My 2018 Resolutions | Quarterly Check-in #2

As you may have seen if you’re been around the blog for a while, I do check-ins for my yearly resolutions as a way of keeping me accountable to more people than just myself. At the end of the first quarter of 2018, I posted my first check-in, and here we are today with my second quarterly check-in for the months of April, May, and June.

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 now we’re halfway through the year…

READING GOALS

1. Complete Goodreads 52 Books goal

Verdict: On Track
I stand at 45 out of 52 books read for 2018 so, unless something major happens, I should comfortably make my goal to read 52 books. Depending how industrious I’m feeling I may even up the challenge goal/resolution once I get to 52.

2. Complete Around the Year in 52 Books

Verdict: On Track
At my last check-in, every single book I’d read at that point in 2018 had also completed one of the Around the Year challenges. That isn’t the case now since I’ve been doing some readalongs and readathons that don’t necessarily tally with the challenges. However, I’ve also had a pretty good quarter in terms of the number of books I’ve read so I’ve made good progress nevertheless with the Around the Year challenges. I’ve now ticked off most of the easy ones and have 18 challenges remaining so, with some forward planning, I should be able to complete this goal too.

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

Verdict: On Track
Although I haven’t actively been participating in Anna’s #SeriestoFinish2018 challenge (I feel so guilty about this), I have subconsciously been trying to force myself to get to sequels and finish off series, or at least get as up-to-date with them as I can. Case in point: I recently finally read the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes and am planning to pick up the newest book A Reaper at the Gates this month. I also only have one Winner’s trilogy book left, which is progress so… I’d consider this kind of a win?

4. Finish War and Peace and read another Russian classic

Verdict: Failing
Well I still haven’t finished War and Peace. Believe me, I know… I know it’s getting ridiculous now. However, in this quarter I have re-read all my weekly posts from during the War and Peace Newbies Readalong, so I’ve refreshed my memory of the plot and am ready to tackle the last 200 or so pages of Tolstoy’s tome this month in fact. After that I think I might try to finally make it through all the pages of Anna Karenina, again, I’ve tried multiple times but I always stall for some unknown reason, but that likely won’t be until near the end of 2018 since I have other readalongs and readathons planned over the summer/autumn.

5. Read at least 5 classics

Verdict: On Track(ish)
In my last check-in I mentioned that I had recently signed up to the Classics Club and I have yet to actually do anything for that. Yep, story of my life. So far in 2018 I’ve only read one classics, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary which I read back in January so yeah, I need to get going on this because I’m really failing hard at this resolution. However, I am ‘currently reading’ War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (as part of Laura/Reading In Bed’s summer readalong, come join!), so if I finish these over summer I will be back on track with this goal. Fingers crossed!

BLOGGING GOALS

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

Verdict: On Track
I’ve started to check myself when it comes to blogging when I’m not in the mood or running out of time. The posts I produce whilst in those kind of mindsets are mediocre at best and it makes me really dislike my blog content when I write things purely because I have it in my head that I need to post something on certain days.So I’m not sure where I stand with this goal, in many ways I’d say I’m on track because I do feel like a positive change has started to happen in my mindset. I’m not sure if that’s reflected in my blog yet though because I don’t know if it’s gotten better/worse in the last six months, you know?

2. Utilise scheduling fully

Verdict: On Track(ish)
Although I’d like to be in the rhythm of posting Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and sometimes Sundays, I’ve made a conscious decision not to beat myself up about it if I don’t. Life happens and, at the end of the day, this is a hobby and is meant to be enjoyable so when I find myself on autopilot, writing posts for the sake of it, I check myself and ask if I’m actually happy with the post. Because of this, my schedule isn’t always adhered to. But I am using scheduling more, particularly when I’ve got a backlog of reviews to go out but I don’t want to just post reviews every day for a fortnight, so technically I’m on track with this goal.

