Call me a massive cliché, but I love setting goals at the start of the year. I don’t set them in a “new year, new me” sort of way; I still want to be the same old me but I want to push myself and want to grow as a person as the years go by, and setting goals is a way, for me, to do just that.
I started 2018 with eight clear goals of what I’d like to achieve this year, and I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve done. They were mostly centred on fitness, travel and saving for my own home, and in today’s post I thought I’d weigh up the results and see how far I’ve come (or not…).
1. Focus on my career
This year has been my first as a production researcher and overall I’ve really bloody loved it. There have been some pretty difficult times. There have also been super stressful times, crazy busy times. But I’ve loved developing, using my journalistic skills to find stories, getting to film in amazing places and learning about super interesting things. Highlights have been filming on a canal boat along the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, watching surfers on New Quay’s Fistral Beach and, filming in my hometown and one of the presenters being super impressed that I knew basically everybody. I’ve really enjoyed it and am now starting to think of the next chapter in my career and where I want to go next.
2. Start to save for my own home
I’d say this is mission accomplished as on July 31st of this year, I picked up the keys to my beautiful flat in Cardiff Bay. It’s all white and pretty, there are flowers everywhere, I have a balcony with a view of the city, and every morning I wake up and rush to the window to see the beautiful sunrises from my fourth floor abode. I absolutely love living here, and after years of longing to live in Cardiff Bay, my dream is now a reality.
That’s not to say it wasn’t stressful. In fact, I spent several weeks in the lead up to getting the keys chasing solicitors, nagging for responses, waiting for paperwork to come through, and angrily crying in the work toilets. But it was all worth it and it feels amazing to be able to say that I am now a home owner!! I think the main thing I learned from buying my own home is that nothing ever runs smoothly, and while it was extremely frustrating it was definitely worth the wait.
3. Join a running club…
Okay, so I still haven’t joined a running club. I did, however, learn to love running and my weekly 10km runs became a ritual I grew to crave over the summer months (though I’ve not been for a long run since the winter set in which annoys me!). It was like a stress release and a way for me to really embrace my own company. I don’t think I really needed to join a running club in the end, but I am still considering joining one in the new year as a way to get my bum back into gear again, and also as a way to socialise and meet new people. I think I need to pluck up the courage to go and join a club alone, which is something that I am nervous about. I just hope I can keep up!
4. … And finally sign up and complete a Half Marathon
I did it!! In October I completed the Cardiff Half in 2 hours 15 minutes, despite not being able to walk due to pulling tendons in my foot just a week or so before. It was probably one of my favourite days of the whole year, in fact it was incredible. It had been a goal I wanted to fulfil for two years and I finally found the focus and drive to complete it. It was strangely liberating as going for my Sunday morning runs definitely became part of the healing process through dealing with a break-up and accepting that it’s okay to be alone and it can sometimes be a really good thing.
5. Be mindful of my health
I feel like I’ve finally found that work/life balance this year, and I’ve really strived to look after myself and my body in the process. I definitely burned the candle at both ends way too much in 2017, doing things I didn’t want to do with people I shouldn’t have bothered with. It’s been a pretty tough year to be honest, with many battles and stresses to face and overcome, but I’ve kept focused and have really appreciated the early nights and looking after myself. I’ve also moved away from negative energies and I feel that has really helped.
6. Join a library
Last month, I finally joined the library! I’m really not sure why it took me so long to join, or why I felt so nervous to venture in there. It’s so easy to sign up and I’ve saved so much money on books. I have really enjoyed my Saturday morning trip to the library to look for books. There’s such a lovely atmosphere in there, it’s so peaceful and from the fiction floor you can see a view of the whole of Cardiff. I’ve really gotten back into reading this year and it’s something I am really, really enjoying.
7. Travel more
My love of travel has been fulfilled this year, as I headed to Paris, holidayed in Majorca and toured Canada on personal getaways, as well as to Cornwall, The Cotswolds and up North with work. It’s been amazing to visit new places, to experience new cultures, and my trip to Canada was up there with one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever been on. I loved every minute and it really ignited a love for travel, and made me want to go further and to visit more places. I’ve even compiled a list of 20 places I’d love to go before I hit 30 (in five years time!) and I’m already making plans to fulfil it, which is very exciting!
I think the main thing I realised is that I often talk about travelling far more than I actually do it. I often find myself wanting to book trips, but not actually going ahead and booking them because I’m worried about missing work, or spending money. I have this weird thing where after I book a trip I am filled with anxiety and worry about how that trip will go. But I work so hard and am always careful with cash, so next year I want to take more opportunities, and make more time for travel.
8. Make better choices (starting with Meat-Free Mondays)
This is a goal that I’ve found pretty hard, and I’ve really flopped when it comes to Meat-Free Mondays unfortunately. I think I’m so used to eating meat, even though I don’t eat that much of it, that I forget to stick to a veggie day. However, I have made a more conscious effort to eat less meat and choose the veggie options now a lot more when I head out for food. I wish I’d worked harder on it, but I have been making efforts in other ways to look after the planet, and have been trying to educate myself along the way. One thing I have really focused on though, is living a more minimalist life. I think it came quite naturally, as I’ve opted for a really minimalist feel in the flat, and due to saving for a deposit I had to really cut down on my spending.
It’s a really bloody lovely way to live to be honest. While I still do love shopping, I’ve dramatically cut back on what I buy, and I no longer have “the fear” of only wearing an outfit once before I’ve shared a picture of it on the gram. I’m actually sickened by how much money I used to spend on clothes and makeup, and I feel far happier spending less and saving for bigger, and better things.
I think on the whole it’s been pretty successful in terms of achieving goals and setting out to do what I want to do. I think for 2019 the agenda will focus on progressing along the career path, booking some travel getaways and trying to learn more and to improve upon making healthier, more environmentally choices. It’s quite refreshing actually, to look back and see that this year actually was a pretty good one, despite all the difficulties and challenges I faced.
What did you achieve in 2018?
Lots of love. xoxo