Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Goals for 2013

Welcome to 1st January, the one day a year when millions of promises are made, only to be broken days later. I'm not really one for New Year's Resolutions (I've already had two Ferrero Rocher today) because I don't really think that anything is magically going to change when the clock strikes 12, but I am a goal-orientated person, so using New Year as a reason to write a new goal list certainly appeals. 
I did write a "22 before 23 list" back in March, but I was never happy enough with it to post it on my blog, and I have to admit I haven't really been doing much towards it over the last few months. I was quite happy to find, when looking it over last night, that I've actually ticked seven or eight off the list without actually trying, and a couple of the goals on my list have been transferred onto this new goals list. I've tried to make my goals quite tangible and achievable for the most part, but I've also tucked in a general life philosophies that I would like to implement more in the new year.
I think my major focus for my more tangible goals is a theme of self-development. After 18 years of education, this is the first time in my life I've not been learning, in the most fundamental sense of the word. Of course, I am "learning" every single day at work, but I miss the more focused, educational side of learning. A few things on my list are things that I've always said I "want to do one day" and this year I finally want to just do them. I really hope I can stick to these goals and see how things turn out next year. As I touched on yesterday, 2013 is a bit of a strange year for me because I don't really have anything coming up ahead for the first time. No university classes to complete, no living abroad, no big plans for the year, but as I wrote this list of goals I realised that this might be a good thing. I don't have anything to distract me from reaching these goals. A lot of them are just small things, but if I can keep on top of all of them I feel I will come out of 2013 as a much more developed person.
So, my 2013 goals...

Read 25 new books
I managed to read 21 this year even while doing my degree, and I read quite a lot on my way to work and the way home, so a book a fortnight seems realistic. This is also the year I want to read some books that have been on my "to read one day" list. I'm currently reading War and Peace and I'd love to give Ulysses a go this year. If you're interested in my reading progress, follow me on Good Reads!

Finish 3 Jillian Michaels DVDs (repeats included)
I'm really happy to have found an exercise routine I can stick to, and I want to keep this going in 2013. I have 5 Jillian Michaels DVDs now (30 Day Shred, Ripped in 30, 6 Week 6 Pack, Banish Fat Boost Metabolism and No More Trouble Zones) and Ripped in 30 is next on my to-do list. I'd like to complete that, along with 6 week 6 pack this year, and try at least one of the other two DVDs I have. I'd ultimately like to have a routine sorted where I can keep alternating DVDs throughout the year, but I thought I'd stick to 3 as a goal because that seems much more manageable!

Re-grow my nails
I was so proud of myself when I finally stopped biting my nails last year for about a year, but over the summer I somehow got back into the habit and now I can't stop! I know I can do it so I just need to get back in the mindset. I miss my nail polish collection!

Visit 5 new places
As I said yesterday, 2012 was a serious year of travel, which saw me visit 18 US States, Edinburgh, Paris and London. I don't anticipate that 2013 will involve quite as much travel (hello, full time job!) but I am hoping to get away with my friends again this summer to do another little travel across Europe, and there are also loads of places in the UK that I am yet to visit that I reckon I could squeeze in for the weekend. I absolutely love to travel so I'm hoping this year to find as many opportunities to get away, even if I won't be living abroad this year!

Do something with friends at least once a month
I know once a month really doesn't sound a lot, but now I've started working (and all my friends work too!) it gets really hard to even squeeze in a coffee or a dinner, but I feel so much better when I've caught up with my friends. I'm really going to make a conscious effort to make plans with my friends as much as possible, without burning myself out with commitments. And hopefully much more than once a month!

Take two photography classes, and start learning French
I start my first photography class next Monday (eek!) and because it's a beginner class, I want to take a more intermediate class in April. It's something I've been talking about doing for a while so I'm excited to actually do it! I've also said for years that I'd love to learn another language. I did 2 years of French and 5 years of German at school but my German leaves much to be desired and I could only remember a handful of French words while in Paris, so I've decided this year I'm going to make it happen. Because I can be guilty of over-loading myself, I'm planning on starting a beginner French class in September and seeing how I get on, and if I'm passionate about learning it, I'm either going to continue with classes or buy a Rosetta Stone course. Advice is much appreciated!

Cook one new meal a month
As I've mentioned before on my blog, my Mum and I split the cooking between us throughout the week, with me cooking a meal for Sunday dinner and another to eat for two days after work in the week. While I often make new dishes, I do have favourites that I fall back on because they're easy and I enjoy them, but considering I have a dozen cookbooks and over 2000 recipes pinned on pinterest I should definitely branch out a bit!

