New Years Resolutions: 2014 review and setting new ones for 2015

2 01 2015

It’s probably not a good starting indication that I didn’t do a single resolution review last year, because it shows they really weren’t at the forefront of my mind!
Let’s start with a look back at last year’s resolutions before setting up a list for this year.

  • Actively make more time for reading – I’d say I did pretty well here, I read 24 books this year (not including devotionals)! That’s nearly one a fortnight. The previous year I read 13, so nearly doubled it! Some were quicker, some (mainly non-fiction) much slower, but I’ve definitely focussed on it a bit more. I think I’ve chosen more fiction because I know I read it quicker, but I’ve really enjoyed it this year.
  • Limit DVD binging – The aim was to not sit and watch countless episodes of something in an evening. I made a good start on this, but then later in the year started on How I Met Your Mother. The episodes are only 20 minutes and so I did tend to watch a few. I finished the year in season 1 of Lost. That’s easier to restrict to 1 or 2 episodes. Several busy evenings per week also helped with this one!
  • Exercise regularly – utter utter fail. I did about 3 or 4 weeks of “bootcamp” which was a half hour in the park on Fridays after work in May. Stopped when I got ill and never really picked anything up after that other than the occasional Wedding reception disco etc!
  • Lose weight – in the worst possible way I lost weight through a bad bout with my anxiety disorder in June when I didn’t eat properly for about 2 weeks. That got me to my target weight, I went up a little after but generally quite happy with my weight now. That said – I’ve not weighed myself since before the Christmas eating began…
  • Make a better attempt at the happiness jar – Yea this didn’t even start this year. I think I’ll use it for storage instead.
  • Learn more meals to cook – I did a couple this year, but definitely tailed off after the first handful of months. I got a couple of new recipe books through the year including one just at Christmas, so I haven’t completely given up.
  • Keep clothes organised and tidy – The whole folding them thing didn’t happen, and while I do maybe hang up my trousers properly once every week or two, the rest of the time they’re put on top of my wardrobe to grab another day.
  • Learn to love God more, do everything for His glory, and make time for Him. – This is a resolution for every year!

I’d definitely give myself a low mark on 2014!

So, what shall I aim for next year?

  • Learn to love God more, do everything for His glory, and make time for Him. – this is for every year
  • Find a form of exercise that I enjoy or at least don’t hate enough that I can stick to it regularly
  • Expand cooking repertoire and use new meals regularly to mix up weeks a bit
  • Start giving blood again if they’ll let me
  • Snack healthier, and maybe don’t eat chocolate every day!
  • Keep my room tidy and organised, and clear out regularly
  • Get my life and particularly evenings more organised!

I’m sure I had some other ideas over the last few days which I didn’t write down as I thought of them, so I might add these at a later date as I remember them. And if you think of anything you think I need to change about myself, let me know! 😉

also adding in…

  • Grow my nails out again
  • Watch all 6 Star Wars films and all three LOTR – and shall we throw in the BTTF trilogy too as it’s an anniversary year?

New Years Resolutions 2014

5 01 2014

I’ve been doing this a couple of years now, blogging my new years resolutions and then reviewing a couple of times over the year to keep me accountable – here’s what I have for 2014. A few come from those that didn’t go so well last year!
I’ve also tried to make them measurable as otherwise it can be so vague you can’t tell if you’ve even achieved it!

  • Actively make more time for reading – I read before I go to sleep, but sometimes I doze off before I find what page I was on. Maybe lunchtimes at work, or free evenings. Let’s aim for three times a week. (My book wishlist suddenly got massive!)
  • Limit DVD binging – No more than one episode a day
  • Exercise regularly – At least twice a week (this may be aiming high, once a week would be a vast improvement!) – hasn’t started yet as been getting over a cold and totally exhausted, but maybe starting this week.
  • Lose weight – sort of combined with the above really, I don’t really plan on changing what I eat. My meals are ok, it’s only snacking that’s the issue, but I hope adding exercise to my life will do it’s bit! I have a target weight, but don’t feel like sharing that with the universe… sorry!
  • Make a better attempt at the happiness jar – Make sure I’m up to date at the end of each week. (though still need to empty last year’s!)
  • Learn more meals to cook – I was going to say once a month, but I’ll go with 6 a year on meals, and 6 a year on other things, eg cake, snacks, things that aren’t full meals.
  • Keep clothes organised and tidy – Last year I had put clothes away at the end of the day, there was an improvement but definitely could have done better. I’ve also spent a good chunk of today sorting out my drawers so stuff is folded rather than all bunged in (and put loads out for the charity shop), so I’ll try and keep this tidy too!
  • Learn to love God more, do everything for His glory, and make time for Him. – This is a resolution for every year!

