Happy New Year! I had planned on doing one last post in 2018 sharing some photos of Christmas, but unfortunately I got a bad cold as soon as we got back to the UK, and I’m still sick… ☹ But, I won’t let this stop me from writing my 2019 goals!
Why goals not resolutions?
In 2018 I wrote a post about my goals and I want to review those goals to see what I achieved last year. I’ll also add a few new goals for 2019. If I didn’t meet a 2018 goal, it will go on the 2019 list too. As I mentioned last year, I prefer the term “goal” to “resolution” because some goals take time and don’t necessarily have an end date, it’s something you aim towards; others are hard to quantify and measure. I also like to post my goals here in public because it makes me more accountable.
As you’ll see, I didn’t achieve all of my goals last year— not by a long shot. You can’t win’em all. I also met some goals for a period of time but then fell off the wagon when life got in the way. That’s okay! Rather than beat myself up about the goals I didn’t meet, I’m pleased about my two massive achievements last year: getting a new job and getting engaged. I’m happy, and that is my main goal in life!
Please share one of your goals for 2019 in the comments!
What were my 2018 goals?
What: Floss more
Goal met? No
Why: Because it’s good for me. This makes it on the list every year. I have to admit that I hardly flossed at all last year. 😬
When: At least once a week. Don’t judge if you’re a daily flosser as many of us are a never flosser.
How: Just do it.
What: Get back into fitness
Goal met? Yes and no
Why: I started my new job in March and the summer was when I really got back into fitness. I did the 30 shred challenge leading up to our engagement. I didn’t lose a lot of weight, but I lost some inches and got a good level of fitness back. Unfortunately, I got busy again going to Vancouver and with the start of fall term. Admittedly, I did have time when I got home from work some days in October and November, but I lacked the motivation to exercise. I need to do better at forcing myself to do a workout when I have the time. I’d also like to go back to the pool because I haven’t been for over a year.
When: Realistically, one to two days a week (apart from the few weeks a year I’m really busy). Next summer I will do another fitness challenge.
How: Use my free time more efficiently!
What: Get a new job!
Goal met? Yes!
Why: That job I applied for last Christmas? I got it and I’ve been happily working in my new role for nearly a year. I can’t imagine working anywhere else. 😁
What: Bake macarons
Goal met? No
Why: I still want to make macarons, but I just didn’t get around to it last year.
When: I’m thinking early spring
How: I thought I needed to get a silicon mat but I think I can just make them on parchment paper so I have no excuse!
What: Submit another academic article
Goal met? No
Why: Technically this would be a re-submission. I finished an article in 2017 for a special issue, but it wasn’t accepted. I need to edit and re-submit the work because I still think it’s publishable. I didn’t have time to do it in 2018, but I’m in the process of writing a book review now so hopefully that will inspire me to keep writing.
When: Probably not until summer
How: I can use my spare time to edit.
What: Build my blog with the aim to go self-hosted in 2019
Goal met? Yes
Why: My blog continues to grow slowly and at some point in January I’ll hit 10,000 views, and I have around 70 more subscribers than last year. I’ve also made a small profit through Amazon affiliates so THANK YOU READERS for your support!! My big goal is to grow this blog to the point that it can be a part-time job. This is a challenge but I will be going self-hosted in 2019. I’m currently deciding on which host to go with before I migrate to WordPress.org.
When: At some point in 2019
How: Keep writing and keep enjoying blogging. But, any tips fellow bloggers have on going self-hosted would be hugely appreciated!
What: Read more📚
Goal met? Yes
Why: I hit an all-time low of only finishing 1 book in 2017— pathetic for a person who used to read for a living in academia, and who could get through 20-odd books a year as a teenager. I did read more in 2018, but not as much as I would have liked. For 2019 my goal is to read 19 books. It’s a massive goal for a busy year – let’s see if I can do it!
What books did I read in 2018?
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. A novel set in France during the Second World War with interconnected plot lines featuring a blind French girl and a German boy (highly recommend).
- Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner. A quick read crime novel focusing on the disappearance of an accomplished, well-liked Cambridge postgraduate student (would recommend).
