Ah yes, January, the month of good intentions…
I try to avoid making ‘resolutions’ as such – I never stick to them and often that ‘failure’ makes me feel bad. But I have made some goals to aim for through the year – some are for the year but most are just for this one month, and I will compile another list for February. Because life isn’t the same all through the year, and my aims and targets are going to change as well, that’s just how it goes.
I’m hoping this more flexible approach will be successful and hopefully help me build up some good habits and routines as well as have some fun.
For this month I have tried to keep it pretty simple – January is long, and cold, and dark – I don’t want to feel overhwelmed before I even really start.
Obviously, I have set my reading target for the year (75 books, in case you missed my last post) because that’s a thing I always do but other than that, most of my other goals are less rigid.
I want to try and get out and about more – mostly as a form of exercise but also because being outside helps me clear my head and feel a bit more contred and calm. This is my ‘get fit’ resolution, I guess, but instead of being a set thing I am just aiming for four 45-60 minute walks a month (or something else equivalent).
So far this month I have hit that target by taking myself for a walk round the nature reserve after dropping the kids off at school in the morning a couple of times a week. Basically taking the route I walk Poppy the dog on when she comes to visit, which is about 55 minutes give or take, depending on how long I spend stoppping to watch wildlife/how many fallen trees I have to clamber over/how deep the mud is. (The mud is currently extra muddy… I have almost fallen over more than once.)
I even went this morning when it poured with rain, although I should clearly have waited and gone this afternoon because it is now gloriously sunny. Of course. Sigh.
Talking of getting outside, Amber also likes her dose of the great outdoors and I haven’t been taking her out as much for the last few months – partly because of the weather but mostly just because it sort of slipped my mind once Autumn and then Winter really settled in. So one of my other aims is to make sure she gets a good run around in the garden at least once a week – more fresh air for me, and entertainment for her.
I want to keep up my social activities and not let them slide. The board games and D&D group I go to fortnightly never fail to make me laugh until I cry, even on the weeks that I don’t think I want to go, Smut Club is the perfect excuse to eat cake and talk books with friends, and helping at Cubs is becoming something I enjoy more than I ever expected. I am even planning on going on camp with them this year!!
My anxiety and depression made me struggle with social activities for so long, that I have an almost instinctive drive to avoid them now ‘just in case they make me feel worse’ – it has been quite a while since that happened. And, actually, I think it would be okay if I did have a day of struggling – I don’t think anyone would mind if I had to leave early or something because, it turns out, people aren’t all terrifyinbg monsters… they’re mostly quite nice.
Friends are nice. Weird, huh?
The next one is a joint goal with Tori – I am going to pick one recipe a month for her to make for us all to try and teach her some basic cooking skills and increase her self-confidence… and help me get over my horror of kids helping in the kitchen.
We started simple this month – she has been making pasta bake for dinner once a week. Easy enough, not too many ingredients, simple to adapt in different ways (adding peas/ham etc), and gets her using the oven which has always scared her a bit.
She is loving it, and I am doing okay too. Only a bit of having to stop myself from taking over entirely instead of all the time.
Hopefully by the end of the year she will have 12 recipes under her belt and a set of skills that will come in useful for the rest of her life, and I will get the odd night off from cooking for everyone!
On the theme of food, I am trying to get back into meal planning and cooking properly again after letting the good habits slip for the last few months.
I might even start blogging the plans again sometimes, because I want to try and blog at least 3 times a month as well and it kills two birds with one stone then!
Do you have any go-to recipes/cook books that you think I should try out? Last night I made butter chicken with rice, naan, and homemade saag aloo and it went down surprisingly well with the kids (apart from the ‘saag’ bit, granted, they just peeled the spinach off everything and ignored it…)
I am also trying to organise my Usborne book selling a bit more – having at least one online Book Party every two months and being more active and interactive across social media regarding it. Look out on the blog FB page for invites to the parties – there are games and prizes and, of course, lots of lovely books to talk about/buy as presents or for yourselves.
January specific goals include a couple of bits that need doing in the garden, figuring out and implementing some sort of system to keep my emails under control, and making a dent in the backlog of podcasts I have to listen to. I have been binging on several months’ worth of The Cabinet Of Curiosities for the last week or so and was very amused when Hawkestone Follies came up in an episode the other day. I might have actually squeaked out loud in surprise when that happened!
Do you have any resolutions for the year? Or just goals for this month?