This time last year, I set myself 18 goals for 2018. I reviewed my progress each quarter, and found that this really helped me to stick to them, as it gave me a little kick every few months, to keep me on track. I don’t really like New Year’s Resolutions, as I think they can be a bit of a fad and quickly become an afterthought. Goals, however, are more my thing.
I’ve tried to choose targets that are fairly easy to achieve, and measurable, to help increase my chances of completing them! Aside from number 19, of course, which is 100% wishy washy, but important for me to keep in the back of my mind. And number 5, which I hope will become more of an ethos, than a particular manifestation. Anyway, I’m rambling. So without further ado, here are my 19 goals for 2019:
1. Overpay the mortgage
Some of my goals are the same as last year as I enjoyed them so much, that I wanted to continue them into 2019! This is one of them. I’m so keen to be mortgage free, but we’ve currently still got around 20 years left on our mortgage. Every year, when we receive our annual mortgage statement, I almost choke at the amount of interest we’re paying each month, so I’m keen to reduce that by as much as possible. The best way to do that, is by overpaying the mortgage each month.
Every penny that’s overpaid is one penny that we won’t be paying interest on for the next 20 years. Last year, I aimed to overpay the mortgage by at least £5 per month. That target was pretty easy to achieve so this year, I want to increase that to at least £50 per month.
This is another goal that I’m carrying over from last year. We did declutter an awful lot before B was born, and I’m pleased with how the house is starting to shape up, but there’s still more to do. Now that B has moved into her own room, we need to focus especially on getting both her bedroom and ours into shape. B having her own room also means that we no longer have a spare room to dump ‘stuff’ in, so said ‘stuff’ needs to be organised to the nth degree, to stop us from living in a pigsty!
3. Meal plan
During the Autumn of last year, I decided that the freezer needed to be defrosted. As a result, I drew up a meal plan that continued for several weeks, in order to use up all of the food that was in our freezer. It saved us an absolute fortune! Obviously in part because we weren’t buying any meat, but also because I was only buying what we needed, rather than ‘general’ ingredients that we often didn’t end up using, and had to throw away. What a waste of money and food!
Consequently, I’m keen to continue meal planning in 2019. I doubt that this is something I’ll share too much of on the blog, as we tend to have a fairly similar repertoire of meals each fortnight, so it wouldn’t make for particularly inspiring reading! But it’s something that I’m hoping to keep going throughout the year, nonetheless.
4. Make our house a home
This isn’t our ‘forever home’, so I’m not ruling out moving house at some point in the semi-distant future. But for now, we’re staying put with our manageable mortgage, as it means that we can afford for me to stay at home with the girls during their preschool years.
When we bought this house, we bought it with the intention that we’d live here for five years, then move on. We weren’t even engaged back then, let alone married with two children, so we didn’t realise then how our priorities would change.
Well, we’ve been here for more than five years now, but I think because we’ve been so used to renting, we still haven’t really made many of those nice little personal finishing touches that really make a house a home. This is something that I’d like to address this year.
5. Own being a stay at home mum
I wrote an Instagram post about this at the start of December last year. Sometimes, I feel embarrassed to admit that I’m a stay at home parent, when I’m asked what it is that I ‘do’. I’ve decided that this needs to change. I’m a stay at home parent because that’s what works best for our family, and I shouldn’t need to apologise for that.
6. Visit the library every week
M loves going to the library, and it’s something that we don’t do enough. I’m forever getting irritating emails telling me that her library books are overdue. I’d also like to read more books myself, so hopefully this will encourage me to do that, too.
7. Create a weekly routine
At the end of last year, we had the unfortunate news that a place at our local nursery wouldn’t be available for M until her preschool year starts this September (we had been hoping for her to start in February). Because of this, I want to try to provide a little more structure to M’s week, along with some more learning opportunities for her. So, I’m drawing up a little routine of activities that we can do each day, whether that’s going to the library, attending a toddler class or doing a craft or learning activity.
8. Stop utilising the floordrobe
Okay, this is actually probably going to be the hardest thing of all for me to do! I am so guilty of dropping my clothes onto the floor at the end of the day instead of hanging them up and putting them away. I made such a difference to the house last year with all of the decluttering that I did, but my side of our bedroom is still messy because I’m too lazy to put my clothes away before I go to bed. This needs to change! I think I may need to declutter the wardrobe a bit further to make it easier for this to happen. It’s just as well that ‘declutter’ is still one of my goals, really!
