It's difficult to reject the fresh start feeling that comes with a new year. I've never been one to get hung-up on setting resolutions, but I have often followed in setting some goals for the year. Generic ones like drinking more water or getting healthier, focused ones like blogging a certain number of times or reading X amount of books, and then there's this year.
I haven't set resolutions for 2018, instead I have more of a to-do list and - as lamely on trend as it might be - some well-being goals to work on through the year.
In my mind, these are likely to be easier to achieve but are a mix of constant work and things I've wanted to do for ages. I'm not setting myself up to fizzle out as usual, but instead, more of a little and often approach to get myself mentally in shape and build on areas I'm already developing.
Areas to work on
Getting shit done
I am a massive putter-offer. Whether I actually like the task in hand or not, I am easily distracted and am queen of getting a good excuse to feel like I'm legitimately putting things off. It's ridiculous and I annoy myself.
I shared the "secret" of how to get stuff done last year and it's something I started to live by (and it was great to hear a few of you taking advice from it, too 🤗). This year, I'm putting that to action on a much bigger scale, weaving in some of the 5 second rule magic and overall, just getting shit done. This goes for the menial alongside the meaningful and it's already proving to add a bit more happiness to my outlook.
This piece is an eye-opener if you need an extra push - "Anything worth doing brings a satisfaction distraction never can".
You do you
Making more considered decisions in the interest of me and sticking up for what I love and what I believe in. Literally, being more selfish.
It's a confidence thing and something I've fallen on before. Someone judging my hobbies or favourite things and me joining in on it to fit in the conversation, repeatedly putting myself out to help others and not getting the karma back from them or other people around, all in all, putting myself in a position I don't enjoy being in.
I'm programmed to be a people pleaser and that isn't going to stop, but this year, it's going to be balanced a lot better with my own interests and ensuring my character isn't effected in the process.
Reduce use of plastic
This falls into the to-do list as well, but given the scale it takes up, it's definitely a work in progress. With all the press around it and the more eco-options now readily available, last year, the impact of plastic on the planet took up a lot more of my thoughts.
I'm already making conscious decisions to avoid disposable plastic but this year, it's going to be amped up. Here are some easy go-tos if you're on the same path: Saying no to disposable cutlery when you have a proper set at home or the office (or go the next step and carry your own set with you for on-the-go lunching), bringing a reusable coffee cup with you, always having a tote or reusable bag in your handbag for picking up last minute bits, asking for no straw in your drink, shopping local - markets and independents - to avoid an abundance of pre-packed produce.
If you need more reasoning why this is such a big issue, get a cuppa and scroll through Refinery29's take as an intro. Or, if you want even more ideas on how to help the global cause, Gemma has some things to get you started.
Reduce meat consumption
Another area I'm already consciously working on, but one which I need much more education. Yes, I did get sucked in by Cowspiracy but it's a worthwhile area to get taken in by.
The environmental destruction caused in order to set-up grazing land for livestock is insane. It would never have been on my radar if I hadn't watched the doc and it's something that still isn't as prevalent or ~trendy~ as other global issues, or at least in my circles. The first step is education then I can put it into action.
I'm challenging myself more with this through the year and already have some food challenges in mind to see what I'm capable of. Being such a veggie lover anyway skipping the meat won't be impossible for me, but getting my carnivorous other half on board and severely dialling down my love of cured meat... that's where the real challenges are.
Monthly to-do lists
Whilst to-do lists are flying around everywhere at the moment; on blogs, in magazines, in conversation, I'm aiming to note down things to do each month, instead of just at the start of the year. This will be a mix of the day-to-day (i.e. upcoming blog posts to write, TV shows to finish and new dishes I'd like to cook) and mini goals to keep ticking off and working on (trying new exercise classes, learning new skills or sharing something out of the ordinary).
Exactly as it says. Brighton has been on my wishlist for years, it just so happens to seemingly be one of the most expensive places to visit for a UK getaway weekend.
As with the causes above, as well as broadening my knowledge for my career and blog, even with the fluffy stuff like getting fictional plot lines understood or working out what all the machines at the gym actually do.
Tick off even more of Leeds
My advocacy of Leeds grows by the day, but there's so much in the city and the surroundings which I still need to experience. Walks, museums, bars and restaurants that have become institutions within the area and exploring the suburbs to nail down my next living situation. If you have any recommendations, I'm ready and waiting to hear them.
I'm entering the second week (Jesus, January is SLOW) of the year with a positive outlook. It won't be a motivational haven everyday, but checking in with myself regularly through the year and keeping these goals in check is how I'm planning to move through 2018 and overall make the year a bit more worth it.
I want to hear your resolutions, your goals, or what you're working on for yourself. Inspire me with what's ahead for your own 2018.