Books, General, Travel

New Years Resolutions | 2nd Quarter Check-In

It’s the summer! The sun is shining, the days are long and bright, Wimbledon is on the TV, and we’re closer to this year’s Christmas than we were last year’s. The first 3 months of the year were not my best, and although I am not progressing like I’d like with my weightless/health journey, I think I’m not doing too bad half way through the year!

For the past couple of years, I have made a resolutions list, and then checked back semi-regularly to hold myself accountable and actually think about things to focus my time on. My 2019 Resolutions list is once again made up of a mixed bag of motivations that were supposed to be carrying me through 2019 in a positive and healthy way. I know that I haven’t had these in the front of my mind this year for a whole host of reasons, but also know that if they were, I would probably be making bigger strides than I am this year. I checked in at the end of March to see how I was getting on and definitely think I am doing better than I thought I would be.

My list is split up into sections, just like it was on my original 2019 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, same as I did last year, because it seemed to work really well!

Completed

On Track

Failing

Amended

Abandoned

Reading

Read at least 100 books

I definitely can say that not only am I on track with this target, but I should have finished it by the next check in because I am currently sitting prettily on 74 read books. I have read a huge variety of books this year and have enjoyed reading across genres and mediums. I have embraced reading for pleasure and not because someone tells me I should be reading quality of X genre or Y quality, and it has really worked for me!

Read 5 classics – Read 8 Classics

I am well on my to hitting my revised target because I have already read 6 classics at the half way point through the year. I have found a balance with inserting classics into my normal reading schedule which is working and both making me enjoy the classics more and helping me read a highed

Read 1 Austen/Brontë: I read (and actually relatively enjoyed) Northanger Abbey (you can read the review here). It has made me so happy to write this, because I know it was a relatively unfair hatred I had, and it’s a bonus that it has been crossed off my 30 before 30 challenge!

Read 1 Classic in translation: I finished and actually didn’t hate Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, which was a miracle overall really. I am pretty pleased with myself for completing it!

Read 5 Non-fiction – Read 10 Non-fiction

I have become quite the non-fiction reader and I am actually actively searching for more non-fiction books across multiple subject areas to explore and read. I actually really like listening to non-fiction in my car as I drive to and from work, and have recently bought quite a few more non-fiction books with the hope of smashing my revised target. At the time of writing, I am up to 7 non-fiction books and have plans to read another 3 or 4 at least this year!

Take part in, complete, and actively engage in at least 10 readathons/challenges: 

I love me a good readathon and have found myself doubling up month on month a lot more this year that in previous years. I think it goes against what I thought I would do at the beginning to the year but I am quite pleased it has happened. I have stopped taking part in a particular readathon just because I think I should or feel obligated to as I have taken part in previous years, and instead have embraced taking part in readathons that excite and entertain me, and where that didn’t exist, have made one up (Miserables May was a pretty big success within the small community that took part!)

Keep a reading journal

I love bullet journalling, and so my reading journal has been an awesome way to keep in touch with my reading progress and satisfy the urge to have a daily bullet journal (that I know wouldn’t be feasible in my everyday life). I probably don’t use it in the way I should and do sometimes let it lapse for a couple of weeks, but I have found it is helping me read more of my backlist/physical/eARC TBR and has helped me read more diversely in every sense.

Blogging

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

OK, I have loosely popped this as yellow, because I really do think that I am making strides to enjoy and invest time in my blog and putting out content I am more happy with on a somewhat regular basis. I would like to post daily, or every other day, but I have come to realise that sometimes posting content I am happy with content wise on a less regular basis is OK too.

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

Not gonna lie, this has gone a little by the way side, and while I am a little annoyed with myself about this, I do now realise that a large part of this is because I enjoy the online bookish community and contributing in some small way, whereas I talk physically to other people about travelling and life a lot more which means the urge to blog about these aspects is vastly reduced. I have a few travel posts I really want to get back to and write which will help towards it, and if I do decide that I want to go back to blogging about my health journey, then this will help too. I am not trying to force this as much anymore because that’s when it becomes a chore and I want to enjoy what I blogging.

Utilise scheduling

I have definitely made some strides to utilising blogging scheduling because I have found it helps me embrace the mood to produce posts and save them. I would like to make a better use of it, because it does help me put better content out on a regular basis, but I am pleased I am finally embracing the more organised blogging life.

Engage with the wider blogging/bookish/travel community

I am still quite rubbish about commenting on other people’s blogs because I don’t actually really read blogs, but I have started to try and engage with hosts and readathons and TBRs on blogs. I try to always comment back to things people write on my blog, and have definitely been communicating more on twitter with the wider bookish community – even engaging with authors on twitter (which has been thoroughly lovely).

