My 2018 Resolutions | Quarterly Check-in #1

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Last year I did quite well with my yearly resolutions, I think, in part, because I regularly “checked in” with them and had a look at how I was doing. Since it worked so well (not to blow my own trumpet) in 2017, I’ve decided to carry on that tradition into 2018 so this is the first of my Quarterly Check-in posts. I’ll have a look at each of my 2018 Resolutions and see how I’ve fared in the months of January, February, and March.

For those who care to have an in-depth reminder of my 2018 Resolutions you can find that post here. Now let us examine how I’m doing three months into the year…


1. Complete Goodreads 52 Books goal

Verdict: On Track
I’ve managed to read 17 books already this year which Goodreads informs me is 6 books ahead of schedule – go me! If I carry on at this pace all year (which seems unlikely given some exciting holidays planned and a desire to read more classics), I should easily surpass my 52 books target. Fingers crossed?

2. Complete Around the Year in 52 Books

Verdict: On Track
As it stands, every single book I have read thus far in 2018 also completes one of the challenges for the Around the Year Reading Challenge. This is because I’ve been mindful of what books I’m choosing to read and, mostly, because the Reading Challenge is quite adaptable. That being said, once I start whittling the challenges down I am sure it will get harder to match a book to a challenge and I will instead find myself doing it vice versa, i.e. I’ll be picking a book to read that matches a challenge rather than finding which challenge matches the book I’ve just read!

3. Finish off the books in a series I have yet to read

Verdict: Failing
I am definitely failing quite supremely at this because I haven’t given it a moment’s thought after impulsively signing up for Anna’s #SeriestoFinish2018 challenge back in December. I’m feeling very guilty about my complete lack of participation so I hope to get back on the horse, so to speak, and concentrate on finishing off some of those books in a series.

4. Finish War and Peace and read another Russian classic

Verdict: Failing
Until earlier this week, I hadn’t even thought about picking up War and Peace again, even though I know every week is a ticking clock of me retaining any memory of what happened in the first 1000ish pages of this behemoth of a book. I only have about 300 pages left to read so I really need to get to it, it’s not even funny anymore. I won’t let myself move onto another Russian classic either until I’ve defeated this one so I really need to make this a priority – I’ve said I will in my recent Spring TBR post so I’m pretty much duty bound to now.

5. Read at least 5 classics

Verdict: On Track(ish)
I’ve only completed one actual classic, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, but I’m planning to read both E.M. Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford pretty damn soon since they’re on my Spring TBR. I’m also definitely going to make the effort to finish War and Peace once and for all (since I “only” have 300ish pages to go). I’ve also recently signed up to the Classics Club so I have to continue reading classics at a steady rate otherwise I’ll fail that reading project too. I’m all about the accountability!


1. Concentrate on quality not quantity and work on finding that blogging tone that I’m happy with

Verdict: On Track(ish)
I still struggle with posting as much as I would actually want to, whilst also maintaining a quality I’m pleased with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Top Ten Tuesday, Top Five Wednesday, or Friday Reads are “easy posts”, but I’m saying that it takes a lot less effort for me to write those than it does, say, a review, and I know that a tonne more people will read these weekly posts than a random review – so the correlation of effort to reward is very pleasing with these “easy posts”. I don’t like falling into a habit of posting them for the sake of it, though, and last year I was very guilty of doing so. This year I want to be more conscious of falling into this habit and,if I’m not feeling a post,I don’t want to post it because I’d rather not post than post something of lacklustre quality… does that make sense?

2. Utilise scheduling fully

Verdict: On Track(ish)
I’ve definitely tried to settle into more of a rhythm of posting Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and sometimes Sundays (depending on if I have an extra post that week or not). I like this because it allows me wiggle room, and if I like a Top Ten Tuesday topic I post Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays/Fridays instead. Likewise, if i don’t have a post for the weekend, I just don’t have a post. I’ve tried to be better about not  beating myself up about this and I think 3/4 posts a week is definitely doable so long as I think ahead, hence scheduling. I wouldn’t say I’ve fully utilised it as I’m never more than a week ahead with my posts, but I am getting better at thinking ahead and blogging accordingly.

