You may recall, if you’ve been around here for over a year, that in lieu of a New Year’s resolution I write myself an annual to do list. This way I can space out new challenges over the year and can generally get a lot more done!
My 2015 To Do List has been stuck to my mirror throughout the year (until moving house recently) and I’ve been cracking on with a good deal of it!
So here’s how I got on:
1) Be a healthier me – INCOMPLETE. Throughout the year I’ve been up and down with both fitness and nutrition but I’m not happy with where I am right now. I have a plan however and a support group now for making sure 2016 is the beginning of new and lasting healthy habits. Be sure to check out #fitbunnieschat, a new fitness chat for bloggers every Sunday evening at 6pm.
2) Travel to three counties I’ve never been to before – COMPLETE. This year I’ve been incredibly lucky to visit three new countries again. Back in June I headed to Dublin for a long weekend. Then I spent almost a month in Japan over the summer and lastly spent an amazing week on the gorgeous Island of Gozo in Malta.
3) Write myself a budget for the year – PARTLY COMPLETE. I’m giving myself half marks on this one. I’ve recently started using budgetsimple.com and this has done wonders for my budgeting. 2015 wasn’t great on the budgeting front but I’ve been making real progress and already set myself a full budget for the coming year.
4) Take Rachel Tries Life self hosted – COMPLETE. Woohoo! A few technical challenges along the way but we’re here in our new digs on wordpress.org and loving the self hosted way of life!
5) Be more courageous with blogging in general – COMPLETE. 2015 has been been a fantastic year for me and that is in no small part to making the leap into blogging events. I’ve been to blogger conferences, urban food fest and even a blogger holiday to Centre Parcs and found an amazing new group of friends. This is largely down to the amazing Lauren at blondevision.co.uk who runs the LDNmeetup events, who I’m now also happy to call a friend!
6) Re-design Rachel Tries Life – COMPLETE. Yep, we’re rocking a new more streamlined look these days. We’re not 100% there yet whilst I’m teaching myself how to code the specific things I want to change but I don’t think we’re looking too shabby!
7) Read at least one novel a month – Partly Complete. Ok, you may consider this cheating but whilst I’ve not read a novel a week, I have read at least 12 books this year. I’ve really been getting into non-fiction and the point of this challenge was to get me reading again, which I would say is a challenge completed.
8) Do something for charity – INCOMPLETE. I’m not giving myself any half marks here because, although I’ve donated to charity throughout the year, I had every intention of actually doing some action and I let the months go by without actually doing it, which is unforgiveable. Nil Poi!
9) Keep my bedroom tidy – Partly Complete. Since moving house in November I have been better at keeping my room in good shape. I have days here and there where the wash basket is overflowing but who doesn’t ey!
10) Write at least one song a month – INCOMPLETE. I’ve failed miserably on this front. Song writing has not happened at all. I have no excuses, I’ve just not felt inspired!
So this year I scored a meagre 5.5/10 on the to do list front which isn’t great. HOWEVER, if I may be so bold, I would like to award myself with a few cheeky bonus points for things I have also done this year which were not on the list. In my professional life I helped over 4000 people have an incredible experience at the World Scout Jamboree which were the hardest 3 weeks of my life, I tried scuba diving for the first time in my life, I have started teaching myself to make my own beauty products (home made body scrubs are where it’s at!) and I’ve taken up knitting. So in unplanned ways I don’t think I’ve done all too badly!
Looking forward at 2016, even from this point in time I know its going to be a big year. I’ve been asked to be bridesmaid three times (both my sisters and one of my best mates are all getting married so that’s well exciting!) and I’ve got a big trip in the works which will all become clear. I want to make sure it’s even bigger and better than I could possible imagine so I’ve put together a list of things I want to achieve over the next year. So here is…
My 2016 To Do List
Start giving blood.
As well as just being a really important thing to do, this one is particularly personal reasons. If you’re not already, why not start? Find your nearest donation point.
Plan and go on a 3 week trip to Australia (told you I had a big trip in the works).
I will be jetting off in November with my pal James for three weeks of road tripping, surfing and sightseeing down under and I can’t bloody wait!
Expand and perfect my repertoire of home made beauty products.
I’ve really enjoyed learning more about how to make these products and really enjoyed the benefits they have had on my skin and hair so far. So I’m going to be cutting back on shop bought, chemical loaded products in exchange for the natural, home-made alternatives.
Start a blogging club. (More info coming soon!)
Twitter chats are great and all but have you ever wished you could just sit around a table with other bloggers and ask them for advice, support or for the opportunity to mentor a new starter? We’re a great community and I don’t think we make the most of this. Watch this space, I have a plan!
Write at least one opinion blog post a month.
I’m quite an opinionated person. I am also a feminist. I would like to use these two things to write some stronger opinion pieces on Rachel Tries Life. I love reading this type of blog post myself and love the commentary they can provide on society and the discussions they can spark. The one I wrote last year on Burlesque was one of my most popular posts so I can’t be the only one!
Improve my knitting skills.
I’m a knitter and I’m proud of it. I am 3/4 of the way to completing my first knitted scarf. It’s not perfect but it is a scarf and I’m quite pleased with it actually. Through 2016 I’d like to learn a few different stitches and maybe make some hats or something… I might even push the boat out and try to gift someone a hand knitting Weasley jumper next Christmas!
Increase my blog audience by at least 300% over the next year (to be measured in unique viewers)
This may sound silly to other bloggers but I’ve actually given very little energy this year into increasing my blogging audience. For those of you who have found and enjoyed reading my posts I’m very grateful but growing my traffic has not been something very high on my agenda. I’m going to make it more of a priority over the coming year.
Make the next step in my professional career.
This is deliberately vague. I do not know what this next step will be as of yet. All I know is I’m ready for more responsibility and a new challenge so I’ll be opening my eyes to new opportunities.
Drop a dress size.
As usual, I’m feeling the toll of the Christmas period on my waist line. With bridesmaid dresses looming I want to be a fitter and leaner me. With a gym round the corner and a big park just down the road from my flat there is no excuses to be letting the exercise slide and reduce the unhealthy stuff going in my mouth a considerable amount. I’m not talking crazy extremes, I’m talking just being mindful and looking after my body.
Cut down the procrastination.
So am the master at procrastination, from delaying getting out of bed in the morning, to leaving my room a mess for weeks on end, to watching one too many episodes of Suits in a row. Although my progress on Candy Crush may be impressive, I want to be better at focusing on tasks that actually matter and cracking on with them rather than wasting hours of my life switching imaginary candy into groups of three.
I saw the New Year in down in Bournemouth (in 1920s attire for the second year running). I had an awesome night saying (a slightly drunken) farewell to 2015. I’m feeling positive about the year ahead and hope you all are too!
What is on your 2016 to do list?