Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 goals

Happy New Year! Wow I can't believe it's 2017. I'm sure I say this every year but 2016 seemed to fly by!

I'm not one for resolutions at all, but I am obviously one for goals. However as I've mentioned in my last few posts, I want to take things a little more easy in 2017, so I've focused more on intangible goals than actual solid challenges this year.

But first, let's look at last year's goals and how I got one with those...

2016 goals I achieved
  • Be more brave in the kitchen
The first of my pretty intangible goals for 2016. I don't really know how I planned to measure this one, but I do think I've got a little bit more off-piste lately. I definitely follow recipes 90% of the time, but I've become much more comfortable with swapping and changing out ingredients and playing things by ear a bit more. I think I've also been more confident to try more complicated recipes and I'm excited to do this even more in 2017.
  • Run my first marathon
So this one was a bit of a cheat as I knew I had my first marathon coming up in April when I wrote my 2016 goals. You don't need me to tell you more about running my first marathon! It was probably the greatest achievement of my life so far and totally worth all the of blood, sweat and tears. I cannot wait to run another!
  • 10K and half marathon personal bests
I'm so proud of achieving two amazing personal bests in 2016. In May I ran my first sub-55 minute 10K, and in October I worked tremendously hard to achieve my first sub-2 hour half marathon - something I really wasn't sure if I was going to achieve! I'm really proud of my running in 2016 and hope to keep developing and pushing myself in 2017.
  • Start looking into buying a house
Phil and I started viewing houses in August, and after a few ups and downs we had an offer accepted in October on our dream house! There's a lot more to sort out and we're still not out of the woods yet officially, but hopefully we'll have more (hopefully good!) news in the coming weeks!

2016 goals I didn't achieve

  • Worry less
Yeah, no. My anxiety has been all over the place in 2016 and I really haven't been able to get a handle on it. But in fairness, this was a bit of a daft goal anyway and something I was never really going to achieve when I suffer from medically-diagnosed anxiety, but in 2017 I plan to find a way to control my anxiety better (see more below).
  • Read 40 books
I decided in March to read all the Game of Thrones books, and due to them all being absolute beasts I cut this goal down to 30 books. And also read It which was even longer. I have mixed feelings on reading goals as I sometimes find it makes me rush through books just to be able to mark them as "read" which totally takes away from the point of reading, but I do like to keep a loose goal for reading which keeps me focused.
  • Learn a new skill
Unless you count that I've listened to the Hamilton soundtrack every day for 3 weeks and I can rap along pretty well now, this is not something I achieved. And that's okay. Because I do a lot already and I can do everything. See this post.
  • Spend more time doing what I love and treat myself more
I don't honestly feel like I achieved these goal, even though I did do a lot of things I enjoyed in 2016, so I've rolled these over into 2017's goals. 

  • Spread more positivity
I admit I didn't really focus on this enough in 2016, but lately I have been trying to complain less. I think it's a British thing to complain just to make conversation, but I've really been trying to moan less, so I plan to try to keep this up this year!

(More reflections on 2016 in this post - 10 things in 2016)