3. Write more reviews

Verdict: On Track
As it stands, I have 7 reviews that I still need to write, which sounds like a lot, but it means that I have written 10 reviews so far this year. For me, that’s pretty damn good. In fact, that’s really good, for me, especially compared to how I was last year. Don’t get me wrong, I could be doing better, but I could also be doing a lot worse, and I’ve finished a lot of books very quickly recently, so it’s no wonder that the reviews to write have stacked up in the last couple of weeks. I feel less disheartened about this though and I feel like I am writing more reviews than I was before.

4. Be more active in the online community

Verdict: On Track(ish)
Well, I actually participate in some Twitter chats now, and I’ve been less shy about just randomly liking or replying to other book bloggers’ tweets or Instagram posts, so I’d say that’s definitely progress to try to be a little bit more active in the online bookish community. I’ve also written my first guest post over on someone else’s blog, yay! (I waffled on about Shakespeare’s Coriolanus for those who are curious, you can find it here!) I’d like to participate in a few more readathons/readalongs (I’m toying with the idea of organising a readalong of a big classic in the summer) and maybe do some more guest posts (if people will have me), but I think I’m doing ok considering we’re only 3 months into the year.

5. Write more travel and more general lifestyle posts when I want to

Verdict: Failing
Although I finally finished my series of posts about my trip to London at the end of last year – they can be found here for anyone curious – I still haven’t written all the posts that I want to do about my favourite local eateries (I did start this series though so that’s something) nor have I actually written about my DC/NYC Trip in 2017, aside from talking about the journey to get to the US that I wrote back in November 2017. It’s ridiculous that I started these posts but haven’t done anything with them, and it’s for this reason that I purposely made this goal for 2018. I need to sort this out.


1.  Continue to exercise regularly

Verdict: On Track
I’m just going to say it – I quite like Zumba, I’m no longer ashamed of this fact, and I try to go twice a week if I can. There’s a class on a Thursday evening and Sunday morning that I quite like so I try to make both of those unless I have weekend plans. Aside from that, though, I’ve realised I kind of plateaued with the gym. After spending months finding it painful to walk because of a flare up of plantar fasciitis (a condition I didn’t even know I had until I went to the gym and wore trainers with not enough heel support and consequently fucked my foot up), I am so scared to do too much in the gym in case of accidentally hurting my foot again. I’ve never been someone who has painful health problems so (not to be dramatic but) being unable to walk properly really did affect me mentally and it’s made me hesitant with a lot of the machines in the gym. Therefore I only really bike, speed walk on the treadmill, and sometimes row for a short period. I need to find some proper exercise programmes and see about following them otherwise I’m never going to exercise more than twice a week at Zumba which is fine but not as much as I’d like. With the weather getting better now and the nights getting lighter hopefully I’ll be able to do more walks too.

2. Start actively learning things I wish I knew how to do

Verdict: Failing
I haven’t even thought about this goal since I set it as a resolution for this year. That’s really bad isn’t it? In my defence, I’ve been concentrating on my reading and blogging resolutions and trying to exercise despite it being cold and dark a lot of the time, so I feel like the areas I’ve been concentrating my efforts are probably more immediately rewarding. I do still want to get better at this though, so I’ll try to be more mindful of this goal moving forward into quarter two.

3. Keep a bullet journal/journal for the whole year

Verdict: On Track
This is going very well. I mean, technically, I’ve “completed” this goal because I’ve kept up my bullet journal for the whole year thus far. I don’t see myself not continuing this for the rest of 2018 (barring periods where I’m on holiday maybe?) because it really has helped my head space to be able to write to do lists of things I need to get done, particularly in terms of blogging.

4. Continue to say “yes” to more events/gigs/shows and going to new places

Verdict: On Track
I’d say this is going well. I have a lot of events lined up this year – I recently saw Wicked, Hairspray is next month, V.E. Schwab event in Oxford in May, Dara O’Briain in May, The Killers in July, Barcelona in September, Hamilton in October, Disney World (!!) in October/November, and Harry Potter Studio Tour in December… I think that’s quite enough to be getting along with for now, isn’t it? I am so incredibly fortunate but I’ve also shifted my mindset to investing my hard-earned money into tickets and travel which are ephemeral things as opposed to the material and the things I’d previously spent my money on up until this point. I’ve definitely had a shift in mindset and 2018 is definitely the year when that is showing.

