The traditional time for resolutions is at the beginning of a New Year. But why?
Obviously, there’s something about a calendar change. A new number to write at the end of the date. A fresh feeling perhaps? But we have new beginning everyday. The change between the 31st December and the 1st January is actually no different from say March 7th to March 8th.
In other words – I’m looking for an excuse to revisit my own resolutions and I don’t want to wait until some faux momentous moment to do so. After all, if nothing else, it’s my blog and I’ll resolute if I want to!
Back in January, I hadn’t wanted to write down my resolutions largely because they didn’t seem like that big a deal, but also because I didn’t want to feel bad if I failed. Telling someone else what you intend to do makes you far more accountable. I find that whilst this can give some people motivation, I just didn’t want the pressure!
What’s changed? Looking back at my scribbled notes from January – I have indeed succeeded at some of my initial aims but I also feel a bit lost. I’m definitely enjoying blogging, but when someone asked me a few weeks ago what my plan for it was? I had no idea.
It seems therefore like it’s time to set some resolutions:
My aim at the start of the year was to go self-hosted, get a more ‘distinctive look’ and to have more visible social media icons.
I have gone self-hosted (it was a pain in the backside), I’m really happy with my new design BUT if you’re viewing this on a tablet or mobile I bet you can’t see my beautiful social media icons! Scroll down on my homepage – they really are nice!
Resolution ONE – Get a theme that makes my social media buttons more visible. Anyone know how to do this? Suggestions would be gratefully received!
Many years ago now I complete a 365 Challenge to take a photo every single day for a year. It was really tough going but I learnt a huge amount over the year – including how to use my DSLR pretty effectively. I have upgraded my camera since then and actually had TWO exhibitions of my work – all before I had kids.
Since then, I’ve taken lots and lots of pictures of the kids… and a fair number of my friends’ kids. I actually did another 365 just of photos of Katie. My initial plan at the start of the year was to use my DSLR to take the photos for my blog instead of relying on my iPhone.
I think I have largely done this but should probably have it attached to my side a bit more often. I’m meant to be doing a 365 of Thomas too but life has been so cold and flu ridden recently, I rather suspect I’m failing a little.
Resolution TWO: Keep using my DSRL to take photos DAILY (it takes practice to take good photos!).
I felt at the end of the last year that I had become stuck in a reading rut. I love reading very much but I found I was spending all my time staring at a computer and hadn’t made time for actual books. Although reading (and commenting on) other blogs leads to no end of inspiration, I still felt it was important to feed my imagination in other ways too.
Mike gave me a Kindle Unlimited subscription for Christmas so I saw that as a challenge to get back into reading – although I appreciate the irony that this is still a lot of time reading a screen and not a physical book!
I think I’m doing pretty well with this aim as you can see from my monthly reading round ups from January and February. I’ve given myself a target of reading a book per week so it’s quite easy to say what my third resolution should be:
Resolution THREE: Keep making the most of my Kindle Unlimited Subscription by aiming to read 52 books this year.
At the start of the year I had barely tipped my toe into the various social media platforms available. Most of the traffic to my blog came through Facebook so I knew this was something I should examine.
My notes simply say ‘more on Instagram’ followed by ‘FB – variety!’. I’m sad to say Twitter didn’t even get a mention – let alone my new found loves of Stumble Upon and Bloglovin’!
I have to say that I have fallen head over heels for Instagram and now am quietly obsessed with photos of toys and flowers. I really want to have a beautiful stream and have been pouring over advice on a range of blogs. This is my big focus at the moment – so please do check out my stream if you’ve got the time! I’m working through a number of online courses and trying to put these into practise – it’s hard to get always get it right!
However, it seems logical that a mark of success on these things is the number of followers that you have. Whilst I could say I want to take photos for the sake of enjoyment, that’s not entirely true. I want people to look at them! I know you can buy followers and all that jazz, but to me I’d like to earn them by creating something that people want to look at.
Resolution FOUR: Have 1000 followers on Instagram by 31 December 2016
Following Christmas my ‘slow and gradual’ weight loss had entirely stalled. I had been aiming to lose 1lb a week and wanted to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight by the end of April – following the mantra ‘nine months on, nine months off.’
I was determined to get back on track and indeed by the end of January I was 4lbs down. Unfortunately since then, the kids have been sick, I’ve rediscovered the joys of a full cooked breakfast at The Haven, and I’ve been getting through sleep deprivation with a mix of sugar and more sugar.
I know I need to start swimming more regularly but as the days get lighter and as the weather improves it makes sense to get out and just walk more too. I have an exciting challenge relating to this but I don’t want to spill the beans quite yet…
If you’ve enjoyed reading my blog, I’d love to hear from you if you! It would be great to know if you’ve particularly enjoyed anything or would like to see something specific. I’m always open to new ideas!