Happy New Year everybody! 2017 has been full of new experiences, the closing of certain chapters of my life and the opening of new ones. There have also been difficult moments, uncertainties and a lot of things I have learned about myself. I guess this all adds up to a fairly well-rounded year, full of the normal ups, downs and monotonies that life is made up of. Generally speaking I’ve enjoyed my year and I say goodbye to it fondly, with no negative feelings.
I’m so excited for everything that 2018 is going to bring. Moving out, my best friend getting married, trekking for 5 days in the Himalayas in India…and who knows what else!
My goals for 2018
Reduce the amount of plastic I use and waste I produce
I really want to make a real effort to reduce my environmental impact more this year. I gave up eating meat and fish last year, which has been the best decision I’ve ever made and I don’t miss it one bit. Now I need to continue to make more conscious decisions. It’s difficult when supermarkets cover all their vegetables in plastic and put unnecessary packaging around everything they sell, however things I can control I shall do, namely:
- Changing my cleanser/makeup remover so I don’t use makeup wipes or cotton wool pads. I’ve started using a cleansing butter from The Body Shop which is amazing and you just wash it off with a flannel.
- Taking shopping bags with me in my handbag so I don’t need to buy a plastic one.
- Making more foods and snacks from scratch to avoid buying prepackaged foods that use a lot of plastic.
- Switching from using tampons to a reusable menstrual cup – still unsure about this one but I’ll give it a go! (Apologies if that’s TMI for some of you, but I personally think it’s worth discussing.)
- Buying more second-hand clothing and avoiding a fast-fashion lifestyle.
- Using a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one. I’m already trying this, although the ones I’m currently using aren’t amazing, so I need to do more research on this one.
- Walking more and driving less. This is one I definitely need to try harder at, as I currently drive everywhere. Now that I’m commuting to Brighton which is using a lot more petrol, I need to make sure any shorter journeys, I’m either walking or I need to get my bike out and cycle.
I know, same old, same old. However, I’ve signed up to trek 70km in the mountains in India in October, so I definitely need to up my exercise game so that I’m in the fittest and healthiest shape possible. This is just going to make the challenge that bit easier and more enjoyable. I’m planning to conquer the Three Peaks and just generally get out walking as much as possible during the year to help build my fitness.
Prepare and budget more
In order to be healthier and also save more money, I really need to be better prepared with things and be stricter with a weekly budget. If I’m preparing lunch for work in advance then I’m not only spending less money, I’m eating healthier, too, as anything you buy from a shop will have all sorts of crap in, and it’s really difficult to make good choices. This also contributes to more waste as there’s usually more packaging involved.
I’ve already been a lot better at saving my money the past few months, so I’m hoping to continue that this year, sticking to a certain budget so that I can put extra money away to move out/travel/etc.
I am so determined to improve my writing this year and get back into writing fiction again, which I used to be obsessed with. I’m looking to do a creative writing course at some point, so this will hopefully inspire me and help with my creativity.
I’ve also been to-ing and fro-ing with where to take my blog, something I’m still not 100% sure about. However, I shall continue writing and will see where it takes me and where inspiration strikes rather than setting a specific goal with this.
My anxiety has had some real ups and downs the past year, which has been a little disheartening when for so long it felt like I’d completely “conquered” it. I understand that this is probably something I’m always going to live with, but I think learning more about myself, why certain things trigger it and what helps keep my overall mental health at a consistent level can only help with this.
Although saying “chill out” is obviously far easier said than done for someone with anxiety, I do have a tendency to care too much about absolutely everything I do. This can be a lovely characteristic of mine, but it can also cause me to put too much time and effort into pointless endeavours and get caught up in doing everything perfectly. I want to make more time to chill out, say no if I want to, and prioritise my health and my happiness.
Now that I’ve kind of calmed down a little from travelling around, volunteering and such (not forever of course!) and spent more time working on my career, and am now in a better position to save money, I’m definitely eager to move out at some point this year. No plans are set in stone but I’m verrrrrry excited to see where this takes me.
I feel like that’s enough to be getting on with. Aside from moving out, these aren’t really goals I can easily tick as complete, but rather ongoing ways to better myself, improve my happiness and be kinder to the planet. Fingers crossed I can stay motivated and progress through them.
Here’s to a fabulous year!