I started 2017 with a post very similar to this and I said this:
I’ve been thinking about goals and setting specific goals like I did last year but that didn’t quite fit. I still have most of the same aims, work on paying off my debt, stay employed, keep in control of the house, work on the allotment, be healthy. Life will change in 2017, it always does, but my needs and aims are pretty much the same.
Well everything changes and everything stays the same. Big things have changed, where I work for example. Redundancy has given me some time off, a new computer and it’s paid off 2 credit cards so I’m financially in a better place than I was. Mentally, I’m also in a good place and life is overall pretty good, it’s not always easy but it’s not always really difficult either!
So I start 2018, knowing that there are some things I need to do but feeling that it will probably be ok. Generally, I still need to focus on the things that I focussed on last year, money, house, allotment and health, those things won’t change and I’ll always need to focus on them, but I do have a couple of concrete aims for 2018 though, so here they are:
- Reading. I have a physical To Be Read pile of 35 books and about 85 books on the Kindle, this is clearly ridiculous by the end of the year, it needs to be no more than 20. Which means I need to read at least 100 of them!
- Menu planning. This year I slightly relaxed the food planning and therefore the food budget. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t ridiculous but, especially at the end of 2017, I didn’t really focus on it. I spent some time helping the folks at the food bank and I feel that I need to be more focussed on it. So I’m back to the £15 a week budget and proper menu planning and food prep.
- Household budget. I want to keep the monthly house budget at £40 a month. How household budget for me is consumables for cleaning the house and for me. So that’s laundry detergent, shower spray, rubber gloves, bin bags and so on, but it’s also make up, shampoo, moisturiser and so on for me. If I lived with other people, those budgets would be separate but it’s easier for me to lump them together and I tend to do a monthly top up at the beginning of each month for all of that stuff and depending on the month it’s in the £30 t0 £50 so £40 seems like a good middle ground.
- Saving. This one is tricky right now with the lack of permanent job but I want to do what I did last year and put something away every month.
- Health. 2017 was the year I really noticed my age. I sprained my ankle last year and it’s still not right, I ache more and my asthma has been worse. So more gentle exercise, more yoga, more walking, more healthy choices. More looking after myself.
- Make a will. I turn 45 this year. I’m planning on living a long life but I am aware that my Dad was 53 when he died and only one of my grandparents lived past 55. So even though I’ll have very little to leave to anyone, I need to make sure that everyone knows what goes where.
- Continue to declutter. Thinking about wills, I don’t want to leave lots of things to be disposed of. There are a ton of old diaries, journals and photos that need sorting out and I need to sort through that stuff now.
In terms of how I monitor this, some of it will be here because the blog does keep me accountable but whether I’ll update monthly, quarterly or at the end of 2018 remains to be seen. I’ll have to see how it goes.
I wasn’t going to pick a word for the year but last night it came to me. The word for 2018 is ‘grow’.Growing is something that we just do but the last year and a half of allotmenting has taught me that for growing to be a success, it doesn’t just happen. You need to plant the right seeds, you need to give them good conditions, you need to water them when it’s dry, you need to prevent them from being smothered in weeds, you need to harvest at the right time.
All that to say that growth doesn’t happen unless you work at it. My soil is good, I have good conditions for growing but this year I have to work on the other things in my life that make growth possible.
So grow in 2018 is about making sure that things can grow. Encouraging the discipline that makes growth abundant.