16 Goals in 2016: Half-Year Progress

1. Visit fifty new places. I checked my list two days ago and saw the last thing I wrote was Puerto Banus, which was in March, so obviously I have forgotten a bunch.

I think my favourite new places are the Tattershall Castle, the pub on a boat; Dublin, because it was great to see a new city, and visit the zoo and the Guinness Storehouse; Puerto Banus, where I went for my friend’s hen do holiday; Rabot 1745, where I had my birthday meal; Cork and Bottle, a wine bar hidden away in a basement in Leicester Square, where we had all the cheese and charcuterie; and most recently, the Tower of London.

2. Go on two holidays. I had checked off my goal to have two holidays by mid-March, which is pretty amazing: a weekend in Dublin and a weekend in Marbella. However, I think I need something else in the diary – perhaps a week off around September time – to look forward to. I have started a list, featuring more city breaks like Vienna and Budapest, as well as the unrealistic – New York! Canada! Iceland!

3. Do three day trips. I have done zero day trips. Possibilities to consider are Stonehenge, Canterbury and Oxford.

4. Make a scrapbook or memory box. I haven’t made a scrapbook or even bought a memory box. I’ve certainly collected enough to fill one, however!

5. See three ten new shows. I achieved ‘see three new shows’ in January alone, so I adjusted the goal to ten, and I achieved that by the first week of May. This goal is a complete cheat, because I am always going to go and see lots of shows.

Most had a limited run and are now finished, but I can recommend Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for an entertaining family show; Sh*t-Faced Shakespeare, for a decidedly un-family-friendly take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream; How the Other Half Loves, which has some outrageously old-fashioned ideas of relationship roles, but is in some ways still very modern – and funny; and Motown the Musical – if you love this genre of music (who doesn’t, really?) then this show is packed with classics.

6. Read two books a month. I have managed to read at least two books a month, and I’ve enjoyed every single one. I’m making excellent reading choices in 2016! My recent obsession was the Throne of Glass series, so if anyone likes YA fantasy (or perhaps just plain fantasy) then you should definitely try this. Another special mention to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.

Reading The Infernal Devices trilogy on my friend’s recommendation meant I decided to go and see Cassandra Clare when she came to London. I’m so glad I did, as it was really fun and I got to meet Dominic Sherwood, who plays Jace in the Shadowhunters TV series – added bonus!


7. Do something different. This was vague to begin with, but I will be honest and say I haven’t done very much different.

I want to find out more about Age UK’s befriending service, which helps tackle the problem of loneliness faced by many older people. There is so much wrong with the world, there is more bad news every day, and it feels like there is nothing we can do about any of it. I need to do something, even if it only helps one person on a tiny scale.

On a lighter note, I have decided I’m going to buy a harmonica, so learning to play it can also be trying something new.

8. Take a chocolate tour. I have not done this yet, sadly, but you know it will happen.

9. Read a book in French or Spanish. I have so many great books waiting to be read that I haven’t yet sought out any French or Spanish books yet. Perhaps translations of Harry Potter are the answer!

10. Run for twenty minutes without stopping. I don’t know why I set this goal! I tend to go to the gym either post-work, when I’m too tired, or for zumba, so I’m not in the gym itself. I went this morning and can definitely run for ten minutes without stopping – and without breakfast, so perhaps if I were properly fuelled I could improve this.

11. Take care of myself. I have been eating more vegetables than I used to, but these are still outweighed by the amount of chocolate I eat. I am going out less in the week, but I’ve been reading such good books that I’m staying up late anyway just to find out what happens! Again, I don’t really remember what I meant by this goal, so I’m not sure what I wanted to achieve here. This needs a rethink!

12. Make my money go further. I have been taking advantage of free nights out, like blogger events and things advertised on Time Out, and using discounts on OpenTable and lastminute.com a fair bit. I think the most expensive show I’ve seen this year was £25, whereas there are some ridiculous top prices in the West End (£125, anyone?!) so I am definitely finding better deals.

13. Dedicate three hours each week to blogging and writing. I have definitely not done this. Perhaps this week, and this week only.

14. Write more list posts. I could do more, considering how many lists I write each day.

15. Take a photo a week. I am sure I have, but have I been carefully selecting a photo for Instagram/the blog to remind me of each week? No, no, I have not.

16. Keep a happiness jar. I moved this and forgot about it for a long time, so it’s back on my desk, ready to add to in the coming months.

So approximately four goals out of sixteen are on track, which is not the best result halfway through the year. However, that just means that tomorrow I should spend time finding a chocolate tour or a good time for a day trip, so I can’t complain!

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