BIG VICTORIES – 2016

Each month, I put together a Small Victories post, telling the internet (anyone that will listen) what I would like to achieve over the forthcoming 30 to 31 days. The decision to set these targets for myself was born from a desire to cut myself some slack halfway through last year and endeavour to celebrate the smaller achievements in life that that I am inclined to overlook whilst striving for twenty-something life-perfection, or as the youngsters call it, #goals.

Although I enjoy reaching for these smaller aims each month, we’ve reached that time of year again – a time for reflections and resolutions – so I thought it might be a better idea to share with you some of my bigger, more overarching aims for the year ahead instead.

So, if you would like to hear what I have planned for 2016, read on. And if you don’t? Then don’t. But be sure to take the time to reflect on your own resolutions.

Here goes.

1. Organise Myself

I want to make sure that I actually use my diary beyond the 14th January this year. Always one to scupper plans, clash dinner dates and forget to schedule posts on time, I am going to be so organised it hurts this year. Hopefully, this way, I’ll do – and achieve – a lot more. Last year was a chance to gather my thoughts and this year is a chance to take action.

2. See Things

Starting with Oslo at the end of this month and ending in Paris in December, I plan to see lots more of the world this year. After accepting that I no longer have what it takes for lengthy stints of backpacking, I will be enjoying clean sheets and shorter trips away throughout the year, enabling me to see snap shots of the world instead.

3. Learn Something New

I am going to learn how to code this year. I went to my first class last night and am already thinking about the usual anxieties about the next one: What do I wear? Who do I sit with? WILL ANYBODY LIKE ME?

I need to remember that – much like school – I am there to learn, not to socialise.

4. Never Work A Day In My Life

I want to find a job I love. I don’t want to just enjoy it, I want to really, really love it. I am looking for something that involves being creative and dynamic with perhaps a little bit of tech and travel involved. Where that might be? I’m not sure yet. Hopefully this will be the year I find out.

5. Give 

Finally, and most importantly, I want to choose a charity that I really believe in and actively support them throughout the year. Instead of lazily donating money each month to a selection of appeal posters that catch my eye on the tube, I want to get fundraising and spread the word for a good cause or two. Know of any charities who need a hand getting off the ground? Let me know, I’d love to help out.

So now you think about it. What would you like to achieve over the next 12 months?

If you’re not sure what to commit yourself to just yet, think about what would make you really happy and then write down the steps you will need to take to get there. And these are your resolutions. Simple.

Be sure to let me know what you’ve chosen to focus on this year and, that way, maybe we can spur each other on.

Good luck!

SMALL VICTORIES – DECEMBER

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December has arrived, so I guess it’s time for awkward exchanges at the Christmas party, secret santa extravaganzas and the mother of all evils: mistletoe. But more importantly, it’s time for reflection, relaxation and for giving yourself a break as we wind down towards the end of the year.

But no matter how much shopping, partying and consuming I’ll be doing, I will still endeavour to achieve something – no matter how small – this month.

So here goes:

1. Buy Badass Gifts

I am not the best present buyer, I’ll admit. In fact, I am the worst. From gifts that I’d like to receive instead of them to last minute panic buys, I never seem to nail it. I think I’ll just ask for lists from loved ones this year. Avoid disappointment and all that.

2. Keep Moving

I will inevitably consume more food than my stomach can manage over the festive period. I will probably eat more Pret Christmas sandwiches than you could ever imagine. I will guzzle ALL the wine, drink all the whiskey and dollop on all the cream. This is fine. If, and only if, I exercise amidst the frivolity. As long as I don’t PUT ON weight, I’m a happy lady. Losing it is doubtful when pigs in blankets and mum’s turkey are involved. And I’m fine with that.

3. Reflect and Release

What. A. Proverbial. Year.

It’s been one of those ‘would much rather forget happened’ years, so my aim is to tie up any loose ends, reflect on mistakes, celebrate triumphs, analyse mishaps and everything in between and then just… let it all go. 2016 is going to be the freshest of starts for me and I can’t wait.

4. Make Like Monica Bing…

… and take more photographs with my camera instead of my phone to capture the party season in full swing. Better quality. More special. No explanation needed really.

And that’s it. My final ‘Small Victories’ post of 2015.

What are your small triumphs going to be in this final month of the year? Remember that whatever they are, to keep your goals constructive, achievable and inspired… good luck!

SMALL VICTORIES – NOVEMBER

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I have probably chosen the worst time to write my November ‘Small Victories’ post as I’m tucked up, ill, in bed. However, it is one of the few spare moments I’ve had recently to actually just pause and reflect for a while.

Last month’s aims were reached, really. I downward dogged a little more often, I made sure to write lots, kept on top of my blogging schedule and I explored the city a little more… okay, that one’s a lie, but I would like to. I really would. This city has a deep-rooted place in my heart and I need to get to know it more. Will try to find the time to do just that.

These are the things I hope to achieve by the time December comes around…

1. Get bookish

As a child, I was rarely seen without a book under my arm. I was a bit like Matilda and I promise you, just as annoying. Since the whole internet thing happened, however, I find it so easy to browse the same websites day after day as opposed to delving into a good story. So I want to change that. I’ve already set off on my mission to read more and have just started The Two of Us by Andy Jones and I love it. At just 99p a download, it has reminded me to really think about the books I buy and has encouraged me to search beyond the bestseller lists for hidden treasures… book review to follow.

2. Get it checked

I need to take my health more seriously. Cystitis, an ear infection, back pain, lumps, bumps and everything in between… whatever it is, get it looked at. Doctors become doctors because they want to help you, so go and see them when you need to. That is what they are there for. And they are amazing. Just the other night I needed antibiotics after the surgery had closed. My GP called me and issued them over the phone. I popped my first pill at 7 o’clock that evening.

All hail the NHS.

3. Wear less on my face

I am so BORED of spending so much time getting ready each morning. I love my sleep and would much rather shower, dress and go. Instead, I put on primer, highlighter, foundation, bronzer, blusher, eyeliner, mascara, lipliner and lipstick. The only place I’m heading for five days a week is work, so why bother with a full face of Nars makeup which costs a fortune in the first place? I want to wear less on my face and have more time (and spend less money on face wipes).

4. Prepare for Christmas

No, it’s not too early.

If you’re an Aries, like me, you’ll know that to be as organised as everybody else is, you have to be quite anal about it, otherwise it won’t happen. Truth is, if I don’t prepare presents now, the party season will arrive sooner than I can say “Rudolph” and I’ll be lost to a haze of mulled wine and hearty food with the gifts that I was intending to buy for my family and friends left on the shelves of stores around London, never to be bought. Once party season hits, around the second week of January, I am lost to the glitter and the mistletoe, so November is my only chance to avoid writing I.O.U notes to loved ones and investing in those naff, last minute panic buys.

And that’s it. That’s what I’d like to accomplish.

Let me know what you’d like to achieve over the next few weeks, but remember, remember, this November, to make your goals constructive, achievable and inspired!