When it comes to the new year, I’m personally still in a zone of vegging out for at least the first two weeks. Perhaps it’s because my birthday is on January 9th and I just can’t settle on a new healthy lifestyle routine before the day that I’m supposed to stuff my face with cake. However, that day has passed and I’m ready, not to create a new me, but to make this year the best it can be.
I’ve never really bought into the idea of new year resolutions, but after slumping through what was generally a rubbish year, I am taking 2017 by the balls and giving this whole ‘fresh start’ thing a go. I am still not thinking about resolutions as such, instead I’m thinking more about the following goals to work on throughout the year, and as long as I get the ball rolling, then I haven’t failed.
Drink More Water
Let’s get the basic one out of the way. I am the WORST for keeping myself hydrated. It’s the easiest thing to do, I just forget to do it. I’ve tried apps before, but just ended up ignoring the notifications that tell me I need a cup of water, like I’m not going to take orders from my phone. Unless of course it involves looking after a virtual plant. Yep. Give me a cute little plant animation to look after and that’s it, I’m chugging all the water.
The Plant Nanny app started off really well when I was back at home for Christmas, I was having my eight glasses, no problem. However since coming back to Southampton and going back to work, I’ve missed a few glasses, but the sad little expression on the plant’s face (yes, they are characterised…) is enough to kick you back into gear. Definitely better than just filling up a virtual glass of water on your screen. I also like that you can edit the volume of your glass, and put in your own information so that the app offers appropriate measurements for the individual. Since using this app, I have definitely made sure to drink more water, whether I get all eight glasses or not, it’s definitely working.
Read More Books
Again, another small goal, but definitely one that is very important to me. I love books. I love reading. I just get too wrapped up in Netflix and before I know it, I’ve woken up, gone about my day, and fallen asleep while watching Rick & Morty on repeat. I just have not allowed myself time to get stuck into a good book.
I have a kindle so I’m definitely going to make more use of that, and I’m already doing so much better at reading instead of going straight to the TV. I’m a bit stuck in the middle of enjoying the feel of a real book, and the practicality of an entire library on one device. My plan here is to make good use of my kindle for the majority of reads, but treat myself to a paper book every now and then. Whether it’s got a pretty cover (come on, we all do it), a book I know for sure that I am going to love, or something I’ve found in a charity shop. So far I’ve finished a book that I was in and out of last year, as well as another that I got for Christmas, so I’m pretty happy with myself for now. I also plan on doing a regular book feature at some point, just for more motivation. Which also ties in quite nicely with my next goal…
Whether it’s writing more blog posts, contributing to other websites more, or just a little bit of journal work (I have SOOO many beautiful journals and diaries to use), I just want to write a hell of a lot more. I also want to explore creative writing again, and I’m hoping that my plan to read more will help me there. I recently attended to a public reading event run by Use Your Words, a new Southampton based literary collective. I had initially intended to go in support of Alex, the guy organising the night and kicking it all off with his own work, and then further persuaded by my desire to just go do, but ultimately, I was left inspired by everyone who read there that night. I will definitely be attending more of these.
I want my imagination to develop more and hopefully putting pen to paper, or hands to keyboard, as well as listening to others, will force me to think more outside of the box. Now I’m not saying I’ll be reading my work out loud to people any time soon, but I definitely want to explore the poetic side of writing further.
Discover more music
I absolutely LOVE music. I’m so interested in the part if plays in life, the way we use it, what it means to different people at different times. It’s not that I’ve neglected music as such, but I certainly haven’t made an effort to find more artists. This is something I want to change. Finding a new artist that I love is one of my favourite things in life, whether it’s stumbling upon them at gigs, or just going through related artists online. So I’m going to pay more attention to the emails from PRs that flood my inbox, I’m going to make the most of going premium on Spotify again, I’m going to go to more local gigs. Whatever I need to do, I’m going to do it. Whether it’s a band that no one has heard of, or simply a band I just haven’t paid attention to yet. I really enjoyed writing about my music favourites in October, but don’t particularly want to do monthly favourites as generally as I used to. Perhaps there’s room for music favourites when I feel like it, hopefully that will keep me motivated to explore new music. I also just love talking to people about music, their interests and favourite artists, so I’m definitely going to engage in more conversations about it. It’s one of my favourite things that has just slipped recently, so I’m picking it up with all my might.
Come up with a gym plan
I joined the gym last year, not with any particular goal, but just to give me something to do. However, in December I went to the gym a grand total of ZERO times. I mean, I work in retail and that time of year is hectic so y’know, it’s not like I didn’t get any form of work out…
But in all seriousness, I either need to give it up, or give it my all. Now, I’m not going to turn into a fitness freak, but I certainly want to maintain some kind of gym routine, just making sure to keep it fun and enjoyable. I have toyed with the idea of getting a personal trainer, just to keep me from hiding away at home, but I’m still not sure. This one is definitely a work in progress, so hopefully I can keep it up!
Look after myself
On a whim, I decided to get my hair cut short. It made me feel SOO GOOD. So good in fact, that I am filling my calendar with regular dates for fresh cuts. I go to a walk-in hairdressers, so I just need to find the right time for me and pop along when I fancy it. I’m pretty happy with my new style and definitely want to maintain it. I loved my long hair, but it was a mess, so I’m glad to have finally sorted that out.
Although it’s a vanity thing, it’s also incredibly therapeutic, so as well as eating properly, drinking more water and going to the gym more, I’m aiming to look after myself by treating myself to little pamper sessions here and there. I’m saving for a Lush Spa treatment, thinking about getting my nails done, penciling in hair appointments, taking more baths, thinking of myself first. I’m also taking myself out more, working on going out for food on my own, which is much easier in cafes and coffee shops, but I’m still a little weirded out by going to a full on restaurant on my own. So in that respect I’m going to try and suggest more friend-dates. I basically want to find a healthy balance of having time to myself and spending time with friends. I strongly believe that looking after yourself isn’t just thinking about number one all the time, it’s also about making sure to maintain the friendships that keep us sane when we can’t do it ourselves.
Do More, Be More
Ultimately I want this year to be about doing more, in order to enrich my life, get my mind working and give me stories to tell. I want to explore more places in England, and hopefully take a trip to Europe, with Berlin being one of my hot spots. I also just want to turn up to more events in the local and surrounding areas. On top of looking at more gigs to go to, I’m looking at more towns and cities in which to attend gigs. Not just opting for London when there’s not a show in Southampton. Hopefully all of this will contribute to my goal to write more content on here and potentially give me inspiration for creative writing, which I think is going to be the hardest thing for me. Fingers crossed though hey!
Look Forward, Not Back
I feel like this is going to the biggest struggle. I have great memories that I am fond of, I’m certainly not going to forget them, but I really want to try to stop myself from living in them. With a break-up comes a lot of painful feelings, that even after several months, I’m still not sure how to deal with. This is why looking forward is one of my biggest aims this year. Ultimately a lot of these goals tie into one, and help each other; by keeping busy I’m keeping my mind occupied, I’m creating new things to look forward to. Now I also want to live in the moment, so when I say look forward, I’m not saying I’m setting my plans for the next few years in stone, but I am making plans for the near future, with big life dreams still in mind. Mostly I’m looking to the next couple of months at a time, figuring out what I want to do, where I want to go, who I want to see. The plan is to make my life from this moment great, make new memories, be able to look back on older memories with a smile that doesn’t turn into tears. As much as I realise this is going to be hard, I am so pumped to give it my all, and make 2017 the best year yet.