SPOILER: I kinda *did* them. Weird…
One of the great things about keeping an analogue bullet journal is not only does it make you feel all fresh and organised and like you’re killing *insert year here*. It genuinely acts as a pseudo-diary too, keeping your random notes and scrawls documented in a way so that they are easy to find should you ever need to refer back to them. Case in point: my 2018 resolutions. When I was setting my intentions for this year (love that phrase and I completely have to give credit to my photographer Emma, who has reframed her resolutions as ‘intentions’ instead), I thought I’d take a flick back to remind myself what goals I set for the previous year and I was pretty surprised to see that I’d actually completed the majority of them. ‘Shook‘ as the kids would say.
I must now stress that this NEVER HAPPENS. We all set ourselves resolutions in January that are completely defunct by February, right? That’s how this whole resolution thing goes? So what happened here? What was different about my 2018 resolutions? Today I’m going to attempt to answer those questions and deep dive into what I actually completed and the reasons why I think they actually stuck this time round…
GET PERSONAL SAVINGS UP TO ‘X’. I actually didn’t do too badly with my finances last year and I 100% put that down to having a direct debit that automatically took money out of my current account each month and deposited it into my savings. The chunk felt a little uncomfortable at the beginning of the year and it would always take me by surprise when I checked my bank balance, but by the end of the year I was into a rhythm, knew exactly what day it would come out and was always prepared for it. If you’re struggling to meet a savings a goal set a direct debit up and as long as you can make ends meet elsewhere, max it out for as much as you can. You’ll get used it it. Promise.
BUY A NEW HOME. Yeah this one didn’t exactly go to plan. Mark and I had planned to sell up and move to a new home in 2018 after we’d completed our renovations here, but the market just wasn’t having any of it. House prices are all over the shop and after dabbling in the market for a bit, the timing just didn’t feel right for us. A bad market coupled with the fact that house prices where we’d like to live are enough to make you keel over *and* your eyes pop out of your head, it just felt like the smarter move to stay put, save up and see where we’re at in 12 months time. So that’s exactly what we’re doing. Instead we’re aiming to spend this year putting aways as much as we can (whilst cramming in some cracking holidays – balance and all that).
CONTINUE WITH REFORMER PILATES AT LEAST FOUR TIMES A WEEK. For the majority of the year I did this. There were a couple of hairy weeks in August when my book deadline was looming and I decided that the best way to reach them was to not leave the house for two weeks and that wasn’t great (and cumulated in me leaving the flat for the first time in two weeks and getting 50% of my hair chopped off). But aside from that I kept up with my Reformer Pilates classes if not four times a week, then regularly enough. I kept with scheduling my classes in my diary, as to give them priority, which always helps to bump up my class attendance and still sit down at the beginning of the month and book all my classes for the upcoming four weeks which seems to work well. Just like the saying goes for jobs, find a workout that you love and you’ll never feel like it’s a workout again.
TRY AT LEAST FOUR NEW CLASSES. I almost completed this goal. I’ve racked my brain and I think that I did three new classes last year. I tried out Arial yoga for the first time what was nuts. Great, but nuts. I didn’t find it to be the most sweat-inducing workout, but it was great for flexibility and stretching and actually just hilarious to be hanging upside down in a room of strangers with your legs akimbo. On the complete other end of the scale was spinning, which I have done before but haven’t tried for yonks and yes it was just as awful as I remember. I just don’t think it’s for me because I quite honestly just pant and melt for an hour. You can’t say that it’s not great cardio because it’s certainly that! The other class I tried was a Reformer Pilates one again, but this time in London at a new studio and boy was it TOUGH. Like so hard. I couldn’t keep up! Tough, but in a good way and I felt it the next day; plus it’s nice to have an option to do classes in London when I’m between meetings. So despite my tests and attempts to find something new, it’s still Pilates that has my heart.
READ AT LEAST ONE BOOK A MONTH. I did this one! And actually I exceeded my goals and completed 18 books. I really enjoyed it and although I love to read, I’m one of those people where a goal really helps put a rocket under my arse and to stay on track, so keeping note of my challenge on Good Reads really spurred me on. I changed my reading habits; reading in the morning and taking my book into my office with me so that I could read a chapter or two over lunch or whenever I was having a break and always making sure that I travelled with a read – preferably one that I was already into so that I was excited to read it on the plane. My top picks? Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I Know About Love’ and Gail Honeyman’s ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’.
GET SCREENTIME TO LESS THAN TWO HOURS A DAY. Ok, yeah. This one I completely failed on. Like spectacually failed on. I feel like I set new records for the most screen time in 24 hours. I think on one bad day I got to eight hours which makes me feel a bit sick in my mouth. That’s a whole contracted working day! I’ve put it back on the list for this year and I know we’re only one week in, but I’ve really bumped it up the priority list and in the past seven days I’ve managed to decrease my screen time by 42% compared to the previous week. The secret? Keeping your phone in a different room and using desktop to scroll through Instagram next time you have the itch because let me tell you the desktop site just ain’t the same – four minutes of scrolling and you’ll already be bored.
WRITE A BOOK. TA-DAH! I did this one and the end result is published tomorrow! I feel like a bit of a cheat for putting this as part of my New Year’s resolutions because with the deadline that I was given, unless something had gone horrendously wrong, then writing a book in 2018 was always on the cards. I say that, but then I did at one point when I thought that there was just NO WAY that I’d ever finish the book, check the contract to see what exactly would happen if I never got to the end. LOLZ. The worst part of 2018? Writing a book. The best part of 2018? Writing a book. What an experience, eh? And yes it comes out tomorrow and yes I spent the whole of last night wide awake because I’m just so excited.
DO ‘AT HOME WITH’ SEASON TWO. We did this one too! ‘At Home With’ season two was always on the cards for 2018, but unlike the book where I’d literally signed on the dotted line and said that I’d deliver a 70,000 word book by 1st September 2018, the podcast happens whenever Lily and I can find the time for it. We did and it was lovely and Lily and I are knocking our heads together for another season/a new project in the coming year. It was nice to set it as a resolution because it kept it knocking around and pinging back into my head, even when I was in the depths of book writing mode. If you’ve never listened before then give the episodes with Erica, Jules and Callie a go. My favourite episodes to record and my faves from our most recent series.
Photos by Emma Croman
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