Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Bring on 2018!

At the beginning of last year I said that as usual, I wasn't going to make any "New Year's Resolutions" but instead I came up with a list of things I wanted to try to change about my life over the course of the year. What followed was unquestionably the year in which I have made the most changes to my life, and indeed myself, ever. I've made new habits and broken old ones. Got fitter. Shed somewhere around 4st in weight and dropped several dress sizes. Streamlined my friendships and learned to share my time with people who I know genuinely like me for me, not for what I can get them. Learned to be more cautious about people.

- I set myself a goal to do at least 5,000 steps a day - it's now rare that I don't exceed 10k - but when I don't, I don't, it's no big deal.
- I wanted to change the way I was eating - I have, with the results detailed above.
- We planned to continue with works to the flat - and the last year has seen us gain a fabulous new kitchen, and a whole set of new windows and doors!
- We aimed to continue putting aside a good amount into our savings accounts and we've done so - that pot will continue to pay for improvements to the flat still needed, and to build ready for a future Hebrides property purchase.
- I wanted to have paid off at least £700 from my 0% card by the end of the year - and ended up with a figure of £703 paid off, a massive chunk of which was funded by doing surveys, and earning cashback on things I would have bought anyway.
-...and to have paid off that amount without dipping into savings to do so - not a penny of the money that was stashed aside to pay for the items has been touched to make payments to the card.
- I planned to upgrade my long lens this winter - it got done slightly earlier at the end of August as I had saved the money to do so.

There were a number of others things as well - some of which have been tackled already and others will continue to be a work in progress for a while longer. I'm in many ways a very different person to the one I was when I set my goals at the start of 2017 - I'm certainly a fitter, stronger one. And I've discovered I like that feeling of being stronger, of being an active person. I've learned that I can run, and that I can be brave enough to go back to the gym.

So it's now time to think about a whole new set of goals for a new year - and I really feel ready for some challenges too. I've summarised this online already as I really find the accountability of throwing things out there publicly works to keep me determined.

Personal/Health & Fitness:
- I will aim to keep up a good level of activity, with no fewer that 6,000 steps in a day
- Continue with eating well, using the FitBit to log foods some days to keep on track.
- Exercise at least 3 x per week - more is fine. Gym, running, swimming, circuits, HIIT Sessions - all good.

- Stretching is good and helps facilitate the exercise. Ideally a full stretching session at least once per week and mini sessions scattered through as well.
- Continue using my Bullet-ish journal to help with planning and general organisation
- Do Parkrun - either our local one or another, it doesn 't matter which, just DO IT!
- Visit the local climbing wall for a session.

Home: We want to continue with the works on the flat, initially to make it a lovely place for us to live, but also to add value.

- Hallway to be refloored/redecorated
- Plastering to be done in the front room and bedroom
- Electrical works to be done over the first third of the year
- Decluttering at a low level - focus on seeing items within the house that we don't use
- New coffee table for front room - this is a quality of life thing. 


- Joint savings to continue as they are
- I will keep a good eye on interest rates and make the most of any access we have to higher interest savings
- 0% card must be cleared by the end of October, and again as far as possible this needs to be done without touching savings.
- keep the extra savings ticking over to ensure that our Lundy trip in the spring doesn't have to be paid for from savings.
- Refocus on the small stuff - the odd frittering, and the impulse spends that have started to creep in a little.
- "Frugal February" to assist with the refocusing on the small stuff.


- Continue to work on gaining confidence in friendships
- Learn to be more tolerant without letting myself be used, and a little more patient without taking unnecessary amounts of sh*t!
- "Let it go" and "This too shall pass"
- Stop and think before acting
- Try not to feel hurt or upset when other people behave unpleasantly or unkindly - I can't control their behaviour, I can control my reaction to it.
- Be conscious and mindful. Think about the choices I have, and those I make going forwards
- Tidy up laptop in readiness for the new Airshow Season.
- Continue with volunteering stuff
- Try to tick a couple more items off our big "We want to..." list.

My intention is to pick out a single item to make a main goal each month when I've realistically got the time to focus on it, as well as working on progress on other items throughout. January is "Exercise Every Day in January" - as I wanted to kick-start my year on that front with really keeping up the habit of being active. Several friends have signed up to a Run Every Day challenge for the month, mine is simply to do "something" whether it is a run, the gym, a swim, or some form of exercise session at home. I want to start the year with a real focus on ditching the excuses and not finding reasons to NOT do things, as this is still somewhere that I fall down. If nothing else I can go and run my "standard" circuit which is a mile and a half - and can be done inside the 15 minutes that as previously established, we can do anything for! 

The one thing that's NOT on the above list of course is "Blog regularly" which I suspect has been on my year-list every single year in recent times, and I've always failed with it. This doesn't mean that I don't want to do this, just that I've decided to let go making a "thing" of it. Perhaps that will work better than a more stated intention on this one? We'll see!


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