Happy New Year, Happy New Year’s resolutions!
Happy New Year and Happy New Year’s resolutions, lovely readers! I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed spending time with family and friends. I’ve had a lovely Christmas. I lined up some automated blog posts and spent quality time with my family. My favourite present this year was having all of my family seated around our dining table on Christmas Day. We weren’t sure if dad would be well enough to travel, so it was wonderful when everything fell into place and he was able to come down with mum and stay for a few days. Even better, my sister, brother-in-law and gorgeous niece and nephew travelled down from Manchester to spend Christmas day with us as well.
How was it for you?
So how’s it been for you?
2016, I mean?
Was it a ‘good’ year’, or was it a year you’d rather forget?
For me, there were ups and downs but overall there were lots of things to make me feel very thankful.
Plus, 2016 was a very different year to those that preceded it. That’s because it was my first year of blogging….And my first year since leaving my pharmacy career.
My first blog post of 2017.
I wasn’t really sure what to write about for my first blog post of 2017.
I considered telling you about my blog achievements since launching Maflingo 12 months ago.
I considered telling you about the ‘steep learning’ curve I’ve been on since starting my blog. I started from a very low baseline of knowing virtually nothing about blogs or blogging and over the last 12 months, I’ve bought a domain name, set up my self-hosted blog and learned how to use WordPress. I also had to start from scratch with Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram and learn how to market my blog to brands and PR agencies. That’s in addition to trying to write blog posts people might actually want to read!
I considered telling you about my first full year as a Volunteer Debt Adviser at Cornerstone Church and the privilege it’s been to help people take control of their finances and escape from debt.
I also considered giving you my personal thoughts of 2016, with all of its ups and downs.
New Years Resolutions.
After sorting through all of the possible options for my first blog post of 2017, I decided I’d like to share my list of New Year’s Resolutions with you.
The reasons for my choice are two-fold. Firstly, I love a good list! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll be well aware of my love of lists: I even dedicated an entire blog post to them, (HERE).
Secondly, I figured there’d be a greater incentive to stick to my New Year’s resolutions if I shared them with all of you! I’m hoping it will make me more accountable…like a New Year’s resolution equivalent of Slimmers World! By sharing my resolutions publically, there’s less chance of me ‘falling off the wagon’ within the first week!
So without further ado. Here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2017:
- Stop snacking and eating in-between meals. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the whole of the Christmas break stuffing my face with anything and everything I can get my hands on. I couldn’t walk into the kitchen without grabbing a handful of mixed nuts or popping a couple of crisps into my mouth. Consequently, my body is begging for mercy! I’ve had my fill of mixed nuts, Pringles, chocolate, savoury snacks, mince pies, Christmas cake and the rest. From now on I’m going to try and eat sensibly and stop grazing and snacking on rubbish in between meals.
- Get a part-time job, (or turn my blog into more of a business). My 12-month ‘career break’ is over. Although I’m getting more and more interest from brands and paid-for post opportunities on my blog, I’d like to supplement my income. I don’t want to return to pharmacy, so I plan to explore freelance writing opportunities such as copywriting and content writing. I’m also exploring opportunities in the debt advice/money-saving/financial education sector, which I’m also passionate about. Watch this space!
- Enjoy the moment! Put simply, when I’m with my family and friends, I need to be with my family and friends. That means giving them 100% of my attention, rather than thinking about other things or checking my mobile phone. As I’ve tried to build my social media reach over the last 12 months, I’ve become something I hate…I’ve become ‘phone checker mummy’ instead of treasuring my time with loved ones. Now things have settled down a bit, there’s less need to check my phone.
- Improve work-life balance. I’ve worked so hard setting up my blog. I’ve put hours and hours of my time into it. Now it’s time for me to set some boundaries. I need to plan my writing/blogging time around my family life. I need to set hours for my blogging and writing and try not to work on things when the kids get home from school. They are growing up fast and I don’t want to miss anything or have them feel like they’re missing out on me.
- Less screen time! We’ve had so much fun getting back into the habit of playing games, walking, spending time together and reading over the Christmas break. I want that to continue when the holidays are over, rather than disappear off to different rooms in the house to watch YouTube or Netflix.
- Set some blog goals. My first year of blogging involved setting everything up and laying the foundations. In 2017, I want to set myself some blogging goals and work out what I actually want to achieve with my blog. What brands do I want to work with? How can I turn it into a business rather than a hobby?
- Re-instate date nights. Me and Mr T used to have a ‘date night’ once a week, but with one thing and another, we let it slip and we need it back. We love spending time with the girls, but it’s important to find time for each other too. It doesn’t have to be grand: we’re just as happy snuggling on the sofa with a glass of wine and a TV boxed set. Mind you, Beth is old enough to babysit now so we might even manage a cheeky night out!
- Find a good boxed set to watch with Mr T. Following on from number 7, we need to find a good boxed set to watch together. We loved watching season 1 of ‘The Crown’ on Netflix. It’s one of the best historical dramas we’ve watched in years. So whilst we wait for season 2 to air, we need something else we can enjoy together. House of Cards, perhaps? If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
- Live more frugally! I’ve learned lots of money-saving tips over the years. This year, I’m determined to put more of these money-saving tips into practice. In particular, I’d like to cut the cost of our grocery shopping. I’ve already made a start by buying my weekly groceries at Aldi instead of Morrisons. I’ve seen a significant drop in my weekly food bills as a result of the switch.
- Exercise. We’ve managed to get a fantastic deal on family gym membership at Rushcliffe Arena in West Bridgford, which opens tomorrow. We’ll no doubt be joining a queue of enthusiastic new members when we arrive, but I’ve promised myself ‘a gym is for life and not just for January’ and plan to keep up my commitment throughout 2017. After all, a good deal on gym membership is only a good deal if we use it!
- Stop faffing! I need to reduce the time I spend ‘faffing.’ I would be so much more productive in blogging (and in life) if I wasn’t so easily side-tracked. Is it just me who plans to write a blog post but then gets distracted by something ‘shiny’? One huge time-sink was the Daily Mail website, but I managed to wean myself off it years ago after realising how much time I spent reading about celebrities I barely knew. It was ridiculous! It was taking me at least half an hour just to scroll to the bottom of the homepage: even longer if I spotted a tantalising story I simply couldn’t ignore.
- Stop being such a perfectionist! This is another reason I ‘faff’ with my blog posts. My perfectionism means I edit and tweak them forever before hitting the publish button. I need to try and be satisfied with ‘good enough’ instead of perfect. That’s why I am going to stop writing now and press publish, instead of spending more hours on it! So, please forgive me if it isn’t perfect 😉
Over to you.
How’s 2016 been for you? What are you thankful for? What were your highlights? Have you got any New Year’s resolutions you’d like to share with the group? As always, I’d love to hear from you.