Friday, 21 February 2014

My New Year Goals: Update February


I often say, setting goals at New Year is a decisive subject. Some people loathe it, and some love it. Obviously I love it. I'm very planned out when it comes to my life, and much as I recognise that trying to impose order on something that is essentially chaos is a little futile, I also like the feeling do having something to aim for.

So every year, I set out some personal goals (much prefer saying that to 'resolutions', which as no sense of follow through). And I'm usually pretty good at keeping them, probably because I don't set ones just because I 'should' but rather because they will genuinely be a pleasure to keep and enhance my life.

Two months in, I think it's time for an update on the progress I'm making.

>> Become Debt Free


I want to have greater financial freedom and control, so one of my more 'serious' aspirations this year was to pay off all of my unsecured debt on credit cards. To be fair, I didn't have a huge amount and I've been trying to pay it off for a while anyway, so I was hoping it would be a bit of an easy win.

Update: I'm almost there! In another month or so I should be able to call myself debt-free! (Sort of- I'll still have my student loan, mortgage and a car loan, but all my credit cards will be gone!).

I've gone from a completely financially ignorant student who carelessly amassed debt and never even opened her bank statements to someone with savings, a fiat amount of equity in the house and a gleaming credit report. This really makes me feel like I've put on my big girl pants! In between I've also saved up and paid for a house deposit, a wedding and a house move. I'm looking forward to entering my 30s with no unsecured debt.


>> Be Consistent with my health and 'Join the dots'


I'd been doing a fair amount of exercise but not enough or consistently enough go really make a positive contribution to my health or my body, so I wanted to step it up a gear and get on top of my game

Update: When it comes to working out at the moment I am on fire!! Hard as it would be to believe if you'd known me as the slightly chubby teen who always had an excuse to get out of games at school, I can confidently say at the moment that I'm doing well with exercise.

I've been a regular at the gym and I've been running home from work at least three times a week. I feel so good. I have so much more energy (funny that, when my excuse for not gymming it would be that I was too tired!). I can run good distances without dying. I'm even enjoying power sets with weights. I'm doing some exercise every single day. And strangest of all, I'm loving it! I have new tone to my legs and bum, and I feel so much better. I've managed to become consistent and that's a big deal for me and my short attention span.

But now I want to pay more attention to my diet. I haven't been watching what I eat at all, and I know I could get better results if I did. I'm not too bad at home as I cook mostly everything from scratch, but I am a bugger during the day at work for not being especially healthy, so I feel like I need to move the goal forward to encompass addressing that.

>> Be Kinder to myself and others


Life is full of pressure and stress- some from others, and a lot we create ourselves. So I wanted to resolve to make it just a little bit easier by being less judgemental and taking opportunities to practise a little bit of small, everyday kindness.

Update: Lately I've been trying hard to stress less and also to speak positively about others, their talents and their abilities. And I really feel that its been enhancing my life. However, I haven't spotted many opportunities for little acts of kindness. That leads me to think I must not be trying hard enough, because these opportunities, I know, are all around us every day. So I need to focus on this one a bit more. Perhaps its a habit that gets easier the more you practice it.

 

>> Take writing seriously


As an English Literature graduate, its practically the law that I need to have a novel on the go. And I know that writing is the thing that makes me really, truly happy. So I wanted to concentrate on my writing and really make time for it.

Update: Well, on the blogging side of things, its definitely a positive. Taking my blog social has been a complete game changer and I'm really concentrating on it at the moment and having a great time. But with the novel writing? Not so much so far. I really need to put more effort in with it. I'm planning to actually use some of my long over due flexi time at work to put more time into writing my novel and just enjoying writing. I spend a lot of time writing press releases and marketing literature at work, so sometimes I feel all 'written out' after work. I think this one is a case of me really segregating time to concentrate on this.

>> Mix it Up Style-Wise


I think my style is fairly safe and I tend to repeat buy items I love, like little black dresses or boucle jackets. So I wanted to try and take a few more styling risks - just to the point where I felt slightly more cutting edge!

Update: I've really been trying and I think I've made progress. Cropped t-shirts, PVC skirts, leather cage belts and wedge trainers have all been part of my outfit repertoire this year so far, and its still only February! I'm excited to see what great new things I can try this year. Asos has proved really handy for finding stuff that's more exciting than my usual safe style!

>> Buy less, buy better quality

 Although I worried it was a bit at odds with the resolution above, Ive felt for a while that I wanted to have nicer quality things in my life and just buy less cheap, disposable stuff.

Update: I've definitely been buying less. I'm currently in the process of moving house and with solicitors fees, stamp duty, moving costs and new furniture and white goods to pay for, I'd say I've definitely been buying less. But what I have bought has mainly been items to 'spice up' my wardrobe. And these have been slightly less costly stuff. So I can't say January or February were my months for making this happen. However, I do believe in this approach long term, and I have a couple of 'investment' pieces I have my eye on when I have the funds to buy more strategically. A work in progress I think!

>    Invest in skincare

 I've always been good about having a routine, but the products I buy aren't neccessarily the best quality. So I wanted to invest a little bit more in products that would really work. I'm 28 now and I feel that it's time to pay a bit more attention to what goes on my skin rather than just buying whatever catches my eye.

Update: I'm still planning to do this, but I promised myself that I would use up what I had first...which I'm still doing! In itself that's quite an achievement as I usually make the purchase first and ask the questions second! I've been spending a lot of time researching what products I will be buying, and I think I have it narrowed down to Bare Minerals skincare, Nuxe and perhaps a little bit of Alpha-H, depending on what products I need.

All in all, I'm not doing too badly so far. There are a couple of them I'm really proud of, like the style challenge and the fitness, because its not like me to stick to those! But I know there are a couple of things- especially the little acts of kindness, and the sustained writing, that I still need to try far harder with. Hopefully I can focus on these as we go on.  Wish me luck!




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2 comments

  1. Buying less but buying better quality has been one of my goals for a while now too. My boyfriend is really good at it so I was trying to take my lead from him but so far I have been buying better quality but buying the same amount! :S x

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  2. Hahaha, I know *exactly* what you mean, I'm the same! I'm telling myself I will buy less but it might just be more expensive!

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