New years resolutions 2017

One of my favourite things about starting a fresh new year is setting new years resolutions. I’m a total productivity nerd so any opportunity to self-evaluate and set goals gets my gears turning.  I’d really like 2017 to be a year of self-love and transformation.  And I want to make sure that I make time for the things that I love most.  To that end, here are my resolutions for the next 12 months.

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Journal at least once a week

Regrettably, I’ve neglected my journal badly this past year.  I’ve gone entire months where I haven’t put pen to paper once.  That makes me sad, because not only is journalling really cathartic for me, but it creates a wonderful record of my experiences.  I used to journal every single day, but that’s not really realistic with my current schedule.  I think aiming for a minimum of once a week is much more do-able.

Read all the books in my to-read pile.

I have a huge stack of books waiting to be read on top of my bookshelves.  Some of them were gifts from two Christmasses ago, and I still haven’t gotten to them.  I read a lot, but lately I’ve been getting a lot of books from the library.  This year, I’d really like to zero in on those books I already own, and start making headway on them.  By this time next year, I’d love to have that pile down to nil, or to whittle it down considerably.

Knit a whole garment

I adore knitting and crocheting, and in the last few years my skills have grown in leaps and bounds.  I’ve taken a few chances with patterns I’ve found scary, such as knitting socks and mittens and crocheting placemats.  This year, I’d really like to have a go at knitting a whole jumper or cardigan for myself.  I think I’m ready.

Continue transitioning to a vegan-ish diet

Over the last two months, I’ve been learning about veganism and begun making some significant changes in my diet.  And I’ve felt so much better for it.  I’ve lost a little weight, I’ve had more energy and I feel more creative with my cooking.  I’ve been referring to my diet as “vegan-ish” because I’m finding it practically difficult to be full vegan.  I often dine with my parents and they both eat meat and dairy.  And I live in a small town and most restaurants offer limited vegetarian options, and no vegan options on the menu to speak of.  I don’t want to make a huge fuss, because I’m self conscious. So ultimately what I’m aiming for is to cook vegan food in my own home, and make the best choices I can when I’m out and about.  I’d like to continue to learn more about vegan cooking and work towards creating a diet that works for me.

Declutter my flat

About two months ago I started a ruthless declutter of my belongings.  I just have so many items that I don’t use and it was overwhelming. I’ve already gone through my wardrobe and gotten through a huge stack of items that no longer fit me, items I don’t wear and things that were worn out.  I’ve gone through one of my bookcases as well, and my makeup.  By the end of the year I want to have done a massive purge, clearing out the items I don’t need and actually removing them from my home.

Buy fewer things

On the flipside of decluttering and throwing away stuff I don’t need, I’d really like to be mindful of what I’m bringing into my home.  I want to try to buy fewer things, and really think carefully about what I’m buying.  I’d like to buy better quality items that will last longer and avoid purchasing items on impulse.

Write more sex-positive posts.

This year, I began writing more posts about one of my favourite topics: sex.  I’ve written a number of sex toy reviews, shown you my haul from Oz Kink Fest and chatted a little bit about BDsM.  And so many of you enjoyed those posts and gave excellent feedback.  This year, I’d like to review loads more toys for you, as well as delve deeper into some specific sexual health topics and do some more BDsM posts.

Build an aftercare kit

I’ve been exploring the world of BDsM a lot more deeply this year, and I’ve been playing with my Dom often.  Aftercare is an essential part of any kind of BDsM play, and one thing I’ve been thinking about making myself is an aftercare kit.  I’d like to pack up all the essentials I need after a scene into a little bag so that they’re all together and ready for use.  That way, when I’m all head-foggy after a scene I don’t have to go searching through the house for what I need to bring myself back down to earth.  And it will be so handy to just pop the kit into my luggage when I travel.

What are your goals for 2017?  Do you have any questions about my resolutions?

A look back at my 2016 goals

On the final day of this year, I thought it might be pertinent to take a look over my shoulder and evaluate my progress.  Before I reveal my resolutions for 2017, I wanted to talk about how I fared with my 2016 resolutions.

When bookworms declutter….. #declutter #books #minimalism

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Get my reading list down to 7 pages.

