Almost a year ago, I made a list of all the things I hoped to achieve during 2014. At the end of the year, I wanted to take a look back and see what I hoped for and what I’ve managed to actually succeed in. In a few days time, I’ll be putting together a new list of goals for 2015 and maybe looking back will help me decide what it is I want this coming year!
This time last year, one of the things I vowed to do with my blog, was post at least once a week and if possible 2-3 times a week. I definitely achieved this for majority of the weeks, in fact for the last 3-4 months of the year, I was posting every day! As well as that, I said I would try to advertise myself more, mingle on Social Media and make blog friends. I’m confident to say that for the most part, I did do all these things. I know I definitely need to try harder on social media and hopefully in the upcoming months/years, make more friends too. Finally, my last goal with blogging, was to attend a Blog Meet. Not only did I attend one, but I also arranged one, so I’m pretty pleased with that! Also, though it wasn’t a goal, I started off the new year with 53 followers. Now at the end of the year, I have almost 700 more. Though the current total fluctuates a little, at the time of posting, my followers on Bloglovin’ were 735. I’m pretty proud of this!
I’m sad to say, that really my money situation is no better than last year. I made the goals of getting myself out of debt – which I did to some extent – but I also know I could have been much better. I also aimed to save, by starting a saving scheme of £1 in week one, £2 in week two, £3 in week three etc. and about 7-8 weeks in, this all came crashing down. I would say I’m probably in a slightly more manageable financial situation than last year, but having just quit my job – I obviously have no idea how that will turn out.
For the new year, one of the most important resolutions I made, was to shout less, keep calm and make the most of my time with the kids. I think for the most part I definitely achieved this and while working has definitely placed a strain on me, I’ve gradually got better at dealing with it. I’m looking forward to a few months without working so much and hoping it continues on calm and enjoyable like Christmas holidays have been. The other goal I set, was to plan and go on a family holiday – preferably Rome. A few weeks after making my goals, my mum announced she would be taking us to Florida in 2015 so really all savings needed to go into this. We did manage a few nights away in Berwick though, along with a visit to Edinburgh. We also had the odd day out, with visits to The Deep & Hull, Butlins in Skegness (though mum paid for this), Eureka, Adventure Farm, Harry Potter Studios, Warwick Castle, days at the cinema and other fun stuff too.
I only set one goal this year and that was to host a gathering at least once a month, to touch base with all my friends – especially the ones at a bit more of a distance. I’m trying to work out in my head if I managed this and I think I pretty much did. In January I think we had a games night, in February a Valentine’s Murder Mystery, March had both Amy’s birthday Murder Mystery and Chris’ birthday games night, with April having an Easter Murder Mystery. May had both Erika’s birthday Murder Mystery and my birthday Murder Mystery, along with a Eurovision Song Contest night. June had my brother’s birthday Murder Mystery and July had Chris Boatman’s birthday Murder Mystery. A large group of us also attended Comic Con in July and while I didn’t host it, I definitely organised it. Sadly in September, we didn’t actually hold any official gathering. I’m pretty sure we had a games night or two, but it was just 4-5 of us, which I guess still counts. October had Halloween, November had Nat’s birthday Murder Mystery and December had both Megan’s Murder Mystery (involving mostly my friends) and the Christmas Murder Mystery. Next year will probably be far quieter but I’ll need to make some effort to organise something.
Before I even refer back to my goals, I already know I’ll have done badly on this one. Sadly the year has just been so busy and working took up so much time, that nothing ever really got done on the house. One of my goals was to have the kitchen finished, the garden cleared and the hallway painted. In fairness, the hallway is pretty much done and the garden did get cleared, so its not as bad as I thought. Unfortunately nothing really got done on the kitchen so perhaps that’s a goal for this coming year – along with many others. Tidy and clean more was another goal and while I’ve probably done better than 2013, I know it still needs more. Just over the Christmas period I’ve got to grips with certain areas, so hopefully being off work will mean more time spent on the house!
Health and Fitness
This was a bit of a mixed bag, when it came to success and failure. Get back on track with my diet and achieve my 10 stone target, was goal number one. With the help of Weight Loss Wednesday, over at Twice the Mum, I managed to drop 22 pounds. I still have another 23 pounds to go, to obtain my 10 stone target, but I’m confident over the next 3-4 months, that I should hit that goal. I wanted to find a healthy lifestyle and stick to it, along with go swimming more and venture onto the Wii Fit. I can hand on heart say that I didn’t really manage any of those things, except in summer when we went swimming more – largely to get Lily swimming and improve Megan’s swimming. Finally I wanted to quit smoking altogether and I’m glad to say I’ve managed this one. While I will admit I’ve had the odd one here and there, I’m not smoking on a regular basis and I’m definitely not purchasing them.
I failed miserably on my creativity goals. I wanted to write more of my book – preferably finishing it – and take part in some sort of writing competition. I didn’t add a single word to my book (though I did help Megan plan one) and while I was > < this close to participating in NaNoWriMo, life just got far too busy and it wasn’t possible. That said, I did write a murder mystery for Megan’s Birthday and I did get creative in other ways – mainly clothes making and sewing. I’m hoping that some form of creativity is going to find me a new occupation in the upcoming year.
My one goal for my career, was to find a way to work at home. While that didn’t really work out, I guess since I did actually quit my job on December 17th, I can technically say I completed this. I’m unsure what the new year will bring but I do know I’m not actually looking for a job. I have several things I want to do, but everything involves staying afloat, building up a business and/or planning for a better future job.
Finally, in my list of goals, were some easy-going entertainment related goals. I vowed to read more books and watch more movies, even setting myself some targets. For reading, I set myself the goal of one book per month. Some months this would have been easy to accomplish, while others it felt impossible. Being out of the house between 8am and 4pm every day, definitely took its toll on my leisure time and I’m sad to say I only got 9 out of the 12 read (and even then only 6 of those were completed). I did enjoy some really good books this year, but sadly I also got stuck on some really rubbish ones too. Next year I hope to improve this figure and read a lot more. With regards to movies, I set the target of 52, working out as one per week. At one point I thought I was nowhere near, but counting up now I’ve actually watched 68 movies this year. 4 of those movies, I watched whilst being on my computer (so didn’t fully watch) but even deducting that, I still clocked in at 64, which is 12 over my target!
All in all, I know that I tried. Looking back, I’m pretty pleased with everything I accomplished. I know its a bit of a cop-out, but working (and specifically the job I worked) was definitely my main stumbling block this year. I felt constantly tired, constantly like I didn’t have time for the things I wanted to do and fairly constantly miserable. I feel very positive, moving into the new year, knowing this hurdle is now gone. I know there will be other things that cause issues this year, but fingers crossed it will be a happier year overall!