Blogmas 2017

2017 Goals Review | Blogmas 2017 #3

Goals Review | Blogmas 2017

Last year I posted a list of accomplishments or things that I wanted to do or achieve in 2017.

I think reviewing this list will be interesting because it will allow me to see what I’ve been focused on this year. My hope is that, armed with this information, I can further develop that and also see what I should pay more attention to this year.

1. Slimming World

… dang it.

I’ll hold my hands up and say this did not go well. From January to March I was so focussed and determined however, slowly but surely my momentum decreased to nothing. I do want to try again in January. I always do, I’m never going to give up trying again – no matter how many times I fail.

2. Exercise

I’ll show myself out.

This is not going well for me. Again, I was completely on top of this at the beginning of the year, and then I once again lost all motivation.

I need to figure out a way to keep my interest throughout the entirety of 2018. How do I do that? I’m not entirely sure just yet.

3. Morning Routine

There has been some improvement here. It is by no means perfect however I think I’ve been getting better at getting up. Not necessarily to the extent where I can have breakfast, but I feel as if it’s definitely improved. I think something I’ll need to focus on next year is a Nightly Routine rather than a morning one.

I have so much trouble falling asleep at night and I feel like I’ll never get the morning one down if my evenings are spent wide-awake just thinking about anything that pops into my head until early hours of the morning.

4. Travel

FINALLY!

This year I did something that, for me, was pretty exciting. I decided to travel to Cyprus on my own.

Some wouldn’t consider this that exciting because:
1. I’ve been going to Cyprus since I was a child. I have a lot of family over there and a lot of friends made over the years and
2. I didn’t travel around Cyprus. I literally got on the plane, travelled to one destination and stayed in my parents holiday home for a week.

However, it was exciting for me because:
1. Although I’ve been travelling to Cyprus since I was about 8 years old, I haven’t been able to go over the last couple of years due to other holidays with family and friends.
2. Lack of funds and using annual leave for other commitments.

It was exciting for me to go back and visit old friends, the pubs and restaurants which I love and to embrace the familiar sights and culture. For me, Cyprus is very much a second home.

It was also exciting because it was the first time I’d travelled completely by myself, without any family or friends. While I missed them, and love travelling with them, I can’t deny that going solo was an entirely new experience and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was completely relaxed and could do anything according to my own schedule. I could go to the beach, or not. Walk around the shops or sit in a cafe for hours with a book and refreshments to keep me company. Or write on the balcony of my flat while watching the sunset.

The experience showed me that I can indeed travel alone and that I enjoy it. Hopefully now, whether it be Cyprus or elsewhere, I can do it much more often.

Side note: The above isn’t to say I don’t enjoy travelling with family or friends, because I genuinely do however, it’s nice to know that if there’s somewhere I want to go but no-one else does I can go anyway and enjoy the experience just as much.

5. Writing

As I said previously, I got quite a bit of writing done while I was in Cyprus. What I’ve enjoyed this year is going back through my work so far and improving upon it in so many areas. In terms of (hopefully) drawing the readers in, giving my characters a little more depth and attempting to put them in different situations.

As I looked through what I’d written, I thought about all I’d learned over the past few years and realised the main focus of the story was on the quest (manhunt) but that’s only one element. I’ve focused on that element and let everything else fall into place. I think this may have been somewhat subconscious on my part because there’s an event which happens much later and so I want to try and get to that bit faster. I need to slow down and take my time, so that when that moment happens it creates the impact I want from it.

Recently I confided in my friends that I find it difficult to get my characters from point a to point b in a way that’s meaningful to the story and not just for my convenience. It’s something I’ve noted and plan to improve upon. I’ve also seen, throughout my many drafts, that each time I revisit this story and re-write certain elements, I genuinely feel like I’m improving the story as a whole. It may not be exactly what I expected at the age of 21, but it has the same meaning and hopefully it’ll be that much better.

6. Cooking and Baking

While Slimming World was left in a shambles at the side of the road, my cooking this year has actually greatly improved. I’ve never labelled myself as a bad cook, the only dish I couldn’t pull of was Butternut Squash soup. (FYI, the second time around I nailed it). I still live at home, so I’m lucky that, when I get home from work, there’s a good chance someone has already cooked. “In that case, how could you have possibly improved?” one might ask.