3. Write more reviews

Verdict: On Track
At the last check-in, I had 7 outstanding reviews, at this rate I have 16 books un-reviewed but some of those are unlikely to get a proper review, so really, there’s only 9 I actually will probably review. Here’s the thing, compared to years previously, I’m still writing a lot more reviews. But I’ve also read a lot of books this quarter (25 to be precise) which was especially helped along by the Marvel-A-Thon readathon in June but means I’m behind with my reviewing. I’m hoping to sort that on in the next quarter, and I’ll be reading longer books so my reading rate will hopefully slow down enough for me to catch up.

4. Be more active in the online community

Verdict: On Track(ish)
In this quarter, I have well and truly fell off the bandwagon with participating in Twitter chats so I’ve probably “failed” this goal in most senses of the word. However, I am trying to participate in as many readalongs and readathons as I can that interest me. I have a good few readathons/readalongs lined up over the summer and I’m really looking forward to them so I plan to be more active in that sense at least. And, hey, you get a some kind of credit for participation, right?

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

Verdict: Failing
You remember when I said I was going to properly document my trip to the US? Yeah, I still haven’t done that. It’s got to the point now where I’m starting to doubt if I can actually remember what even happened on the trip enough to be able to construct a post about it. I need to buck up my ideas though and actually write the travel posts I need to catch up on because, if I don’t do it soon, it’ll be a year on from the holiday.

PERSONAL GOALS

1.  Continue to exercise regularly

Verdict: On Track
I go to my regular Thursday and Sunday Zumba classes when I can and, weather and opportunity permitting, I’ve also got out and done some longer walks locally. I’ve also decided firmly that I hate the gym for the sake of the gym because I find it boring and samey; classes are much more my speed because you’re accountable to more people than just yourself. However, I haven’t been able to find a decent third class to round off my week. I’d quite like to give boxercise on Saturday mornings a go but I feel like I’d need to be a lot more phyiscally fit than I am now in order to try to keep up with the tough pace of the class. We’ll see what quarter 3 brings…

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

Verdict: Failing
Do you remember how in my last check-in I admitted I haven’t even thought about this goal since I set it as a resolution for this year? Yeah, same story for quarter 2. To the point of I’m considering abandoning this goal because it’s just not really my priority right now. I’m doing so well (relatively speaking) with my other goals, that I’d rather whole-ass those things rather than half-ass many things, to paraphrase Ron Swanson.

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

Verdict: On Track
I’m still bullet journaling, and I’m still enjoying it. I’ve worked out a pretty standard layout for each of my months and I don’t really tend to deviate from that. But I’m ok with that… the slightly obsessively neat side of me likes having everything orderly and the same, so I’m fine with my bullet journal being relatively simple, uncluttered, and not very creative in terms of its design.

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

Verdict: On Track
Well, in quarter 2 a lot of plans came to fruition as I saw Hairspray touring production when it swung by Liverpool, went to a V.E. Schwab event in Oxford, and saw Dara O’Briain’s show at Liverpool Empire. Next quarter brings The Killers gig, Barcelona, and a trip to Cambridge for a school friend’s wedding, whilst the final quarter of the year will see happening the big Orlando/Disney World/Universal trip (at either end of which is bracketed seeing Hamilton and Measure for Measure in London), and the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I’m very much looking forward to all of these plans and I’m SO glad that the last couple of years have been the times in which I say “fuck it, let’s do it” more often than I ever have before in my life.

5. Stop wasting time

Verdict: On Track
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Alexander Hamilton, writing like I’m running out of time… but I’m also very aware that for so many years I have squandered away my youth and lack of responsibilities (stop laughing, it’s true). Now that I have a 9-5 office job (which I love, but still), I get the whole “weekends are precious” attitude like I never did before. I don’t like to waste them. But I’m also definitely an introvert so it costs me energy to do a lot of things at the weekends. I’m trying to work on a balance of having enough small plans to do in a weekend (even if those are confined to doing things in the house) without feeling like I’ve not had a weekend “off”.

