Books, General

New Year’s Resolution: 2nd Quarter Check-In

I know I must sound lile a broken record on all of these updates posts but seriously can you believe that it’s half way through the year already?! It’s a cracking day again here in Liverpool and when it’s lile this, it’s a good time to check in on your progress, you feel less rubbish if you’re not doing well!!

My list is split up into sections, just like it was on my original 2018 Resolutions list. I’ve kept it like this to see if there are any areas I’m doing better or worse in, and to allow me to look back at different parts of my life separate from the others. I’m also operating a colour scheme this year too! I posted back at the end of March with an update for the first 3 months, so I’m following the same pattern and carrying on from there!

Completed

On Track

Failing

Amended

Abandoned

Reading

Read at least 52 books Read at least 75 books

As of June 2018, I’ve read 55 books in 2018. I’ve already completed my original 52 book target, so I decided to amend and up it to , 75 to keep me motivated. I have a lot of time off in the last quarter of the year when reading will probably decrease due to holidays, so I didn’t want to up it too much but with the rate I am going, I should hit it by the next check-in. I’m pleased I didn’t set it too high originally, as until the last 3 weeks I was in a major reading slump and was struggling, so setting a lower target has very much helped me enjoy reading even when I found it hard.

Read 5 classics Read 8 Classics

There is a little bit of a debate as to whether I have actually read classics or books of a classical pedigree, but I am pretty sure that I have now read 6 classics. I am due to start a new reading challenge to read The Count of Monte Cristo and there are some other classics I have my eye on, so I think amending this target is both fun and achievable.

Read 3 Non-fictionRead 6 Non-fiction

I haven’t really read to many non-fiction books in the past but have really embraced reading them over the past 12 months. I have now finished 5 non-fiction books this year, but don’t have any more that are jumping out at me to read (yet) so I’ve loosely amended this to keep me reading.

Take part and actively engage in at least 5 readathons

I’ve completely lost count of how many readathons there have been this year, but in June/July/August alone I have 8 planned, and have already taken place in 2 Bout of Books and countless other readathons throughout the year, so this has definitely been done!

Review every book I read

I have realised that while I enjoy reviewing, I didn’t like writing a mini-review for each book and the 140 character review wasn’t working either. I have got a wrap post method I am now happy with, and write much more detailed reviews of books that take my fancy in a reviewing capacity, but I don’t want to keep reviewing books for the sake of it when I don’t want to write about a particular book so this challenge has gone.

Blogging

Find a balance between blogging quality and quantity that I am happy with

My streak of blogging every day ended some time in the last quarter, and for a while I lost the ability to blog with any form of regularity. I think blogging every day began to feel like a chore rather than something I enjoyed, so I decided to move away from that to focus on quality rather than quantity, but I do think I blog a little more regularly. I am getting there, 3 to 4 times a week seems about right, it’s just developing a schedule and a pattern that works day on day and week on week.

Maintain blogging diversity e.g, travel, and personal, and books

My blog is without doubt lacking in diversity at the moment. I have really neglected the travel side of things recently, which is actually something I really love writing about. Yes, there is a good mix of personal, books, reviews, and general nattering, but there could be a better mix and dynamic on there. Definitely something to think about over the summer.

Utilise scheduling

My ability to think ahead and write posts for the future has almost evaporated which means any used of scheduling and post planning has just evaporated into thin air. I know it is a great tool that I should think about using more, because I feel better when I have things lined up, but I don’t use it much at the moment.

Engage with other bloggers and online communities

I was really engaged with reading other blogs and investigating other posts, and then suddenly my love for blogging disappeared. I had a real crisis with my blog earlier in the year, which is still ongoing to some extent, which has seen a decline in the number of posts I write, but also the number of blogs I interact with. I worked hard on this at the beginning of the year and do still think about this regularly, so this and my blog aesthetic are my main blogging focuses for the coming months.

Invest time tidying up my blog appearance/layout

This year I have made some pretty major changes to my blog. I bought my domain and have made some changes to may layout/theme. I committed pretty hard in one go, and then through a series of life events, working schedules, and blogging wariness, my efforts fell away somewhat. I am (in theory) much happier with how my blog is now because I have things where I want them and things are starting to come together a little more, but there is a lot that is started but not finished, so this will not be considered completed until these things have been looked into and changed.

Personal

Lose weight

This single resolution is by far the most important for me in 2018. I really stalled for a good while this year, but my Fat Friday posts have kept me on track and I have recently hit 2 stone lost. I am hoping to hit 3 stone before my holidays, but that might be a little but optimistic.

