Friday, 10 August 2018

LIFE: An Update on my 2018 Goals

Here we are, already in August. Can you believe it? I certainly can't.

It's been quite the year so far.

January got off to a lovely start. I'd spent the most amazing New Year in a beautiful cottage in the middle of nowhere in Pembrokeshire with a group of friends and it was the perfect way to see in the new year. I bang on about it all the time over on Instagram but I love nothing more than being by the sea. Following on from Pembrokeshire was the start of the tradeshow season and I popped off to Lake Garda, one of my favourite places in the world. I can never get over the beautiful scenery and get such a buzz doing the drive from Verona and up the lake and through the mountains. There really is nothing quite like it. I also had a catch up with the uni girls towards the end of the month which is always amazing. Those friendships are the best - the ones where you've been through the transition of fresh faced 18 year old into adulthood.

February saw me head to Milan for our biggest tradeshow of the season. I tried a few new places this time including Officina 12 which has the nicest food and a very impressive gin bar. As always, I felt like I waddled onto the plane after over indulging in Italy's finest (including my go-to Spaghetti Carbonara at my favourite spot, Cacio e Pepe). H and I also celebrated our anniversary with pizza at Basement Browns. We had to laugh, our first was at Bob Bob Ricard (amazing!) but all I wanted this year was a pizza, a can of San Pelligrino and to be home watching Suits on Netflix. Talk about how things change?!

March is always a good month. Tradeshow season is over and done with and I have a couple of weeks of calm before things start kicking off again. I FINALLY got to try Chiltern Firehouse, which did not disappoint at all.  We celebrated H's birthday and also had a trip down to Devon for a few days. Again, a trip to the sea does wonders for my mental health and there's just something so freeing about it.

April is without a doubt my favourite month of the year because it's birthday month woo! Even at 27 I'm still a little princess about birthdays and couldn't possibly not spend at least a week celebrating being another year older.  I had a lovely brunch at Bill's with friends and my dad. We then headed off to Paris and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. I still can't get over the fact it's the first time I've ever been.We stayed at the absolutely incredible Hoxton Hotel. Honestly, hotel goals right there (and the best iced lattes!) We saw the sights (Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower ec) but my favourite place had to be Jardin du Palais Royal. The weather was absolutely GLORIOUS while we were there (reaching 31 degrees on my birthday) and we sat by the fountains in the gardens on the deckchairs reading and soaking up the sun. We also went to Nose, which was an amazing experience. AND I had some of the best food I've ever had including multiple burgers and this bad boy.

May was a pretty jam packed month. A few of the uni girls and their boyfriends came to stay and we went out for food and drinks in Leamington (and I finally got to go to House!). The following weekend we ended up going to one of the girls places in Leeds and had the best time. I love Leeds and definitely need to spend more time there. I was SO happy to stop off in Sheffield on the way home and go for a coffee and donut at Steamyard. After living in Sheffield for 4 years, that place still has my heart. I also celebrated my friends 30th in London at Peckham Levels and had the best burger ever. I finally took my best to Friends of Ours (my fave brunch spot in London) whilst we were there.

June meant another trip to Lake Garda for work. It's beautiful in January but oh boyyy, in June the weather is fantastic and gives even more of an excuse for an after work Aperol Spritz or two (like I need an excuse!).

July was lovely. We celebrated my Dad's 60th (I still can't believe he's 60!!) We had the most amazing spa day at Cowley Manor, a lovely trip down to London (stopping off at Dishoom for a bacon and egg naan, of course) then spent the weekend moving him into his new house. I also had the most amazing morning at Hilltop Farm at one of their yoga brunches.

And here we are, in August! And with surprisingly little plans actually. I'm heading off to a birthday barbecue in Sheffield in a couple of weeks and have a few days booked off being the bank holiday week so fingers crossed we'll have a little trip away somewhere.