Invest time tidying up my blog appearance/layout

I have loosely put this to yellow too because I have begun to slowy fix, change, and alter pages and menus on my blog to make them closer to what I want. I have tidied up the simple things on my blog and have updated my review pages to include all but the most recent of my posts. I have a long way to go but I feel like I have finally started to step in the right direction with this one.

Personal

Lose weight: 

This single resolution is by far the most important for me in 2019. I really want to shift some serious weight in 2019, and so far it’s going badly, if anything I have put weight on. I know there are things to blame (my back, work schedule) but really these are just excuses and I need to sort myself out. A recent health push in work has put this into focus a little more for me, and I really am getting tired of feeling like crap, so I am hoping to funnel this into a weight loss push in the back half of the year.

Exercise more

Read the above notation! I mean, yes, a push in June was made because my workplace were looking to Get Active as a whole and had a competition to up the amount of exercise that we were doing. I did a lot more and enjoyed it and remembered how much better I feel about myself when I am doing more exercise. I need to get back into a routine with this and do more, but I guess I am starting to get rid of self made excuses about my back and my foot because deep down I know that being more active and losing weight would help these too.

Travel more in and out of the UK

This is definitely something I can say has improved because since my last check-in I have had a day out in Milton Keynes/London, I have spent a weekend with friends in Cardiff, and have visited Moscow and St. Petersburg. In July, I am already booked to go to Edinburgh, a completely new city to me, and I have plans to go to London and see new things there with uni friends in September too.

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

My 30 before 30 list and bucket listI are something that I don’t actively think about too much, and that sometimes helps and sometimes hinders my progress. I have visited some new places this month in Europe, and have plans to visit more in the UK than I have done on the past couple of months. I have hosted a readathon, and feel like I am getting somewhere with my 30 before 30 list. My Bucket list is a little more challenging, but I have my whole life for that.

Craft more e.g. knitting, card-making, cross-stitching

I have done a little cross stitching recently, and noticed that Innocent smoothies have put out another call for smoothie bottle Big Knit hats, so as much as this is red at the moment, I feel like I will make a little progress over the next few months.

Adulting

Save at least £200 every month

I am most definitely on track with this. I have set up an automatic transaction that takes this amount out each month without me thinking about it, and have managed to save bulk amounts on top that have meant my savings pile is getting better. I am still aiming to buy a house in the next couple of years, so, every little helps in this respect.

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

Is everything in a file and neat and tidy. No, not quite. I have, however, had a MAHOOSIVE clear out in my room so I have hugely narrowed the amount of documents I do actually own down and think I now have everything in a single space to try and make things in my life a little bit easier. I still have things in piles, but they are more sorted and relevant than they used to be.

Tidy, sort, clean, and maintain my bedroom

Sigh, broken record time, because my room is a mess and I am not happy about it. C’mon Liz.

Tidy, sort, clean, and maintain the house, and do the decorating odd jobs I have been meaning to do in 2018

OK, we have big plans for the house this year and have made some strides to sort some things out and put things on the walls. The rest of the things we have planned have been put on hold until we get the kitchen done in November. Once that is done, we’re going to see what we take out of the dining room, we are debating turning it into a library type room to make use of the space. Big plans for the second half of the year that have been brewing since 2018.

Don’t waste time/Increase productivity

Erm, I mean I still think I do waste some time, but I’ve definitely made an effort over the past few weeks and months to do more things with my spare time. I have read a lot more, Emma and I have gone out and done different things in and around our area, I have written a little, I have blogged, and I have visited a few places. Still a lot of room for improvement but I’m definitely trying to improve this.


Overall

2019 is an odd year. It hasn’t started great mentally and physically and in some respects this hasn’t improved too much yet when it comes to my health, I have done a lot more and made strides to do things for myself to improve my wellbeing in between the start of April and the end of June. I am relatively happy with the lack of red on here and I am determined to make strides in improving the amount of green in areas that aren’t book related!

I really feel like the next quarter is a time to focus on my lifestyle. I think if I could get into a better routine with eating healthier, exercising, blogging, and doing things round the house, not only would I achieve a lot more resolutions, but I would feel a lot better about myself and certainly a lot more accomplished. As much as I have done more things in the last 3 months, I need to take that improvement and make strides to do even more and make more effort in losing weight and exercising again.

Let’s see what the second half of the year brings.

Have you made any goals or resolutions for 2019?

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

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