New Year’s Goals for 2017: Part 1

February is the new January right?? 😀

As you can tell from the title of this post, it is rather late, but as January was a crazy month and my head space was a real mess, I never managed to get around to finishing writing this post. Now I am in a slightly better place, so thought it was about time I publish this (before it’s really too late).

I originally planned to do this as one post but ended up writing quite a bit, so to make it a bit more digestible and more exciting (??) I have split it into two posts.

The first thing is that I have never been a fan of the term ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ – I’ve never really made any in the past, and the terminology for me appears to be synonymous with failure. 2016 was the first year I set myself goals not resolutionswith clear outcomes and dates, and a plan to achieve those goals, and I went a long way in achieving the majority of them. So this year I have decided to push myself further, and set some more goals of exactly what I want to achieve.

1. Fall in love with my first passion.

When I was a little kid, I spent most of my time watching Disney movies, reading, singing, learning and failing to play the violin, and drawing. I remember my siblings, especially my eldest sister, being wonderfully talented at painting and my Dad always mentioning the level of praise and awards she had received from her secondary school for her work. Creativity and a natural adeptness with the pencil and paintbrush, was something as far as I was concerned with, ran in my family. So I took to it as a talent of mine, and fell in love with sketching and painting – anything that unleashed my creativity and allowed me to express myself. I continued to do this during my secondary school years, going through an emo phase, then a fantasy art phase, before I was forced to bench it when I reached sixth form – as it had limited career prospects (parents/older siblings chat here). I did a little bit of sketching here and there throughout University, during some of my more darker days; I also began to get back into my writing, and spending time on both mediums (I always found that they both informed each other) really helped me get through some tough times, especially during my second year.

Art brings me a lot of joy and I regret letting it slip. It is something so incredibly personal to me and a way of expressing myself that I realised recently that I’ve lost touch with a critical part of my identity by brushing it to the outskirts of my life. So my first goal this year is to re-engage with my art and rediscover my creativity through it. I have already signed up to an 8-week mixed-media art course at the University of Southampton, and plan to sign up to the one straight after it (it’s on still life and my goddd I love still life soo much! So can’t wait for that to start!). I tend to paint when I’m inspired by something or just generally need to unleash some inner emotion (lool), and I find that’s when I do some of my best work, but the class so far (it started in January), has allowed me to really start building up my technique again and be experimental with different mediums that I wouldn’t usually use. I also have to produce something within 45-60 minutes, so just have to go with the flow which is quite freeing!
‘Longing’ and ‘Desire’ – two pieces that I have produced since the start of this year

I’m also planning to start an art project of my own, based on pop-art/culture (with a mix of art nouveau if I can manage it!), which I very much love. I’m thinking of calling it #TheConversationSeries, with the following premise: ‘When you say what you don’t want to say.’ The idea behind this really comes from recognising that people never really say what they want to say to each other. Everyday, I feel we are clouded by a veil of tiny white lies or untruths, and I decided I wanted to explore this in my art, because I have found that even I am susceptible to it and usually hold myself back from saying what I really want to say in many situations I encounter in my day to day life – lest it offends someone or they find me weird/creepy/inappropriate – and instead say a very diluted form of what I’m really thinking or desiring. It bothers me because I don’t think we live our lives true to ourselves or to even others for that matter. We hold ourselves back everyday in tiny ways and before we know it it amounts to a bigger thing impacting our lives/emotions/psyche. For whatever reason, society has evolved in a way where we are afraid to be vulnerable with each other. I have explored this theme already in my writing but I am keen to explore it in my art and have already started working on my first piece. Follow me on Instagram to see the progress of the project as this is where I will be ‘publishing’ the pieces of work (if I am happy with the outcomes of what I draw that is.. let’s see how it goes ehh).

2. Read a book a month… and blog about it.

After all that’s the reason why I started this blog in the first place! To review the books that I was reading on the tube whilst living in London back in 2014. I certainly did not read or write as much as I wanted to last year so one of my main prerogatives this year is to attempt to read at least one book a month and do a review on it. This will also help to get me into a regular blogging habit and * hopefully * push me to finish reading the book I have chosen for that month. I managed to finish a book in January – so off to a good start! Blog post is pending. Feb not going so well atm lol..

