I did intend to write this ‘goals update’ post at the end of March/early April, so I’m a month late – sorry – but since the country was put into lockdown time seems to have lost all meaning, doesn’t it? My time is fairly structured as I’m still working Monday-Friday from my dining table, but I think perhaps that’s part of the problem – after spending a day glued to my screen the last thing I’ve felt like doing is re-opening my laptop to start blogging in the evening. But, I’m here now and that’s all that matters, right?
Back when I wrote my 2020 Goals there was no way I could have predicted how 2020 was going to unfold. The thought of a global pandemic couldn’t have been further from my thoughts, and if I’m totally honest, it took a long time to start to feel real to me. I mean, I knew it was happening but it all felt so much like something out of a film that I think my brain was struggling to get a grip of the enormity of it and to computer that it was actual real life. Anyone else?
That said, I hope you’re all doing ok. It’s such an uncertain time in the world and we all find ourselves in a position we could never have imagined, so it’s more important now than ever to take the time to be kind to ourselves and to put our emotional and mental well-being first. Take time to do things that make you happy, don’t pressure yourself to do All The Things, and listen to what your inner voice is telling you that you need. I took a day last weekend to just be. I had a lie-in, a pamper session, read some of my book, watched films, and by the end of the day I felt so much better.
So, despite everything being turned on its head, how am I getting on with my 2020 Goals? Well, not too bad I don’t think, bearing in mind how things have gone in the past couple of months! Here’s how things stand now we’re just over one-quarter of the way through the year…
Start doing yoga at home
Not quite started this one yet… I keep saying I’m going to do it, then I don’t. Must try harder. (If anyone has any recommendations for beginner’s yoga videos online for people with dodgy knees, please send them my way!)
Swap Poppy onto a raw diet
Done, and I don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner – it’s brilliant! It costs me about £20 more a month than the old food we had her on, but she gets so excited for dinner time now that she stamps her little feet on the floor, she’s lost weight, she smells less (breath and butt) and (TMI, sorry, but this is one for the fellow dog owners) her poops are so much smaller and easier to handle! If you’re in the position to be able to do it I definitely recommend swapping your dog onto raw food, it’s been a game-changer for us! (Obviously check with your vet before doing it and be sure to follow the guidelines for changing your dog’s diet).
Cook more health food (no more lazy food shops!)
I can tick this one off as a huge success, and this is something I’ve really found lockdown has contributed to in a positive way. Because the option to pop to the supermarket and grab a quick cheat dinner has been taken away from us and we’re having to make the most of what we have in our cupboards I’ve been spending much more time in the kitchen cooking us meals completely from scratch hand making sure we use every last item of food we have before it goes mouldy. Our food waste is practically zero now with only the peelings and stalks etc going into our composting bin now – this is something I definitely want to continue and carry into our life after lockdown. I know a big part of my problem with cooking dinner every night during “normal life” was that when I got home from work I was knackered and just wanted to bung something in the oven and collapse on the sofa, but I really don’t want to slip back into that bad habit and meal planning will definitely be a bigger part of my life when we return to working in London to make sure I keep cooking fresh and healthy options going forward.
Keep a spreadsheet of our finances and update it every week
Done. Smashed it. Having a spreadsheet monitoring all our incomings and outgoings makes such a huge difference and means I am managing money so much better. I wouldn’t be without it now.
Get outside and walk more
Another one helped by the lockdown! As I said earlier, we’re both working full-time from home (in fact, I’m working longer hours at home than I do when I’m in the office somehow?!) and so we’re making the time to get out for a walk on the days where it’s possible for us to leave our laptops for a bit. Sometimes it’s a quick 20-minutes around the field by our house, but occasionally we’ve been able to manage a full 1-hour walk, and it makes such a difference to how I feel. I was starting to suffer with Lockdown Lethargy and feeling really down and droopy, but forcing myself to get outside and get some Vitamin D and fresh air really makes me feel so much better. I feel so incredibly lucky to live where we do and I’m really acutely aware of just how blessed we are to have all this countryside right on our doorstep.
Do a year of Alphabet Dating
Nope, haven’t had any dates – alphabetic or otherwise! We did attempt a date night at home to do a jigsaw together with some cocktails, but the jigsaw was really hard so we gave up and just boogied along to our Spotify playlist instead!
Drink less alcohol
Yep, done! Although I did discover a local company called Tappd Cocktails who deliver to your door within an hour of you ordering if you’re in Essex (I believe it’s Next Day Delivery if you’re out of the area) which resulted in a very definite hangover for us post-jigsaw-date-night. The cocktails were amazing by the way – 100% recommend them!
Start a proper skincare routine and stick to it
I am loving this one! I’ve always been really lazy with my skincare, but this year I feel like I’ve got it nailed! I double cleanse, tone and moisturise every night without fail, do a face mask 2 or 3 times a week, and do a full facial every weekend – and it’s made such a difference! My skin feel healthier, looks clearer and is breaking out less. I’m also finding the time spent doing my skin is really good for the soul – a little bit of me-time and self-care that I’ve never given myself before.
Do more jigsaws (and don’t give up when they get too hard)
A big fat fail on this one so far!
Make and maintain a vision board for the year
Done. I made this at the very beginning of the year and it sits in our bedroom so I can see it everyday.
Keep a nightly gratitude journal
I am so flakey on this. I’ve been on-and-off, on-and-off with it throughout the whole of this year. For some reason I just don’t seem to be able to nail making it a habit that I stick to! Any tips would be gratefully received (and written in my journal, if it works).