9. Use the slow cooker at least once per week
I think this might be something that I work my way up to, as I don’t feel in any way prepared to do this, this week! But I do love the occasional days that I do use my slow cooker, as it makes the late afternoon before Matthew comes home and the girls’ energy levels are waning, so much easier. I think some research is needed as I currently have a grand total of one slow cooker recipe in my repertoire!
10. Keep on top of the washing
I often feel like my life is a never-ending circle of washing, folding and putting away clothes. But it’s even worse when it builds up and I have mountains of the stuff to sort out. So I’m going to try to keep on top of it all – I’m just not sure quite the best way to do that, yet!
11. Sort out B’s nursery
Last year, I had turning the spare room into a nursery on my list of goals. Well, it is now a nursery, and B is sleeping in it (well, mostly!) but there’s still an awful lot of stuff in there that’s left over from when it was a spare room (and, if we’re being honest, from when it was an office before that). My decluttering goal will definitely help with this one! I want B to have a proper nursery, that’s just for her.
12. Have the front door repainted
Last year, we gave our front ‘garden’ a little makeover, but for one reason or another, we never got around to having our front door repainted as planned. I was a bit sad that we didn’t put a wreath on the front door this Christmas, as we didn’t think there was really any point with it looking so scrappy anyway. So I’ve put this on my list of goals, to make sure that it happens in 2019!
13. Have my hair cut regularly
This is something that I had on my list of goals last year, and by the end of the year, it was happening and I felt so much better for it. So I’ve kept it, to make sure that it keeps happening throughout 2019.
14. Make Pondering Playtime weekly
Last year, I started my fortnightly Pondering Playtime series, where I created a little play and learning activity, linked to a picture book. This year, I’d like to make it weekly, partly because M enjoys the activities so much, and partly because, as I mentioned before, she won’t be starting nursery until September, so I think it would be good for her to have more of these types of experiences. It will take quite a bit of planning and organisation, but hopefully I can make it happen!
15. Get in front of the camera
I definitely improved with this last year, but it’s something that I want to keep up, going forward. Yet again, I don’t have any photographs of Christmas Day with me in them. I need to change this!
16. Have monthly date nights
I haven’t actually discussed this with Matthew yet, but I don’t think he’ll mind! When I say date nights, I don’t mean going-out-dressed-up-to-the-nines type nights out, but more making the effort to put our phones away and give each other our full attention. Even if it’s just playing scrabble, watching a film together or having a proper conversation about something other than the children. This isn’t something that we’ve done enough of, since becoming parents.
17. Reorganise and maintain clothes storage
Okay, so I’ve established that something needs to change so that I can get rid of my floordrobe. I’m not the only one in the house with a pile of clothes hanging about, though. It seems to be our preferred storage method! I am a firm believer, though, that if everything has a place, it is easier to keep tidy. So with that in mind, I’m going to reorganise all of our clothing storage, and try to create a home for everything. I imagine the decluttering will help with this!
18. Get out of the house more
I’m hoping that this will be aided by my weekly routine! But just in case it isn’t, I have decided that I’m going to make sure that we go outside, for at least a little while, every single day this year. Some days, that might just be putting on our coats and wellies and legging it around the garden in the rain, but it’s going to happen!
To assist with this, I’ve downloaded the One Second Everyday app, which my lovely friend Leslie from messyblog.uk mentioned on her Facebook page the other day. I intend to take video evidence of our outdoorsy behaviour, and knit it into a little video every so often. I think this might be more challenging than it sounds, especially when the weather is rough or we’re feeling unwell, but fresh air makes everyone feel better, so I’m going to give it a try and see how we get on!
19. Be kind to myself
This is a tricky one, mainly because I’m so terrible at it, but also because it isn’t really measurable. I’ve already been beating myself up about something completely insignificant for the past 24 hours, and it’s only the second day of the year! Nevertheless, I think it’s an important goal, so I’m going to keep it, in the hope that it will give me a regular reminder to give myself a break.
Have you made any goals or new year’s resolutions? Tell me about them in the comments!