At the start of 2018 I planned 18 things that I was hoping to complete during the year. Some habit driven, some one off events. It was based on Gretchin Rubin’s ‘Happier’ podcast.
- Practice meditation every day – I managed this for 8 months or so and then I felt the need to practice everyday diminished. I do turn to it when I am feeling out of control or if I am starting to become anxious. I’m also much better at spotting the anxiety signs and take a moment to stop and work them through. It’s also helped me clear my head of what does and doesn’t matter and allowed me to enjoy the moment rather than fretting about what I should be doing.
- Walk 1000 miles. I achieved this! I achieved this in August and must admit I lost enthusiasm a bit. However, at this point in time I am at 1481 miles, so hopefully will make 1500 for the year. This has provided me a benchmark and I am aiming for 1650 in 2019
- Keep a ‘good things’ jar. I saw this in ‘The Moment’ magazine. Another tick! I have a year’s worth of good things in a jar waiting to be unveiled on New Years Eve, as a memory of the things that happened during 2018 – and so for once I will remember that I have happy times to reflect upon, rather than just focus on the negatives.
- Visit Sintra. This didn’t happen. However, and we have already booked to go to Iceland in March of 2019. So whilst I didn’t specifically see Sintra, plans are in place to visit somewhere new – not quite in 2018 though!
- Learn to paddleboard. This didn’t happen. I have no excuses. I could say I didn’t have the time, I did – I just didn’t face my fear and get on and do it. My new slogan for 2019 is #whynotsayyes , so I have to say yes to this!
- Publish a crochet pattern. This didn’t happen. I decided it wasn’t important to me and that I was getting carried along with the belief that I should be doing this as part of my crochet diploma. I’m too slow and the kinds of things I like to make aren’t commercially viable – I will publish them on to Etsy and Ravelry and if someone buys them, then that’s great, but it’s no longer a priority.
- Slow down – I rush everything. I have definitely made progress with this. I’m not perfect and there is still a very long way to go – however, I am heading in the right direction. I’ve stopped over analysing every event, and every situation and am actually starting to enjoy myself, just seeing what might happen if I choose to enjoy myself!
- Enjoy today; plan for tomorrow – the same as above really! I’ve stopped planning for major events in my life! I don’t need to plan! I sometimes need to do a bit of a to do list – as much as anything so I can see that the list isn’t all that long, or all that important! It’s part of an anxiety coping mechanism – which works well. But the big dream stuff – that’s not for me!
- Buy one fabulous thing a month. Epic fail! But one that I might transfer to 2019 as I really do want to spend less and love what I buy more.
- Make all of the crochet characters in the Star Wars book. Partly completed! I’m sure they will get completed over time!
- Tidy up before bedtime. Getting better – not perfect – but definitely getting better and it is so nice to get up each morning to a tidy apartment!
- Make an effort with my appearance every day. A marginal victory! I stopped wearing ‘active wear’ and upgraded to jeans, but other than that, not a huge step in the right direction! Having said that, I have just had my hair cut short, and so it’s more important to put my make up on, which is the incentive I need. I also just prefer having short hair, which makes me happier about myself, which makes me more inclined to make an effort!
- Practice yoga twice a week. I did well on this one until November. And I love it. Unfortunately, the timings of classes, and logistics haven’t worked out in November and December, but I am definitely looking forward to getting back to yoga. I discovered the kind of yoga I enjoy the best, and identified a number of instructors that I love so will keep this up. I’ve also noticed how much my hips and back have started to ache again since I stopped.
- Go for two good walks a week with my husband each week. We both enjoy walking and spending time together. We tried – I think we probably made one a week!
- Reconnect with an old friend. A massive tick! I actually started to reconnect with old friends and even relatives. And guess what, not one of them was rude or nasty – who’d have thought! And I’ve really enjoyed getting to know people again and do appreciate how much time I’ve wasted letting my insecurities get the better of me!
- Make a new friend. I did this too! And I’m off to meet her in London in February! Very excited!
- Bake a new cake per month. Another epic fail! Not helped by the discovery that I don’t react well to white flour which is the constituent part of most cakes! Husband is lovingly trying pastry with wholewheat flour and I am going to try making some wholewheat scones – so maybe it does need to go on to my list for 2019 – to identify sweet treats which are free from white flour!
- Learn pottery. Throw a pot. Being a girl from Stoke-on-Trent I think this is something I should at least try! I tried. I enjoyed it. But you need to go regularly and I’m just not in a position to do that.
What have I learned from this? That I can change my habits and that a lot of what has held me back in the past is my own insecurities and that I need to stop listening to my inner critic.
I also learned that several items on the list weren’t particularly realistic and that it was highly unlikely that I might have completed them within the year. I’m hoping to carry this forward into 2019 as I make my new list.
Some of the things I started this year I will definitely carry on in to next year as they have become habits and activities that I genuinely enjoy and would miss. Some I might just keep as they forced me to do things I might otherwise not have done – like make a new friend. That is possibly the most rewarding thing on the list and it would be a shame not to aspire to achieve that again. I’m off to draw up my list and I’ll share it with you when it’s complete!!!