That’ll do for now, I may add a couple more later if I think of them, but time to commit to these, we’re already 5 days in!

New Years Resolutions – Final review 2013

28 12 2013

Haven’t done a review since May, which is a bad start in itself, but here we go….

  • Only buy FairTrade chocolate – done pretty well with this, there’s been the odd exception eg a Christmas present, and a few (probably less than 5 in a year) on the logic of cocoa percentage (which I can’t find ANYWHERE on the internet at the mo, but give me a shout if you want an explanation)
  • Read more – Was doing really well with this, but then I’ve now been on the same book the last 5 months, though to be fair it’s really 5 short books. Aiming to finish for the new year though, then go for something a bit more normal length!
  • Limit daily time spent watching TV series on DVD – I’ve been absolutely blitzing Grey’s Anatomy the last few months, and so this one’s gone to pot, but then other than Saturday evenings I’ve barely been watching any TV. I cancelled my LoveFilm though, and once I finish Grey’s (which I’m borrowing the DVDs off of a friend for), I’m going to try to read more and even if I get into a new TV series, not to blitz it but be more rationed! Also aiming for the last couple of series of Grey’s to only watch one episode in an evening rather than 2 or 3 which is easily done.
  • Exercise – there’ve been some good attempts with this! I got a weighted hula hoop in June, and would use it while watching 20 minute episodes of The Office US, however it phased out when I went to 40min tv shows! Then over the summer I played badminton weekly with some friends from work which was great fun and definitely good exercise, but once term time started, all of the courts within any reasonable distance got block bookings and so that had to stop. In December however I inherited a Wii from a friend and bought some accessories so we now have some of the dancing games, which are a) great exercise and b)worryingly addictive! This is the new plan!!
  • Better bedtime routine – yea not wonderful, but getting lots of sleep, normally 8 hours ish, so not too worried, but could do better
  • Sort through my photos and print off some for a photo album – I ended up ordering a photo book, which was a much better option in heinsight – expensive yes, but it’d’ve been more expensive to print them, and this way they’re all arranged nicely and in different sizes and captioned. I’ve done the one for my 6th form years, uni is next, but not going to rush it as as I said, it’s not cheap!
  • Put clothes away at night – this has fluctuated. I got better once I got my new fabric covered wardrobe frame, still room for improvement, but progress has been made
  • Write down good things that happen and put them in a jar – nothing since my last update in May. I’ll try again next year
  • Learn to love God more, do everything for His glory, and make time for Him. – This is a resolution for every year!

I’ll come back before or after the new year with next year’s resolutions!

New Year’s Resolution – Review 2

4 05 2013
  • Only buy FairTrade chocolate – not bad at all – bought some chocolate digestives recently, but that doesn’t count under the rules 🙂
  • Read more – Blitzed the hunger games lately, but now a bit slower reading Time Travellers wife – anything that jumps around in time is a little harder to read! and I’m not making as much time for it, but I’m over halfway through!
  • Limit daily time spent watching TV series on DVD – not so great in so much as in the last few weeks a lot of good tv series have started, and I’ve signed up to lovefilm instant, watched all of Downton Abbey series 3, and a few films and started One Tree Hill (though fortunately not won over by it yet!). This resolution needs refocussing. But at least I’m not watching tele for the sake of it, everything I watch is because I want to watch it now.
  • Exercise – fail. however I want to get one of those weighted hula hoops so it can be combined with the fail above!
  • Better bedtime routine – again it’s dropped a bit. I think I’ve had too long a wait between reviews! The laptop is staying on while I get ready for bed which isn’t so good
  • Sort through my photos and print off some for a photo album – still on the to do list
  • Put clothes away at night – been poor for a while but about a week ago I had a good tidy up, fixed the wardrobe, and I’ve managed to maintain this for a week now, which may now be a record!
  • Write down good things that happen and put them in a jar – didn’t do any in April, but a couple of days ago again had a catch up on everything since late March! It’s like I knew I was going to do this!
  • Learn to love God more, do everything for His glory, and make time for Him. – This is a resolution for every year!

