Monday, 9 January 2017

#Project 2017 | Planning my goals for this year


The scent of a new year is in the air, but what does it mean to you? To me, its always a chance for a fresh start. 

I'm actually in the camp that believes that New Years Resolutions don't work, and I also don't think you should wait until a random point in the calendar to make changes that really need making.  

So instead I set rolling goals for myself that can be worked towards. I'm a motivated person that's keen on self-improvement, so having something to work towards is definitely my vibe.  

In 2016, I worked on three main areas of my life – streamlining, activating and experiencing. It was a year of seismic change  in my personal life as I settled into a new home, got to grips with being a first-time mama and changed jobs after coming back from maternity leave.  

So having my goals helped me keep a focus and gave my year consistency. And although there were areas where I could have done better (that's just life, right?), there were also lots and lots of positives.  

Using my experiences in 2016, I've refreshed my personal goals for 2017. Most of them are ongoing ones or evolutions from my 2016 stuff -  and that's important. If there's one thing I've learned, its that change isn't a single, big decision. It’s a series of little decisions every single day.  

So, I thought I'd share my goals on the chance that they might be inspiring to someone out here. Let me know what you're working in the comments below! 


Keep on top of household jobs during the week  


This one is a recurring goal from last year, but its something I've found really helpful. Now that I'm working full time with a young family to look after, a lot of my time isn't my own any more.  

So a big focus for me last year was working out new routines and life hacks to help me make the most of my time and to streamline my life. It is a really little thing, but adopting the policy of 'little and often' when it comes to jobs around the house has really helped me out 

Instead of spending the whole weekend cleaning, I like to do one job everyday, usually when Theo is occupied eating dinner. I'll grab the vacuum or nip and clean a bathroom. That way I feel like I'm staying on top of everything, without it feeling like a big effort.  

Like all the best changes, its such a little shift in thinking, but its really helping. I want to keep it up in2017.  

Also, I've had a policy last year of 'touch it once'. Too often, I see something (a pile of mail on the doormat, a tangle of shoes by the stairs) and I'll sort of half-way deal with it – like putting the mail on the mantelpiece. But I don't actually sort it, I just think 'I'll do it later" and then it all mounts up.  

So now, I only touch things once. The mail gets processed once. The basket of stray shoes gets put away as soon as I see it. I also never go up and down the stairs without carrying something (as there always seems to be something that its missing its home in the wrong place). I try and double up, too – I'll wipe down the kitchen surfaces while the kettle is boiling or fold the laundry while waiting for the shower to heat up 

Little and often is definitely the way forward for keeping my house relatively neat, despite the encroaching tide of plastic toys from every direction... 

Try the 'Water Cure'  


"Drink more water" is something that pops up on most people's lists, and I'm no exception. I know that I don't drink nearly enough and I also know how important hydration is. I seem to go through phases where I make a real effort and drink more, and other times where I get busy and just forget.  

When my mum came to visit a couple of weeks ago, she was talking about the 'Water Cure'. Now, my mum is a bit of a hippie and well into her natural cures and alternative therapies, so I didn't think too much of it at first, but the more she told me about how it had helped her, the more curious I got to try it for myself.  

Here's how it works: you calculate a daily amount in ounces for your body weight. You take 5-6 drinkls during the day – within 20 minutes of waking up, 30 minutes before your first meal, 2.5 hours after you eat, and again 30 minutes before your next meal, and 30 minutes before bed. Per every 16oz, you also take a quarter teaspoon of unprocessed salt – I'll be using Himalayan rock salt – and this supposedly balances the electrolytes in the body and has a host of health benefits.  

Because its so simple, I figure its worth the try. Mum swore it had helped with some health issues. You can find out more about it here: http://www.watercures.org/water-cures-protocol.html 

Go back on the 5:2 diet  


Here, I'm returning to a tried and tested favourite. Just before having Theo, I got down to my lowest weight ever using 5:2. It was the only diet I've ever been able to stick to, and finding something that works for you personally is half the battle.  

After having my baby, I haven't managed to lose all the weight. I'd say I've lost about half just through being active and things, but I still have a way to go (probably more post-Christmas indulgence). So I really want to make a big effort to lose the rest of it and get myself back to normal in time from my holiday in May 

I don't like feeling self-conscious and unhealthy. I've been putting this off, but now's the time to make it happen. 5:2 isn't super-easy, but I know I can stick to it. I just need to take a deep breath and get on with it! 

Walk around the lake each working lunchtime (weather permitting)  


I've gone from someone who used to run and go to the gym regularly to someone that doesn't do any exercise and I can really feel the difference. I'm sluggish, I'm slow, I'm de-energised. I need to take this year to prioritise my health again and get back into shape.  

Like all goals, this needs to be realistic for me. One thing I know I can do is to take a brisk walk around the lake for each day I'm at work. I'm lucky enough to now be working in beautiful surroundings, so I should take advantage and get some fresh air and sunlight each day rather than sticking to my desk.  

A few extra steps could really help – and I have my shiny new Fitbit Alta to log it all for me (thanks,  Father Christmas...) 

