I’ve not been one for setting New Years Resolutions, especially with January being quite a bleak month. All the festivities are over and it’s back to normal life, why make the month even more depressing? I’m much more a fan of setting goals for the year, things you want to do, things you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to doing. They can be big things as well as little, everyday things. The start of the year is the best time to start planning what you want to achieve.
I was tagged by Alex at Lamb and Bear to write my 18 goals for 2018. You can read her goals here – do check hers out. Without further adew, here are my 18 goals for 2018, in no particular order:
1) Keep my kitchen sink and draining board clear
This is totally inspired by my mother-in-law. Towards the second half of 2017, I got very lazy with the washing up. I would let it all pile up at the end of the day, leaving a huge job to do when I was tired and wanted to go to bed. It was just a chore. At Christmas, my mother-in-law not only cooked Christmas lunch, but her kitchen was sparkling and clean as soon as we’d finished eating! She washes, dries and puts crockery away as she goes along through the day. There is NEVER anything in the sink or on the draining board. If you do it straight away, it doesn’t pile up and it doesn’t become a chore. So I have been doing this at home, and I can’t believe how much happier I am. My kitchen feels tidy and organised now, and I am making this part of my daily routine now.
2) Do more weekend activities with my children
On the weekends, we have got used to doing nothing. Just waking up late, staying in our pjs and generally being lazy. Which is okay every now and then. But it has been like this EVERY weekend for us, and I want to start having experiences with my children, and not just wait for half terms or the holidays. I want to go to the kids cinema club on Saturdays, take them to street dance classes, go on train adventures, discover new things.
3) Miniature Railway Trail
Following on for the previous point, Tyler found a leaflet that lists all the miniature railways in the country! We always go to the Ickenham one, but it would be fun to travel around and try out some other ones, especially with Lily now being a mini train enthusiast as well!
4) Put my phone down
This is so hard but I want to be more ‘in the moment’ with my kids, and stop being addicted to checking Facebook and Instagram. I have started this, not of my own free will though. Lily goes nuts when she sees my phone, so I kind of HAVE to leave it out of sight. I now post my Instagram posts when they are asleep, or plan them if they are daytime posts, so I can literally just click ‘post’ in the day. This does mean I’m not replying to comments straightaway but hopefully people will understand. I’ll carry on with Instagram stories as Tyler likes to be in them, so they are involved in that activity. And I’ll blog only in the evenings or during Lily’s daytime time.
5) Go to a blogging conference and blogger events
I’d been too nervous to go to any blogging events before, but I went the the Next one in 2017, and it was soooo lovely to meet bloggers in real life. Plus I picked up some brilliant tips for Instagram that have actually help grow my followers. So I would love to brave BlogOn, and go to any smaller ones that are in London.
6) Film a YouTube intro video for my channel
I have a YouTube channel that I sporadically post vlogs to. I need to add an intro trailer to introduce me and my family to new visitors to my channel, and I would like to regularly post videos. I would say once a week, like maybe a vlog to go live every Wednesday. But I know I won’t keep up, so maybe to start off with, every two weeks, with the aim for it to be once a week at the end of 2018, and hopefully up my subscribers and actually get paid work! A new video went live yesterday if you fancy a watch.
7) Write a regular weekly Slough post on my blog
Writing about our life in Slough is my big point of difference from other bloggers. I don’t know ANYONE else mad enough to blog about Slough. And that topic gets my most clicks, with my referrers from Google, so it is what people want to read about. Slough is a hot topic this year, as we are just a year away from the Elizabeth Line (ie Crossrail) opening, and the town regeneration is all happening now. My posts have been sporadic, but I’d like them to be more regular, like every two weeks on a Thursday, I will write a post to do with this town I live in, whether it’s an activity I’ve done with the children, upcoming events, something new that has opened in town, or even something closing as it’s nice to have a photographic memory of something from the past. If this is successful and there is enough to write about, then I will aim for this to be a weekly post by the end of 2018.
