I’m not really a one for ‘resolutions’ as such. But I do love the opportunity that a new year represents. A chance to maybe do things a little differently, or continue with things that have worked well in the previous year. It gives us chance to reflect on our lives and highlight areas that, in improving, might make us more content.
I think that is what my goals for this year are focused on – contentment. I have never really suffered with anxiety before the last year, and it is horrible! I want to shake it, and feel content and peaceful. I know it’s a big ask, but if I can start to make little steps towards that, then that’s better than nothing.
That’s going to begin with this – acknowledging some of the things I’d like to do and achieve over the coming year, to lead me closer to contentment.
Last year, I was either antenatal or postnatal! I think I can finally say I’m out of the postnatal phase, now Sienna is 7 months old. So, I want to focus on my body again. I don’t particularly feel ‘healthy’. And I don’t think my body particularly looks ‘healthy’ either. My body confidence is at an all time low, which I guess is quite typical after you’ve had a baby. I’m planning to up the exercise. Not just to shift weight and tone up, but for my health too. I do think fitness is so important, and a good example to set for our children. I certainly ended the year doing a good bit of exercise and want to continue with that, making sure I’ve done at least 4 workouts of some means each week. I do twice weekly bootcamp sessions, so that means doing another two sessions on my own. YouTube is now my go-to source of home workouts. I got a kettlebell for Christmas, so am enjoying doing some kettlebell workouts, and also love HIIT (high intensity interval training) for how much it makes you sweat in such a short time!
While I did great with exercise towards the end of last year, I wasn’t so good with the eating. I do eat healthily overall. But, there’s those little extras that creep in each week that mean, while I may be maintaining my weight, I’m not losing any. Glasses of wine, the odd bar of chocolate, take aways and meals out. I don’t want to restrict my life through a ‘diet’. I just want to cut out more of the treats, though still allow myself the odd one. Again, upping the fruit and veg is always a good idea for health anyway. And I’m blessed with a rubbish metabolism, thanks to an underactive thryoid, so it is especially important for me to be conscious of what I’m eating and how I’m burning it off.
The second part of last year was all about adapting to life with two children. I think I’ve kind of got it sussed now! My anxiety definitely got in the way of me doing more with the girls. I was constantly worried (and still am) that Ella will run off, run in to the road, etc. and I think it has stopped me doing some things. The only way I’m going to break through this fear, is just get on and stop thinking about it! The more we get out, the more the fear will disappear. So, more playgroups and soft play visits. And more trips to different parks and different walking routes with the dog. Ella no longer naps (sob!!), though does go to bed much easier at night (yay!!), so I’m going to make more of the time with her when Sienna is napping. Playing together, or even curling up together and watching a film.
And I want our weekends to be a bit more planned. All too often, we get to Saturday lunchtime, and still have no plan for what to do with the day. I think it can lead to a bit of lethargy and we end up doing very little. I’m all for chill out time, in our PJs, not doing much. But I want to have an activity planned for both Saturday and Sunday, whether that’s for the whole day, or just an hour out walking somewhere.
I’m slowly getting back in to work after maternity leave. I have been doing the odd bit here and there, but with no childcare for Sienna, have found it difficult to get much done. I have only worked 2-3 days a week since having Ella, and plan to continue with this. I really love being able to balance work with spending time with my girls, and it’s one of the big advantages of running my own business. I wasn’t going to do anything until February, but have sudden itchy feet to get on with stuff! So, Sienna is now with my mother-in-law one day a week, and will start nursery for another day in February. I want to try new things in the business this year, more online stuff, vlogging and online courses. And, I want to keep on top of everything, particularly the accounts, which have always been the thing that have made me the most stressed when it comes to running my own business. I’m moving accountants, and I think it’s a positive move in reducing this stress.