Not the greatest review, ‘must try harder’

New Year’s Resolutions 2013 – review 1

9 02 2013

At the start of the year I set myself some resolutions, and then added some more a few days later – here’s check-up number one!

  • Only buy FairTrade chocolate – Good! As I said originally, this is pretty much limited to buying, and as far as snacking chocolate and chocolate to put in cakes has gone I’ve stuck to it! I’ve bought things with non fair trade chocolate chips in, but that was part of the plan really. I even turned down chocolate orange the other day when I don’t have to! I’ve not even had a Boots chocolate brownie in my meal deal 😦
  • Read more – Started very well! I’ve read 4 and a bit books this year already! You can see what they were in the books blog category! Considering I only managed about 6 last year this is a good start! It helps that 2 were childrens books, and they’ve all been fiction – it’s when I hit non fiction last year that it all slowed down so we’ll see how this goes. I’ve already slowed a bit hitting The Hobbit, but I’m still reading regularly, which was the aim!
  • Limit daily time spent watching TV series on DVD – Definitely good. Watching a couple of shows a week, mainly on iPlayer it has to be said! Also I have been watching series one of Glee again, but not to the extent that I binged on DVD box sets last year – yet!
  • Study well for BSL and aim to pass level 1 – Fail. I decided soon after setting this resolution not to continue it. I was finding excuses not to go, and I was about to have to fork out the terms fees which aren’t cheap. I decided it’s a lot of money if I wasn’t that keen. I can always pick it up next year. I also now have books, web links, and a good basic knowledge I can expand on on my own if I want to
  • Exercise – Fail. Some people at work have started playing squash regularly, which is a good opportunity to start, there’s also a fitness group at church I could try, and I found my old skipping rope. I ordered some trainers which arrived yesterday. Now I need to put something into action! With lent starting on Wednesday I’m thinking of combining this somehow
  • Better bedtime routine – Not amazing, but not bad. Still have my laptop on when I’m getting ready for bed sometimes, but not too often. Still areas to work at!
  • Sort through my photos and print off some for a photo album – starting a bit of a files sort out on my computer which will hopefully get me started on this. I did do a sort out of my Compassion kid photos today and made some great photo collages for my desktop though!
  • Put clothes away at night – Um, well it’s not happening daily, but I’d say I’m sorting out the heap maybe weekly, which is an improvement!
  • Write down good things that happen and put them in a jar – I put a load of things in at the start of the year, it’s got quiet the last couple of weeks, need to keep it up!
  • Learn to love God more, do everything for His glory, and make time for Him. – This is a resolution for every year!

A few more resolutions for 2013

6 01 2013

In the last week I’ve come up with a few more I’m just adding to the list I made at the start of the year!

  • Better bedtime routine – I’m awful at sitting on my laptop in bed until last thing, so new rule – unless I’m using it in my room in the evening, if there’s nothing I need it for when I go up from the lounge to bed, it gets shut down downstairs. Yes I can use my smartphone, but once I’ve lain down to read, that also doesn’t get touched again ’til morning (unless it goes off etc). I’ve heard a lot about it not being good to have things like computers in the room you sleep – in a shared house this isn’t always avoided, but at least going to bed I’m aiming that the laptop is the first thing to be switched off.
  • Sort through my photos and print off some for a photo album – this was apparently in the telegraph top 10 resolutions this year that were read out in church this morning. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for years now, I’ve had a digital camera of some form or another since late 2004 – that’s a lot of pictures to sort through!
  • Put clothes away at night – at the moment, anything that doesn’t need to go in the wash I just chuck over the clothes rail when I go to bed, this very quickly piles into a mountain. The aim is to actually put things on hangers at night! This weekend I had a massive sort out of my room and sorted out that mountain, so the starting point is there ready and waiting!

