I'm not one for setting big new year's resolutions, declaring to drop ten stone in a week, scale Kilimanjaro, and find fame and fortune before the last of the Christmas decorations have even been packed away. I don't see the point in setting myself up for failure. Where's the fun in that?
Instead of big resolutions, I prefer to set myself lots of smaller goals for the year that I should realistically be able to achieve with a bit of effort. I've given myself quite a long to-do list for 2016, full of things I want to do, places I want to go, and maybe a few things I'd like to work on before the year is through. Obviously, I'm here to share them with you today, or this long introduction would be completely pointless! Here they are...
1. Read more books than in 2015 and tackle a big chunk of my reading pile. It shouldn't be hard since I only managed to read three books last year (mostly thanks to stress and fatigue), and I'm already on my second of the year!
2. Cross stitch as often as I can, and complete all of the cross stitch kits I own by the end of the year.
3. Make a ton of hand-embroidered hoop art (festive and non-festive)- enough hoops to create an epic wall feature.
4. Learn how to crochet a granny-square blanket, and actually make one before the year is through. (Instead of just saying I will).
5. Arrange at least one meet up with my best friend. I've not seen her in over a year, since we currently live about 150 miles apart, and it's been far too long. I miss her.
6. Adopt a new pet, so I can have some company, and something to focus on every day besides the blog. The last of my fur babies died of old age three years ago, and as a huge animal lover, I hate not having any in my life. If we don't adopt a dog this year, I'd love to get some new bunnies or guinea pigs. Or an African pygmy hedgehog.
7. Get a hair cut. I've not had one in over two years and my waist-length hair is bugging the hell out of me. I want to lose about a foot off the length, and get it cut back in to a long bob soon.
8. Get an eye test and new glasses. I'm two and a half years over due an eye test, and my eyesight has definitely deteriorated since my last check up, so I can't put it off for much longer. I'm already blinder than a cyclops with an eye patch.
9. Try to spend less time living in my pyjamas and more time wearing actual clothes like a proper adult.
10. Have a good clear out and sell or donate anything I no longer want, wear, or need.
11. Learn how to edit photos like a pro. I'm shit at photo-editing, I admit it, I can't seem to get my photos to look good no matter what settings or software I try, and I've lost count of how many hours I've spent trying. Sometimes I lose whole afternoons to one photo. I want to take the stress back out of blogging, and finally learn how to properly edit my photos so I can be a much more productive blogger. Can anybody recommend any good photo editing tutorials / blog posts / websites / books / tips / advice etc? I'd really appreciate any help! (I don't have Photoshop). I've tried Googling for tips, but everything I found was very vague.
12. Keep on top of blog comments and emails, and stop being such a bad blogger! Oh, and reply to all the unanswered comments ASAP. (I'm sorry!)
13. Give the blog a make over and some much needed TLC. I'd like to give it a new look, remove anything no longer relevant, update the pages, retag old posts, and make it more reader-friendly.
14. Give my blog a brand new name, one that doesn't make me cringe every time I type it, and something that will be easier for people to remember.
15. Try to blog more outfits, make up looks, and manicures, like I used to do in the olden days.
16. Blog more posts about my medical care experiences, and living with chronic pain- anything that might be helpful for other sufferers.
17. Do all I can to blog regularly, and consistently, and focus on blogging lots of quality content.
18. Do my best to use Instagram regularly to share snippets of my day with you guys.
19. Clear my overdraft and pay off my Dorothy Perkins store card. I hate having any sort of debt hanging over me, no matter how small.
20. Stop using my overdraft to buy things I don't need, and stop shopping to cheer myself up whenever I'm bored, sad, lonely, or depressed. I've gotten in to bad habits, and I really need to stop.
21. Buy Christmas and birthday presents throughout the year, so I can spread the cost, and feel super-organised come December. I've already bought seven little gifts in the sales, so I'm off to a good start!
22. Arrange new appointments with the specialists, make a new plan of action, and put 110% in to whatever treatments come my way this year.
23. Start looking after myself properly. That means actually eating more than a meal a day, eating plenty of good nutritious, fresh foods, and drinking more water, and also getting more fresh air, exercise, and listening to my body when it's reached its limits pain-wise.
24. Push through the pain as much as possible, and get out of the house as often as I can, for the sake of my mental and physical health. Try to go on as many walks in the country park as possible.
25. Get outside in the daylight every day for at least 10-15 minutes, like the doctor advised. I've been struggling with this one a lot because most days I can't get down the stairs for the pain, but I need to find a way around it.
26. Make it down to the beach in Poole or Bournemouth for a paddle in the sea. I've not set foot on a beach in five years, which feels like a life time, and I'm dying to go. The coast is only two hours away, so I wonder if I could manage a little visit this Summer.
27. Make it to a concert... because I just can't go a year without going to at least one.
28. Take the Harry Potter studio tour in London, because I've always wanted to go.
29. Explore Christchurch in Oxford. I've lived locally all my life, but I've not spent much time down that end of Oxford. I'd love to go for a walk along the river and take along a picnic, and explore the gorgeous architecture in the summer.
30. Put the laptop down more and spend more time reading, crafting, writing, being social, and living in the real world.
I guess I'll have to wait until next year to find out if I achieve them all! (Or any of them!) I don't know how I'll do, but I'm going to give them all my best shot.
What are your new year's resolutions or goals for the year ahead?