Hello everyone and happy beginning of March! Goodness me how time flies. I can’t believe that it is already March and it feels like the year has only just begun, that January was last week. That being said, all of the unshakeable motivation that comes with the start of the new year has most certainly faded because life is undoubtedly back to reality. The lofty days of the Christmas holiday are long gone, and I think most of us at this point just want to make it through the day without having a nervous breakdown. So, now is the perfect time to check-in and see how everyone’s new year goals are going.
I’m not sure if you remember from that post, but I am distinctly against the notion of new year resolutions. They never seem to stick for longer than the first few weeks of the year, and that is because I think we are blinded by the bright prospect of a clean slate year, so we set ourselves these resolutions that, while noble and fantastic, are quite hard to accomplish when reality overrides the optimistic dream. Goals are a far better thing to set at the start of the new year because instead of going overboard with resolutions to work out every day or make some grand life change, we can make small, easy-to-accomplish steps towards achieving our goals. Goals can be broken down into stages, and a good goal is designed for you to succeed, not for it to be so hard that you give up after a few weeks. That being said, I set ten goals for myself at the start of 2020 (you can click the link to check them out https://tallblondetales.com/2020/01/01/happy-new-year-let-us-crush-2020/), and I figured that now is the perfect time to let you all know how those are going.
Going to the gym more often
In general terms, this has been a success. Since the start of the new year, I have been exercising a lot more, which has made my dad over-the-moon happy let me tell you. It hasn’t been easy, because exercise isn’t exactly my favourite way to spend non-working hours, but it’s been going easier than I expected once I set my mind to it. I haven’t gone to the gym very often, because of an unusually busy and unpredictable schedule these last two months, but that hasn’t hindered my work out hours, thankfully. One thing that has really made exercising a lot easier is this app that I got called BetterMe. It’s got the most amazing video-guided workouts, and programmes suitable for whatever you want to work on, at whatever your fitness level is. I’ve been doing a beginner’s running 28-day programme and just started a 10-day stretch challenge. If you’re looking for something that can help you start your fitness journey, I’d definitely recommend this app.
Eat balanced and healthy
Ugh. Trying to eat balanced and healthy can sometimes be the biggest nightmare on the planet. You can be doing so well, and then you get invited out for dinner, and you force yourself to stick to soup and salad while everyone else eats pizza and orders dessert. And that then ignites the cravings from deep within. I know that feeling all too well and let me tell you that eating balanced and healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all things sweet, carb-filled and delicious. It just means eating those things in smaller quantities, like having a taste of dessert instead of finishing the whole thing. That way, you get to enjoy the sweetness without loading on all of those calories. My healthy-eating journey has also gone surprisingly well, especially since I relooked at the way I was eating. Instead of only enjoying my dinner, I have healthy and nutritious snacks throughout the day that I actually enjoy eating. I still enjoy sweet things, except now I save that for once in a while, like when the whole family goes out for dinner. I also bought myself a cookbook and the comments and recipes in there are above and beyond amazing. Everything is healthy and still tastes fantastic, so I’m definitely making more and more recipes out of that book. In fact, tonight I’m making teriyaki chicken with brown rice. How delicious and healthy does that sound?
Read another book
I’ve always loved reading, but so many things soak up leisure time that I end up never being able to settle down with a book. This year, I made a conscious effort to change that. Growing up I was a voracious reader and always had a book in my hand, or in my bag, but unfortunately, I’ve been able to read less and less books as grade 12 appeared, and then my incredibly busy year last year. This year, because I didn’t want to set myself an impossible goal, I vowed to read fifteen books by the end of the year (which doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’d read even less in the last two years so …). Good news is that I am well ahead of my schedule – I’ve already read seven books this year! I forgot how much I loved reading until I started doing it again, and now I can’t believe I went so long without doing it.
P.S. If anyone would like to read a book review of the seven books I’ve read so far, let me know in the comments section, and I’ll do a post on it!
Spend time every week writing
Okay, this has been one of my less successful goals … While I have dedicated more time to writing, I haven’t spent as much time per week doing it as I would have liked. However, I think that’s because I’ve had a lot of trouble writing creatively recently, after a relatively heavy blow to my creative work a while back. As such, I’ve tried to let my creativity take the reins a little more often so I’ve been going nuts with my whiteboard and coloured markers and it has been quite healing. I’m starting to feel my urge to write all my creative ideas down growing again, so hopefully, I’ll be back to working on short stories and potential novels soon. But for now, the writing I’m doing for the blog and doing small creative writing exercises is good enough.
