Category: Goals

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

Once again it’s time to wave goodbye to the past year, set sights on the future and do a bit of reflecting on what has been. It’s gone by in such a flash, I can barely believe it is 2017!

For many it seems 2016 has been a bit of a disappointing year and certainly we’ve lost some of the greatest icons of our time. But on a personal, selfish level – 2016 has been pretty good to me. Of course, as always it has had its peaks and troughs. Some of the darker moments have been tough to get through but if I’m looking at it as a whole – it’s definitely been a positive year overall.

In 2016 I visited Paris and explored the catacombs, rode a carousel in front of the Eiffel tower and took a river boat tour at night, visited Rome and stood in awe in the Colosseum and wandered through the Sistern chapel, visited the Nuremburg Christmas markets in Germany, holidayed in Dorset and built more beautiful memories, added the quails and a hedgehog to our ever expanding feathered (and quilled) family, turned 27 (eek) and celebrated it in style at Bird World! Visited Kew Gardens at long last, picked pumpkins and took a Frightmove house tour at Halloween. Visited Tropical wings and took lots of fun days out. Ran a fun race for life, and spent lots of time wandering around RHS gardens, country parks, woodlands and fields!

In short, I had a lot of fun and made some wonderful memories.

Last year I set my all important new years resolutions and wrote them down on this blog.  If you can’t be bothered to skip back and see what they were, I will summarise here:

  • Read more
  • Be kinder
  • Keep doing more of what I love
  • Learn to drive
  • Get down to X stone. (my goal weight.)

I decided that I wanted to keep my goals somewhat vague and thus, more achievable. From that list I can see I completed three out of the five which isn’t bad going at all. (I think we could call it a success.) These were:

Read more – 2016 was the year I rekindled my love affair with books. As a child and a teen my nose was constantly stuck in a book. I devoured novel after novel and spent many happy hours laying in the garden or in bed absolutely absorbed in a story. But, sadly as I got a little older, and my anxiety got a little worse I found it much harder to read. I started to read chic lit as it didn’t require much attention and was generally a ‘happy’ topic which helped me forget for a while. Then it fizzled out and I didn’t read at all. Reading is important though and I always wanted to get back to it. In 2016 I thought I’d start with a new genre I hadn’t tried before; crime/thriller. It totally worked! This year I have read 22 books – not bad going at all! (and I’m hooked on the suspense and plot twists!)

Be kinder – This is something else I have really worked at on a personal level in 2016. I have tried to pay more attention to the scenarios that pop up in everyday life where an act of kindness is needed or wanted. Sometimes this has been buying food/tea for the homeless, other times lending a listening ear to friends. I won’t list all of the kind things I have done this year as this kind of defeats the object, but I think I have been the best me to others that I could have been.

Keep doing more of what I love – Again, another thing I worked really hard at. Although, not really work when you’re enjoying yourself! This year I have kept up my blog and writing. I have kept up going out and taking photographs. I have kept up adventures. And I have kept growing my family of feathered friends too!

So that was pretty positive. What didn’t I quite achieve though?

Learn to drive – Whilst I haven’t completed this one I have taken good steps towards it. Last year I had around 18 hours of lessons (and I can technically drive a car now, just not legally – or if I want to park anywhere!) So this wasn’t quite a write off. I did have problems with finding a decent instructor though, and my anxiety did get in the way somewhat. This year I will be looking for a new instructor, a new fresh start and I WILL learn to drive!

Get down to my goal weight – Okay, this one was a total BUST. At one point I did actually lose about half a stone and I was on a really good fitness and health kick. But then I slumped. So maybe I just wasn’t ready for it at the time.

So, what are my goals for 2017 this year? Well, I think I want them to be a little less vague this year:

  • Add more things to my Etsy shop. (I’m thinking a pin) and just spend a little more time working on my business.
  • Progress in my career.
  • Finish off my sleeve.
  • LEARN TO DRIVE! (I must, I must!)
  • Learn to sew. Buy a sewing machine/take a class and become good at it.
  • Lose one stone, four pounds. NOT my goal weight, but the first steps towards feeling more comfortable in myself.

I also hope to do a lot more with my time. I really want to visit Cornwall and the wonderful Eden project (this has been on a to do list for a long time now) I also really want to stay in the Lake District, and have some more bird flying/experience days as those always make me happy.

On a personal level I want to build my health back up again and as such I will be attending regular therapy sessions, trying to get to the gym a little more, and practice my stress relief yoga.

All in all I want 2017 to be a year of growth for me.

If you’ve read through this exceedingly long post – congratulations! What are your New Years resolutions/ goals for this year?

 

 

An Autumn Walk (photographs)

You may have read my Autumn bucket list a couple of posts back. If so you’ll know that one of my entries was to take plenty of walks in the countryside, collect conkers and soak up the lovely atmosphere.

