Saturday, 23 January 2016

My 2016 Hopes, Plans & Goals

Another new year is upon us, and whilst I don't like to make resolutions (as I never tend to stick to them!)...I do like the opportunity to take stock of what's been achieved over the last year and how I could improve on it this year.

Goals & Hopes

My goals this year include finally taking (and hopefully passing!) my driving test - I started lessons again last year but was let down by the driving instructor and so those have come to a halt once again, why can't I find a reliable instructor?!! This year I'm considering taking a quick pass course as I have the basic ability to drive and just need to polish up on maneuvers to pass my test. 2016 WILL be the year I finally take a driving test for the first time at the age of 34!!!

I really want this to be the year that I start taking finances more seriously too. Let's face it I will soon be a mother of 3 - it's important that we have savings to fall back on as you never know what life might throw at you! I have to admit I tend to be very much a "Get it, spend it" kind of person...but I want to a more sensible approach this year.
I plan on making the changes by setting a monthly budget and making sure I stick to it for things such as grocery shopping and spending on the boys wardrobes (I tend to go a little OTT with my spends in those departments!) - I've been browsing some different guides to new year money resolutions online for inspiration, I'm really determined to succeed this time!

Travel wise, I intend to travel LESS this year - quite an odd goal to have, I know,  but I feel that last year we did too much travelling around the country - we had a total of 10 holidays and short breaks and therefore spent a small fortune on travel costs and spending money,  and although we had a lot of fun it was also quite exhausting - we only had one month out of the entire year when we stayed at home and we found ourselves just longing for a bit of normality instead of always being on a motorway heading somewhere else!

This year, with three small children in tow, travel needs to be placed further down our list of priorities - my intention is to stick solely with two holidays for the year. Our Norwegian Fjords cruise in May which is already booked will be our first one, and I'm thinking of the second one being either a UK based holiday toward the end of Summer - probably somewhere in Cornwall - or possibly another cruise to somewhere warm if we can afford it and feel it's manageable with a small baby in tow, we'll see how that goes.

My Health & Life At Home

Last year was eventful to say the least!

We welcomed our second little bundle of joy, Noah, on the last day of March after a very difficult pregnancy and my intention had been to get myself back to health once he was born - I'd come up against so many unresolved issues during that pregnancy, developing what seemed to be celiac disease and suffering with constant hyperemesis.

 I also suffered with an infected c section scar following his birth and struggled with some post partum depression as well as some serious anxiety and body confidence/happiness issues afterwards too.

And just at the time when I wanted to start focusing on getting my health back, getting myself back to a weight I was comfortable with, managing my Graves Disease and seeking help with it all - I found myself suddenly and very unexpectedly pregnant again only 7 weeks after giving birth to Noah.

Luckily this pregnancy has been a lot easier on me, with only minimal morning sickness and no hyperemesis - I also haven't suffered with the food allergy issues quite as much this time (though more so in the last month or so), and have generally felt more comfortable throughout which has been a blessing - but I do think that two pregnancies in such a short space of time will have left my body quite ravaged and so I feel the need to really dedicate 2016 to returning to health (And ensuring there are no more surprise pregnancies!!!!)

I have plans in place to do this, including seeking private medical care for my ongoing thyroid related problems after over 10 years of not getting anywhere with NHS care and in turn hopefully being able to get some control over my weight and return to a state of more comfort and happiness.

I have set myself some mini goals in relation to this, which I won't share now but will document as I go on.

I also intend to address my anxiety and panic disorder more fully this year, by returning to regular counselling or hypnotherapy sessions as I've found these so useful in the past.

As far as home life goes, I want to be more organised in regards to meal planning and household budgeting, and I feel the need to relieve myself of some of the strain - this year I'll be responsible for 3 small children as well as working full time from home and running the household - to take some of the pressure off I'm going to hire a cleaner for a couple of hours a week starting in January, just the thought of doing this makes me feel calmer and more in control of things so it has to be a good thing!

I've bought myself an Organised Mum life book to help me plan out my weekly shopping lists and meal plans, as the intention is to cook more healthy and fully home cooked meals (no more jars of sauces for bolognese for ease!) and keep to appointments (Something I'm truly awful at!) as there will be lots of them with a new baby in tow.


2016 was a great year for my blog over all - I feel that I put a lot of effort into writing my own content and I tried to take on fewer reviews than the previous years, which definitely worked for me.

I saw a big increase in my stats which was great, and also had a 55.5% increase in earnings from my blog over the year, which absolutely flawed me when I did the maths! I knew I was doing better than the previous year but had no idea how much so.

I don't like to set too many targets, particularly financial ones, as I fear that I may somehow jinx myself if I do so but if I can continue along the same vein with regards to financial gain and see a slight increase in stats in 2016 I will be very happy!

My goal overall is to take on less collaborative work and for the work I do take on to be better suited to my blog - I make no secret of the fact that I earn my living from this blog so although I'd love to be able to say I'll stop taking on sponsored work as that's whats best for my blog stats-wise, that isn't what's best for my family and that needs to come first  - so whilst I will continue to take on paid work I want to try to take on higher paid and more involved collaborations and do fewer of those, rather than do many lower paid guest posts.

I also struggle with saying "NO" - I find myself feeling obligated to say yes too many times because I somehow feel I should be flattered that a company wants to work with me, and therefore I struggle to keep up with demands being placed on me. I need to ensure that any reviews I take on are worthwhile and of high interest to myself and my family, and try to limit these as much as possible as last year I felt that I often struggled for free slots on my own blog to place my own content.

I also intend to continue to learn about photography and improve upon my abilities - I've only had a DSLR camera for 11 months and, due to baby having and pregnancy!, have obviously not had a lot of time to get to grips with it and properly learn how to use it - at some point this year (probably later on once things at home are calmer) I want learn how to use my camera properly by taking a short photography course.
So those are the plans for 2016! Here's hoping for a healthy and happy one!

I'd love to hear all about your plans too!!

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