Visit 1 new pub each month for a roast dinner
Ah, pubs… I miss those.
Lose 2 stone
Umm… no. Still another three-quarters of the year to go though, eh?
Blog regularly again (and don’t compare what I’m doing to others – it’s a hobby!)
I don’t think I’m doing too badly with this. I’ve been blogging every few weeks and I have a list of posts I want to write too, but I just need to find a routine that makes me sit down at the laptop without it feeling like I’m continuing on from my working day. I’m half happy with how things are going but can definitely do better.
Read 40 books before the end of the year (you can see my Goodreads profile here)
I always do all my reading on my commute to and from work, so since we went into lockdown I’ve only read a few chapters of my newest book. Terrible! I was knocking out 2 books a week on average and now I’ve not even finished 1 book over the past 2 months! At the moment I’ve completed 11 of my target of 40 and I’ve got a huge To Be Read pile, so I better get cracking!
Exercise 2-3 times a week
I’m doing ok with this one but I do want to step it up a bit. We’re going for our Government Approved Once-A-Day walks, but I want to add in some time on the exercise bike, or some general cardio as well, just to burn a few extra calories and get the blood pumping. (Disclaimer: All bodies are good bodies and being smaller is no better than being bigger, but for me personally, I just want to lose a bit of weight. No shade, just my own personal preference etc etc).
Find more ways to be eco-friendly
Generally we aren’t too bad with our carbon footprint – we walk instead of driving where we can, we recycle, we use an eco-friendly supplier for our gas and electric, I have reusable cloths and pads for my skincare and make-up etc – but I’ve been reading a little about terracycling recently and want to try and get to grips with how it all works, as it seems like we could still hugely reduce the amount of stuff we send to landfill.
Set a wedding budget and begin saving
We have a holiday booked in the summer to the place we’re planning to get married and we were going to meet with a wedding planner whilst we’re out there to get an idea of the budget we need, however that’s all a bit up in the air at the moment as we aren’t sure if the holiday will be going ahead or not. Fingers crossed it does so we can get the ball rolling!
Start to learn a new language (French or Greek)
This isn’t going so well. I’ve opened the language app a few times but Greek seems so difficult that I keep closing it down and saying I’ll try again later. If anyone has any tips or recommendations for how to learn a language at home, please let me know!
Plan a revamp for the back garden and start saving up for it
We’re halfway there with this one! We have the design sorted, we know the company we’re going to use, and we’re all ready to go, but just a couple of days before we were about to instruct them to start the work we entered lockdown, so it’s on hold for now.
Take out health insurance
Cook 1 new recipe a month
I’m enjoying this one! They haven’t all been a success (oh boy, I’ve had some disasters!) but I’ve been trying my best! I’m really not a natural in the kitchen it has to be said, but I’ll share some of the recipes for my favourite meals I’ve knocked up in the next few weeks/months.
Complete at least one 30 Day Challenge
I had completely forgotten about this one, whoops. On the To Do list!
Overcome my fear of driving
We haven’t really used the car since lockdown but prior to this I had driven the car a few times – during the day at night, for short journeys and long – and I was starting to feel much more confident. I definitely think I can do this if I just keep plugging away at it.
Start saving up to visit New York in 2021
Not a single penny saved!
Donate to a food bank monthly
Rather than donating physical food, I’ve been donating money to The Trussell Trust. If you want to do the same and help out those who are struggling for food right now, you can do so via their website.
Take a break from my desk each day and go for a walk
This is one I’ve struggled with. I tend to sit down at my laptop at 8.30am and not move other than to go to the toilet and get a glass of water until I close it down at the end of the day. In the past couple of weeks we’ve managed to get outside a few times though and it makes such a different to how we feel. I definitely want to be stricter with myself when I go back to normal life and make sure I maintain a lunchtime wander to clear my head, get some air in my lungs, and get some extra steps in!
Clear out my wardrobe and donate the clothes I don’t wear anymore
I’ve half done this. My wardrobe is cleared out and I have a pile of things for the charity shop, but they’re all closed at the moment so it’s sitting my the spare room waiting for them to re-open again. Quite pleased to have got this one done!
Start practicing meditation
Yes and no. I’ve not made it a regular habit yet but I have meditated a few times and the last couple have been brilliant! The feeling during and after them is one that I can’t quite put into words, but it’s encouraging me to try and do it at least a few times a week.
Get 2 more tattoos
Not yet, but I know what I’m having done and who I’m getting to do them, so it’s just a matter of time!
Complete at least one online course
I’ve signed up to 5 online courses but haven’t had the time to start any of them yet (see previous comment about constantly being on my laptop). Learning something new will be so refreshing after years of not really using my brain in that way though, so I’ve decided I’m going to set myself aside a few hours each weekend to work on them, and not to allow myself to be distracted by anything else!
Watch 40 new films
I’ve been keeping a list of all the films we’ve been watching and didn’t realise until I checked it just now how well we’ve been doing – we’ve watched 21 films already and we’re only just over a quarter of the way through the year! Success! I think I might smash this one!
Use the 1 Second Everyday app to make a video of the year
I tend to forget about this for a few days, then I remember and have to go back and upload for the days I missed. Luckily I’m forever taking photos so there’s not a single day where I haven’t had something to show.
So there we go – overall I have to say I’m pretty pleased with how I’m doing so far! I’m not sure how life and lockdown is going to progress in the coming weeks, but I’ll check back in 3 months from now and see if I’ve managed to make any progress on those ones I’ve been struggling with so far…
Keep safe and well everyone!
PS. Chatty posts like this feel so old-school but I’m really loving them!
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