Every year I give myself a little list of goals for the next 12 months. I am and have always been useless with New Year resolutions (it just takes one blip and I give up and ditch them), but plans and goals work for me really well – any bumps along the road can more easily be viewed as just part of the journey. Less pressure, but still a positive commitment to work towards something.
Last year’s list had 4 items: planning and creating our wedding, building my freelance business, finishing two rooms of our house (office and bathroom) and blogging consistently. As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader, I certainly failed on the last one! And if you read my recap of 2016 you will know that although neither the office nor bathroom are completely finished, we actually achieved a lot more, completing our bedroom and changing the layout of the upstairs landing, as well as giving one of the garden terraces a little spruce up. You will also have gathered that I managed to get everything made in time for the wedding and it all went beautifully (though three days before it did look as though the flower girls might be going in the nude because I hadn’t finished their dresses!). The final aim was to build up my freelance business. Whilst I didn’t really dedicate much attention to this at all given the wedding prep, it has actually gone very well, and I now have several long term contracts and regular clients, and a few big projects lined up for early next year, which is great. So, on the goal front from last year, aside from blogging, I’d say things were quite a success.
2017 Goal No. 1
I’m hoping to keep that up this year because, you know, it’s nice to feel things are going well. With no wedding to plan, of course I have masses of spare time to achieve everything I want *laughs slightly hysterically*. And in fact, that is my number one goal for the year really – keep all the balls in the air, so to speak. I’m juggling my job, my freelance work, our house renovations, blogging, and general life (such as preventing the washing pile from engulfing our entire room), and sometimes it gets quite tough. I want to be more organised in every sphere of my life (lists, I’m coming for you) because I think I need the practice before we evenutally have children. Once you add them into the mix, if you’re not super organised it all risks crashing down around you. One of my favourite bloggers who seems to achieve more in a day than most do in a week is Molly Forbes, founder of Roost Blog, to which I contribute on upcycling, and blogger at Mother’s Always Right. I can’t really call this goal ‘Be more like Molly’ so it’s going to be rather more boring, maybe ‘Manage my time more effectively’.
2017 Goal No. 2
Since I failed so miserably at my blogging goal from last year, I’m making myself a new one this year, and I am determined to stick to it (this is the third post I’ve written in draft today, so it’s looking good so far). I tend to worry that I have to write long posts with lots of information and beautifully styled photos, but sometimes my most popular ones are those that have quick camera snaps and hardly any words about a lovely dog walk or day out, so I am going to stop holding myself to unrealistic expectations of what a post should be. I make loads of really yummy dishes on weeknights, but it’s dark and there’s no time for perfect photoshoots before my husband snaffles it all, but just because they’re slightly grainy photos doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t share my quick weekday recipes, because those are the kind of posts I know I love, and they are also useful as opposed to merely beautiful, and I would kind of like to think that most of my posts have a point. Well, maybe apart from the dog walking ones, but it’s so pretty round here, I can’t help myself! So, goal two is going to be ‘Post twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays’.
2017 Goal No. 3
This one is the house goal. The biggie. The ‘what the hell am I thinking and someone talk me out of this before we start the demolition’ goal. I’m going to write about this in more detail soon, because we haven’t even started and have already had to digest a huge mass of information which might be helpful for other people, but basically, 2017 will be the year we knock our house to bits. Obviously I’d like to finish all the not-quite-yet-complete projects upstairs while we plan the start of the project, but the main priority will be the downstairs.
We are going to knock down the small lean-to that houses the downstairs loo behind the dining room, and replace it with a single storey extension, which will become the kitchen. We will then knock through into the dining room so we have an open-plan kitchen diner. The current tiny kitchen will become a utility room and downstairs loo. We also need to take out the chimney in this cottage (our house is two 1850s miners cottages knocked together, so we have two staircases and two chimneys) to enlarge the space, which will no doubt have a knock-on effect upstairs too. So, an itsy bitsy teeny job then! Actually, it is a fairly easy build. The complications are the steel which will be needed to open up the back wall, and the new back wall, which, because our house is built into the side of a hill, will have to be a retaining wall to hold the garden back. But other than that, easy peasy. Remind me of this in 6 months.
We also have a very small budget, and an even tighter timeframe to get the build done. So, basically, all my other goals are going to go out of the window because I am going to lose my mind with no kitchen and living on a building site … again! But I’ll try.
My Goals for this Year
- Manage my time more effectively
- Blog regularly on Mondays and Thursdays
- Complete the kitchen-diner extension
That’s it then. 3 goals. I am not giving myself any more because I have quite enough on my plate thank you very much, but I think they are enough to keep me working towards something over the course of the year, not just aimlessly drifting from day to day. I wonder how much I am going to curse us for this crazy renovation plan in months to come, but I am sure when it is all done I will be so glad we did it. Standard for all big renovation jobs really. The bathroom was kind of awful for a while – we showered at the neighbours’ for 6 weeks, every evening covered in brick dust and filth – but now we are almost there, it’s a lovely place to be and I am over the moon with it! And it will be the same for the kitchen I am sure, eventually!
What do you think? Am I biting off more than I can chew? Or is it good to aim high?!