5. Stop wasting time

Verdict: On Track
I’m doing better at this. I might have my occasional lazy Saturday or Sunday but I’m certainly trying to make more use of the time I have. Sure, I still might get home from work and not want to do anything but laze around, eat food, and watch Booktube videos, but I’m also trying to make sure I have vague plans so that my entire weekends don’t just consist of this. I think I’m doing reasonably well at this – as I type this it’s Saturday morning and I’m dedicating the day to mostly blogging (because I need to) but I have a walk in a local forest planned for tomorrow so that will get me out of the house. I like having done something with my weekend so I’m definitely going to try to continue this for the rest of 2018 and with the weather getting a little bit better now I’m hoping that will help this goal along.


1. Do the “odd jobs” around the house that I’ve been meaning to do for months and clean house (regularly)

Verdict: On Track
For various skin-related reasons, I struggle to keep the bathroom and kitchen as clean as I would probably like (short reason, cleaning products WRECK my hands, no lie) but Liz is great at picking up the slack there (thanks Liz!). I try to keep the kitchen clean otherwise though and to hoover when I can. We’ve finally got a few things sorted with the back spare bedroom so we can actually use that now instead of treating it like a dumping ground and I think the “odd jobs” are slowly getting ticked off. Hopefully this continues for the rest of the year and we will both finally feel a bit better about our respective bedrooms and the house overall.

2. Cook more varied meals (at least 1 new recipe a month)

Verdict: Failing
Hahahaha this definitely is not happening. I’ve been vaguely aware that I’d completely forgotten about one of my goals for the entirety of the year thus far and this is definitely the one that has been most neglected. I haven’t even thought about searching out new recipes. Ooops? Unless I can make up for this and pronto I can see this resolution falling to the wayside as, right now, it’s just clearly not a priority for me.

3. Save at least £100 a month and don’t touch it!

Verdict: On Track
£100 each month leaves my current account and goes into my savings just after I get paid, so that I effectively never see that money anyway. That’s an automatic thing and it needs to happen as I need the money for September so I can pay for our trip to Disney World in October/November. However I’ve now got enough money saved for the accommodation/park tickets and for the flights so I just need to concentrate on saving the spending money. I’m also now going to Barcelona for a few days in September so I definitely need to sort out saving money for that. Come November 2018, my savings thus far are definitely going to be wiped out entirely, so I’m sure my 2019 resolutions are going to be full of savings goals like this one!

4. Keep in touch with friends/family better

Verdict: Failing(??)
I can’t really say how I’m doing with this to be honest. I try, I always do, but I never know how successful this really is. It seems a strange thing to try to quantify, which I don’t think I fully appreciated when I set this as a goal for this year. There are a couple of things I’m planning to do/attend with friends, and my family see me as often as I can when I go back home for the weekend, but I also know that I’m not nearly as close to my friends back home as I once was. That kills me a little bit inside. I still see things on social media but I can’t fully participate since I don’t live nearby anymore so it’s like I observe them now instead of at least having the opportunity to participate. I know that that’s life (that’s what people say) but it doesn’t stop me from missing talking to them more regularly. I know I need to make more of an effort though, I can feel it.

5. Work harder at work and be proud of work I do/seek opportunities for advancing at work

Verdict: On Track/Completed(??)
Can I say I’ve “completed” this because I’ve had a promotion at work? I mean, I didn’t actively do this… it just sort of… happened. I guess it means that I must have been doing something right, enough for them to want to give me a role with more responsibility and higher stakes (and, yes, the latter point makes me panic internally so I try not to think about that too often)? However, I’ve only been doing this new role for a few weeks (17 days if we’re being picky) so who can tell how it’s going so far? But the point is I’m trying, so that counts for something.


Overall, I think I’m doing okay. I definitely have ups and downs with a lot of these resolutions but I’m also realising my priorities are bound to shift at different points in the year, largely due to external factors, so I’m not too worried about the goals which are proverbial fails at the moment. If I continue in this manner for the rest of 2018, I’d be pretty damn happy with myself so here’s to hoping and fingers crossed!

Did you make New Years’ Resolutions or goals for this year?
How are you doing at achieving them?

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