…because sometimes resolutions aren’t a complete waste of time.
2019 has been an overall sweet year for many reasons (the upcoming Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special *AND* and the start of the Office Ladies podcast? What have we done to deserve this!?), but it’s also been the year where I’ve actually stuck solidly to a handful of personal goals that I laid out earlier in the year. A new year’s resolution that come November is still hanging around!? It’s new ground for me and it’s tricky to pinpoint exactly why these ones have stuck. Perhaps it’s because I was actually realistic with them and set out challenges and to-do’s that would be somewhat enjoyable and genuinely enriching. Maybe it’s because I’ve actually had time to pop my head above water this year thanks to all my time not being eaten up by writing a book. Or am I just practicing what I preach and living An Edited Life? LOLZ. Whatever the case I’ve succeeded in some stuff and it feels good. Need some 2020 resolution inspo? Here are some ideas…
I DO CARDIO. IT’S A MIARCLE. Back when we lived in London, I was bitten by the running bug. It was mainly due to my Dad who had taken it up and was then running half marathons like it was nothing. I ran around the block, up the canal, I made Mark join me at the weekend, I even ran during the dark winter evenings, striding through puddles and slipping up in dog poo. It was all going so well until I developed shin splints that made it painful just to walk down the stairs. Turns out my ol’ weak glutes just aren’t cut out for racing, so I pretty much gave up on cardio all together. For the past 18 months I’ve done Reformer Pilates weekly and I adore it. It’s relaxing and I leave the class feeling about five inches taller and pretty zen-ed out. It makes you sweat FOR SURE, but it’s not exactly cardio. My routine was lacking and I knew it, I just didn’t want to do put in the work to address it. So I started going to the spin studio that’s practically slap bang next door to my Pilates place – NO EXCUSE! – and you know what? It’s fine. It’s always more enjoyable if I go to class with a friend, or Mark, but it’s a form of cardio that I don’t completely despise and I’m feeling all the better for it. These days if I have to run for the train I don’t feel like I need medicine assistance immediately. I’m about five months in now and I hope that it’s a part of my fitness routine that I can keep up.
I READ 30 BOOKS IN 2019 (AND COUNTING!). At the beginning of the year I set myself the challenge of reading 30 books this year (seeing as I turned 30 this year – you see what I did there?), and earlier in the month I reached my goal! Seeing as I read 18 books last year, 30 was a bit of a stretch but I did it and with time to spare – WHO AM I? If you fancy setting yourself a reading goal I highly recommend keeping track of your reading material on Goodreads – you can even set yourself a yearly challenge on there and it will tell you if you’re behind, ahead or on track with your goal. I put my ticking off of this challenge down to two things: one – making Waterstones a regular stop whenever I pop into town and buying any books that tickle my pickle, and two – rarely going to bed without a 30 minute pre-bed reading sesh. Want to find more time to read? Have a read of this post.
I GOT A HANDLE ON MY FINANCES. I doubt you need another 300 word monologue on my love for Monzo, but it’s quite honestly changed my life. From my salary I cut off a chunk that goes into our house account for mortgage, bills and food costs, a chunk that goes into savings (Premium Bonds FTW), and then I drip-feed a fixed amount each month into my Monzo account. Anything that’s leftover in my Monzo at the end of the month I whip straight into savings. You can use it as a current account, or like I do – adding money into it from another, but the main selling point is that it breaks down your spending into categories and so you can see exactly how you outgoings shape up. My biggest spending categories are shopping (surprise surprise!), and personal care (all those spin classes soon stack up), but it’s seriously helped me with budgeting and had a knock on effect by upping my savings too.
I DID A COURSE IN LIGHTROOM. I have been saying for years that I’d like to learn more about photo editing. Video editing I really enjoy and have been doing since I started my YouTube channel; learning from scratch thanks to countless Google searches. But photo editing? Yeah I never really got the knack of that. Back in the day I would illustrate each post with just one photo quickly snapped on my camera and then promptly uploaded. I had no idea about contrast or temperature or highlights and lowlights and tints, let alone how to remove a stranded dirty sock from the background of an image. So it’s been on my list to learn more about the process for years. But in 2019 I finally did something about it and booked on to a one-to-one course with a local guy who teaches everything you could ever possibly want to know about Lightroom. It was SO INTERESTING and being the nerd that I am it felt like I was back at school. I made notes, learnt and load and already want to go back for more.
I TOOK SOME TIME OFF(-ISH). Working for yourself has what feels like an endless amount of pros sometimes and I thank my lucky stars everyday that I get to call this my job (trust me, my emetophobia made me a terrible bartender and my lack of ability to memorise the phonetic alphabet made me terrible at my call centre job). Whilst one advantage is that you can take time off whenever you want, in reality it means that you don’t really take time off at all. Of course that’s part of the self-employed deal which is cool, but this year I’ve tried to give myself a few mini digital detoxes here and there and I’m planning on shutting things down work-wise over the Christmas period; pre-scheduling some stuff to go live on here and my YouTube channel and just sharing on Instagram as and when I fancy. It seems like a small win, but it’s progress. Every little helps and all that.
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Photos by Mark Newton