Excuse a quiet week on the blog. I have been too busy eating my way into several Christmas-dinner comas.
Yesterday I was so full I couldn’t manage my cheese course. (I know, what?!) I’m rectifying that now.
I thought that with ten days to spare of 2014, now is a pretty good time (if a little early) to review how I’ve got on with these year’s goals, and, with some of them, to
JUST. GIVE. UP.
Yes, I am officially giving up on some of the 14 for 2014, and you know why? December 2014 Lauren quite frankly does not care about some of the things December 2013 Lauren aimed to do, and that is perfectly OK. In other cases, I just haven’t quite succeeded – this year, anyway!
1. Write something creative every week. Post something creative once a month.
OK, so this is a big fail. I didn’t even write something awful most weeks, and I posted something three months out of twelve. However, you might remember I had a little creative result when a song I wrote made the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Contest, so it hasn’t been a completely wasted writing year!
2. Take part in the Daily Post Photo Challenge once a month.
My excuse for this is that my camera seems to be getting worse rather than better. It is certainly not improving with age. However, I’m kind of going to cheat with this one, with a post (in progress) of my favourite photos since the move to London.
3. Post a quote every two weeks.
I managed to keep this up quite well until not posting any quotes for the last month. The whole point was to practise my design skills, but how about I quote somebody one last time for December and I’ll take half marks for posting at least one quotation every month:
‘Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.’
– Oprah Winfrey
4. Review a book each month.
The reason I had so much trouble with this goal is that I don’t particularly like to post bad reviews, but I also haven’t read many books that impressed me this year. However, I should have written about Station Eleven, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, The Giver and Etta and Otto and Russell and James. There are a few recommendations for you!
5. Learn about a new topic every two months.
I’m sure I did learn plenty without realising it, but as one of the main purposes of this goal was to post an interesting article about something I had learned, I can’t check this one off. Although I did write lifestyle articles that required a lot of research for another site!
6. Visit fifty new places.
I visited well over fifty new places, but I listed fifty on the 14 in 2014 page. A worrying amount are new food places, but I also visited thirteen of the United States and a Natural Wonder of the World, so that’s not bad for one year!
7. Publish a book.
I worked on nearly a hundred ebooks, then assisted with publicity and merchandising for several more. That’s all part of the publication process, so I’m going to consider this done – even if it wasn’t my own book I published!
8. Be bold.
This is quite hard to measure in general, but I made two big decisions that definitely were bold: to spend a lot of money on a month-long trip to the States, and to move to London to improve my chances in the job hunt. The first resulted in possibly the best month of my life, and I’ll never regret a penny. The second resulted in the dream job. Both decisions might have seemed risky, but they weren’t reckless or without planning and resources behind me, so they paid off! (And, of course, I was lucky.)
9. Record moments that made me feel lucky, happy or grateful each week.
I’ve been lucky to be able to write lots of posts about good things this year, which you can find here.
10. Watch Forrest Gump, An Affair to Remember, The Matrix, Gone With The Wind, The Godfather and Inception.
To think that I can’t even watch six specific films in a year! I watched Forrest Gump – definitely worth seeing. The Matrix – definitely worth seeing once. Inception – again, worth seeing. I can see why they’re popular. Then I started to watch The Godfather, and switched it off halfway through. It’s nice to see where some movie references come from, but I had zero desire to finish it. I never found anybody with copies of the other two films, and never got round to buying them myself, so that’s a couple of movie classics that will have to stay on the to-watch list for now.
11. Read two classic novels.
And I can’t even read two books! Well, I read plenty of books, but only one was a modern classic: To Kill a Mockingbird. This is the one of the few classics I’ve attempted that I actually have time for – I am so pleased to have finally read it. 1984 was my other choice, but I haven’t picked up a copy yet…
12. Visit a tourist attraction in London.
Ha, I made this goal back when London was a three-day trip this year, and made a terrible attempt at the British Museum. Since moving here, I gave the museum another chance and quite enjoyed it, as well as visiting the National History Museum – brilliant – and the V&A. I have also been to several of the markets, many of which are attractions themselves.
13. Win something.
Is getting a job a win? It felt like it! I won a medal in a gaming tournament (hilarious) and five books on Twitter. Not bad! Especially since this was a daft goal that you can’t actually control…
14. Go on holiday.
I achieved this with merit. Best holiday ever.
= 7/14 achieved fully
+ two quarter marks for writing and reviews
+ two half marks for quotes and classic novels
+ a third for photography
+ two thirds for movies
= 9.5/14 in 2014
I can see that issues arise when I have to commit time to something every week. Perhaps it makes it seem more like a chore. Besides, it’s probably asking enough of myself to stick to a three-step skincare routine (which I am very good at), so I don’t think I’ll set any resolutions like that next year. Or perhaps just one, to get better at it!
My favourite goal is still ‘Visit fifty new places’. I’ll bring it back again next year. Now I better go and think about what else I want to achieve in 2015!
Did you set any goals for this year? And did you achieve them?