I know I made one last year, but I’m not really one for making resolutions as I’m rubbish at keeping them! But over the last few days, I’ve been thinking that there are actually a few lifestyle choices and character traits I wouldn’t mind changing. So I thought it would be a good time to put together a list of little things I want to aim for in 2019 and share it with you guys here on my blog. I hope you enjoy having a read of them.
01. This year I would like to read more. When I was younger I’d devour book after book after book. But last year I only managed to read one! I find this so sad as I love getting lost in a good story. Do you? I’d like to try and read at least two books per month during 2019, and I’m going to be starting with a book called One Day In December by Josie Silver.
02. I would also like to write more. And I don’t just mean here on my blog. I used to have the ambition to write a children’s book, but I’ve not put pen to paper in a long time. I’d love to actually sit and write one this year, even if it means only my own children get to read it.
03. Speaking of my blog, this year I’d like to try and write a lot more personal posts than I usually do. Since making the move from hobby blogger to professional blogger back in 2013 I’ve found the majority of my posts end up being sponsored, and because of this, there’s been a serious lack of personal posts. Since the new year though, I’ve tried to post every day so I can write more about the things I love, and I’ve been so much happier with the content I’ve produced. Have you guys noticed a difference?
04. Work wise, I’d like to try and manage my workload better this year. At the moment I don’t really have a routine, and I’ll often come in from dropping Oscar at school and try to crack on with as much as I can while I’ve got some time to myself. But during the day I’ll often get distracted, and find I don’t get as much done as I’d have liked. This then leads to me working in the evenings too, when I’d prefer to be spending time with my kids. And, to be fair, I actually write better early in a morning, so I should probably try to get up before the kids and get my work done. Then I’d actually have more time to enjoy my day.
05. With a set routine for work in place, I feel I’d be able to look after myself a bit better. At the moment I tend to snack a lot throughout the day instead of stopping to eat a proper breakfast or lunch. And I would love to go to bed a fair bit earlier than I currently do too. I would love to go to bed by 10 pm each night – and not then lay scrolling through my phone for a good half hour. A 10 pm bedtime and a good night’s sleep is definitely one of my priorities this year!
06. I’d also like to try and eat better this year. And I know my friend, Ellen, is wanting to do this too, so I’m hoping we can motivate each other! I’d like to eat less overall and eat more of the right things. I’m the worst for snacking on chocolate and crisps throughout the day when I should be reaching for a piece of fruit instead. I actually gave Slimming World a try for a while last year and found I felt so much better in myself when I was watching what I was eating, so maybe it’s time to try it again.
07. I also need to drink more water and will be aiming to drink the recommended 6-8 glasses a day from tomorrow. I love the odd glass of water so it shouldn’t be too difficult to try and drink more. At the moment I just seem to drink a gallon of tea each day!
08. Last year I discovered that meal-planning works really well in our house, as the kids like to know what they can expect to be eating in advance. But do I meal-plan every week? Do I heck! I do it for a couple of weeks and then give it up for a couple more. I’d like to start meal-planning on a much more regular basis, and also try to encourage the kids to try some new foods. Oscar is usually up for it, but Stacey’s much more reluctant to give new recipes a try. I think that’s why I give up planning meals in advance so easily, because I know we’re going to eat the same 10 things over and over again.
09. I’d also like to get back into baking this year. I’d often bake two or three times a week when I was younger, but now I only do it once or twice a year. It’s such a shame as it’s something I really enjoy.
10. I’d also like to take more trips to the theatre this year. I managed to see a grand total of 3 ‘grown-up’ shows last year, as I mostly took Oscar to see things like Peppa Pig and Bing Live. So this year I’d like to go a lot more. The theatre is like seeing a story come to life for me, so you can imagine how much I enjoy going along.
11. And since I love the theatre so much, I’m also considering joining a theatre group. I love singing and dancing, even though I’m not great at them. But think that being part of a group of like-minded people would be good for me. I don’t have tons of friends who I spend time with, so often find I get a little lonely. I think taking up a new hobby outside of the home would do me the world of good.
12. Last year I found myself catching the travel bug, so I’d like to visit a few new places with my two little munchkins this year. I don’t care whether these places are in the UK or abroad, as long as we get to explore somewhere new. So if you have any suggestions of places you think we need to see, be sure to let me know in the comments below.
13. This year I need to try to be more organised. I’m forever putting things down and forgetting where I’ve put them. Or I’ll arrange to meet a friend for coffee and then totally forget and agree to meet up with another friend for lunch at the same time. I’m such a scatterbrain! This year I’ve bought myself a diary and I’m going to try and put things away as soon as I walk through the door so I know exactly where they are when I need them.
14. And I also need to say yes more. I often get invited to swanky events through my blog, but I rarely ever accept because I worry what people will think of me. Last year I actually surprised myself and accepted an invitation to the opening of the brand new Boux Avenue store in Nottingham, but I got so worked up about not having fancy enough clothes to wear to it that I made myself ill and couldn’t go. This year I’d like to stop doubting myself as a person and just say yes. If I don’t, I just know I’m going to start regretting it in later life.
15. I’d very much like to learn to take better photos this year. I recently purchased the Huawei P20 Pro and it has an amazing camera on it. But my photography skills aren’t the best and I feel like I could learn to take much better pictures with a little help and advice. I’m going to look at enrolling back onto the college course I was going to do a couple of years ago to learn photography as I think that would be a step in the right direction. You might remember me mentioning it before, but I never got to take it as we had weeks of treacherous snow and the trains weren’t running. I was gutted!
16. I’d also like to start walking more. I love going out and stretching my legs, but I don’t do it anywhere as much as I should do. I think if I went for a nice long walk 2 or 3 times a week I’d feel much healthier than I do now. And if I improved my photography skills I might get some awesome pics from my walks as well. How awesome would that be!?
17. Another thing I enjoyed doing when I was younger was cross stitching. And that’s something else I’d like to get back into this year. I don’t have loads of spare time, but I thought I might be able to create a couple of nice pictures for the kids’ rooms throughout the course of the year. I’m sure they’d love them.
18. I mentioned before that I don’t see my friends as often as I’d like to. So I’d like to try and plan more fun days out with them this year. I’m thinking nights on the town, pop concerts, coffee dates or even just walks in the parks. Anything that means I get to see them more than I usually do would be fantastic. Let’s hope they like the idea!
19. And last, of all, I’d like to try and build up a nice little emergency fund this year. I’ve had more money worries than a little over the last twelve months and I’ve hated every second of it. Yet if I’d been savvy with my money in the past I know this wouldn’t have been a problem. I’m going to be working on the 30/50/20 method from this month and using 30% of my income to pay the bills, using 50% for food shopping and luxury items and then I’ll be putting the other 20% in an ISA for a rainy day. Hopefully, this will help me manage my money better and I’ll build myself a nice little emergency fund for the next time I do loads of work and my clients are super slow at paying me!
And there you have it – nineteen lifestyle choices, life lessons and tweaks to my character for the year ahead. I think it’s safe to say that most of them can’t really be ticked off as I go along. They’re mostly just habits that need to be changed or worked on. But, hey! They are things that I genuinely think will make me happier, make the year brighter and help 2019 to be an even better year than the last one was.