On this particular walk I collected up plenty of shiny conkers and met some beautiful deer. I hope you enjoy the photos and they get you in that Autumn mood!

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Autumn Bucket List

With Autumn just around the corner (c’mon the 22nd September!) I thought it’d be fun to make a little bucket list for the season. Autumn is my most favourite time of year not least because of Halloween, pumpkin spiced lattes, snuggly duvet days reading books whilst it rains outside, piles of golden leaves, shiny conkers and bringing out my favourite knitted jumpers. So here’s what I’m hoping to get up to this season (I may even blog a few of these!)

  • Pumpkin picking
  • Halloween event (to be planned/confirmed)
  • Fireworks/bonfire night
  • Funfair
  • Long walks in the woods / countryside
  • Open the new seasonal Halloween Sonny Angels
  • Lush haul – shop all the new seasonal bath bombs (sparkly pumpkin I’m coming for you!)
  • Movie/book day whilst it rains
  • Collect conkers

and last but not least

  • Eat a toffee apple!

I can’t wait to have a fun and cosy season. I may add some more activities to the list if I think of anything. Let me know what you’re most looking forward to?

Goodbye 2015, hello 2016!

As 2015 comes to a close, I thought I’d write a little reflection post about the kind of year I’ve had and finish with a few goals for 2016.

It has been a busy year to say the least, but also the best year of my life. For me this year was all about adventures and growing as a person – improving myself and my life and really just doing the things I want to do. After a tough few years, this was really important to me. I can’t say the entire year has been perfect. There have most definitely been some very personal and ongoing struggles; but for the most part, this year has been good to me.

I started out 2015 as I start any new year – with lots and lots of lists. The first was a list of new years resolutions. These were:

  • Sort out my health problems
  • Advance in my career
  • Write more/publish more
  • Read more
  • Finish dissertation and graduate
  • Learn to drive
  • Try to eat healthier
  • Try to eat less/smaller portions

Of these goals I made steps to sorting out my health problems and although there’s still some way to go, I am hopeful I will get there. I advanced in my career, I wrote less (giving up my freelancing position) but then I started this blog so will be writing more. I finished my dissertation and graduated (yay!), I have started to eat healthier and less and so far I’ve lost 9 pounds through that. Overall I’d call that a success. The goals that weren’t fulfilled this year are naturally being carried over in to 2016. As far as the reading is concerned, I’ve already bought a book ready to get stuck in to and learning to drive is a big priority of mine.

My bucket list was also updated and I managed to tick off a large chunk of it (but this list is far too long to publish here)

However, from that bucket list, this year I managed to set up a blog (obviously), take pottery classes, take knitting classes and learn to knit, knit my own scarf, go strawberry picking in a field, get my thighs tattooed and a cactus tattoo, write my dissertation and graduate, take up a hobby, start a collection, visit Paris, have my first proper holiday abroad, go to a London show and take the Jack the Ripper walk in London.

If it sounds like a busy year, that’s because it was. Perhaps the busiest year I’ve ever had. I managed to squeeze a lot in to it. My personal highlights were collecting all of my lovely finches which have changed my life indescribably for the better, moving house twice with my boyfriend, exploring the Catacombes of Paris and seeing the Eiffel tower, exploring different caves in Spain, swimming in our private pool under the stars and watching a concert on a lake at the Caves of Drach, holding and flying owls and a harris hawk on a bird experience day at Eagle Heights, holidays at the caravan in Dorset and all of the many wonderful adventures we had there (including the less wonderful getting stuck in sinking mud in the New Forest) and so much more.

I also created a list of things I definitely wanted to do and experience this year (my adventure list.) Of that list I did the following:

  • Visit the British Wildlife Centre
  • Visit Dennis Sever’s House
  • Highgate Cemetery
  • Birdworld
  • Chistlehurst caves in Kent
  • Theatre (we saw Bend it Like Beckham and it was wonderful)
  • London Zoo
  • Car bootsale
  • Picnic in a London park
  • BBQ
  • Strawberry field picking

Of that list there are a few things I missed out on and will be pursuing in 2016 – Kew gardens being a big one for me as I have wanted to go for years. I think there will be a couple of revisits to the above also as some of the days out were really amazing and I’d like to record them properly here.

It feels like it has been a very special year and I personally feel very blessed and lucky – especially to have spent it all with my partner in crime.

So what does 2016 have in store for me? If it is even a fraction as good as 2015 I will be a very happy woman.  I have already got a list packed full of things I hope to do and achieve. My new years resolution list is somewhat shorter and perhaps simpler this year though:

  • Read more
  • Be kinder
  • Keep doing more of what I love
  • Learn to drive
  • Get down to X stone. (my goal weight.)

I think I will get there and I’m certainly excited for the journey! Writing out goals is a big thing for me because it forces to recognise all of my achievements and reflect back on happy times.

How has your year been, and what are your goals for 2016?