A few ways. During the summer and October my family went away for a few weeks leaving me on my lonesome, or with my sister. I had a lot of fun making dishes from scratch, for example: Carbonara; Fettuccini Alfredo; Pork Chops with Baked Mash Potato plus many more. These dishes were pretty rich in flavour (and other things) but I enjoyed experimenting and trying new things without limitations.  I also made a Lemon Drizzle cake, and Salted Nutella cookies, for my sister when she returned from her holidays. Plus I hosted a Baby Shower for one of my closest friends so I cooked a Greek dish called Pastitsio and baked a cake (among other things). Next year perhaps I’ll try to be healthier in my choices, but I did improve my skills so that’s a bonus.

7. Reading

If you could see me right now you’d see me jumping for joy singing Celebration by Kool in the Gang. At the time of writing I’ve read nearly 50 books this year. This may not sound like a lot however, I started in May and it’s a lot more than I read last year. Plus, as an added bonus, this year I started a BookTube channel. Literally a YouTube channel dedicated to reading and talking about books. BOOM! How’s that for achieving your goals!

Yeah, screw my health – reading is clearly where it’s at! (… I’m sorry, please don’t screw my health).

While I’m happy with the progression it makes me even more excited for next year. I do have some Bookish resolutions which I plan to upload to my channel, potentially around New Years.

8. Fun

Last year I wrote about how I put 12 suggestions of fun things to do into a pink porcelain train. I’ve had this train for as long as I can remember, potentially since brith. The idea was to pick out one suggestion each month to give me something to look forward to throughout the year. I also mentioned that I always forget… do you see where I’m going with this?

I just checked my train. Sure enough, all 12 suggestions are still there.

Fortunately, I don’t need a train to have a good time!

For example, earlier this year I went to see Green Day live at Hyde Park (.. let’s ignore the fact I took the train to get there, shall we?). This was such an incredible experience, I had the time of my life. I’ve linked the blog post where I go into further detail about the day, so if you’re interested you can find my full thoughts there.

Something else exciting which happened this year: My friend Lizzie had a baby! If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen a picture on there. He is tiny and adorable and many of us are already attached to the little guy!

Earlier in the year I planned and hosted a Baby Shower for the mother and father to be, which was so much fun! I planned games, food, drink, mini-games and all sorts. (I should probably mention I love planning events, especially for friends). The day itself went off without a hitch! Everyone had a good time, both their family and our friends attended, and it was an all around good day.

Of course, we have hanging out with friends – whether that be down the pub, days out or chilling at someone’s home, good company is good company and shouldn’t be taken for granted. On my birthday this year I went to Brighton with one group of friends. It was fantastic! I had such a good time! With another group of friends we went to a pub/restaurant called Weatherspoons and Lizzie made me a Slytherin cake.

The detail of the crest and the other Wizarding elements she designed, for example the scar; the snitch; the wand; the sorting hat are gorgeous.

The fact that she created and designed this cake with me in mind just made it so special and really was the icing on the cake.

9. Blogging

Once again, can I just say: CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON! (do do do do do do).

Last year I said that after blogging for nearly a year (at that time), I wanted to look into domains and hosting and create a blog completely my own.

Well, I did it!

Of course, I have to maintain it. I’m not exactly where I want to be in regards to consistency and in terms of variety however, I write about what I want to write about. So as long as it’s the kind of content I enjoy then I think that’s the main thing. I want to continue moving forwards so I must continue researching and learning until I do reach my overall goals.

For right now though, I actually achieved what I set out to do which makes me so happy!

Further Thoughts

It’s fair to say we started off very shaky however, after that we got to the good stuff.

We had Slimming World and Exercise, where I’ve made virtually no progress. I’m disappointed in myself however, this review highlights that and allows me to re-think my main focus for 2018.

The Morning Routine, Writing and Cooking I personally feel I haven’t outright achieved the out-set target however, I’ve made strides towards achieving these goals. Overall I’m happy with that and plan to continue that progression into the next year.

When I wrote my goals for Travel I didn’t even contemplate the way in which I would work towards this goal. My travel goals are not something I can achieve in one year however, I consider travelling alone a milestone and one I’m glad to have had the opportunity to pursue.

Reading, Fun and Blogging it seems are the areas where I have made decisions which have allowed me to reach my goals. These were probably the easiest ones to achieve but honestly, I don’t mind. When I set ‘Reading’ as a goal, I didn’t think of BookTube. I had so much fun with family and friends this year and I achieved exactly what I wanted to with my blog.

I’m so happy I’ve taken the time to reflect on the goals of 2017. Some still need improvement, but that’s OK. It’s very difficult to change or improve every aspect of your life in one year. The idea behind these are to maintain a focus so that I can keep chipping away. It’s a constant reminder of what’s important when it comes to what I want to do and achieve in life. So long as I remember that, I’ll keep chipping.

Did you guys meet the goals you set last year? Let me know!



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