Wear coloured lipstick or eyeshadow once a week
I am a bit of a makeup hoarder. I tend to buy pretty eyeshadows and lipsticks and save them for "special occasions" which are usually never. I also moan that I find lipstick too high maintenance and I don't have the time for eyeshadow, but it's definitely something I want to work on in the New Year. I have about 100 makeup tutorials favourited on my YouTube account!

Slow down, plan less, stop worrying and appreciate the moment
I always pride myself on being obsessively organised, but it can be a blessing and a curse. I definitely found it coming to a head in Paris where I was so focused on what we were doing next that I couldn't fully enjoy what I was doing at the time and it made me sad. It's a difficult habit to break from. I am naturally a major Type-A personality and I find it difficult to stop thinking ahead all the time and worrying about what will happen. This article on Thought Catalog (by the ever-amazing Ryan O' Connell) this week really struck a nerve with me:
'I’ve never been a Zen type of person. Quite the opposite, actually. I’m always thinking far ahead, planning and taking the necessary stephs that will lead me to where I need to go. It’s a hellish way to live because you’re incapable of enjoying anything in the moment and are, in a way, permanently dissatisfied...'
'"Where you need to go.” Think about what that even means. It indicates a discontent with your present life, a desire for something else. But, honestly, the kinds of people who are always talking about “where they need to go” are the ones who will never be happy with anything in their life. There will always be another high to reach, a new destination to go to. And if that’s the case, if you can’t even enjoy things as they’re happening to you, what the hell is the point of even existing?...'
 'Besides, the only way you can ensure having a good future is by living a good present. That’s it. That’s the secret to getting exactly what you want out of life. So start paying attention to what’s going on around you. Otherwise, you might miss everything and give yourself a real reason to be unhappy.'
My constant worrying and planning and thinking ahead is forcing me to miss out on enjoying the moments that I will go on to miss. A quote from my favourite book, Invisible Monsters, is apt here-  'No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention.' That's the feeling I want to avoid this year.

Bring more positivity into the world
I absolutely loved the resolution that Kaelah made to think more about what you bring to the world and whether it is positive. I'm a naturally pessimistic person and it's not a trait I like in myself. I can be horribly whiny and I hate myself for it at times. This year I really want to force myself to stay present and focus on the positive aspects, and spend less time reading negativity, engaging and negativity and posting negativity.

Go a year without worrying about not having a "plan"
One of my closest friends asked me a few days ago what my plan was now. The truth? I don't have one. God don't get me wrong, I desperately, desperately want to have a plan (see further up!) but right now, I'm just not in a place to formulate one. I don't know what this year will bring yet. Right now I'm happy in my job and I want to stay working there for a while. In a year, or two years, I might want to go travelling again, or fulfill my dream of going back to university and getting my PhD, or I might have advanced further up the ladder at work and want to keep working up. I might want to carry on living with my parents or I might want to rent an apartment or buy a house. I might want to buy a car. Right now, I don't know. 2013 is the year of the unknown, and as much as that freaks me out in a lot of ways, going into a year of the unknown means going into a year of freedom.

What are your goals for 2013?

5 comments:

  1. Yesssss come to Europe and visit me! :D I think it's good to have resolutions, even if they're small ones like cooking or wear lipstick! (those are actually on my resolutions list too btw) Exciting to hear about the photography classes, I've been wanting to take some for a while too but I just don't have the time :( and do share some of your recipes here, I want to try out new things too! :) xx

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  2. This is such a great list of resolutions, I really want to read more this year too, and after seeing your French resolution I think I am going to add that to mine. I started learning earlier this year but got distracted. My boyfriend is French and we live together so I really don't have any excuse. Good luck with all of them, and Happy New Year xo

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  3. Love your goals - I'm sure you can achieve them!

    -Kati
    http://almoststylish.blogspot.de/

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  4. These sound like great resolutions! I only have read 20 books on my list, and I'm still trying to convince myself to get back on my Wii fit or treadmill... Jillian Michaels is too intense for me :) Definitely agree with the cooking resolution too. I just bought groceries to try three new Pinterest recipes. One of my resolutions was to start meal planning, so we'll see how that goes.

    Love your blog and style. Just spent half an hour looking at posts!


    Leslie
    www.southernflairblog.com

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  5. Mine is just to be on time, for some reason I'm always late!!


    I'm not from the UK and can't get enough of it, every time I go to a new place, you're lucky to be living there you get to go to all sort of amazing places that are very close to you..


    All the best in your goals!!

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