First of all, happy new year! (Is it too late to say that? I can’t quite believe it’s February tomorrow already).

This is my 2017 ‘Year in Review’ post, along with some goals for 2018.

I knew quite early on that 2017 was going to be a year of firsts, which was kind of unexpected. I guess as you start getting older, you have to try harder to have new experiences. Perhaps because you get used to things, or get in a routine, etc.

It was the year that my first close friend had a baby, I went to my first ‘friend’ wedding, took a giant leap forward in my career and also onto the property ladder. Overall, it was a pretty big year, but did I achieve all of the goals I set for 2017?

1. Get in the best shape of my life – this doesn’t mean going on a diet, it means exercise more, eat better and feel good ✖️

2. Lead a more natural life (no medicine, no vitamins, no supplements) ✔️

3. Read 24 books in 2017 (at least one book per month, which I’m writing for the third year in a row – although I read an average of one book per month, it wasn’t every month and that’s the challenge) ✔️

4. Say no to consumerism – perhaps the toughest challenge I have ever set myself – don’t buy any clothes, make up, DVDs etc for the entire year. One exception: I can buy one book a month for the #travelbookclub. It’s not about buying new things, it’s about buying things and wanting things. I was inspired to set this challenge after reading this blog post http://thetravelhack.com/travel-tips/unusual-ways-save-money-travel/ this also doesn’t include experiences so I still plan on going away, but I won’t buy ‘things’ while I’m there ✔️

5. Stick to my 2017 fiscal plan ✔️

6. Practice a new language for a minimum of 30 consecutive days ✖️

7. Visit 5 new places in 5 new countries ✖️

8. Commit or quit – my thoughts on blogging. So, I’ve had this blog since 2012 but I still sometimes struggle to post consistently. I want to post one blog a month for the year ✔️

9. Take a course/class – although I did this in 2016, I think I’d like to learn a new skill via a free course / online ✖️

10. TBC ✖️

Lessons learned:

Overall, I still believe in the process of setting goals and objectives, with the aim of achieving them in order to feel successful and stay focused.

Completing 5/9 of my goals was a great achievement, and looking at the challenges I didn’t complete has helped me to re-evaluate my goals for this year.

Sometimes my challenges are too broad, so this year I’m going to try to set more focused goals, or get more specific.

Giving up consumerism was one of the hardest, but most rewarding, goals. In the end, I bought one new dress (for the wedding), and one pair of shoes for a trip, but that was all. One of the unexpected side-effects of this challenge was the amount my general rubbish was reduced. As I wasn’t going out and buying things (clothes, DVDs, etc), I was using less packaging, less carrier bags, less plastic etc.

I didn’t complete my travel challenge, perhaps it was too ambitious, but I was pleased that I visited three new places in three new countries; Budapest (Hungary), Novi Sad (Serbia), and Seoul (South Korea).

Completing both the reading and blogging challenges was a huge relief because both have been on my list for ages!!! I was beginning to think I wouldn’t complete a reading challenge ever…

I also tried a ‘meat-free March’ challenge, which I really enjoyed! Picking challenges from different categories has certainly helped with variety in the past, and is something I’ve kept in mind this year too.

2018 Resolutions / goals:

1. Find a form of exercise I enjoy

2. Tick 3 things off my bucket list

3. Read 36 books

4. Join a club to increase hobbies and social activities

5. Reach savings goal for the year

6. Visit 6 UK cities I’ve never been to. Possible options: Glasgow, Liverpool, York, Durham, Brighton, Aberdeen, Canterbury, Chester, Bath

7.Work on friendships – this sounds vague but I spent the last year saving and not doing as much, or seeing friends as often as I would’ve liked

Have you set any goals or resolutions for the year ahead? How do you stay motivated?

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