I’ve loved blogging more in 2015, and I plan to continue this with at least three posts most weeks. I love to write. I love to get down my thoughts. And it definitely is a form of therapy. I always feel better after I’ve had a good writing session! The difficulty now is when to do it. I don’t really like having the laptop on my knee at night. I don’t want the blog to interfere too much with my working days, though it is a welcome break for half an hour if I’m working from home all day, to write a post. I used to blog while both girls were napping but, now Ella no longer naps, that’s out! I think I may try and find time on a Saturday and Sunday, when Sean is here to entertain the girls. Maybe when Sienna is napping, and he can get some one-on-one time with Ella. And, I guess there will be the odd evening when I’ll have my laptop out.
I also want to make myself a little bit more known in the blogging community. I read so many blogs, but rarely comment. Another of my goals is to comment when I read a blog post. And to get involved with at least one linky a week, to help me find new posts to read. I also want to comment more on social media, instagram pics, and respond to other’s tweets.
I also want my photography in my blog posts and on social media to improve. I’m investing in a better camera, and am going to really commit to taking some great pictures this year.
I’ve never done any vlogging, but I’ve really gotten in to watching other people’s vlogs over the past couple of months, and I am itching to give it a go myself! So, I’m starting to put together a bit of a vlogging plan. Maybe an upload once a week. The vlogs will probably replicate a lot of what I talk about in my blog. Some will be me talking to camera, others might include the girls or trips out. I really like the idea of having our memories down in video format! I’m going to start this over the next few weeks, once I’ve got things back up and running with the business. I can’t wait!!!
Last year, I really got in to crochet, and I’m still really enjoying it. I started off making things for other people, but soon found that I was deadlining myself for something that should have been a relaxing hobby. So, I’ve given up on the idea, mostly. Instead, I’m just working my way casually through a blanket, and then will probably start another one! You can never really have enough homemade blankets to snuggle under, and I could always give them away to friends and family, or to homeless charities. It means crochet is back to being a relaxing way to spend an evening, as I’m not someone who can just sit and watch the telly, so would usually have my phone in hand instead, which is just not relaxing!
There’s my fitness too, and this blog, and hopefully vlogging. And I definitely want to read more. Maybe have a book on the go that I read for ten minutes in bed before going to sleep. I do miss reading, and often feel I have no time for it, when really I make no time for it!
I do have a tendency to get lonely. I think a lot of mums do. Particularly after having the second baby, when it’s not so easy to go to baby clubs. So, I really want to shake that feeling this year. I have lots of friends, but don’t make enough of an effort to see and speak to them. Some of them are at home in the Isle of Man, some throughout the UK, and fewer closer to me in Manchester. I’m going to plan more nights out, coffee dates with those who are free during the week, and trips to see those who are elsewhere.
And, I’d really like to make more mum friends in Manchester. There are a few sites dedicated to this now, and I have seen socials put together but have never plucked up the courage to go. Now is the time to find that courage!!! I can be really shy at things like playgroups, especially when a lot of the mums there know each other. But I want to at least try to spark up conversation, and maybe arrange play dates or such like. I feel nervous just thinking about it, but I don’t want to feel that my only company on my days off is my two girls. And they’d benefit from having other children to play with!
I am so unorganised. I constantly have things swimming round in my head that I need to do. I have loose bits of post lying all over the place. I’m last minute with birthdays. And I generally feel like I’m never even slightly on top of things. So, I’m starting at a simple level. I bought a day-to-a-page diary. This is going to be my go to for everything. I’m putting in birthdays, then a few weeks before, putting in to buy the present. I’m putting my lists in it too of things that need to be done. I have it to hand at all times, in my handbag, so I can quickly add anything that comes to mind. I’m hoping this will at least be a starting point, if nothing else.
I also want to feel tidier and less cluttered. We’re (fingers crossed!) moving to our new house soon, and will have more space and I want to utilise that to feel neater. I’m not the tidiest person, and I’ll never be someone who picks up toys before they’ve finished playing with them. But I want to go to bed at night, with the dishes all done and away, toys tidied, clean washing in wardrobes and not left lying around, a half full washing basket rather than a constantly full one, and a generally nice environment to get up to in the morning.
So, that’s it. Not too much to ask really is it?!! These are my goals, and I’m going to do my very best to achieve them all. I may even read this post every Monday morning to remind myself what I have set out to do! And here’s to a very content, peaceful and relaxed 2016!!!