New Year’s Resolutions: Are we on track?

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So, you might remember that at the beginning of the year I posted my resolutions for 2018. Now, the weather may be making us all feel like it’s still January but April is here and there is a hint of sunshine on the horizon. So, how are we doing with those resolutions? An essential part of sticking to goals is to regularly review them.  This way we can celebrate the successes, analyse the things that are not going so well and decide what to do about that. So here goes with my list:

1. Work on my Japanese and take the JLPT certificate

Progress: Not too bad. I’ve been gradually plugging away at my Japanese and I think I can register for the exam in June with a view to doing it in December. Still finding it tough but I’m motivated to carry on and that’s half the battle.

Action: Keep going. Maybe work more on speaking and not get too bogged down in the scary world of Kanji symbols.

Keep going

 

2. Practice more guitar and buy an electric guitar

Progress: Zero. I can honestly say I have only picked up my guitar once since Christmas and that was during a slightly wine-filled, emotional “I can play Eric Clapton” (honestly??) kind of moment. Don’t know why but it just hasn’t happened. I guess other goals have taken priority. But I still want to do this and there are still 9 months left to get going.

Action: Take a new approach. Dump Eric and switch to Rammstein (yes, honestly). Choose a couple of songs I really like to inspire me to practice more. And, take a trip to the incredibly cool “Cream” Frankfurt guitar shop (they sold a guitar to Elvis!) and look at the electric guitars. Oooooh, the power of shopping!

 

3. Knit a pullover for my dog Polo

Progress: polo new jumper

Action: None. If he gets anymore clothes he’ll need his own walk-in closet.

 

4. Learn how to knit

Progress: Successful workaround. Instead of knitting I discovered the wonderful world of looming (a kind of knitting for dummies). And I loomin love it! Never, ever imagined this could be my thing but in the last few weeks I have made 2 dog pullovers (first one had to be scrapped as it was way too small and looked like some kind of bizarre crop top), 3 hats (for humans) and I’m now working on a scarf. No idea who on earth is going to wear all this stuff but I don’t really care right now. Honestly surprised how much I’m enjoying it. Totally relaxing. If you fancy having a go, take a look at loomahat.com for some great videos for beginners.

Action: Keep going for as long as I’m enjoying it. Keep an open mind and be happy to let my goals take me in unexpected directions.

 

5. Lose 10 kilos

Progress: No kilos lost yet BUT I have gone back to the gym. And I’m happy to say it’s a friendly local gym with no green smoothies or Lululemon yoga pants in sight. Love my new functional training programme (picture lots of swinging around on ropes, crunches while throwing a 2kg ball at the wall)  and I’m totally motivated. I feel like freakin’ Rocky. And thanks to my super-duper birthday present from hubby I can listen to music without dragging my phone around with me and constantly faffing with my headphones. AirPods are amazing!

airpods

Action: This girl can. Stick to the gym routine and cut down on sugary stuff (but after the Easter stuff is eaten of course!)

 

6. Work on my cake decorating skills

Progress: Although I’ve done some baking since Christmas I haven’t done much decorating.

Action: Absolutely not worried about this goal. It involves cake and frosting. As good as done.

 

7. Learn Italian

Progress: Well I still love Benedetta but my Italian failed after about 3 weeks. I decided to give Duolingo a go as I’ve heard a lot about it, it’s the biggest language learning app in the world and I was curious. Honestly, very disappointed. Quite good for learning vocabulary but find it hard to believe that people really learn how to make fluent conversation with this method. Got bored, frustrated by the lack of grammar info and structure and gave up.

porto

Action: Adapt the goal. Learn Portuguese. Now this doesn’t mean I’ve given up on Benedetta totally but we have planned a trip to Spain and Portugal and I figured maybe I’d be more inspired to learn something I can actually put into practice in the near future.

 

8. Use my new slow cooker

Progress: Done. Made quite a few nice dishes and am very happy with it. For anyone out there looking for a slow cooker I can highly recommend the Morphy Richards Sear and Stew Slow Cooker

Action: Keep trying new recipes at least twice a month.

 

9. Book proposal

Progress: Now this a biggy and needs to be approached with the slice and dice method. One of the first “slices” I had to get through was setting up a blog and writing more. And of course, testing if anyone liked what I was writing and thought it was worth reading. Well, while my follower list is still tiny (remember you can add your email to follow me!), I’m getting a good amount of traffic and lots of positive feedback.

Action: Research potential publishers and their book proposal guidelines. Try to get something published in a magazine/on a website. Just writing that actually made me slightly sick with fear but it’s the next logical slice and it has to be done.

 

So, what’s the takeaway here?

Chicken fried rice please! No, seriously, reviewing progress is an essential way to reach, your goals.  Remember:

  • If your plan is working, give yourself a pat on the back, make sure you keep things interesting and push yourself to keep going.
  • If it’s not working, try to figure out why. Maybe you need a bit of inspiration or a new approach? Or maybe (like my Italian) you need to adapt the goal completely. Right now, Italian is not really relevant but Portuguese is. It’s still a new language, just a different direction. Be open to adapting your goals.
  • Accept (like my guitar playing or cake decorating) that you can’t work on everything at the same time and sometimes other things (like looming) can take over. But there is still time. I can’t keep making hats forever.
  • Keep working on the bigger goals using the slice and dice method. The big goals (like my book proposal) are best approached one step at a time to make them feel less overwhelming.

So how are you doing with your targets? Sometimes just putting your goals in black and white can push you to stick to them, so feel free to comment below and put yourself out there. I can probably loom some cheerleading pom poms and give you a cheer!

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