It’s the start of a new year, a new decade in fact, and before I get stuck into my 2020 plans, I’d like to reflect on the year that has been. One to bring you up to speed as I’ve been rather absent, but two because it’s nice to capture these memories somewhere for me to come back to.
Overall it was a good year and truthfully I feel exceedingly grateful that for the most part it was a happy, healthy and joyful 365 days.
So what were the highlights of my year?
Made more time for me
I haven’t set myself new year’s resolutions in years, but I do like to define some intentions. In 2019 I wanted to make more time for the things that matter to me. When you work full time and are also studying for a Master’s degree, there are only so many spare hours, and finding the right balance can be a challenge.
In 2018 I read a grand total of 26 books. For someone that has always loved to read, I found this number disappointing. One of my intentions for 2019 was to make more time to read. I read 54 books and it was really good for my mental health to unwind and escape in this way.
I also wanted to try something out of my comfort zone and I joined a choir. I tried it for six months, but in the end I decided it wasn’t for me. It’s not something I’ve really mentioned here, but I used to take lessons when I was growing up. I’ve always wanted to find a way of bringing singing back into my life. Maybe one day I’ll find a way, but I’m still pleased I overcame my fears and tried it anyway.
Another intention for 2019 was to lose weight and exercise more. For as long as I can remember this has been an annual goal for me. I start a regime in January, am committed to it for a few months and then I lose motivation and give up.
Somehow, 2019 was different. I put less pressure on myself and it worked. Overall in 2019 I lost close to two stone and I’ve managed to keep it off as a result of a better diet and more exercise.
I hit a lull in my weight loss quite early on in the year and so I decided to shake things up a bit. At the beginning of March my mister and I started the Couch to 5K and I haven’t looked back. I’m not a natural runner by any means, and quite frankly I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it for ages as I didn’t think I’d be able to keep it up. It doesn’t get any easier, but I love the way it makes me feel – like I’ve really accomplished something. At the start of 2019, I would never have imagined that I could run an 8K. I now consistently run a couple of times a week. I think this just might be my biggest achievement of 2019.
Exploring and taking time out of the country has always been important to me. In 2019, the mister and I visited the gorgeous city of Tallinn in Estonia where we ambled through cobbled streets, we explored sunny Kos for our summer getaway and we took a trip to our happy place, Disneyland Paris. I also spent a week of quality time with my Dad visiting family in Crete which was lovely after several years of absence.
I really can’t complain, 2019 was a great year for travelling and making memories in both new and familiar places. In 2020, we are going to be travelling a lot less as we’ve booked a bucketlist holiday to Walt Disney World (it doesn’t feel real!) so we need to save save save to make it the best it can be.
I adore my family and I’m so thankful to have them. From my husband who will go to any lengths to make me happy, my Dad who does all of our tricky DIY and to my Mum who proof reads my every assignment, I am beyond grateful to be surrounded by the most incredible people that I know I can always count on.
We have two love birds and several guinea pigs – they mean the absolute world to me. I could ramble on forever about just how much they mean to me.
But to cut a long story short, in 2019 we experienced an unexpected miracle. A breeder accidentally sold us a female guinea pig and we didn’t think to check the gender ourselves (a breeder should know!) before adding her to our bachelor pad.
Thankfully we realised quite early on that she was pregnant and separated her. Sparky gave birth to three healthy pups and it has been so wonderful watching them grow. One of the pups is female and so she now lives with Sparky. So many things could have gone wrong but they didn’t, and it was one of the best things to happen last year.
Intentions for 2020
I’m hopeful that 2020 is going to be another great year. There’s already some very exciting things planned and I’m going to keep focused by outlining three intentions for the year. So what do I want to achieve in 2020?
I’ve set myself a reading challenge of 75 books in 2020. I might not get there, but I certainly want to try and read even more than I did last year because it’s been great for my mental health and my work/life/study balance.
Running has undoubtedly been my biggest achievement in 2019 and I don’t want it to stop there. I want to continue to build on the progress I made last year, and although I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself by setting specific targets other than running regularly, I also hope to lose a bit more weight along the way.
Writing, it doesn’t quite begin with ‘r’ but it sort of sounds the same, right? If all goes to plan, 2020 will be the year I complete my Master’s, it’s insane that the end is in sight. To get there I have to write a 15,000 word thesis. A little daunting at this stage but also rather exciting.
Aside from the whole lot of writing I need to do to finish my Master’s degree, I’m also hoping that 2020 will be the year that I revitalise my blog. Call me crazy, but it’s good for my creativity, it brings me joy and it’s something I’ve always adored doing because it combines so many of my favourite things.
For the last few years all I’ve done is make excuses about not blogging and I’ve had enough. It is one of my 2020 intentions and I’m going to make it happen. Starting with today, the first working day of the year that I’ve taken as a day off work to help get myself organised. I want to give this space a proper chance to see where it takes me, it might not lead to anything, but I’m sure going to enjoy the ride.
What are you hoping to achieve in 2020? Have you set yourself any new year’s resolutions or intentions? I’d love to hear them.