My Plans for 2019
It’s the first week of 2019, and I’ve already blown my New Year’s resolutions! (see below: Spending)
Over the last few weeks I’ve heard so many people say that 2018 was a really tough year, and for me it was too. Perhaps when it comes to the end of the year and you look back at everything you faced, it can seem like there were a lot of trials and tribulations, but I think that feeling is because it all seems so fresh and raw. 2018 was probably no worse than any other year, and I’m sure there were lots of days with happiness and success, but on the eve of a new year it feels right to think about what changes you can make to improve the coming year. Learning from mistakes, picking yourself up after setbacks, and reflecting on opportunities you may have missed is a healthy way to grow as a person, and can have a positive impact on your life.
I wanted to set some New Year’s resolutions after I found a blank gratitude journal as I was cleaning out my wardrobe. On each of its 60 pages it asked a set of questions, one of which was: what could have made today better? As I thought about what could have made the last 60 days, or the next 60 days better, the only thing I could think was: writing every day. I imagined filling out the journal and seeing ‘writing’ written in that spot every day for 60 days. If writing each day is the key to making my life better, then I feel pretty lucky to have such an achievable goal that will hopefully make a big difference to my outlook come New Year’s Eve, 2019.
So with that on my mind: that small things can make a big difference, I set out to commit to some New Year’s resolutions.
This one is simple: write more. I want to try and write something every day, whether it’s a long or short blog post, a book review, a short story, or add to my novel. Even if I can write some notes, or just a few lines, writing something every day will not only make me happy, but it will improve my overall writing fitness, and a little bit every day adds up.
I’m going to start consciously jotting down ideas too, whether it be in a notebook or on my phone, so when it comes to writing something each day, I’ll be prepared and won’t have to waste time wondering what to write. I’ve already made a start with a list of blog post ideas and other writing related tasks that I can easily pick up when I’m ready to write.
Reading and Reviewing
I had a good reading year last year, but I want to do a lot more in 2019 and try and revive last year’s resolution which was to review every book I read. One of the things on my to-do list is to add all the books on my TBR (To Be Read) list to Goodreads and to a blog post so that I can easily choose my next read and not spend time procrastinating wondering which book to pick up. It will also help to look up and include the synopsis as well as a little description about why I’m excited to read them.
I’ve also discovered the Update function on Goodreads, which means I can make little notes as I read, and then look back at my thoughts when I write my review. Last year I was using Post-It notes, but I found it too hard to write on them while on the train, and if I didn’t make a note I couldn’t remember why I marked the page. I’m going to try and be timely in my reviews too, otherwise I just forget all the things I was going to mention, and then the review goes unwritten.
Young and Adult, and Social Media
I still believe that Young and Adult – Isabel and I reviewing books together – is a great idea and I want to continue with our YouTube channel and social media accounts. I think last year we bit off more than we could chew, and it ended up that I couldn’t keep up with the books Isabel had read, we filmed more videos than we could physically edit, taking photos seemed like a chore, and it ended up overwhelming us.
Having a partner who is professional videographer, photographer and editor is both a blessing and a curse in this situation. If you’ve seen our videos and photos you’ll know that they’re highly produced and look fantastic, but all that production quality is a lot of work. Isabel and I haven’t come to those skills organically, so everything takes time to learn and it can be slow going. I’m proud of our videos and I’m grateful to Adrian for helping us, but it’s important for me to keep in mind how long it all takes. From now on we’re going to film one video at a time, edit it, post it, and then move on to the next one. My goal is one video a month. Also, we’re not going to review every book we read. Isabel and I need to sit down and work out a plan. Maybe it’ll only be books that we each read and love that we want the other person to read, instead of deciding which books to review before we’ve even read them. Filming videos where we both didn’t like the book was a real downer, so I want to avoid doing that.
On the social media front I just want to be more engaged. Write and share more posts, take more photos for Instagram, like and comment on other people’s posts, and become a more active member of the writing and book blogger communities.
I do this one every year, and most years I have some success so I just need to try and be more consistent. The goal is simple: don’t buy as many things that I don’t need. In order to help me with this resolution, I’ve set up 2 Pinterest boards: one is for items I’m almost about to buy and then change my mind, and one is for items that I bought but didn’t need. Hopefully I can look at the two boards and realise that my life isn’t necessarily better for the things I bought, or worse for the things I didn’t buy. I almost always get carried away with things that I tell myself I need right now, which is why sales, limited edition items and seasonal items are my weakness. I’ve also decided that every time I add an item to the Things I Didn’t Buy board, I’ll transfer the equivalent amount to my savings account. I’ve been invited to a wedding overseas in June, so I have something to save in earnest for too.
Umm, I may have already added 3 items to my Things I Didn’t Need But Bought Anyway board. Oops.
Shop My Stash
Another goal of mine for 2019 is to clear out things that I don’t use/wear and to start using things that have been collecting dust for the past year. One way I want to do that is to work through wearing all the clothes in my wardrobe, revisiting all the makeup palettes that I own, cooking a dish from each cookbook on my shelves, and dragging out other forgotten items like small appliances and gadgets. If I find something that doesn’t fit, or that I don’t like using, I’ll donate or toss it. I’m hoping to find some forgotten favourites and clear out anything that doesn’t work for me anymore. Kind of like a slow, year-long spring clean.
I’m also trying to use up all my skincare, bath products, candles and fancy tea before I allow myself to purchase any more.
My final goal for 2019 is a fun one, and it involves my veggie patch. Before Christmas I splashed out on an expensive contraption called a Vegepod. The Vegepod is a plastic raised bed that stands at waist height and has a self-watering system. It’s covered with a net to stop bugs attacking your veggies and to protect them from harsh weather. My first crop is doing amazingly well and I’ve harvested radishes, kale, swiss chard, snow peas, basil and marjoram. My goal is to have something growing in the Vegepod all year round. I love gardening, but come winter the pests and cold weather put me off and my garden ends up bare until spring. This year I want to avoid any downtime and hopefully I’ll be harvesting yummy veggies all through the year.
So there you have it: my plan for a happy and successful 2019. I know that New Year’s resolutions can be seen as promises waiting to be broken, and I don’t see these plans as being too rigid, I just think the start of a new year is a great time to reflect and work out what you can do differently to ensure each year is better than the last.
Happy New Year to you and your family, I wish you all happiness and success in 2019!