Exercise more

OK, so I don’t do nearly as much exercise as I should but I am definitely maintaining a better balance of classes. I attend Zumba 1 to 2 times a week depending on my work schedule and sometimes do home yoga/HIIT sessions, as well as regularly going for walks. I’ve started to walk in the nice weather when I am in work on my lunch as well to get me out of the office and keep me active during the day.

Broaden healthy eating/recipes

Snacking is definitely something I have cut back on again, but finding new and healthy snacks has been a big part of my year so far. I have given up bread for the majority of the time so we’re having to find and think of new ways to cook and things to eat, so slowly out recipe repertoire is expanding, and what we eat is becoming a tad more varied. The thing is we know what we like, so why stray too much? We’re trying though, which is the main and important thing, and with my diet still going strong, I am aware variety will help.

Travel more in the UK

I haven’t travelled loads around the UK recently, but we’ve made some strides in going to new places/revisiting places. In the last couple of months I have been to Chester twice to do different things, and we’ve been to both Cheshire Oaks and Chester Zoo, so they count. We probably need to see more places and do more things, but we’re seeing and doing more than we have done before so it’s a step in the right direction.

Complete 5 things from my Bucket List/30 Before 30 list

I, erm, I haven’t really looked at these lists recently, never mind looked for things to cross off, but there is room for improvement, and I could certainly try to cross some things off, or set the wheels in motion at least.

Adulting

Save at least £100 every month

Before my last check-in I wrote a savings update post that details some of the strides I am making in both saving money, and understanding the complexities of the ways to save money. I’m starting to think about saving for a house, and I am also saving for some big holidays over the next few years, so saving is a huge part of my life at the moment and I am definitely saving more than £100 a month through different methods.

Sort my papers, bills, and important documents into a file

I kind of did this during a big room clean in April, and although my room has fallen into a slightly untidy state again of late, my files and documents are now in two files/boxes, all neatly in one area. There is some more sorting that needs doing for sure, but there are less important documents floating around the house, and things are much more ordered.

Tidy, sort, clean, and maintain my bedroom

I guilted myself into acting on this a couple of months ago by writing a Spring Clean post. I really worked on my room, and until a couple of weeks ago, it was really well done. I had sorted everything, cleaned, tidied and even finished decorating patches of it and it looked great. In the last couple of weeks it’s just been a slippery slope to messville but I can feel that I can’t cope with it much longer, so I am going to have another sort out in the next few days.

Tidy, sort, clean, and maintain the house, and do the decorating odd jobs I have been meaning to do in 2017

Again, this is by no means a finished article, but we’ve tried to look at things we need to do and finish them. The dining room has been sorted a few times, we finally got rid of the stuff we didn’t need (mainly cardboard), although every time we tidy it more stuff seems to accumulate in there. I have definitely tackled some odd-jobs in the house, I’ve done my gallery wall and sorted bits and bobs for car boot sales. The back is where the action is happening of late. We finally have potted plants that have been alive for most of the summer, the weeds and buddleias have been removed, the wall painted with stabilising solution ready for a thorough paint job, and we have a proper outdoor washing line. Yes, we have a ways to go, but it’s getting there slowly but surely.

Don’t waste time

I still sit on the couch a lot more than I should, but I think both Emma and I are getting better at trying to not waste time completely. We all need downtime, so we still sit on the couch regularly and have periods of inactivity, but we have reading and blogging and jigsaws when we’re in the house, we try to get out and do more things (even if it’s just shopping, eating out, or a cinema trip) and are definitely walking more in the parks and waterfront.


Overall

Well that’s half a year gone, done, finito, and it’s not been too bad. Yes, there is a lot of yellow but then that should be expected considering we have 6 months of the year to go and to crack on with my resolutions. It’s very unsurprising that I am doing really well with my reading challenges, and not really that surprising that I have decided to amend a number of them (I still need a bit of a challenge!) I am struggling a little with blogging, but it’s getting there.

Personally, I am doing alright. I have succeeded in getting to 2 stone lost, and I am getting into a routine for exercise. The weather is nothing short of glorious right now, and if I am honest, I’m finding it a little stifling but trying to make the most of it. The weather this summer has been pretty good so far, once all those stupid storms had stopped. I’ve been getting out a lot more in the sun for some walks, and I’ve found a good walking route around work that fits in my lunch time break so I can get out and about a little bit to break up my working day.

Yes, there is definitely things to work on, but there is always is and there is half a year to complete more challenges.

Have you made any goals or resolutions for 2018?

How are you finding them, and have you achieved any yet?

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