I always write my New Year's Resolutions in the first week of January. Christmas is always too hectic to focus and I hate the pressure of trying to make major life changes in the post festive hangover period. So I like to wait until after I've taken my Christmas decorations down before committing to my plans for the new year.
Like many people, I usually fail to stick to my New Year's resolutions because I don't plan them out properly or they're unachievable. This year is going to be different. Instead of just writing a wish list and then hoping they happen, I've actually taken a bit more time to work out how I'm going to achieve my plans and how I'm going to track my progress.
I had a bit of a wobbly year in 2017, so my focus in 2018 is on creating manageable habits that will help me be more organised and live a more physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.
As well as a resolution list, I'm also creating a 2018 bucket list with things I'd like to do with the family.
So here are my 2018 New Year's Resolutions
1. Get on top of personal finance and budgeting.
I've always been a bit lazy about financial management, but last year I learnt that if I want to make savings so we get more from our money, then I need to know what we've got and where savings can be made. I'm starting off by tracking everything that comes in and out. Once I've got a clearer picture, I intend to work out where we can make savings to make our money go further. I've looked into lots of apps and online budgeting systems, but for the moment, I'm going for a simple Excel spreadsheet.
2. Get fitter.
Last year, my fitness plans got scuppered by injury, which resulted in an operation in September. So I'm pretty much starting from scratch again. I reckon exercising at least three times a week is a pretty achievable goal, mixing gym sessions and classes with running, swimming and getting back to rugby again.
3. Eat at least five portions of fruit and veg each day.
I was going to just put eat more healthily, but realised it's not so easy to track progress for that. So I've gone for the recommended minimum daily fruit and veg intake as I can more easily measure that. It also means that when that becomes an ingrained habit, I can up my game a bit and aim for more.
4. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day.
This is another habit I always mean to do but never seem to manage, but this year I'm going to try and nail this drinking water habit. I've got a handy little tracker on my FitBit app, which will make is easy to measure.
5. Create and stick to a weekly meal plan.
I must waste hours every week wondering what to cook for dinner each day. So this year I'm going to plan our meals so I can use that time more productively. I've started to create a master list of meal ideas on Pinterest and I'm using Trello to plan out a weekly meal planner. So all I need to do each week is transfer the week's meals into my diary and plan my food shop around the meals, which will hopefully save time and money.
6. Get some more sleep.
Sleep deprivation has really impacted my life over the last few years. But I don't help matters because when I get the chance to have an early night and catch up on some much needed zs, I instead decide to use that time to catch up on housework or mess around on social media. While I can't control when my youngest might wake up through the night, I can control making sure I catch up on my sleep, which will hopefully make me a bit more cheerful and productive. So I'm aiming to get to bed by 10:30pm every night and I'm going to try and get up at 7am. And if I have a really bad night, I'm going to try and have a late morning nap so I don't impact on the next night of sleep. My FitBit can track sleep, so I'll be able to see if this new regime makes any difference as to the amount of sleep I actually get.
7. Write a daily gratitude journal.
This one is aimed at keeping a positive mindset and I'll be posting my weekly gratitude list on this blog every Friday. I used to be a huge optimist, but in recent years I've noticed myself focusing more on the negative side of life - I blame the sleep deprivation. So I'm going to spend 2018 focusing on the positives of life again. Even if that is just being thankful for the fact that I managed to get the children to school on time!
8. Spend 20 minutes on a decluttering task every day.
I've been attempting to declutter our house for the last couple of years but have always been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff we've managed to accumulate. This year, I'm going to keep things simple and set aside 20 minutes each day to clear a small area like one drawer or cupboard. Hopefully the little and often approach will slowly start to pay dividends. When I have more energy, I might look at doing a more drastic purge along Konmari lines.
9. Create and stick to a cleaning and organisation schedule.
One of the things that stresses me out is having to think all the time about what needs doing. So this year I'm going to focus on having set times to do stuff like changing the beds, cleaning out the guinea pigs, invoicing clients and doing the food shopping. That way, my mind will be freed up to focus on having fun.
10. Stick to the same organisation tools!
Over the past year, I have tried and failed to keep up with two separate online calendar systems, two paper diaries, a bullet journal, an online project management system and countless notebooks. The result is that instead of being streamlined and organised, I've been even more disorganised. This year, I'm going to stick to using the online calendar for all family stuff (because it's shared with my husband). I also have two paper diaries - one is for me to transfer my to do list onto specific days and one is for my work to dos. I'm going to still use Trello for random lists. Then every Sunday I am going to sit down and review all of these to ensure they are synced and I've not missed anything. Basically, everything will now go into the diary on a specific day so I don't miss anything.
11. Publish at least two blog posts per week and schedule daily social media updates.
This year I am focused on moving from being a hobby blogger to a career blogger. Now that's a pretty big aim, so for this resolution I'm just going to focus on publishing regular posts. I've written a content and social media plan for the year and I've carved out time in the diary to write it. Now I just have to action it!
What are your goals for 2018?