3. Write. Write. Write.

Write anything, everything, whatever floats my boat, without any shame, without any desire to be great or exceptional or edgy or deep or whatever. JUST WRITE. I want to try and write a few short stories this year actually – as this is something I used to do a lot back in the early days of my writing endeavours, but haven’t done much lately as I have been trying to focus on the first draft of my novel. I made quite a bit of progress on this last year, but work on this stalled a bit as other things in my life started to get in the way, like my marketing course and family drama. I would like to write another 25,000 words, and am planning to do a writing getaway to Scotland for a week to enable this. I just need some time out to get my head back in the zone again and spew out lots of words. I will persevere on this coz I WILL WRITE THIS BLOODY NOVEL IF IT’S THE LAST THING I DO / COMPLETE BY THE AGE OF 30 COZ THAT’S THE TASK I’VE SET FOR MYSELF. As Nanowrimo espouses, 50,000 words can be achieved in a month if you write 1,600 words a day, which is really not that much!! Especially considering after Cambridge when you’re trying to turn around 3,000 words on an essay on Hobbes in one night!

4. Connect with old friends and new.

What I have come to realise in my natural state of hermit-modeness is that if I do not actively make an effort to see people/friends/family – I could easily go through the rest of my life with NEVER SEEING THEM AGAIN EVER. Not because I don’t want to, but because there are people that I know that I would never really cross paths with unless I made an active effort to meet up with them. The likelihood of miraculously bumping into them in the street or a friend’s party (which is naturally dependent on me attending the party in the first place) is very very very small (especially as I live in the peasant hole that is Southampton and no one else I know lives here and I mean no one!!).

For some reason, even though the world/universe has proved me wrong time and time again, you are never too old to make new friends/besties, or reconnect with people who you weren’t so close with in the past in new and different and valuable ways – ways you may never have expected because when you first met you were in a different place/mindset. So this is one of my goals this year – to be more active about seeing people that I haven’t seen in a while or wouldn’t normally consider meeting up with. Just be a bit more ‘out there’ as the proverbial (?) saying goes. I’ve always had quite an active social life, but it’s easy for me to stick to the same people/circle of friends and not make an effort to spend time with people just because they are based in a different city or whatever. I go to London a lot, so it would be easy to meet up with people, and even explore London further while I’m at it, but I tend to just go to London to complete A and do B, and then come straight back to Southampton. So going ahead, my aim is to meet up with a friend while I’m there! I have reconnected with and made so many new friends last year (very unexpectedly but delightfully so), so I want to continue engaging with these people, especially those who I feel add some sort of value to my life or enrich it in some capacity – be it entertainment or #deep convos (lool).

At the same time, I want to make a move away from those people who just waste my time or just use me, or those who I do not enjoy the company of or find drain my energy. I am hideously loyal to my friends and the people I love, and I expect nothing short of in return. So as I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that there are some people who just sap my energy and others who infuse me with their positivity and leave me feeling so much better within myself, and I am able to exude that quality too. So yah, that’s me on that front.

5. Listen to my body.

I have literally eaten every brown-chocolate looking thing in my sight this evening even after a large plate of lasagne, fried rice and gym session with my PT, whereby I listed off how great I’d been with my food/eating healthily all day fml. I’ve even eaten some random potato thing just now – I’m not even sure I know whatwhat it is – probably my nephew’s baby food. SIGH.

Yes, I have major food issues, shoot me I’m a girl. For whatever reason, I have a perpetual desire for junk food. I enjoy it while it’s in my mouth and I’m chewing it, but the moment it hits my stomach I feel sick and like shite. I worked immensely hard to lose weight and recently all I ever feel like I do is eat junk food. I have gained some of the weight back yes, only understandable when you eat your feelings by way of 10,000 calories of flippin cake. Once I have a little bit of sugar, I just keep going back for more (I swear even drugs don’t have this effect on me), and according to a recent BBC diet type test thing I did online, I am a ‘Constant Craver’, above being a ‘Feaster’ and ‘Emotional Eater’ – although I am those things too fml. I’ve had 10+ years/a lifetime of bad eating habits so I know it’s a lot of pressure for me to think those habits will change quickly, but after the hard slog of weight loss and reaching my goal weight you’d think something would have stuck – but nooo – I genuinely feel like I am back to square 1 sometimes.

My aim this year is to listen to my body – eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full – basically practice healthy eating habits now that I have lost weight in order to keep it off for good, otherwise I will inevitably blow back up to my former couch potato self. Which I should probably be worried about, but currently I look at overly obese people and I am actually jealous of them. I’m like ‘YOU CAN LITERALLY EAT WHATEVER YOU LIKE AND YOU DO NOT GIVE A F*’. They probs do, but whatever. I am getting Invisalign braces this year (thank goodness!) so will not be able to eat while I have these on so hopefully that should help with not eating mindlessly or out of boredom. So my aim is to stop/reduce my junk food intake, learn more about nutrition and health to inform my knowledge and practices (I’ve signed up to an online course on this) and nail down the maintenance of my weight through a healthy lifestyle, one day at a time.

So that’s my first 5 goals, hope you enjoyed Part 1. Part 2 coming up soon.

 

Have you thought about what aims/goals you have in mind for yourself this year or what you want to get out of it? I would love to hear about them!
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