Whether you like it or not, the 1st of January always brings with it the old “new year, new me” feeling and personally, I don’t think you can beat the start of a brand new year to set yourself some new goals.
If it’s to better yourself, or better the environment around you, I think now is the perfect time to reassess what you’re less than happy with in life and make some steps towards changing it. Ain’t nobody got time for moaners and groaners who do absolutely zilch about the situation they’re in.
I was a pretty negative person in some parts of 2016 and I desperately want to change that over the next 12 months. Obviously I’ll be doing the usual trick of trying to shed some unwanted weight and exercising a little bit more, but this year it’s about doing certain things to make me a happier person in the long run. I really dislike the term resolution, it just adds too much pressure, so I’d rather work towards something and call it a goal instead. That way when I reach it, I can also say I’ve achieved something. So without further ado, here are 17 goals I want to try and work on during 2017.
1. Listen to more books – I say listen because I’ve just subscribed to Amazon Audible and am currently listening to The Secret (more on that below) on the way to and from work. I figured the 90 minute commute I do every day could be put to some good use. I’ve already added so many great books on my wish list so by the end of the year I’ll have hopefully “read” 12 new books. That’s probably 12 more than I would have done if I’d have actually bought the physical version.
2. Practise The Law of Attraction – As I mentioned above, I’m currently listening to The Secret and it’s amazing. It’s all about positive thinking and really picturing in your mind what you want from life and believing that it’s going to happen. It’s the idea that the thoughts you put out into the universe come back around to you. For example, if you keep thinking negative thoughts and surround yourself with negative energy, you will experience this in your life. Positivity, however, breeds positivity. I’d definitely suggest you have a read of The Secret if you haven’t already.
3. Cull negative people – If you’re on my social media timeline and you’re constantly moaning in some way or another, then I’m unfollowing you. If you’re in my life and you’re constantly being negative, then I’ll be spending less time with you. It really is that simple.
4. Start scrapbooking – I’m really lucky to travel a lot, both personally and for work, and I’m always snapping pictures yet everything I do ends up digital format. Pictures go straight on Instagram, and memories go straight in my little memory box in the spare bedroom. So this year, at the end of each month, I’m going to print out all my pictures and take all my snippets of memories etc I’ve collected, and I’m going to scrapbook it. I’ll show you come the end of this month how I’m doing it.
5. Save £8,000 – Now this is a big one. Big. Probably the biggest goal I’ve ever set myself. Because £8,000 is a hell of a lot of money to save, especially when you’re doing it alone, but I am going to do it. I’m going to work my arse off to get that money together to put towards a deposit for my first home I plan on buying. Any money that comes my way, whether it be from blogging, freelancing, selling my soul on eBay, is going into a savings account. I have to save £666 a month for this to work. So far for January I have £300 so not too bad.
6. Perfect a night time beauty routine – I want to be one of those girls who really cherishes and looks after her skin. I’m more a wash and go kind of gal right now, so I want to perfect a night time beauty routine, especially skincare, nails, hair and moisturising before bed. Your body repairs so much of itself while you’re sleeping so I thought why not give it a helping hand.
7. Stop being judgemental – Even though I hate myself for doing it, sometimes I can be judgemental. I judge a situation or person before I understand the full story so this is something I really want to work on in the new year. I see this certain trait in people around me and it really isn’t nice to witness.
8. Do more for charity – If you follow me over on Twitter, you’ll know that this Christmas (and previously in 2015/2014) I did a children’s Christmas present collection for the Salvation Army. With the amazing donations from friends, family and Facebookers, I managed to buy and collect 198 presents. And in a totally selfish way it made me feel amazing. I want to carry that feeling into the new year and do more for charity. One of my best friends inspired me recently with a chat we had about more we could do to help others, and having spoken about her adopting a Granny or Granddad – helping to stop isolation and loneliness in the elderly – I’m going to do the same and speak to Age UK about what I can do volunteer my time or services.
9. Stop hoarding – Another way I intend to help charity is to make regular trips to the local PDSA shops with bits and pieces I’ve being hoarding since 1984. I’ve actually made a start on this today, filling two large bags with clothes I don’t wear anymore, I’ve bought and never even worn, or that have been kindly sent as a press gift. When you’re a blogger you’re lucky enough to be sent lovely gifts so if I can’t use these, I want to pass them on to someone who will. Which leads me onto my next point…
10. Recycle – Such a boring goal, but it needs to be done and everyone should follow suit if you don’t already. Separate your cardboard boys and girls, reuse that paper in the print on both sides and don’t buy a bag if you have a tonne in the boot of your car already like me. Bag for life anyone…?
11. Plan more things – One way I plan on being happier this year is by spending time with the people I actually like. I won’t be saying yes to plans that leave me cold, instead planning trips and things to do with my friends, my niece Matilda and my family. I want to see more live music. I want to try new restaurants. I want to go to the cinema more and invite people over for cocktails. I want to do more with people who make me smile.
12. Stress less – I know this is probably something everyone can relate to but I mean stress less over the small things like traffic, or someone walking too slow in the supermarket.
13. Batch cook and stop wasting so much food – I can’t even tell you how much food I chuck out every month. It’s disgusting. Especially for someone who is trying to save money. So this year I want to start creating meals from what I have available to me at home before I rush out and buy a ready meal, which is neither value for money or nutritious. This afternoon, I’ve already made three portions of chicken and chorizo Slimming World paella, as well as two portions of fish pie for tonight and tomorrow’s tea. I’m all about that batch cooking life baby.
14. Get my blogging mojo back – I really struggled towards to end of last year with my blog. I lost all motivation to write. I didn’t really see where I fitted in in the blogging world and I got caught in the comparison trap of thinking everyone else was flying while I remained in the same spot. Except when I looked back over the year I’d had with Apartment Number 4, I’d achieved some amazing things. I worked with brands such as Vera Wang for Wedgwood, I’d been shortlisted again for another blog award and I had doubled my page views from the year before. So I decided to redesign this little corner of the Internet (if you haven’t seen it on a tablet or laptop yet, do that to see it properly) and after a long time thinking, I worked out that my niche is showcasing and discovering affordable yet totally stylish interiors. So that’s what I’m concentrating on – creating a beautiful home on a budget.
15. Stop wasting my evenings – I’d say six nights of the week, if not all seven, I’ll come home and crash in front of the TV. What a waste of time on this earth. To sit continually glued to ITVBe, before heading to bed to do it all over again. So this year I plan on spending two nights where I don’t have the TV on at all. Whether I go out to an exercise class, or I meet a friend for dinner, I just want to feel a little less like I’m wasting my life away living for the weekend.
16. Don’t give up dating – As you’ll know from my previous post about the life lessons I’ll be taking into the new year, 2016 gave me my fair share of idiots. But I don’t want to give up on meeting the right guy. I know he’s around somewhere, I just have to carry on dating and giving people a chance. I suspect I’ll have a kiss a few more frogs but at least each one is a step closer to finding the perfect mix of John Legend mixed with Idris Elba and Tom Hardy right? OK, even if he has just a little Idris Elba in him I’ll be happy.
17. Last but not least, just be happy…