Does a new year mean changes?

New year's resolutions

WOW – how can we already be half way through January? Christmas and New Year actually feels like it was so long ago now, especially since the decorations and the tree went away and the kids went back to school.

I know it’s a little late to be pondering resolutions but because I don’t really make them personally they haven’t been at the forefront of my mind. For me New Year brings a new open book of 365 blank pages and how I choose to fill them shouldn’t be set by resolutions made on the 1st of January which I am likely to break before the end of the month and then beat myself up over the fact I’ve failed.
I’ve done that for too many years but now I am older I have realised that I don’t have to set resolutions or targets, I don’t work that way – I am rebellious and if someone tells me to do something then I am more likely to do the opposite, that even goes for myself, yes I would rebel against me! I guess it’s where Emmy gets her stubborn streak from too.
Instead of setting myself up for a fail and then getting cross, I like to set little goal posts and tasks – ones which are achievable in little steps or even things which can be crossed off of my to-do-lists throughout the year.
I think too many people put pressure on themselves to try to better themselves,  change things and set goals for the new year and therefore they often fail quickly, get despondent or fed up by the end of January or by the end of February.
This year I’ve set no resolutions per say. There is no I MUST achieve this by a certain date.
Infact I’m taking a more laid back approach to everything as the stresses and pressures of the past couple of years have taken their toll.  I’m starting this year a little broken from the past year, and I don’t mean hungover.  I mean stressed. I set my workload too high, leaving no time for me and then when the kids (or me) get poorly I fall so far behind I end up struggling to battle through working till gone 2am and getting up at 6am in a manic bid to catch up and not to miss deadlines.
This year will see me logging off more, not caring if an email is unanswered, it will still be there in the morning.  An out of office will be set for every weekend starting promptly at 5pm on a Friday until 9am on a Monday.  Emails will be answered on weekdays only, as yes I do work from home and am self employed BUT there needs to be some sort of home life cut off.
I’m hoping for less night shift working schedules,  I’m realistic I know they will still happen but I need to be able to function the next day for the kids, and living on caffeine isn’t the answer. This is actually becoming easier as Harry started school full time last September meaning 5 days a week I have a block of 5 hours to myself to get things done – this is work, cleaning, shopping and making a point of using at least one of my free afternoons for myself, I actually usually go out to lunch with my Dad once a week.
Last year I actually managed to get my tax return in long before the deadline, in fact I did it last July and paid what I owed before December, I have plans to do the same again this year – that was one of my goals for last year and one I did stick too, I’ve also stuck to keeping my accounts up to date to help me achieve that goal again this year.
Finding me time was high on my agenda last year and I managed to fit in having an afternoon to myself and switching off the laptop and not working for a few evenings a week. This is working well for me so it is time to work on a list of things I want to aim for this year, little goals and achievements I can tick off throughout the year:

My list of things I want to achieve this year:

  • Move Harry into the bigger bedroom and decorate it – I have now actually moved hi into that bedroom and the plans are well underway for decorating
  • Keep up to date with the washing – this often seems like an endless task but if I do a small load every other day it should begin to become manageable again
  • Cut back on how much I drink – I got to a point that I would happily drink 2 bottles of Prosecco with my sister when we had a mid-week catch up and again at the weekend, and quite frankly it is unnecessary and limited to maybe just the weekends
  • Cut back on the picking at the food in the fridge, this is a downside of working from home – the fridge is often calling and very rarely to I reach for the salad in there
  • Put the washing away when it’s dry instead of in a basket on my bedroom floor for a week – this is a really bad habit of mine, I take the basket upstairs to put away then get distracted and find it still there when I go to bed, then it’s too late to do
  • Tidy as we go along – I am already making more of an effort to do this and it means that I don’t have to spend a full day doing a full house clean
  • Drink more water
  • Eat smaller portions
  • Lose a little weight – I have no scales in my house anymore and hate to weigh myself so instead I will go by how my clothes fit – currently they are all tight so I’ve a way to go
  • Get to bed earlier on week nights
  • Read at least one book a month (I’ve already finished 2 this month!)

As the year goes on I will relook at this list and cross off those I have achieved, there are no time frames to my list.

Paul’s list of things he wants to achieve this year:

  • Finish his online course and gain a new qualification – he started this last year and had hoped to finish before Christmas but is struggling to find the time and the motivation to do so
  • Update his CV
  • Find a new job – he works for the family business but with his Dad looking to retire within the next few years he wants to find something new as there isn’t the money or scope to expand this business currently and he has bigger dreams
  • To use his vape more instead of cigarettes, I have to say after years and years of nagging him to stop smoking may be starting to listen a little. He was a smoker when I first met him so I guess I can’t complain but of course I will! At that time he smoked cigarettes now due to the cost he smokes roll-ups and I can’t stand the smell, even going as far as to not let him kiss me until he has brushed his teeth and had a mint. He has been really doing well and making more of an effort to vape when around me, hopefully if he carries on this way it will lead to him cutting back on the cigarettes and then stopping altogether. When he is running low on his liquid for his vape its handy to know some companies do free next day UK e liquid delivery, so there is no excuses! and with lots of flavours available he can vary it up a little – you can see some of those available here
  • Save money – I think we all want to do this one and January is tough on us all – I have some money saving tips if you are also feeling the pinch this month.
  • Get in the bath earlier – Paul suffers from Fibromyalgia and finds a hot bath helps to relieve the pain but he gets distracted by the TV and find it’s 11pm and he still hasn’t gone upstairs
  • To take Emmy fishing alone more often
  • To take Harry to play golf alone more often
  • To cook dinner for me once a month – OK, this is a complete lie but it’s worth a try on my part right?

Did you make resolutions this year?

*Collaborative post**


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