So this is Christmas, and what have you done? Another year over… and a new one just begun…
Ok, ok, relax, I promise I will stop singing before I really get started! But, if it wasn’t obvious from that introductory lyric, or from the title, this is my Resolutions post. Yes, that’s right everyone, once again I pretend that I’m actually going to work productively towards improving various aspects of my life.
(I’m not even going to talk about my 2016 resolutions; let us just say I achieved very few of them. I will do better this year. I’m determined.)
I like resolutions. Even if they’re never fulfilled, it’s good to aim for the stars, then even if you fall a little short, at least you’ve still aimed for something higher than just the same old same old.
That being said, I’ve said this before and not done anything about it – I am a serial re-watcher and re-reader. There’s always something comforting about re-experiencing something with which you’re very familiar – you already know you love it, you know how it ends, and there are no nasty hidden surprises along the way. Books, films, tv shows, life… I’m very happy to get comfy in this comfort zone of mine and never let myself experience the new in the wide world outside of the bubble. (There’s a reason why I have this Vampire Weekend lyric on my About page – “You know I love the past ’cause I hate suspense”.)
Being comfy is… fine… but it also means you don’t get to discover new things and, potentially, new favourites which you’d then want to re-experience to your heart’s content. I want to change that so badly. So I need to stop saying I’ll watch/read/do more in the future and just fucking do it. (Pardon the French!) A lot of my 2017 Resolutions below are in the spirit of this attitude, so let’s just get right to it…
READING, BLOGGING & WATCHING GOALS
1. Read at least 52 books in 2017
I’ve managed this in the past few years and I think it’s a goal arbitrary goal to aim for since I can read a book a week. That being said, I’m also planning to try read more classics (and quite lengthy ones at that) so we’ll see how I fare.
2. Write more reviews
Last year I foolishly pledged to write a review for every single book I read, whether that consisted of a one-line review or a more lengthy explanation. That was silly – sometimes you can love a book so very much that you’re incapable of putting together a coherent review. (That’s not just me, right?) However, considering I want to improve my review writing, and practice makes perfect etc., I do want to write more reviews than I did this year, so I’m aiming for something over 18 reviews, in an ideal world. Speaking of which…
3. Blog more & comment more
I want to keep up with this blog more. I want to get into the habit of writing (probably on weekends), scheduling appropriately, and then using that freed up time every day during which I normally panic and hastily write a blog post, to instead blog hop and comment more on other peoples’ posts. I usually read every post that appears on my feed, I just don’t often comment as much as I should. I really do love the blogs I follow – and it’s high time I showed that appreciation more!
4. Read at least 4 classics
I have a huge list of classics I want to read. I now have a dedicated bookshelf which contains my Penguin and Vintage classics. And yet, I haven’t so much as gave it more than a cursory glance over the past few months. I want to change that. At this stage I’m not going to say I will read X book or X author, but I will say that I want to read at least 4 “classics” – that’s one per quarter/every 3 months. I can do that, I got this.
5. Be mindful of Reading Challenges and actually complete them!
Every year I pledge to do challenges and then promptly forget about them. Then, about April time, I remember and have a mild panic and try to fit the books I’ve already read round the Reading Challenges. I don’t like doing things that way and, whilst I am a mood reader generally, I think my reading would be much more productive if I planned to read certain books for certain challenges (with some leeway and alternates) and stuck with it as much as possible. So I plan to attempt the following challenges: Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, Around the Year in 52 Books, and Mount TBR Challenge.
6. Explore more TV shows/films
As mentioned right at the start of this post – I am a serial re-reader/re-watcher, meaning my To Watch list constantly grows rather than getting any shorter. I’m going to really try to combat that this year – I have a list, I have the motivation to do it, I have a blog post series idea centred around it, and I think I have a willing friend who will humour me whilst I foolhardily attempt it.
1. Exercise more regularly
I was trying to do this when I moved to Liverpool – I even joined a gym and everything! Then I ran in incorrect footwear and screwed my foot up, making even walking excruciatingly painful for about a month (not kidding, wear the correct footwear, kids!). Now I’m hoping to go back to the gym in the new year, I’m aiming for at least twice a week, but I’d like three/four times, but we quite literally shouldn’t run before we can walk – I know that now.
2. Experiment and find a skincare routine that works
Anyone who knows me knows my skin is shit. I have stupidly sensitive skin, dry skin, eczema-prone patches, spot-spreading tendencies (I sit with my hands on my chin/neck constantly), which, when mixed together, means my face in particular isn’t brilliant. I don’t want this anymore, I want to find a cleanser, moisturiser, face wash etc. and use them regularly enough to get into a routine that actually works.
3. Travel more
This is so ridiculously general and I know general usually isn’t conducive to proper resolution setting but this is my Resolutions post and I’ll do it how I like. (Who am I arguing with here? Myself? Well she needs to hush up.) Anyways, the bottom line is this: I haven’t been very many places because I haven’t had the opportunities to do so. No, that’s a lie, I could make the opportunities if I just prioritised travel, especially now whilst I don’t have any huge work/family commitments that would prevent me from going wherever I wanted to. Sure, I’m not made of money, and travel can be expensive, but even travelling to more places within the UK would allow me to appreciate the world around me more than I currently do. I don’t take enough time to (as the Schuyler sisters would say) “look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now”.
4. Allow myself to write more
I often stop myself from writing fiction because my brain convinces me I am shit at it. Every single time. I need to stop doing that, to stop that second-guessing, because, really, I’m not writing it for anyone else – I’m writing for myself. I never have to show anyone what the results of my attempts are if I don’t want to, and realising that is strangely liberating. Likewise, I have a few things I need to journal/blog about to work through, and I need to actually write that out instead of having it stuck in my brain. I’m giving myself permission to do that.
Ok, phew, that’s it… ten resolutions for 2017, and those seem quite enough to be getting on with for the time being. If I’ve even managed to complete a couple of these come the end of 2017 I’ll be thrilled. Wish me luck?
What are your resolutions for the upcoming year? Do you like making resolutions or do you think they’re a waste of time? Do you think it’s better to have very specific (numerical-based) goals or more general ones? Please do share below, I’d love to chat about your attitude towards resolution-making, ambitions, and planning for the year ahead.