In addition, I kept up my five year diary through all of last year, and so aim to keep that up, but it’s not so much of a resolution as I did it last year already – that’s like saying, I resolve to cook myself dinner, it’s something I was already doing!

New Years Resolutions 2013

31 12 2012

I found it really helpful to blog my resolutions last year as it helped me remember them and keep an eye on how I was doing, so if you’ll forgive me, I’ll do the same this year!

  • Only buy FairTrade chocolate – The industry has moved forward a lot in the last few years, there’s a lot more choice in Fairtrade chocolate, lots of major brands have started to switch over, so there’s not much of an excuse to not try it! Of course, it raises a lot of questions as to the technicalities, how this actually will work. Originally I was going to come up with all sorts of rules, but I think it’s going to be kept pretty basic – that always leaves the opportunity for improvement next year!
    For example, chocolate cake is fine, (it’s cocoa, not chocolate!), I wouldn’t refuse a gift just because it wasn’t FairTrade, or not buy a cereal bar because of the little chocolate chips on top. If I was buying for someone else I’d probably stick to FairTrade, and for the sake of argument, I’m not going to treat Rainforest Alliance certified as FairTrade, so that eliminates Galaxy! There is also the argument that white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate – I think I might give that one some time, but will probably leave it alone.
    Essentially this year the target is the hard core chocolate purchases. My biggest upset will probably be giving up Chocolate Oranges and Milky Way Magic Stars…. time to write to Terry’s and Nestle! (But I will eat the chocolate orange I have left – no point in wasting it!)
  • Read more – I improved my reading the first half of last year, but slowed down a lot the second half, there’s still a lot of room for improvement in time given to reading, and I’ve just bought a ridiculous amount of books, so no excuses!
  • Limit daily time spent watching TV series on DVD – Last year I cut down my tele watching a lot, but the result of this was that I ended up watching loads of DVD TV series instead, so the aim is to cut that back and put that time into the reading mentioned above!
  • Study well for BSL and aim to pass level 1 – I took this up in September and passed my first assessment in December, so I need to keep this up for the next two terms to pass the course!
  • Exercise – ‘Nuff said. This did not happen last year at all, I need to find something regular, with people who will keep me accountable, and that I enjoy for this to work. Also something that’s not too much effort?! Hmm! The difficulty is that I don’t have many free evenings, and so when I do I much prefer to crash out in them!
  • Learn to love God more, do everything for His glory, and make time for Him. – This is a resolution for every year!
  • Oo, and I might try this:

    “Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year. Good way to keep things in perspective.”

The rest of my 2012 reading

30 12 2012

I’ve only read 2 books since May, one took a few days, the other a few months! Guess which way round that was….

James and the Giant PeachRoald Dahl

james and the giant peach

As a child I don’t think I ever read this. I’ve actually found a Roald Dahl Box Set cheaply as I think I only read one of the books as a child, though I did see the film version of a few! Reading it there were whole chunks I’d never heard before, the cloud men was something totally new to me, although the songs of the centipede etc were as familiar as if I’d seen the film yesterday 🙂

Mere ChristianityC.S. Lewis

mere christianity

I bought this book a couple of years ago after hearing several recommendations, and so made a start on it this summer. The preface and foreward took me forever to read, but as soon as I started the actual book I saw why everyone raved about it so much! If you plan on reading this, I’d definitely recommend skipping the preface and foreward! The book is based on the radio broadcasts he made in the war, and is full of written illustrations (sorry, I just spent ages trying to think of a better phrase than that and utterly failed – let me know if you think of the words I meant!!) to help the reader understands his concepts and ideas and really manages to make a lot of sense with them.
There was one point I was reading it and had to double take as he said something quite unexpected, but that aside, it’s a very good book to read through and make you think!

