; maybe ask why, and look at ways you can resolve this. You will always be able to find a positive; whether its after 2 seconds, 5 hours, a week or even a year, different people and situations have different outcomes and effects, so don’t pressure yourself to become immediately better at feeling and reacting in ways that you might not be used to right now.
Looking back at my goals for last year has really helped me realise how much I have learnt, grown and achieved, as well as giving me an idea of what I want to get from 2018.
This year, I plan on:
Upping my blog game
I currently spend my evening writing blog posts, editing photographs, planning content and scheduling photoshoots. This is all well and good, but in order to better myself and become the best I can be, I plan on investing time into learning new skills; growing my blogging community and followers, reading books and watching tutorials, improving on quality rather than quantity, and spend all of that time I usually would procrastinating on something amazing.
This may sound like I am contradicting myself, as I mentioned earlier that I will never restrict myself of something I want. However, there is eating when hungry, and eating because I am bored and keep thinking about the chocolate bar in my cupboard – so if I eat it the temptation will be eliminated (until I buy another one probably later that day). I have gotten into a good habit of eating a lot of food to fit with my training and fuel my body, but often I find that I do just eat for the sake of it; so this year I plan on learning to listen to my body, and only actually eating when I am hungry.
Last year I was lucky enough to get away on a couple of little trips, but this year I definitely want to go on some more adventures. There are so many beautiful places to see, and this is something I would love to include on the blog more regularly, as I love looking at other people’s incredible photographs and reading about amazing places to see and do.
I can be amazing at saving money when I want to (if I do say so myself), but with Christmas just gone, a few things needing replacing and fixing in our apartment, lots of nights out with friends, and an ever growing window shopping addiction, my bank balance has been crying out to me these last few months. In the new year I plan on getting back to my somewhat
sensible ways and saving money where I can. I definitely want to invest in making our home look nicer, and as we just got engaged there will be a rather pricey day coming up in the next couple of years which we need to save for, so those things will take priority. I won’t say that I definitely won’t buy clothes – because that would be a lie, but I will certainly make sure to invest only in things I know are worth it rather than impulse purchases. Same with food – takeaways will be only when we really fancy it, rather than when we can’t be bothered to cook, and we will have more nights in with friends, which always end up being just as much fun and a fraction of the price.
If you got through all of that then thank you for reading!!! This turned out to be a longer post than anticipated, but I really enjoyed writing it and reflecting on my goals. I know 2018 is going to be amazing, and I have lots of smaller things planned as well as my main goals, which I am sure you will see over the next year.
Can’t wait to share everything with you along the way!