2019 // Goals for a new year

I know we’re already a third of the way through January but now the boys are back at school and nursery I’ve finally had chance to sit down and think about my goals for 2019. I haven’t made any New Year’s Resolutions for a long time but for the last few years I have set myself goals and aims for the coming year… and I’ve actually managed to achieve a lot of them!

Yesterday I wrote about my 18 goals for 2018 and how I did with them, and there are a few I’m going to carry over to 2019 so I’ll start with those.

Continue Intermittent Fasting

Last year my first goal was ‘Get to goal weight and maintain’ which I didn’t do. However, I have learnt a lot in my year of Intermittent Fasting and I think it has definitely helped me to be more healthy than I was before. I feel like I am going into my fourth decade fitter and more healthy than I have been for a long time. And I really do believe that if I continue Intermittent Fasting that the weight I need to lose will come off, and I will continue to stay healthy.

Continue regular yoga practise

Get back to regular yoga practise was one of my goals for last year, and having started a yoga class in October it is definitely something I want to continue with in 2019. I love how yoga makes me feel, and what it does for my body – I planning on doing it until I am very old!

Read 24 books

Last year’s goal was to read 12 books and I actually read 16 so this year I’m upping my goal to 24. I’ve realised that as much as I like reading real paper books, I am much more likely to read books on my Kindle because I can do it in bed without having to turn the light on. I’m also going to use the time that I spend sitting with the boys while they fall asleep (which is probably a good 2 or 3 hours a week) to read rather than mindlessly scrolling through social media or playing Candy Crush!

Go to bed at a sensible time

Again, another one I didn’t really manage last year but I’m going to try again this year. I know I feel better when I get more sleep, and my FitBit is good at showing me when I really don’t get enough. I also know I am more productive in the late evening so I need to find a balance between working and getting enough sleep. My FitBit tells me to get ready for bed at 10:30 pm, and my aim for 2019 is to actually pay attention to it!

Keep blogging

I started Toby Goes Bananas in 2013 when Toby was about 3 months old. I don’t think I really thought that nearly 5 and a half years later I would still be here and actually earning a pretty decent income from it. I would like to earn more (enough that I don’t have to go back to my ‘proper’ job would be amazing) and I would like for more people to read what I write, but my real goal for blogging is just to keep doing it. To keep recording our family life. To keep taking photographs. To just keep writing.

Those are the goals I am carrying over from 2018, but I need some new ones for 2019 too. So, in no particular order here we go…

Reduce waste and plastic use

We are already pretty good at recycling but I think everyone is starting to realise that we need to do more to reduce our plastic use in the first place rather than just put things in the recycling bin and think we’re doing OK.

I’m proud that in five years of having children in nappies we only used a handful of disposables and mostly used washable wipes too. But the boys are out of nappies now so I need to find other ways to reduce our household waste. We still use the washable wipes at home for hands and faces so that’s a good start. I have some beeswax wraps and use them at home but still occasionally use clingfilm for sandwiches if we’re going out so need to find a good alternative for that. I always use reusable shopping bags and have a couple of small ones I keep in my handbag so I always have them with me. We got metal straws last year I’ve also switched to bars of soap and a shampoo bar for me. Barry doesn’t like how normal soap makes you ‘squeaky’ after a shower though so I need to try and find one that doesn’t do that (any suggestions?).

The other big thing is trying to reduce the amount we buy in plastic packaging, especially food, but it’s easier said than done sometimes. I usually shop online with Tesco and although I ask for no bags, they still use them, especially for fruit and veg. We do have a local greengrocer but it is so expensive compared to the supermarket that as much as I would like to, we just can’t afford to use it.

So anyway, this one is a work in progress. Hopefully it will get easier as more businesses realise they have to do their bit too.

Use our National Trust membership

Our first day out with National Trust membership at Quarry Bank

My parents paid for family National Trust membership for us for Christmas (although we got it in November) and we’ve already used it three times so it has almost paid for itself already! We definitely want to make the most of it this year though and I hope to use it once a month. There are a few properties close to us, and we go to the Lake District fairly regularly and there are loads of NT places there so it shouldn’t be too hard to use it.

See more live entertainment

Last year one of my goals was to go to the cinema more and I did go a few times. I still want to do that but this year I’m adding see more live entertainment. Before we had the children we used to go to lots of stand up comedy gigs and I went to see a lot of musicals too. We’ve hardly been to anything since they were born but now we know we can leave them with my parents without too much trouble it should be a bit easier.

I’ve already booked to see Hamilton in London this month, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in August and Tim Minchin in November. (Oh, and Take That in June!) I’d like for Barry and I to get to some smaller stand up gigs too though, and maybe even some live music. I think the boys are probably old enough to enjoy a family friendly festival now too so I’m going to look at where we could go this summer.

Switch off my phone

Do you know I never ever switch my phone off? I have it by my side all day and it charges by my bed at night and I never actually turn it off. It’s so bad that if I do leave it in another room and the boys see it they will bring it to me, saying ‘mummy, you forgot your phone’. It is hard when you’re a blogger to switch off – I feel like I have to be constantly checking my emails in case there’s an offer of work. Or always updating social media so I can keep growing my following and engagement.

At least that’s what I tell myself but half the time I am just mindlessly scrolling through Facebook reading about things I have no interest in, or playing Candy Crush (which I think I have played virtually every day since it was first released 7 years ago!

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is the real problem for me but I need to realise the world will not end if I turn my phone off sometimes. I’m going to start with leaving it in another room when we’re watching a film and actually using my alarm clock instead of the alarms my phone so I can leave it to charge in the kitchen rather than by my bed, and we’ll take it from there.

Be more mindful about spending

We are very lucky in that we aren’t struggling for money – we have enough to pay the bills every month, with some left over for fun things. But I think my mind still hasn’t quite realised that we don’t have as much as we did when we were both working full time and I tend to just buy things we ‘need’ without really worrying about how much they cost. It means though that we aren’t saving anything and when those big unexpected expenses come along, like over £200 for new tyres that I spent yesterday, there isn’t really anywhere for that money to come from.

As well as watching our spending and only buying things we actually need, I am going to start decluttering this year and making some extra money by selling the things we don’t need. I have made a start on selling our cloth nappies but there are lots more to go, and Gabe doesn’t use the buggy at all anymore so we have two of those to sell as well. I’m sure there are lots of other things too. It’s such a big job but I just need to get started and work my way through it all.

I’m going to leave it there for this year  – I think 10 goals is enough and I think these are all achievable. I love to hear your goals for 2019, are any of them the same as mine?


(Thanks to Sally for the photo of me taking a photo)

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