There you go, one day left of 2012 and I’ve managed the 12 books – onto 2013 and lets see if I can beat that! (I’ll limit the Roald Dahl’s or I could read several!)

What books have you read and loved in 2012?

New years resolutions 2012 – review #4

29 12 2012

Before I set my resolutions for next year, I thought it was beyond time to give this years one last look and see how I did!

Fairly average and straightforward resolutions

  • Quit Corrie – Complete. I’ve watched occasional episodes when staying with my parents, but I’ve definitely stopped watching it!
  • Watch less tele – Technically complete. I only put on TV to watch shows I want to watch now, but I’ve kind of made up for this by binging on TV series DVD box sets instead, there’s something for next year!
  • Exercise more and lose a little weight – I did a 5k jog in May, but haven’t done a single thing since… I lost a bit of weight in August, but that was just as I wasn’t well and is now back on, but I’m happy with my weight now, it turned out losing that little scared me a bit because I didn’t want to lose too much, so happy with maintaining weight now, just need to be healthier!
  • Spend more time either on my violin or improve at the piano – This hasn’t gone well at all, but mainly because we moved to a much smaller house so I no longer have my keyboard, and there’s no space to get my violin out really.
  • Get my sewing machine back out and use it – Again, tiny house means this hasn’t been possible
  • Read more, and not just easy reads – I’ve read six books this year, (well, I’m desperately trying to finish the sixth before the end of the year but it’s non fiction and so I’ve been pretty slow with it). Which is good, but I haven’t put much time into it and reckon I could do better next year. Might be good to go for a higher proportion of fiction just to get through a few more books!
  • Less of the irritating chattering – Possibly
  • Reduce time spent on social media – Fail! But I am trying to put less content on and cut down on those who are friends who I wouldn’t talk to, will probably tidy up again in the new year.

A bit more deep, meaningful and more effort involved

  • Learn to love God more
  • Learn to think better of myself – I think I’ve actually made some progress here. No way am I there completely, but there’s been some definite movement in the right direction, a bit more confidence.
  • Have a more positive outlook

I’ll be back in a few days with next years resolutions!

How did you do with your resolutions this year? Have you kept track of them at all?

New Years Resolutions – review #3

1 10 2012

I last reviewed my New Years Resolutions in March, so I guess I’m long overdue!

Who can really remember their resolutions by October anyway? The only reason I know mine is because I minuted them on this blog!

Anyway, with a third of a year to go, here’s how things are going.

  • Quit Corrie – Done and done! Catch the occasional episode when I’m at my parents, but those times I also catch an episode of Gardeners World – That doesn’t make me a Gardeners World watcher!
  • Watch less tele – The long version of this one was to watch less tele for the sake of tele and only put it on to watch things I want to watch. This has gone very well. In April we moved house and went a while without tv and internet at which point I got very into TV box sets. Over the summer, barring the Olympics, I’ve barely watched any tele as there was so little on. The last couple of weeks a lot of the good tele has started coming back, with Strictly, Buzzcocks, QI etc, but I’m still not watching the trash between them, which is good.
  • Exercise – err… I started swimming regularly at the beginning of June. I went once!
  • Violin & Piano – Since the move I have a lot less space, so the keyboard has gone to live at mum and dads, and the violin is safely tucked away at the back of my bed. I’d like to get it out one day, but the house is rarely empty.
  • Sewing – Again, no space, so the sewing machine is safely tidied away.
  • Reading – I blogged about the books I’d read so far in May, the book at the bottom of that list lasted me a long time, I’ve finished one more book since then and am on another now, which again is a thinker and going a bit slowly, but I’m enjoying it. Not reading as much as I have at some points this year, but I think that’s mainly down to busyness, and to falling asleep at night before I can read much
  • Less of the irritating chattering – up to you guys!
  • Reduce time spent on social media – I removed the facebook app from my phone this week. Partly a memory issue, but partly to limit my use of it to when I’m at home. But my evenings are pretty social media heavy when I’m not out at things…
  • All a little more personal

  • Learn to love God more
  • Learn to think better of myself
  • Have a more positive outlook

And, I’m still going on the 5yearDiary!