Do HIIT on alternate days  


The main issue for me and exercise at the moment is time. I used to laugh at people who said they 'didn't have time' to exercise, and suddenly that's me. Between working full time, looking after a lively one year old and running a household, I really am struggling. I already get up at 6am and I know I won't get up any earlier while its cold and dark. I go to bed quite early and I cant see that changing right now either.  

I have looked into joining the gym at work and going at lunchtime, but the campus is huge and its actually too far away to be practical in the time I have. When I finish work I dash home to spend every minute I can with my son before he goes to bed, and I'm definitely not giving that up, either! 

Between everything, I get an hour to myself a day that I use for reading, catching up on social media or watching something on Netflix – and I am really loathe to give that up. I need my little slice of me-time!  

But something's got to give and that's the only time I can spare. So every couple of days, I'm going to fit in a 20 minute HIIT workout. Its not a lot, but its better than nothing. With that and a couple of runs at the weekend, perhaps I can begin to change things. My workouts will have to be at home, needing no equipment, and quick, or I know I will start making excuses! 

Make time for self care – book a haircut, schedule nail appointments, look into LVL lashes  


Another thing that quickly falls between the cracks is time to look after myself a bit. I've always been the sort to look after my appearance, but its fallen by the wayside lately.  

I now find myself overweight, with bitten down nails, bags under my eyes and unstyled hair. And I don't like it.  
Its not that I believe how you look is the be-all and end-all. Its more that taking care of myself makes me feel better, and when I feel better, I can devote more time and energy outwards. 

To me, it’s a form of respect for others, as well as respect for myself. So, I want to make sure I devote some time to it.  

I always make sure I have my Sunday 'body MOT' time, where I do a face and hair mask, and paint my toenails etc. But I also need to make sure I book some appointments. I haven't had a haircut since I was pregnant, so I want to do that, and look into lash perming as extensions don't work for me. 

Sort a work capsule wardrobe  


Last year, I explored the idea of having a capsule wardrobe. I liked the idea of being more streamlined and saving time in the morning. But I found I didn't feel comfortable with a completely restricted choice – I like some freedom to dress according to mood/occasion/PMS bloat etc 

I worked out that having a work capsule wardrobe (and leaving my off-duty dressing to be a bit more spontaneous) would suit me better. I've already made a start by doing a wardrobe audit, and will be taking my time to fill the gaps , as I want to buy less and better quality items... 

Buy Less Often and Better 


...that brings me onto this resolution. It has an impact on finances as well as clutter and feeds into the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Basically, I want to focus on avoiding impulse buys. I did a lot of thinking and looking into personal style (more on that later...) after losing my way with it all a bit after having Theo. And it gave me a lot of clarity on what works for me now.  

I feel like I know much better what I want my look to be and what pieces I need for that (hint: I already own most of them...) So I don't need to buy as much.  

When I do buy, I want to be thoughtful, to fill gaps in my wardrobe, and I want to invest in nicer quality. Some of the people whose style I admire most actually have much less. It's the French girl ethos of loving what you own and getting pleasure from it, rather than this mindless consumption where you have that you 'need' to have new stuff all the time. 

Plan out house alterations by room for next year 


We moved into a house that is a bit of a 'project' a couple of years ago, and although we have been making great progress, there's still plenty to do.  

Sebastian and I are both keen to keep up the momentum and tick some jobs off the list. I've already started a spreadsheet, listing out what we have left to do room by room – be it new furniture we need, or structural improvements.  

This one will give me a lot of satisfaction to do – and if I'm spending less on clothes, I'll have much more to put towards stuff around the house, hopefully.  

Plan and save for two holidays  


Holidays have become so much more precious now, it’s a chance to spend quality time with Theo. So whereas before, I've had years where I went somewhere just because it was easy, or didn't go away at all when we were saving up for the house, its now a must-do. 

Last year, we took Theo to Italy and it was amazing. We went at Easter, and talked about possibly going away again later in the year. But we didn't get anything organised, and I know we regretted it. Then it felt like a really long time until our next break at Christmas! 

Everything is full on, and we really need our time off. This year, I'd like to to take two holidays, so I want to plan for that and save up. We already have flights to Lake Garda  booked for May, so we're well underway. 

Plan some days out with Theo 


Now that Theo is a bit older, I really want us to take him on some day trips to make some happy memories. The zoo, the sealife centre, little festivals and plays, family day at the cricket  - anything he might enjoy. When life is busy, you sometimes realise half the year is over and you haven't done any of these activities, so its important to me to get them planned in. 

Plan some "time outdays with my husband and friends  


Equally, I want to continue booking in time to see my friends. It might sound simple, but I think it often gets pushed down the list. Then when you do get time to step back and reconnect with people you realise how vital it is to your sense of wellbeing. I don't want to wake up one day and find myself with no friends because I left them all drift in the craziness that is having small children. 

The only way to do anything these days is with a huge amount of planning. So I  want to get those coffees with friends, spa days, catch-ups and date nights all planned in well in advance. 

So those are my ongoing goals this year. I hope they might have inspired you too! What are your plans for 2017? Let me know in the comments!  

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