Goals-wise, things have been pretty good so far this year. Here's a little update:

Read More:

So far I’ve read A LOT in 2018. My stand out books so far this year are the wonderful Dolly Alderton with her debut memoir Everything I Know About Love, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and anything Holly Bourne. Within the space of 3 weeks I’d read 6 or Holly Bourne’s books and they’re all fantastic. I’ve read a few other books. Next up I’ve got Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and various other ‘educational’ books, mostly recommended via Podcasts. 

Balance and Prioritising:
I definitely feel like I’ve found a greater sense of balance so far this year. I’ve made a point of doing less running around work wise - mostly not just going to things for the sake of it (making me way more productive). I’ve spent more time in the office and more time working at home and thrown in either Monday to Thursday or Sunday to Wednesday going to the gym for an evening class. I’ve prioritised what is vital I attend/do in both work and general life and what is either an ‘I feel like I should go but don’t really want or need to’ scenario. I must say, I’ve felt much better having made this kind of change.

Buy Less:
HA! I don’t think I will EVER nail this goal. I swear I’ve been saying this since I had my first job at 15. I LOVE ordering online and feeling like you’ve received a present when the delivery arrives. BUT I have managed to buy less when I’m sad/upset/anxious. Over the years I’ve had a really unhealthy relationship with spending when I’ve been feeling down/anxious. I’m sure I’m not the only one who goes a bit mad on the spending front when they’ve not feeling quite themselves, temporarily feels better because of the beautiful new things, then spirals into a worse place because of the anxiety of having spent too much. So, I may have not managed to buy less in general but having managed to buy less in times of anxiety/upset is a HUGE step for me.

Declutter/Aim For Capsule Wardrobe:
Again, another one I’ve been trying to tackle for YEARS. I’m very very slowly getting there. I’ve had a recent clear out but need at least two more to feel like I’ve decluttered. I’m trying though, I’ve managed to stick to things I consider to be ‘my style now’, mostly stuff from Monki that is true to size and isn’t designed to be worn solely by somebody that’s a size 6. 

Really Look Into My Diet:
I already think I’ve managed to do this. I am and always have been really conscious of what I’m putting into my body. I try to eat well from Monday-Friday and allow myself Saturday/Sunday to be a bit of relaxed about what I eat. I mean, what’s a weekend without coffee and cake? I’ve found the more I’ve been going to the gym, the less I’ve wanted to eat badly and with the hot weather we’ve had in the UK the last couple of months all I’ve really wanted is a salad everyday for lunch and dinner or some kind of quinoa/Buddha bowl-esque meal.

Be Tidy and More Organised:
Another one I’m really really trying with and another one I’ve been trying to achieve for years. 
I really struggle to be consistently tidy/organised (with my belongings/my house).  I’m queen of starting to sort things out into piles then, rather than putting things away straight away, move the sorted piles around, resort them then get to the point of frustration where I just HAVE to get everything put away before I lose my mind. 
I really want and need to read The Magic Art of Tidying to try and combat this problem. Hopefully by the end of this year I’ll have nailed this or at least be way further ahead.

Be Kinder:
You know, I definitely think I’ve been kinder to myself this year so far. As I get older, I honestly think I’m being more comfortable with myself and really getting a sense of ‘who I am’. I always hear people saying that with age, a surer sense of self comes and I really think this is true. Over the last few years I’ve learned to say no more and to not commit to too much. I’ve given myself more time to relax and to process problems or situations. I think it goes hand in hand with more exercise and regular yoga but, even though I know my body shape is changing as I go through my twenties and that I have put a bit of weight on since last year, I don’t automatically look in a mirror and tear myself apart with insults and put myself down. I’m learning more and more the things I need to keep myself level headed and calm and that’s a big deal for me. 
I’m not saying I don’t have bad days where I’m negative about everything but I’ve made massive progress.
And, I hope I’ve been kinder to others? I feel like I’ve tried to be and hopefully that shows to my friends, family, colleagues etc. I’ve always had the attitude to talking to a stranger whether it’s on the train, in the supermarket, wherever is a good thing to do because having a short conversation or showing some sort of kindness towards them could make your day just as much as it could make theirs. 

So far so good, lets see how the rest of the year goes!