Drink enough water
As promised, I have left a bottle of water in my car, and keep a glass of water next to my bed. I also make a habit of drinking a glass of water every time I go into the kitchen and with all of that, I definitely think I am drinking my two litres of water every day. Some days are not as good as others – there are days when I am so busy I forget to drink anything and then only end up drinking water in the afternoons. But otherwise, I’m delighted with the amount of water I’ve been drinking. I think the exercise is also helping me make sure I stay hydrated, and I love how good it makes me feel.
Improve my French
I said that I wanted to improve my French because I wasn’t quite ready to let the language go and wanted all the hard work I put in in high school to have a noticeable result. Since the beginning of the year, I have committed to my twenty minutes a day of Duolingo. At times, the lessons are a little basic considering what I had to learn for grade 12 French, but the discipline of doing it every day has certainly improved my general fluency. I’m proud to say I am the holder of a 64-day streak. Also, by going back to the basics, I’m realising how much I’d forgotten but also how much I didn’t really know so now I feel far more confident to parle francais (translation = speak French)
Focus on self-care
The promise of practising self-care is a tricky one because sometimes you do enough and sometimes, despite good intentions, life is just too busy or stressful for you to really look after yourself, so my goal of focusing on self-care has had its fluctuations. BUT it has improved since last year. Every week, I take a long, relaxing spa bath with a book, some candles and all the soothing products one can think of to have a spa bath at home (if you want to read about how to have the perfect at-home spa bath, click the link https://tallblondetales.com/2020/01/08/how-to-have-the-perfect-spa-bath-at-home/). As I mentioned earlier, I am making an effort to read more, I’m about to start a new puzzle, I’ve been doing work on my door, and I make sure to add some relaxing me-time breaks throughout my day. See? I’m improving 😊
It’s always quite hard to go completely eco-friendly, especially when you have a large family and shops aren’t too encouraging of eco-friendly options. However, we have made great strides of progress since the start of the year. I only bath once a week now, we try to keep shower-time relatively short and also try to use water from our Jojo tanks (the tanks that collect all the rainwater from the drains) when watering the garden. In terms of plastic, we have introduced a plastic tax. Every time someone uses a plastic bag, plastic bottle or plastic container unnecessarily, they get the appropriate number of strikes. Each strike is worth R2 (I promise you this adds up quickly) and at the end of the year, everyone has to pay up what they owe, and we are going to give the money to an appropriate foundation or charity. We may not be plastic-free yet, but it is these small steps that we can all take that can help us save our planet from the destruction we are causing.
Finish my door
Okay. Moment of honesty here – the door isn’t finished. But, there is less than a quarter left to go, and given that I’ve done quite a bit of travelling these last two months, I’m thrilled with the progress I’ve made. So, I’d say about 5/6 of the door is done, and I really love how much it brightens up the space. I also love that it is turning into a little reflection of my personality, so I’m going to be sad when it is finally finished. I guess that just means I need to get started on the next art project, right?
Get out more
This is another goal that I haven’t been doing so well on. However, not all of it is in my control. My best friend is incredibly busy at university, so we make an effort to meet up whenever both our schedules can allow it, and try to call whenever we can. My boyfriend and I have been spending more quality time together, and because I haven’t spent as much time as I would have liked meeting up with friends, I did two short courses. An advanced child care one and a barista one (if you want to read about them then click the link https://tallblondetales.com/2020/02/26/coffee-and-kids-what-a-combo/)– and those were both great fun. Not only did I get out of the house and meet new people, but I also learnt a lot of excellent skills that I can use in the future. Not quite the getting out I intended, but it was getting out all the same.
And so there you have it! As you can see, I haven’t let go of all the goals I set out to achieve at the start of the year, even though time hasn’t been generous and I have definitely had moments where you couldn’t find my motivation even if you looked under a microscope. It’s essential to stick to the goals we set, not only so that we achieve what we want but also because it gives a great sense of accomplishment when you can say you achieved your goal. Now that you know how my goals have been going, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH YOUR NEW YEAR GOALS?!?! How has your mission to achieve these goals gone so far, and have you accomplished any of them yet? Please let me know in the comments section – after all, sharing is caring, and I would love to hear how it is going for you.
As always, thank you all so much for reading. Please don’t forget to hit that little like button if you enjoyed the post and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any future blog posts. Good luck for continuing to meet your goals for the rest of the month and year! I have the utmost faith in each and every one of you that you will achieve everything you set out to do.
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx