So we all know January is the year of the ghastly 'New Year, New Me' mantra, and as much as I think the whole thing is ridiculous because, let's face it, most of us bail after the first week or so of that new diet, there is undoubtedly an element of wanting to start afresh when a New Year comes along. Personally, I don't really think of these things below as NY Resolutions; I'm seeing them as new lifestyle choices, some that I've already been doing but need to be more consistent with, and some that will require a bit more motivation. Anyone else who's life is a juggling act of working a part time job, Motherhood and running a home, combined with desperately trying to keep in regular contact with friends and family, maintaining a relationship, remembering to take care of yourself AS WELL as maintaining a blog and staying up to date with the industry, will certainly understand that all of this is no easy feat, and it's inevitable that some things will eventually slip. Anyone ever seen the film 'I Don't Know How She Does It'? Well sometimes I do feel a bit like SJP's character, where I'm trying to do it all and something sooner or later is going to suffer because of it. So one of my biggest 'resolutions' if you like, is to stop beating myself up about what 'shoulda, woulda, coulda'; so what if I left the flat a mess today? I'll sort it tomorrow! Oh well I missed out on that press event, but they'll be plenty more in a few months time. I think to have this mentality, will make me a lot less stressed and able to focus more of my energy on what's important like spending quality time with my Son. I also need to focus more on myself; that's not in a selfish or narcissistic way, but as in eating, sleeping, exercising etc. It's so easy to neglect even the simplest of things when you're a busy Mama, and when Bubba's gone to the land of nod all you feel like doing is vegging out on the sofa watching mindless TV, when in fact, that's doing absolutely nothing for your mind, body or soul! I plan to use my free time more wisely from now on.
So I think that's enough whittling on from me, here's (quite a long) list of what I endeavour to change, not just for 2015, but hopefully for the long-haul...I feel like saying 'A resolution is for life...not just for the new year..' hehe.
Drink more water - This really is such a simple thing, and something I dip in and out of constantly, but I know how much better I feel when I'm more hydrated and swap a sugary glass of squash for H2o!
Take vitamins - I don't eat fish, so I do need my vitamins to make sure I'm getting enough iron, and until I become the nutritionist fanatic spoken about below, I don't eat 5 portions of fuit & veg a day either, so I think multivitamins will definitely help my energy levels. I've started packets countless times, I'm just not the best pill popper so generally forget after a few days and it breaks the cycle! So this one is really more about REMEMBER TO REMEMBER STUFF.
Eat healthier - I know this is practically on everyone's lists, but it's a biggie for me. I ate so well when I was pregnant and for a good 6 months afterwards, I want to get back to that. I'll never be one to cut out crisps and cake and cream tea completely, so I'm not going to set myself unrealistic goals where I'm likely to fail. I'm merely just going to add more fruit and veg to my daily diet and cut out Dominoes deliveries...a bit. This combined with more water intake and a bit of exercise will already make me feel less sluggish, and who knows, if I start off slowly I may get really into it all and start a full on health kick and turn into a nutritionist fanatic! I won't count my chickens just yet though..
Cook more/ learn to cook - This is linked to eating healthier. I have never been much of a cook. I always wanted to learn and it was my plan to at Uni, but copious amounts of rose wine & McDonalds got in the way of that - oh and the workload! Then I planned to after graduating, but furiously hunting for my dream job and then actually landing a (non dream) full time job, got in the way of that. Then I said I'd learn before I had children. The 9 months of my pregnancy just flew by..so..that got in the way of that. Anyway, now Theo is a proper, walking, talking toddler (where did my baby go!!??!) and is eating adult meals, I want him to have the most nutritious meals possible, which is more motivation for me than my own health and wellbeing, but hey, it's motivation nonetheless! I have a stash of cook books just waiting to be explored, but it always seems there just aren't enough hours in the day once I'm home from work, got Theo fed, bathed and ready for bed, tidied up, got organised for the next day, washed up, had a bath etc etc, to actually learn anything; so if I'm doing the cooking (which I'll be honest, is very rare), it'll always be something easy like jacket potatoes or pasta. Dan will usually do the cooking and he's very good, and isn't afraid to experiment with things either. So really, I should take advantage of having my very own personal chef and take the time over the weekends, when we're both off and don't have plans to go here, there and everywhere, to do the cooking together, instead of lounging around! I will become a Masterchef, even if it kills me!!
Exercise - I've wanted to try Pilates for ages and I've just enrolled on a course 2 minutes down the road from me, on a Thursday evening, so I'm very excited about starting that! I've always been interested in keeping fit; whether I've done it or not is a different matter, ahem. I've always been fortunate enough to have quite a slim build, so throughout my teens and early Twenties, I realise I definitely took that for granted to mean I could stuff my face with whatever I liked and not have to worry about putting much weight on. Well, I can tell you now, with my 25th Birthday looming and having had a baby, that concept is a vague and far away memory now! Where I would once grace the gym with my prescene on the odd occasion to merely tone up my tummy, I now actually want to lose a bit of weight from most areas - something I've never actually had to do before! Now I'm by no means overweight, and to some this will seem preposterous, but since having had my precious Son, I have lost a bit of body confidence, and with a holiday (hopefully) on the horizon this Summer, and generally just to start feeling better about myself again, I'm going to do something about it. I may sign up to the gym as well as pilates, but I've always loved the calm and serene surroundings of the water and find swimming not only great for exercise but also to unwind, so I'm leaning more towards taking that up alongside my pilates course at the moment, I'm just researching the best/ cheapest places to go!
Go to bed earlier - I am too guilty of wasting time scrolling through all my social media accounts, or watching rubbish TV before going to bed, and before I know it, it's 2 hours later than I planned to even get ready for bed and coming up for midnight! My Mum has always told me the sleep you get before the morning is so much more beneficial; so if you go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6 is actually better than going to bed at 1 and waking up at 9. The older I've got, the more I've realised this is actually true...we all know 'Mum's know best'! Anyway, it's something to do with REM I think...who knows - Science stuff!? Plus for the past *foraslongasicanremember* Theo has been waking up in the night 1-3 times, so I'm going to aim to get to bed ideally for 10 each night, 10.30 latest and 11 at the weekends, unless something spectacular is happening!
Better skincare - Something I've been meaning to do for a long time, because let's be honest, I aint getting any younger!! I've been waiting until I could afford some lovely new skincare products to motivate me; Dan got me a lovely Elizabeth Arden set for Christmas which I couldn't wait to try out and I've been using it daily for about 10 days now and I can already see a difference to my skin. I think I'll do a blog post on the products soon! This one is all about time keeping and laziness - it really only takes 5 minutes before bed to do it, but where I've got into the habit of going so late, I've neglected this simple task for so long, well no more! Flawless skin shall be mine.
Bake more - So this of course, totally and utterly and absurdly, goes against all of the above and my ramblings about becoming fitter/ healthier yada yada yada! But I baked a lot when I was pregnant and really enjoyed it, and miss it! So I'm going to do some, maybe once a month as a bit of a treat, and I'd love to get Theo involved too, then he can wear his cute little apron one of his 'Aunties' made for him! I might also start researching how to bake healthier cakes etc...watch out Mary Berry...
Listen to more music - I was making my Mum a compilation CD for Christmas and it occurred to me how much I enjoyed doing it as I was properly listening to music for pleasure; not just half heartedly to Radio 1 on the way to work, but proper, good music - properly! Don't get me wrong I love the charts and pretty much every genre of music (I'll give heavy metal a miss though, thanks), but I've got stacks of CD's from the likes of Counting Crows, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rolling Stones etc, that used to constantly be blaring from my stereo in my uni days, and I really miss that. With a toddler to look after 24/7 you do tend to get caught up in having Peppa Pig on a constant loop, but in actual fact, Theo really loves music and will dance as soon as he hears any, so I think he'd appreciate a little soft rock after a busy day at nursery. I love finding new and obscure music on YouTube too which is what I was doing for my Mum, so maybe I'll swap the soaps some evenings for a bit of perusing on the old t'internet.
Find one thing to be happy/ thankful for each day- I think this is a good way to not get caught up in the negatives of the day, to just reflect back at the end of each day and have a good think about what made me happy. I might actually turn this into a weekly blog post...
Read more - I do love a good book, but often find myself trying to squeeze in a chapter at quarter to midnight in bed with my eyes drooping every 2 seconds, just so I've gone to bed knowing I did something for me and hadn't just spent the evening tidying up. No. No more. I actually want to dedicate proper time (probably before going to sleep - I love curling up in bed with a book), to read where I'm not half asleep before I've even begun. This all fits in with going to bed earlier and being more organised and making more 'Me time' etc.
Spend wisely - This is all about just budgeting a bit better, buying less but buying better. I've got to that stage in my life where I'd rather save up for something a bit more special that's more of an investment piece; whether that be a bag or an item of clothing or footwear. It is hard however when you don't have masses amounts of money, and fast highstreet fashion is so accessible and cheap, to end up having a blow out on items I'll probably end up listing on eBay in 6 months time, or just not thinking properly and making impulse buys. I need to take the time to think about what my wardrobe actually needs and only buy that one thing, or if the case may be, save up for it. A wardrobe cleanse is on my to do list this week!
Save money - Again, it's hard when you don't have an A list celebrity's bank account, when there's bills to pay, a car to run, a family to feed and the odd purchase or night out to think about and all the little extras in between, BUT, it can be done and it will be done. Even if you can only save a tiny bit each month like I'll be doing, it's better than nothing, will make you feel good and we've all gotta start somewhere! I'd like to start saving for a mortgage, a new car, a holiday, a Mulberry bag etc, etc, etc. Time is of the essence!
Better time management - Never been my strongest point. This one pops up year after year, but I definitely think I've got a bit better with actual time keeping since Theo came along...maybe. This is more to do with planning when I'll tidy up/ do the washing/ make time for myself whether that be having a bath, blogging or just sitting down with a hot chocolate doing nothing.
Experiement with camera more - Something I've been meaning to do for yonks. I've always adored taking photos, but I've never been very good with the technical side of things (despite having a Fashion Photography degree...) my brain just doesn't soak it in! But I'm going to train it to be better and get me some fabulous, depth of field-y pictures!
Take more photos - for me - I want to get out and about with my camera more and start appreciating the beauty around us and capturing it. I'm so caught up on just using my DSLR for bloggy photos, that I forget to just take photos for me.
Write more on blog - The past few posts I've done have involved a bit more writing than usual (ok this one, a LOT more..) but I've really enjoyed it! I think I want to start incorporating more lifestyle posts, and a mixture of things that I love - that may be childrenswear, beauty, interiors, music, art or photography! I absolutely love styling and doing outfit posts, but they're not always possible to do with a toddler in tow, and when I started my blog is was a jumble of all of those things. I feel I may have lost sight of why I started blogging in the first place - it was an outlet to express my creativity and what inspired me, so I think I want to go back to my 'roots' a little bit. I'd like to post more frequently too, so allowing myself to include more variety than outfit posts, will enable this.
Stop comparing blog to others- This I must, must stop. It's so easy when you're surrounded by fabulous and hugely successful bloggers, but I have to remind myself of what I've achieved so far, that I'm not a full time blogger; I have many other important commitments, so to be proud of how far I've come and what I've learnt so far.
Start scrapbooks - I've got piles and piles of tickets, postcards, invitations and memorable literature dating right back to when I was 18, so I think it's about time I started that scrapbook! This also goes for Theo's scrapbook, and also taking the time to sift through my thousands of photos to print and get into albums - a hefty task, you may understand why I've been putting this off for so long...!
Learn First Aid: I can't quite believe that at nearly 25 years of age and a Mother, I do not know first aid. This should really be right at the top of my list!
Learn about my car: The same as above. When I got my car at 18 I vowed I'd not be one of these clueless girls, and learn the basics about my car such as topping up the oil, checking tyre pressure etc. Well, did that ever happen? No. I merely rely on my Dad to check my car every now and then when we see each other, which frankly is not enough. I don't check it before I go on a longer than usual journey. I need to get my act together and learn the simple stuff; I don't want to have to rely on men to help me!!
And most of all, don't sweat the small stuff! There have been far too many tragedies happening around the world lately to make this an obvious one. Whenever I'm sulking because I can't afford a Chanel handbag, or moaning about the heap of washing up to do, all I really need to do is turn on the news at any given moment, to put these things into perspective. Of course, it is human nature to think about ourselves and how rubbish things may seem at some point in our lives, so I'm not saying I'll never moan about something insignificant ever again, but I will spend less time worrying. I'll be sad/ cross/ annoyed/ irritable for a few moments and then swiftly move on; I will not let it stew and simply remind myself of how fortunate I really am.
I hope you've enjoyed this post - apologies it was such a long one, it wasn't meant to be! I guess I just have a lot to improve on...
I'd love to know some of your NY Resolutions?