At the start of January I made myself a list of 25 goals and convinced myself I could achieve all of them. I spent hours and hours imagining the “new me” that would emerge at the end of this year, certain of the fact that I would somehow rise from the ashes as this perfect version of myself, who would never waste six hours scrolling through Facebook while stuffing her face with chocolate.
Obviously, that didn’t happen. I am still the same me. I didn’t become Wonder Woman and manage to change everything in one go. I didn’t become a task-completing machine who never allows herself time for fun. In fact, I kind of did the opposite.
Around May, I came to the realisation that trying to be productive all the time is not the best way to live your life. I scrapped the extra-long and ridiculous to-do lists, allowed myself more time to relax and even wrote a post about slowing down. Ever since I started high school or maybe even before, I’ve been obsessed with improving myself and trying to do as much as I possibly can and, while that may sound like a good thing, it’s actually very tiring, especially on top of a full time job.
So what now? Am I just gonna stop trying to do anything and just give in to the power of Netflix forever?
No. I’m definitely not.
While I may not want to be 100% productive all of the time, I still have lots of things I’d like to achieve and improve on. I still want to write that book, learn new things and try to live a healthier lifestyle. But I plan to have a more relaxed approach. There’ll be no more excessive to-do lists and no more pressuring myself to fill every bit of my spare time with something productive. There’ll still be goals, but they’ll come in smaller chunks and be less overwhelming. Because you simply cannot do everything.
This year, I’ve learned how important it is to have time to relax. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t feel guilty for spending six hours watching Cougar Town. I’ve learned that you don’t have to be superwoman all the time.
That’s why a lot of these goals got left behind. That’s why I don’t have 25 goals ticked off, or anywhere near that. I learned to prioritise and became less afraid of giving up the goals I didn’t care about anymore.
The list below details the reasons, the achievements. I might have only completed a small number, but I’m still incredibly happy with everything I’ve done this year. Some achievements don’t come from the list you make at the start of the year, but that doesn’t mean you should be any less proud of them.
Despite most of these being incomplete, I hope you enjoy reading this goal summary and I hope you won’t judge me on the amount of chocolate I ate this year!
1. Blog 70 times
By the time all my scheduled posts for 2017 are up, I’ll have still only managed 44 posts. So it’s a no, unfortunately.
I’d like to say I’ve done better than last year, but I did 44 then as well. Clearly, that’s my limit!
2. Code and design a new layout
3. Improve my photography skills
Even though I’m still terrible at taking photos, I do think I’ve improved a lot since last year. Here’s an example:
It’s not the biggest improvement in the world, but it’s still something!
4. Sort out my post categories (these are such a mess right now)
This sounds like a terribly boring and time-consuming job, doesn’t it?
5. Look through and clean-up previous posts, by adding photos and proof checking
I did a few, but then got distracted about how strange my content used to be. Anyone for an overdramatic post about a powercut?
6. Sort out all of my pages
7. Make monthly content plans and stick to them
I’ve gotten better at planning content, but I hate being forced into a strict schedule, especially for longer posts. I am still trying to write content a few weeks before I post it though, because it’s always good to be prepared!
8. Write a full, decent draft of a novel
I’m very close to this, but it’s not organised enough to be considered a full draft.
9. Succeed at NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWrimo (one month, 50,000 words)
I barely got anywhere on my three attempts this year, because I just wasn’t in the mood to spend hours and hours writing after work every day. NaNoWriMo is so difficult, especially if you have plans that month or just want a day to relax. I might attempt it again soon, but, if the previous attempts are anything to go by, it doesn’t really seem to work that well for me.
10. Improve my Photoshop skills
I haven’t even opened Photoshop in the past year… oops.
11. Create a new cosplay
Yes. I created a new Poison Ivy cosplay which I wore to Liverpool Comic Con earlier this year.
12. Write a script
13. Do something art-related at least once every two weeks (e.g. draw, paint, make jewellery)
I’m seriously wondering why past-Amy thought she’d be organised enough to even keep track of such a ridiculous goal.
Clearing Out the Clutter
14. Clear out my wardrobe
Yes. I managed to get rid of four bin bags full of clothes. It looks amazing now!
15. Sort out all the stuff at my parents’ house
No, but I made a lot of progress. Hopefully when I have a bigger house it’ll be easier to finish. I have no space for some of the things I left there. Sorry, Mum and Dad!
16. Sort through my jewellery box, because there’s way too much in there
Yes. It all fits in one box now, along with all my make-up and hairbrushes, which is nice.
17. Sort out DVDs, books and comics
Comics, yes. Books, yes. DVDs, no. So unfortunately it’ll have to be a fail on this one!
Health, Fitness and Wellbeing
18. Do one hour of exercise per week
I managed one week. Am I #FitnessGoals yet?!
19. Fit into my old clothes
No, but I bought lovely new ones that fit really well.
20. Eat less chocolate I’d like to cut down to (less than 3 single bars a week)
Considering I’ve eaten an entire box of Terry’s Chocolate Orange Segsations this weekend, it’s a definite no. But I don’t care because chocolate.
21. Take better care of my skin by removing my make-up before bed and developing a skincare routine
It’s not become a fixed part of my routine yet, but I’m getting there.
22. Learn to play a song on the keyboard
23. Save £4000 towards a mortgage
I would have achieved this if I hadn’t dipped into my savings for holidays, events and Christmas stuff. Oh well…
24. Get a passport
25. Go shopping somewhere other than Leeds/Bradford
Yes! I went to Sheffield, Manchester, York, London and Edinburgh.
So, in total, that’s 5 out of 25 goals. It isn’t a lot, but I’m really not disappointed by the result. I’m so happy with everything I’ve achieved this year and with how I’ve used my time, that it really doesn’t matter if a few things on a list got forgotten about.
Even though last year’s goals didn’t go well, I will still be making goals for 2018, except I won’t be making as many and they won’t be nearly as ridiculous as some of these ones were. I’d rather just have a few things in mind, than try to balance everything.
Plus, goals can be made at any point in the year; you don’t have to settle for the ones you made in January!
Have you achieved your goals for 2017?