8) Improve my photography and learn about the manual setting on my camera
I am really happy with how my photography has improved since I got my Canon G7x Mark II last year, but I’d like to learn more. I have photoshop but I’d like to teach myself more skills in how to enhance my photos so they are more vibrant and crisp – more than the basics that I already know. I want to learn more about how to use my camera than just using the auto mode. I LOVE taking photos, so why not embrace it rather than be embarassed to be always taking photos.
9) Be in more of my Instagram photos
I already started this by joining in with #whatmamaworemonday towards the end of 2017, but I’d like to be in more candid shots. Photos of everyday life with the children, a memory of what we were doing together, rather than just a photo of the kids on their own. I used the self timer and took my first candid shot this week and I’m really pleased with how it came out. So more of these types of photos!
10) Our Photo Album Project + Print photos of Lily for the wall
The photo album idea came to me when I was looking through my parents’ photo albums to find some childhood photos. And I thought there’s nothing like this for our children. They’d have to go through our computers or Facebook to find old photos. But there is nothing better than looking through actually printed photos. So I bought 10 photo albums from the WHSmith clearance outlet. Each album holds 200 6×4 photos. For each year we have been married, I am going to print 200 photos from each year. There will be an album from 2009 onwards and it will be a forever project, so my children and my future grandchildren will have photos to look through whenever they want, and it will be a story of our lives. I’ll look for voucher codes and print one year each month. In January I will print 2009, February 2010, and so on.
Also, I bought frames from Ikea before she was born to make a photo wall in our corridor. I wanted to wait until we had photos of her at different ages before I printed any out. So I think it’s about time she had her face on our walls!
11) Celebrate my husband’s 40th
Since having children, we have neglected celebrating our own birthdays, especially my husband’s as it is so close to Tyler’s birthday. But this year is the big 4-0, and I’m going to make sure we celebrate! Whether it’s a big party with all our friends, or whether we go away on holiday, whatever it is that he wants to do, we are doing it!
12) Watch the sunrise at the seaside on my birthday
Following on from the previous point, for my birthday in February, I want to stay in a seafront apartment and watch the sun rise from the sea. We will be at the seaside but we will be warm. And I am going to book it!!
13) Plan and book our summer/easter holiday in advance
Every year we have left booking our seaside staycations to the last minute, so we have last choice in where to stay. And every year we say, next year, we’ll book it in January. Well, January is here, and we are going to plan and book this time.
14) Get rid of that belly
It has been 18 months since I gave birth to Lily, so this belly has got to go! Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the way I look, but that area makes me unhappy. I need to start doing sit-ups everyday, like I did in 2011 when it went super flat.
15) Start baking cupcakes again
Before I had Lily, I got well into baking different flavoured cupcakes and bringing them into work. I’d love to get back into it, and get Lily involved with the stirring of ingredients. And then maybe I can hand them out to mum friends or the school instead of work colleagues!
16) Start cooking interesting meals again
Related to the above, I used to cook really interesting meals before I had children. Obviously time is short with the kids these days, but maybe once a week we can cook something fancy together. Maybe it can be a Sunday thing.
17) Keep on with the decluttering
Last year, I made decluttering a part of my weekly routine. And I love it, My home feels light and airy, and I have things to sell on eBay most weeks for some extra cash. For anything new we bring into the home, something old has to go – whether it’s to the charity shop or whether it’s sold or just plain binned. I will carry on keeping the home light. I will file and deal with paperwork as soon as it comes it so that it doesn’t pile up.
18) Read a new book to Tyler every evening
This Christmas we did a book advent, and I was so surprised at how much Tyler enjoyed it and how good he could read. The books he was reading were much more difficult that the books he gets at school, so this activity was actually improving his reading. So why stop just because Christmas is over? Every week I will take out 7 children’s books from the library and wrap them up with the date written on each one (I got 8m of Christmas wrap for 50p in the Tesco sale – that should last us!). He gets excited to open one each evening, and we get to read a new book at bedtime. Lily loves to sit on my lap and listen too. It’s such a lovely activity.
So those are my 18 goals for 2018. I think they are doable.
I am now tagging these lovely bloggers to write their 18 for 2018: