I’ve always been one to set goals for myself, but have never been into the idea of New Year’s resolutions. I prefer short term goals, and I also hate the faff of NYRs (really, this year you’re actually going to start the gym routine you’ve been talking about for the past three years? How original.). However, I’m totally going to be that person this year. After our wedding in July, and the end of wedding planning, I’ve been in a total rut when it comes to structure. I feel lazy all the time, fell out of blogging, and no longer feel motivated to accomplish the things I once looked forward to.
To turn all of that around, and bring structure back into my day to day life, I’ve set a few goals that I suppose you could call New Year’s resolutions (they’re definitely New Year’s Resolutions). As with any sort of goal setting, I tried to make these realistic and measurable. They may not all kick off on January 1st, but I’m hoping to get on my way toward achieving each of these by the end of February. Anyway, here are my 2018 New Year’s resolutions, complete with some photos of me and Giorgio taken during one of my favorite trips of 2017:
My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions
I’m going to elaborate on each point below, but if you’re just curious to know exactly what my resolutions are and don’t care about why, here’s the quick list:
- Work away from home twice a week
- Exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 times per week
- Wake up at 7:00 on workdays
- Develop a blogging schedule
- Finish 60 books
- Save £5,000 in a separate account
- Finish the David Molnar camera courses
1 // Work away from home twice a week
I absolutely love working from home. It gives me plenty of time for Giorgio snuggles, and also allows me to be available for random things like deliveries. However, looking back on 2017, there were too many days where I didn’t even leave the house. And too many times when Sean arrived home in the evening to find me still in my pajamas. To get out more (and get some more steps in), I want to work away from home twice a week in 2018. These don’t need to be full days at home – even two or three hours in a cafe would be a nice break from the couch. I already have a couple of cafes that I frequent, and our library actually has some great space, as well. So there’s no shortage on places for me to go; I just need to get up and get out!
2 // Exercise for 30 Minutes at least 3 times per week
Yes, I’m doing what I hate most about New Year’s resolutions – setting a goal to work out more in the New Year. Leading up to our wedding, both Sean and I were going to the gym a couple of times a week. Now, I don’t think either of our gym memberships have been touched since June. We are just members of our local community gym, not a super fancy one, but they’re still costing us £90/month total and we aren’t using them.
3 // Wake up at 7:00 on workdays
This goal is all about productivity, which is why I’ve also included two sub-goals. Because I work from home, I often wake up right before I need to start working. This only allows me to grab a cup of coffee before sitting down and opening my laptop. I love getting that extra sleep, but I also lose so much time that I could be doing other things, like blogging and reading. Earlier this year, I went through a period where I was waking up early and doing a bit of blog work in the morning. I felt so productive and I’d love to get back to that feeling. So, I’m setting a goal to wake up before Sean leaves for work (7:00-7:15). Then, I’ll have two hours to eat, read, blog, or do whatever else I feel like doing in the moment.
3A // Develop a blogging schedule
Once I’m used to waking up early and actually feeling productive in the morning, I want to develop a blogging schedule. This is the only goal on this list that is not measurable, and that’s because I’m not quite sure how I want to measure it yet. Previously, I set up a schedule for 1 hour per evening doing some sort of blogging task – on a few days, I would write content; then, I’d spend the other days editing photos, scheduling social media posts, or chatting to other bloggers. Since I have two blogs now, I want to focus less on quantity of content and more on quality of content. So, instead of saying I want to post X times per week, I am only saying I want to setup a schedule. Then, depending on how it pans out, I can set a few more measurable goals.
3B // Finish 60 books
Ah, reading. If you’ve seen the Books section on my blog at all, you know how much I read it. This year, I read 47 books. Next year, I want to read 60. This will include the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge plus a few extra books. My reading goal is another reason why I really want to wake up earlier and increase the number of hours I have in a day. This year, I fell into a total reading rut until July (I read 12 books in the first six months of the year, then 35 in the last). Then, I overcompensated by staying up until 3 am finishing a book because I forgot how much I love to read. In order to reach my goal of 60 books, I’ll definitely need to read consistently throughout this next year! Follow my reading challenge progress on Goodreads.
4 // Save £5,000 in a separate account
I’m absolutely terrible at saving money. I mean, I can save, but it’s usually for something, and as soon as I get the money I need, I spend it. In terms of long term saving, I don’t really have any structure or plan or anything. My goal for 2018 is to start a rainy day fund and put at least £5,000 into it throughout the year. I do have a rainy day fund already in the US, but it would give me some reassurance to know that I have money in both places should anything happen.
In order to put £5,000 into the account by the end of 2018, I need to put in about £200 from each pay check (I get paid twice a month). I think I can easily cut out £200 of unnecessary spending each month (ASOS, I’m looking at you…) in order to get to the sum I need. Plus, if I get in the habit of saving, then I can probably constantly add to my rainy day fund while also saving up for something special, like a return trip to Kandolhu!
5 // Finish the David Molnar camera courses I purchased in 2017
Earlier this year, I purchased an incredible Photography Bundle from Ultimate Bundles. It was basically $4,000 work of photography related e-courses for about $150. I love the idea of continuing to learn outside of academia, and photography is an area where I really want to do so. So the bundle was a no brainer. BUT…I barely touched it. I did, however, discover David Molnar through it and I absolutely love his style of teaching photography.
In 2018, I definitely want to revisit some of the Ultimate Photography Bundle content; however, even more so, I want to do the courses that I have from David Molnar. Master Editing in Lightroom was part of the photography bundle, and I also recently purchased another course (oops!), Master Your Camera. I have loved getting to know my DSLR over the past year and get so excited when I see that my photos are improving, so I’m looking forward to putting some more time end effort into it in 2018. I’ll definitely be posting a review of the courses when I finish them, as well, so keep an eye out for that!
I had every intention of kicking off these goals (and pressing publish on this post) yesterday, but I’m fully convinced that New Year’s Day is the least productive day of the year, and therefore the worst day to kick off new habits. So, I am declaring today my New Year’s Day! I’m currently finishing setting up some organizational bits that will help me track the above goals (I’ll share when I’m done) and also building our budget for 2018. I already feel like I have a bit more structure and can’t wait until I fully feel like my old, Type A self again!
What are your New Year’s Resolutions for 2018?