- They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen. Cohen’s suspense books are great pulp fiction and keep you gripped to the end. This one is set in a psychiatric hospital and has plenty of plot twists (would recommend).
- When She Was Bad is another one of Cohen’s book set in an office environment with murder, deceit, and back-stabbing. It was fantastic (highly recommend)!
- East of Croydon by Sue Perkins. This is Perkins’ second book. I preferred Spectacles, but if you watched the BBC show about her voyage down the Mekong River then you’ll find this anecdotal perspective interesting.
- Recipes and Everyday Knowledge: Medicine, Science, the Household in Early Modern England by Elaine Leong. Elaine a professional acquaintance of mine, and her research is the early modern counterpart to my eighteenth century research. I was asked to review her book and I think the review will be out sometime this year. I recommend reading it if your area of interest is early modern science and medicine; it may be too academic and specialist for general readers.
When: I don’t like to read on the bus, but I certainly can fit reading in during the evenings and weekends.
How: put the phone down and pick up a book instead.
Goal met? Yes and no
Why: I drove the car twice in 2018. It was fine, but it stresses me out and I’ll find any excuse not to practice. In 2019 my goal is to book some lessons and I’d like to take the knowledge test by the end of 2020. Hopefully firmer goals will encourage me to keep trying.
When: I think lessons will be in the summer and I’d like to go at least 4 times with Lucy to practice .
How: I need to read the Highway code. I mentioned in last year’s post that the code came to Vancouver with me and sat on my bedside table untouched. I’ve read about 20 pages in a year — I will finish it in 2019. 😒
What: Live more sustainably and reduce waste
Why: This goal shouldn’t come as a surprise given the change in content on my blog and my zero waste series. The climate and plastic crises have been a focal point in the news and on social media the past year and I got my wake-up call to make big changes in my life.
- When we move and have a garden, we want to start a compost and build a rain barrel.
- Two big purchases for the house will be solar panels and good windows.
- I will continue to buy groceries in minimal packaging and buy bulk dried food and refillable cleaners.
- I will also continue to limit meat to one day a week – this has saved us money, it’s better for the environment, and my digestive health is better.
- Continue to avoid single use items.
- Buy less.
- Shop second hand.
- Make more from scratch and grow our own food.
- Continue to not buy packaged cosmetics and toiletries.
- The change that I really need to focus on is walking to the bus in the morning. I’ve gotten into a bad habit of getting Lucy to drive me and it needs to stop. It’s only a 15-20 walk and I used to do it every day.
What: Buy a house
Why: 2019 is the year we’ve been waiting for to sell the flat and buy a house!
When: The process should start around March (and Brexit) so wish us luck! We hope to move in summer / early autumn.
How: I don’t think you can really plan to guarantee buying a house. We will just get our paperwork in order for a mortgage and see how it goes.
What: Get a dog (a miniature dachshund to be specific)
Why: because we’ve always wanted one but can’t have pets in our flat
When: After we move we want to go on a waiting list with a reputable, certified breeder, so it could take some time to get a puppy (likely 2020).
How: Need to get a house and puppy proof it first.
What: Stop biting nails
Why: because it’s gross and I get sick
How: I’m really good sometimes about not picking or biting but it’s a stress thing. I also clench my jaw and bite the inside of my mouth, so perhaps exercise can replace these things as a stress management technique!
When: now and always
What: Get crafty
Why: I’ve always loved crafting as much as I do baking, but it requires more time. Three of my favourite crafts are sewing, knitting, and cross stitch. I did some sewing in summer 2018 when I was at home (I made cloth produce bags to reduce my waste and I’ve had three compliments on them at the checkouts! 🤗). I’m currently knitting for the twins (auntie round 2!!), and I want to make them a little cross stitch gift as well.
When: I find crafting therapeutic so I want to make time on weekends and during annual leave for projects.
How: Once we move, I’m shipping the rest of my belonging from Canada and this will include my sewing machine. I’ll need to get a converter, but I’ve got grand plans for that machine!
These are my goals for 2019 and I hope it’s a great year!