If I am honest, I usually find New Year’s Eve rather boring, we generally stay in while it feels like the world and his wife are out partying and yet I feel I have to stay up until midnight has passed because there’s just something about seeing the new year in that means I don’t want to miss it. However, I do really like the promise that a new year brings. We usually have the Christmas decorations down by New Year’s Eve because I like to start the year fresh and clean from the chaos that Christmas brings.
Naturally New Year is also a good time to make some changes in life. It is traditional to make resolutions at New Year and while I don’t tend to call them resolutions I do have some ideas of things I would like to achieve this year. I must confess that I have been skeptical about sharing them on here. It gives me a sense of accountability and while that can be a good thing I also worry that I will put too much pressure on myself. However, I’ve decided to bite the bullet this year. Last year I had some goals of things I wanted to achieve but I found not having any accountability meant I sort of let myself off! So I’m determined that this year shall be different!
To be driving: This was my main goal for last year. I actually applied for my provisional licence last January but it took a whopping six months to get it and then I was recovering from my surgery in the summer so I didn’t actually start lessons until the middle of October. By the time I managed to get in for my theory test (which I passed first time) the earliest I could have my test was this month. So with lessons under my belt and a test booked, I am hopeful that I should be driving this year! You never know though, the nerves may well get the better of me and the waiting list for tests is two months.
Develop my photography: I love taking photos. I am not very good but still, I like taking them, especially of Cheeky Chap despite his reluctance at times. For my birthday last year I took a photography course during which I learned a lot. However, I appear to have forgotten most, if not all of it! While my iPhone is good enough for quick snaps to share on social media, I want to have more photographs around our home as well as make this blog more aesthetically pleasing. I’m sure with lots of practice I can find my style and refine my skills.
Get a job: This is going to be a high order, no doubt about it. I can’t commit to a job outside of the home on the grounds of my health. I can’t walk more than a few meters at a time and even on good days I tend to need a nap as I get so tired. I don’t have any sales skills and although I have been offered countless opportunities through friends with multi level marketing companies, they feel far too much like pyramid schemes to me and require initial investment. Even at £100 it just feels too uncomfortable for me. Ideally I would like to find a job (or set up a business) as a virtual assistant, social media assistant/manager or copywriter. However, it also feels like the internet is rife with people advertising their skills and I simply do not know where to start or whether I should do any formal training but I really want to find a way to earn an income.
Grow my blog: I know I shouldn’t care about stats but actually sometimes I do. I love this online space of mine and I want to grow it. I do sometimes get upset when I see my embarrassingly low figures. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I ignore stats. I write for me, as a record of our lives and because I enjoy it but I would love to get myself out there more, to have more regular readers and to be able to work with brands and earn an income from it. I know that I need to be more consistent with my posts and I need to comment on other blogs more regularly. I am the first to hold my hands up to getting into the habit of reading without commenting and as a writer I know how much it means to have people comment on your work. So this year I am going to post more consistently but also not just for the sake of it and I am going to comment more on other blogs too.
Budget: We have never been particularly good at managing our money well. We seem to live payday to payday and by the time each payday comes round we have usually spent every single penny. We manage of course but only just. It feels uncomfortable though and every week I worry that there has been an error with the husband’s pay which has happened on more than one occasion such is the joy of working through an agency. I really want to change this, give ourselves a little bit of breathing space. As a student I have a free version of You Need A Budget to help me to track exactly where our money is going and I am trying to use that, so far it is working. I have heard rave reviews of how it has helped people to escape the payday to payday cycle so I am hoping it will have the same effect on us.
Holiday: We love our trips to Hope Cove. They give us some much needed quality time together as a family and the stresses of life that weigh heavily on our minds are lifted as soon as we get there. While we recognise we are fortunate to be able to have semi-regular weekends away, we would like a proper holiday of ten days to two weeks abroad this year. The husband and I haven’t been abroad since we got married eight and a half years ago and so Cheeky Chap has never been abroad. This is obviously linked to the budgeting above since if we don’t succeed in managing our money better and getting an additional income, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to go anywhere, much less abroad!
Studies: I am currently studying for my first module towards a degree in Childhood and Youth Studies through the Open University. I was disappointed with my result from the Access course last year and only just managed to pass it but my final submission was due in just before my surgery so I have let myself off slightly! I would like to finish this module with a much better score (even though it doesn’t actually count towards my degree classification) but at the very minimum I would like to get the same score this year. It’s proving a lot more difficult than the Access course in terms of the sheer volume of content but hopefully I can get a decent pass.
Be more organised: If I want to grow my blog, work from home, study and budget better I need to become better organised than I am. I largely just move from day to day keeping a lot in my head and leading to a sense of feeling overwhelmed. This needs to change as I end up sitting down not knowing where to start, or I have the feeling I should be somewhere, or I go to bed thinking about all of the things I should have done and didn’t because I felt overwhelmed. I have a Stick to Stigu planner which has a full page for notes or lists on one side and a columned weekly planner on the other side. I have also started to print out a monthly overview, noting when bills are due or any important appointments that both the husband and I need to be aware of and I stick that to the fridge. So far this is a system which is working for us but it is still early days. I will have a full review of the planner once I have used it for a few weeks.
Sobriety: Finally but most important of all and one I am sure goes without saying is I want to stay sober. It has changed my life for the better in so many ways. I am in a really content place now and happy with myself and life, I don’t want to lose that and I know that if I was to pick up again, I would. Without putting too much pressure on myself that I will crack but a day at a time I am sure I can remain sober and continue to grow as a person.
So I think that’s it for me, for my plans for 2016. Do you set any resolutions or plans for the year ahead? If you do, what are they?