Tuesday, 3 January 2017

New year goals

Happy 2017, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful one. I personally (if not politically) had a great 2016 and in particular an amazing Christmas and New Year with all my friends and family. I know some people think New Year’s resolutions are stupid, or impossible to stick to, and they might be right, but I like them anyway. Any excuse for a fresh start is just fine by me – I like new diaries, blank pages, that feeling that anything is possible. What I don’t like is unrealistic goals, beating myself up for failing, or focusing on negatives, so I’ve tried to make my goals really positive and achievable whilst still challenging myself to work on self improvement.

Goals, not 'resolutions,' should be things that ultimately will make you happier. Please don't compare yourself to anything - an Instagram photo, a number on the scales - except your own happiness metre. Aim for little goals that make your world just a little lovelier to live in. Even if you just resolve to paint your nails on a Sunday night - whatever makes you smile that little bit more.

1. Run a 10k, and a run a sub-30 minute 5k. I’ve actually booked my 10k in for the beginning of March already so I just need to get out running again, but I’m nervous, because I’ve booked two 10k races in the past and both times I’ve had to pull out – once through a dislocated knee, once through a month-long flu – and I’m really nervous that I’m somehow jinxed and won’t get to run this one either! But I’ve made enough excuses and neglected my Strava for too long. My sister-in-law bought me running gloves and a bandana for Christmas so I’m out of excuses – pounding the pavements begins in earnest again this week. Running is the first exercise I have ever truly enjoyed - just running outside, breathless in cold air like a child. I don't run to lose weight or to punish myself, I run because I love it, and I really like seeing myself improve. 

2. Kind of linked to that, but I want to get healthier. Not just exercise but diet – my 30th birthday is coming up and bearing in mind that that might make me feel a bit old and decrapped, it would be nice to be in the best shape of my life. I’m not talking about calorie counting or anything. Just less beige food, more vegetables in butter and avocado, a few pieces of good chocolate rather than a guilty giant bar. I don't want food to be the enemy, I want to enjoy everything I eat and know that it is doing me good. 

3. Stay in more. Last year was amazing but by the end of it I was completely exhausted. I want to aim to only go out one night in the week and one at the weekend, and spent the rest of them on the sofa, making the most of my new Netflix subscription, reading, painting my nails and going to bed before 11pm. I am nearly 30, after all!

4.  Read more. I read more last year and I want to up it again in 2017 because reading is one of those things that makes me truly happy. Last year, I read a lot of non-fiction, and while that’s great, I don’t want to read just to ‘learn,' or to impress people by showing them how clever I am – I want to read more books just for the sheer delight of it. This Christmas, I started a cosy mystery series called the Hannah Swensen Cookie Jar stories. They're all pretty similar - just nice tales of a girl in a small town in Minnesota who somehow ends up solving murders - and I love them. They're nicely written, and okay, they're not going to teach me anything - but reading them made me happy, and that's the point. 

5. Write more. Blog posts, yes, but more as well – more articles, more short stories, and if I can bring myself, more chapters of my book. I rarely discuss my book because I hate it (I hate my own writing more than anything – it’s never, ever good enough for me) but if I got hit by a car tomorrow, the one thing I’d regret more than anything else is not finishing it. So I want to take myself off to coffee shops on Saturday afternoons and write, even if it's just a little bit. I want to try and remember how it felt as a child when I wanted to do nothing else. And if that means starting a smaller, less ambitious writing project initially then so be it. 

6. Be less attached to my phone. I like Instagram and I love sharing photos and seeing other peoples' content, but social media in too large a dose is toxic. I want to sit and watch TV with my husband and really take it in. I want to go for dinner and leave my phone in my bag all evening. I want to sit with my baby nephew and not have one eye on Facebook. I want to experience everything firsthand, not reflected back at me through a tiny screen. 

7. Worry less. You know that old Mark Twain quote - 'I've had many worries in my life, most of which never happened' - that could've been written about me. The imaginary scenarios I create in my head are just mind-blowing, at times. I want to do whatever I can to reduce those worries and stop convincing myself that the worst-case is always about to arise. Meditation, yoga, exercise, whatever it takes, I want this to be the year I take another step back from the demons in my head.

8. More hot baths. Filled with luxury bath oil and things from Lush and face masks and expensive body cream. Because it is my pleasure, and life is so short.

9. Do things as soon as they come up rather than letting them build. Not the fun things but the little things, like taking clothes back to the shop for a refund, booking a smear test or a dental appointment. Things like this crowd my mind and stress me out in a way I'm sure is somehow ageing me faster and it's so ridiculous! Just do them and get them done with and leave clearer space for the rest of my life.

10. Spend money mindfully. Spend it on spoiling my relatives and friends, on holidays and wild nights out. Spend it on golden bath oil, good books, and new notebooks with thick white pages. On one cashmere cardigan with soft sleeves, a pair of brown leather boots I'll wear forever, a white silk shirt, a perfume that smells like summer. Not on endless £60 orders for bad quality clothes I won't wear, or phone covers, or fast food, or yet another nail polish. Just thinking before I click 'Pay now.' 

11. Every day make the effort to wear one thing that you think makes you feel nice or that somebody might compliment. A bracelet, a red lip, a cardigan with sausage dogs on it, a slide in your hair. Something to make you a little sparklier. 

12. And every day, give one compliment to somebody else on a little thing about them, to make them feel a little sparklier too. 

I think that's a good place to start! Did you make any new year’s resolutions this year?  


  1. More baths is definitely a good goal to set! Really love reading your blog x


    1. Thanks so much! I really appreciate it :)

    2. no. 12 is my fave! Lovely post :)
      Frankie x

  2. I'm a big fan of resolutions! Why would you not? It's always nice to remind yourself of a few things you like and a few things that you could do just a little better, why not use the opportunity of 'it being the 1st of January' to do just that? :D Love to have read yours anyway, and I'm cheering for that book!
    A couple of my resolutions are:
    - start going to a yoga class again
    - eat less meat
    - finally finishing a particular book about photography that has been lingering in my bedroom for forever
    - be a good listener for my friends and send them a tiny message, a postcard or something sweet whenever they need it

    1. I love that one about being a good listener and doing little things for your friends - that's such a lovely idea! xx

  3. This is an amazing list! I really identify with everything you said on the reading and writing more points, these are things I really love and always want to do more of but never make the time for. My writing always annoys me but whenever I find something from a few years earlier I'm always really impressed with it and feel like I couldn't write like that any more - obsessing over every word will always make everything seem awful so maybe it's time to just go for it and keep writing and leave the self critical editing for later! Xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    1. I do that too - read things back and it's as if someone else wrote it! Definitely, let's try and just go for it this year xxx

  4. This is a lovely list! I also want to read more fiction this year - I love how you can just get totally lost in it xxx
    Sophie Cliff

  5. I love reading!! I actually set a goal to read at least 25 books this year just so that I have something to work towards. Hope you have a wonderful year!

    - Avalon from simplyavalon.blogspot.com

  6. These are some great goals! I wish I enjoyed running, I keep trying every now and then in case something *clicks* for me but I just don't think it's my bag sadly! :D

  7. I love number 11! Wearing something that makes you feel good makes all the difference. It really sets the mood for the whole day. Lovely post x



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