I had August off from setting new goals or writing about them. I didn’t have August off from sticking to them. In fact August has been a really good month, which is mostly about having a week off work and a birthday. So let’s recap the big goals and where we were.
- Decoration. In 2016, I need to paint the bathroom, bedroom and living room again. I’d like to tackle the bathroom before June but the other rooms will have to wait until I have full use of my foot again! I haven’t done any of this, I think this is going to have to wait until after the summer because right now, the allotment is where most of my time and money will go.
- De-clutter. I want to have another clear out of the cupboard of doom and have a serious look at what’s in the kitchen. Kitchen was done in January and the cupboard of doom is more tidy than I thought my current plan is do this when I have a week off in August, because one of things I really need to do is sort out some more suitable storage for things like the spare duvets etc
- Deep cleaning. I will assign a weekend every three months to deep clean the flat. In this weekend I will scrub the floors, clean the oven and windows and all that stuff I’m not good at remembering to do! This is going well, the flat is tidy and at time of writing I have a clean oven, defrosted fridge, clean windows and floors!
At the end of August this is all as it was, I didn’t get to the cupboard on my week off and everything in the flat is pretty clean and organised. I did notice that because I am trying my very best not to buy new clothes and to use what I own that the chest of drawers in the bedroom is becoming more organised. This I think will go into Sept’s Little Goals list.
- Tracking. I’ve been using a spreadsheet, that Ma (the queen of the spreadsheets!) helped me set up. It tracks what goes in and out of my bank account and what’s left. It also helps me plan for the year. In 2016, I will be consistent about using it. I’m totally on the tracking thing. Still there, I still don’t have any money but I know how much money I don’t have!
- Food Budget. This one is already in play, in 2016 I will set a food budget of £15 a week and I will record my spending and eating on this blog each Tuesday. Any money I don’t spend each week will go into the change jar, which is sealed and won’t be opened until 1st December 2016. I’m still doing well with this, the allotment has helped because there is loads of food (mainly courgettes) coming from it so it’ll be more of a challenge as we go into autumn.
- Overdraft. I have one and I want it gone, so I will pay it off in 2016. My overdraft is still halfway gone and I’m ok with that. It’s been harder to get it down in the second half of the year because my rent went up. I’m going to start trying a bit harder in Sept but I’m not going to be devastated if it doesn’t happen this year.
- Credit Cards. I won’t use them in 2016. I reserve the right to use them in an emergency but I can’t plan for those… Less success with this target, they have been used, it was sort of a family emergency and I’m not saying anymore than that!
BODY AND MIND
Home and finance all contribute to how I feel about myself but the focus of this category is on health, exercise, mental well being and ease of living.
Walking . Walking more was a game changer for me in 2015 and I want to get back to that, obviously that will depend on how my foot recovery goes. So I need to have small, long term goals for this, a) by the end of March 2016, I would like to be walking either to work from Paddington Station OR from work to Paddington Station, that’s about 35 minutes a day. b) by the end of June 2016 I would like to be walking both ways and getting my 10,000 steps a day. I’m calling this one, it’s not happening (and I lost my fitbit at the allotment!). I will make an effort in the winter to walk to Paddington from work but at the moment, between the allotment and the pollution walking is not happening because I don’t have time and I can’t breathe. Body Balance. I love doing this when I do and my work gym membership resumes in July. So I’d like to go to one class a week in July and August and then resume 2 classes a week from September.This isn’t going to happen. I don’t think my foot is at all up to it and the money for gym membership is for this year going to be used on the allotment. That’s how it goes but I’m shelving Balance and will look at it again in 2017.
- Yoga. The evening routine is good for me so by the end of February, I want to be doing this at least twice a week. Funnily enough without the goal, I’ve achieved this in August. It might be because I put it out of my mind but I think it’s more because the increased time at the allotment has made my muscles tighten up and things hurt in a way they didn’t when I do yoga, so I started doing 10 minutes before bed, so that I could sleep and get up in the morning, without shuffling and staggering about!
- Volunteering. I want to start attending the volunteer allotment days in June and this year use the two CSR days work gives me. I’m sure that my Mum can find a use for me either at the foodbank or the homeless project! I’ve managed to miss July & August (I don’t know what I was doing in July but it was my birthday for the August one!) days and I’ll miss Sept because I’m in Watford to nephew-sit. However, I’ll be back in October, Ma will probably need assistance at the Food Bank after Harvest Festival and I’ve also volunteered to marshal at the Ealing Half Marathon at the end of Sept.
- Books. The 12 book target was good but restrictive last year, I’m going to give myself a bit more leeway and have 24 books this year. I’ve bought 15 books so far this year (I went a bit crazy in August!)
- Work Uniform. This year I want to have a work uniform, but not use it as an excuse for buying more stuff. I need to wear office clothes 4 days a week so I will create 6 outfits for work make sure that 4 of them are clean and ready to go for Monday morning. This is still one of the best ideas, I’ve ever had and it works brilliantly for me, although I’ve had to be a bit more creative over the summer as clothes I love (looking at you linen shirts) have got to the great clothes bin in the sky!
Word for the year
I picked the word authentic at the beginning of the year and although I’ve been working it into how I do things, I really haven’t unpacked that here, so I thought I’d do that now!
Do I feel that 2016 so far has been about being authentic? Yes.
The reality of being single in a world of couples and families is that sometimes, even if they don’t realise it, people in couples and families don’t consider the life and dreams of single people as valid. (Like the Christmas I was told that I was brave because I bought a Christmas tree, even though I didn’t have a family of my own!). It’s not intentional and it’s not malicious but it means that I have to define what it important to me and demonstrate to others that although I want to be a friend and support them when I can, I can’t, won’t and shouldn’t prioritise them over the life that I have.
My worry has always been that I’m not enough and that if I’m not supporting others then I have no value. That concern honestly fell away last year but some of the behaviour remained and this year has been about stripping some of that out and not being worried about it. It’s not that I don’t want to support the people in my life as I am supported by them, I do (I’m not a monster!) but I have put myself in the list of people that I need to support. So while I do still see and support my friends, I’m also honest about the capacity I have to do that, which means that if I say I’m going to do something I actually have the energy for it!
Being authentic has helped me be a better friend because I’m not flaky and resentful because I’m not doing anything I don’t have the emotional energy for. Equally, I’ve stopped stressing and trying so hard to be liked, I’m a good person (more or less) and it’s honestly not a problem if I’m not someone’s cup of tea, I like who I am, my family (mostly) like who I am and that’s enough.
So August is almost over and we’re heading into the last four months of 2016. Anything anyone wants to cross off a list between now and December?