Happy Wednesday! Halfway through the week again. I’m pretty tired at the minute, and I didn’t write this post in advance like I usually do (it is currently the evening of September 8th and I want to schedule this for around midday tomorrow), so apologies if I get a little incoherent! I’m also getting over a cold I had at the weekend, as it turns out no amount of handwashing can save you from getting a runny nose if you work in a school. As I just turned 22 (insert Taylor Swift song here), I thought I would make a list of 22 things I want to achieve in the next 12 months, and then maybe (if I remember!) I’ll revisit those next year, and see how I did. Maybe I’ll do some periodic check-ins? Let me know!
I’m going to split them into categories, for habits I want to form, long term goals and short term goals. If I decide I do want to do periodic check-ins, I might do the first in December, and see how I’m progressing, and if there are any I can tick off the list!
Habits I Want to Form
- Get into a proper work routine! At the minute, I am working towards this, but the combination of having a cold and my birthday at the weekend really threw me off, because I was too lazy to do things like meal prepping or ironing, which are both things I want to be doing at the weekend, ready for the week ahead.
- Write fiction regularly. Be it exercises, short stories or even a longer project, I’d like to get into the habit of writing more fiction. My boyfriend lent me a copy of The Art of Fiction by John Gardner which has some exercises in the back I can turn to for inspiration.
- I’ve semi-formed this habit, but I want to maintain it: exercising regularly. At the moment, I’m aiming for two runs, and three home workouts per week (except I’m taking some time off right now to recover from the cold).
- Get back into cross-stitching and do it fairly often! I find it really relaxing, but I just haven’t picked any of it up for ages which is a shame. Once I’ve got my routine down, I’m hoping I find I have more time for things like this as I’ll be using my free time more wisely.
- This one might seem a bit random, but I want to take a glass of water to bed with me each night, and drink it in the morning before I shower. Often at the minute, the first drink of my day is a cup of tea at work, which is over an hour after I get up, and I know drinking water is something I need to do more of.
- Read more non-fiction! Pretty self-explanatory this. I’d like to read at least one non-fiction book per month, and also read more essays etc.
- Go to bed by 10:30! This kind of comes along with the work routine I suppose, but it’s a pretty big thing for me as I’m used to staying up until midnight most nights so it deserves its own category. Plus, it’s not something I have to do for work, but if I want to avoid being exhausted, I’d better get into the habit fairly quickly.
- Play my ukulele more often! For some reason I struggle to hold it properly, and I can’t strum and move my fingers to play chords at the same time, which results in very clunky playing.
Short Term Goals
- Edit the short story I submitted as coursework for my BA to a standard I’m really proud of. The story did well in marking, so I’d like to go back to it and use the feedback I got to edit it and improve it so I can be super proud instead of just quite proud!
- Sew more reusable cotton-pad-style face wipes to remove makeup with — I wrote a bit about my first attempt (link to my blog post Lockdown Lifestyle Changes to Maintain here), but since haven’t made any more when really I do need a few.
- Run 5k! Of course, ideally I’d like to do this regularly but at the minute I’m running for 30 minutes and one time soon I’d like to just run 5k, no matter how long it takes me to complete so I can set myself a benchmark and start to try to increase my speed instead of increasing my distance (if that makes sense? Putting my focus on increasing how fast I run 5k instead of how far I can run in 30 minutes).
- Create my 2021 Reading Goal and pick books from my TBR to add to it. A secondary long-term goal is to stick to this reading goal because I usually do this and then only half pay attention to what I added to it…
- Sort through my old school work and bin what I don’t want to free up more space in my wardrobe! I have so many ring binders full of old A Level work.
- Finalise my deferral and make sure my place on my MA course is secured for next autumn so I don’t need to keep stressing about that.
- Print some photos to put in the frame I have hanging up! It’s one of those ones that you can put several photos in, but it just has the stock photos of random items that it came with and I want some nice photos of friends to put in it.
Long Term Goals
- Pick a (tentative!) dissertation topic. I’m starting my MA next September, so in my time away from University, I’d like to think about something I might want to write about for my MA dissertation. Obviously I won’t be doing too much planning at this point, and I may well change my mind, but I’d like to start my course with an idea (or maybe two ideas even) on what I might want my dissertation to be.
- Get my physical TBR down to under 50 books, be it by unhauling ones I no longer want to read, or by reading them. Also, by not buying as many books to add to it!
- Save money towards my MA! Now I have a full time job, the ideal would be to be putting money into my savings every month, but I’m not sure I’ll manage to save that much as it’ll depend on if there are any unexpected expenses which, now I have a car, is more likely. I think I’ll set myself a target of £5,000 over the year which is definitely ambitious, but I think achievable if I watch my spending on non-essential things. I’m very fortunate that I live at home right now, and while I obviously will be contributing towards the grocery shopping and bills, I don’t have to pay to rent my room, so my living expenses are low.
- Submit a piece of fiction to some kind of magazine or competition. This one’s scary but I really want to write something I would be proud enough of to send to publications.
- Sort out my Spotify library! This has been a goal of mine for a long time now because it’s a bit of a mess, but I really need to go through it, save what I want to save and unsave the rest.
- Add at least ten new recipes to my repertoire. I have a good amount that I enjoy making, but I need to keep expanding my horizons and try making new things.
- Reach 1,000 WordPress followers. I’m so happy with how my blog has grown over the last 6 months, and I want to maintain that over the next year!