2017 goals

  • Run two half marathons
With moving house and doing my course, I know a 2017 marathon is not going to be realistic, but I need to have goals for running otherwise I lose my focus. I love the half marathon distance because I'm not a fast runner so I don't enjoy 5Ks or 10Ks so much, and I like the commitment and training required for longer distances, but I don't always have the time to commit to a marathon. So I'm planning to do two half marathons in 2017. I've already signed up for the Great Manchester Run half marathon in May, and I'm planning to do to the Manchester Half Marathon I did last year again in October.
  • Get a half marathon PB
Or ideally, two! But I know the more you run a distance the less likely you are to get a new personal best (you should see how infrequently I get a PB at parkrun!), so it would be great to get at least one half marathon PB in 2017, although I know how hard-fought that 1:59 was in my last race!
  • Get my 100 parkruns tshirt
I got my 50 parkruns tshirt in 2016, and I'm currently on 77. I go to every parkrun I can, but because of a lot of weekends away in 2016 I only made it to 30. I hope to hit my 100th run this year.
  • Make our house a home
The house we're buying needs some work. We originally dismissed it because we wanted something we could move straight into, but instead we've got a much bigger and nicer house than I think we had originally expected for our money, but it needs a bit of love! It's going to be a long slog, but it's going to be really nice to get a chance to really make it our own, rather than just moving into a house filled with someone else's tastes. I know I'm going to find the process really hard work but I hope it will be worth it!
  • Read more (and keep myself in reading material)
When we're away in Spain each year, I never go anywhere without a book. I read while I dry my hair, read brushing my teeth, read anytime I get a second. My phone spends the trip on aeroplane mode or turned off in a drawer. And every time I come back from Spain I vow to keep this up when I get home. And I never do. I get home and find myself mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and Twitter all.the.time. But reading makes me feel good. It relaxes me. It doesn't make my eyes strain on the bus to work. So why don't I do it more? I blame not buying enough good books that excite me. Before I go on holiday I treat myself to 7 or 8 books that I'm really excited about, and then if I don't like one I can move on, but when I'm home I often force myself to read things I don't enjoy, which means I often don't read at all. I've started giving myself a book-buying budget every few months to ensure I'm never short of reading material, and I plan to keep this up to encourage me to read more in 2017. I'm sure I'll end up setting a Goodreads reading goal for the year, but I'm going to focus more on reading more, reading things I enjoy, trying new books and importantly, putting books down if I'm not enjoying them.
  • Sort out my blog layout
Eventually.
  • Say "no" more
I do a lot of things that don't make me happy because I hate to say no and let people down. But it's at the detriment to my own happiness a lot of the time. So I'm going to say no more if it means being true to myself.

  • Pass my marketing diploma

By this time next year I should just have finished my diploma. I hope all the hard work will be worth it!
  • Be more spontaneous
I plan a lot. I plan because it keeps me in control and helps manage my anxiety. But I do want to be more spontaneous. I suppose this goes against "say no more", but I want to let go a little bit more this year and be more free.
  • Stop being so hard on myself
I think this is the biggest goal for me and the hardest. I am constantly, constantly, constantly putting pressure on myself to be better and to do more. The way I treat myself and put pressure on myself can be awful, and I would never judge or berate a friend the way I do myself. I never, ever feel what I'm doing is enough. So this year I want to be kinder to myself. Stop trying to be perfect, stop trying to be better, cut myself some slack. Give myself a break if I don't want to go for a run, or if I take a shortcut making dinner, or if I want to have a lazy night. I want to take a step back whenever I'm horrible to myself and think, "would I speak to someone I love like this?".
  • Find ways to manage my anxiety
As I've mentioned before, my anxiety hasn't been good this year and I'm very aware that I'm not finding ways to control it. I had a few CBT sessions on the NHS but I didn't find them very useful, so I want to explore new options this year, whether that's yoga, meditation, puzzles, reading, or something completely different. I know there's no quick fix, but I want to at least feel like I'm doing something to improve it.
  • Take more time to relax
I'm a very restless person. I can't sit still, can't cope without having something to do, and I find it impossible to relax because I feel like I'm "wasting time." I can be a nightmare to live with because I'm always asking "what are we doing next?" and I never know what I can do to calm down my constant nervous energy. So one of my goals for this year is to find what relaxes me and do more of that. It sounds silly but when I read about self care and doing what you enjoy, I kind of draw a blank when it comes to thinking of what I like to do. So I plan to really try to figure out ways to relax and really make an effort to treat myself right this year and develop an arsenal of self-care techniques. Lately I've really been enjoying codeword puzzles as they keep my mind focused and relax me and still feel like a good use of my time. I'd also like to start journalling more just to clear my mind.
  • Set the intention for my day
My mornings usually end up a bit manic and I find myself rushing out of the door, which I know just isn't a good start to the day. So I want to start getting up a little bit earlier every day, not just the days I have a run or a workout planned, just to get a cup of tea or write a blog post or read some of my book or do a puzzle, just so I don't end up going into the day already exhausted and flustered! On the other side of this I want to make sure I go to bed earlier to ensure I get enough sleep, and try to end my day with some reading and writing, not always on my phone.

So those are my goals for 2017! There definitely seems a lot there which is a bit overwhelming, but fingers crossed I can achieve them!

I wish you all the best for 2017!

Charlotte x

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