“ADULT BETTER” GOALS

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

Verdict: On Track
Well, the back yard is now looking much more seasonal. We actually have plants (proper real life plants) with flowers and the garden wall has recently been painted so it looks less gross out there. We also have a washing line finally so we can dry our clothes outside. The back spare bedroom has become something of a (necessary) dumping ground/storage area for our stuff for the upcoming holidays we have planned, but that’s ok because no one else is using it. As for the other “spare room”, i.e. the dining room, let us not speak of the dining room because it isn’t exactly… tidy. Still, I think we’re doing a bit better at cleaning the kitchen/bathroom/living room but we’re probably far from parent-level of clean and tidy.

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

Verdict: Failing
I’ve well and truly completely forgot about this goal. Partly because I don’t like cooking and partly because we’ve fell in love with burrito bowls in the last few weeks. Liz is trying out a no bread rule to help kickstart some of her weight loss after a plateau so we’ve switched up fajitas for the bowls with spinach and sweetcorn and stuff and they are SO tasty. To the point where I’m wondering should I even bother to keep this goal any more since we’ve clearly peaked…

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

Verdict: On Track
Yep, £100 each month is still leaving my current account and going straight into my savings just after I get paid. It’s helping to save a chunk of money which I will no doubt completely wipe out with the Barcelona and Orlando trips in the latter half of the year, but that was the entire point of the savings account so I don’t mind so much. I’ve had a few questionably frivolous purchases lately (I blame the Radley shop in Cheshire Oaks and Lindy Bop entirely) but I’m going to really make a conscious effort to not spend any money frivolously in quarter 3 as we lead up to the holidays.

4. Keep in touch with friends/family better

Verdict: Failing(??)
I still regret setting this goal, because it’s a hard one to quantify and I should have known that when I set it as a resolution for 2018. The main train station out of Liverpool is having major works done to it which has slightly messed up the train routes and made getting home seem more of a chore, which means I haven’t visited home in a little while. I feel guilty about that but also I think my family does realise that I’m trying to take advantage of the summer in Liverpool whilst it lasts as well as save money for the second half of the year. Still, I need to get better at not being shit at communicating with friends.

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

Verdict: On Track/Completed(??)
As mentioned in my last check-in post, I can kind of say I’ve “completed” this because I got a promotion to a new role at work with more responsibility. I didn’t actively seek it, but it turns out I’m good at diplomacy, so I got moved to a role where I coordinate between departments in-house and our “clients” of sorts. It just means writing a lot of placating emails mainly, which is my forté… hopefully anyway – I haven’t had a performance review so I couldn’t so definitively whether I’m doing good at it! Work is a bit personally stressful for me right now though because I’m picking up some slack from a colleague which means organising stock for a conference which is NOT my forté at all and plays havoc on my anxiety. Still, that should be over soon then it’s just a massive lot of data input with an impending, impossible-seeming deadline to tackle. Fun, fun, at least I can’t say I’m ever bored at work.


Overall

Overall, I’m doing ok. I’m doing well with my reading and blogging goals, but I always do. This quarter has made me realise that I’ve plateaued a little bit and I need to start working on the resolutions I haven’t paid attention too yet, or just admit they’re not a priority anymore and abandon them. I’m very curious to see what quarter 3 will bring.

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


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4 thoughts on “My 2018 Resolutions | Quarterly Check-in #2

  1. Ashleigh 13/07/2018 / 09:25

    You’re doing so well with your goals so far, especially since there’s so many of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emma 18/07/2018 / 13:52

      Thanks Ashleigh! Keeping them in mind like this definitely helps but it’s also made me realise that some of my priorities have changed. :)

      Like

  2. Marie 11/07/2018 / 19:35

    This is such an inspiring post and I am so happy to see you are on track for a lot of things here! It’s fantastic that you are doing so great on your reading challenge and that you got to read so much already. I’m also happy to hear you are slowly finding your footing and rhythm in blogging – we can really feel it when you write a blog post you love and don’t force yourself either and it makes you feel better about blogging overall, too :)
    best of luck for your resolutions for the rest of the year! :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emma 18/07/2018 / 13:54

      Aw thanks Marie! I’m really pleased with how my blogging and reading goals are going (less so my personal/life ones), but it’s all a balancing act and working out where your priorities lie in terms of goal setting. :)

      Liked by 1 person

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