Oh how I chuckle when I read this resolution.  I have a running list of books I want to read on my computer, and when the year began it was sitting at eight pages long.  I thought that I would easily be able to shave off a page with a year of dedicated reading.  And this would be true, except of course that I forgot to factor in that I regularly add more books to the list.  And so now, despite a valiant effort and lots of books ticked off, the list has now grown to nine pages.  Ah well.

Finish off a few niggling spring cleaning jobs

This one is a bit of a mixed bag.  I had wanted to pick up some prints that I had framed, which I still haven’t done, because a) when I called the shop to check in on them they hadn’t been completed yet and b) I still haven’t heard back about them.

I had also planned to fix a lamp that had been broken for a year.  Really all the lamp needed was a new bulb and a few screws tightened. But after so many months of thinking about this job, I realised that the lamp had been broken for a year and I didn’t miss it one bit.  So instead of fixing the lamp, I threw it away and I haven’t looked back.

The final task was finally taking all the bags of items I had earmarked for donation to the donation bin.  I absolutely killed this one.  One at a time, every lunch break for nearly a month, I would take one bag to the op shop on my way back to work. And eventually the pile of bags shrank to nothing.

Visit a teppanyaki restaurant

No reasons or excuses. I just didn’t do this one.

Make at least three vlogs

I managed to make two vlogs: one about my trip to Oz Kink Fest and my Disney Tag vlog.  I just ran out of time to make any more.  Filming videos takes time, and time is something I didn’t have a lot of this year.  So only two videos got made in the end.

Buy less

I think I did an excellent job of buying fewer unnecessary items in 2016.  I went a bit nuts in the middle of the year, splashing out on new hoodies that I didn’t truly need.  There was also a number of ill-fated Daiso sprees.  But in general, I really cracked down on my discretionary spending and bought fewer impulse items.

Review some products for my blog

I knocked this one out of the ballpark.  I reviewed a whole mess of sex toys this year as well as the Thinx underwear. I absolutely loved doing these reviews, and I got so much fantastic feedback from them that I can’t wait to get into some more in 2017.

 

Try one new recipe a week

I didn’t exactly make one new thing a week, but I think I made roughly 52 new recipes this year.  I tried loads of new vegan recipes and made lots of meals I hadn’t tried before. I think my favourite recipe of the year was the oven-baked risotto.  It was a million times easier than stovetop risotto and infinitely more delicious.

 

Get my eyes tested and possibly get some new glasses.

I had an eye exam in April and it turned out I didn’t need new glasses.  Huzzah!

 

Start planning an overseas trip

Does “occasionally dream about going overseas and drool over friend’s holiday snaps” count as planning?  No?  Ok, in that case, this one is still yet to be accomplished.

Visiting Marilyn Monroe in Bendigo. #birthday #icon #giantpanties

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Celebrate my birthday in style

My thirtieth birthday was fantastic.  I went with my parents to the Marilyn Monroe exhibit in Bendigo and geeked out hard.  I spent a night at The Windsor Hotel with my boyfriend and was absolutely pampered.  I had a Japanese meal with my closest friends.  It was epic and perfect and amazing.

 

Overall, I think I did a pretty darn good job.  Not everything went according to plan, but for the most part I made a decent effort at most of my goals.  I’m proud of how I managed in 2016.

 

How did you do with your resolutions?

New Years resolution update: August 2014

I had resolved that August would be the month that I learned how to use my sewing machine.  I got a sewing machine for my 25th birthday and I have never actually used it.  Given that three years have passed, I figured it was high time that I took it out of the box and gave it a go.

I had imagined that using my machine would be really easy.  I have several friends who are brilliant at sewing who told me that they found it so simple to learn to use a sewing machine.  I even have one man-friend who brags about making a dress for his girlfriend entirely on his own using a beat-up old Singer.  I’m pretty clever and I’m good at crafts, so I figured that it would be a snap.

Oh goodness.  I have to shake my head at how wrong I was.

One of many broken threads.

 

I was so eager to get my machine all set up and begin sewing.  I followed the instruction booklet to the letter and managed to get everything plugged in and looking great.  I wound a bobbin with no troubles at all.  Then I went to thread the machine.  After several attempts, I felt satisfied that I’d done it right.  But when I began sewing, I was greeted with a grinding noise and a broken thread.  On my next attempt the needle snapped.  I called my Mum, who has been sewing for forty years. She informed me that she didn’t know how to fix the broken needle because she had never broken one.  Apparently I have a special talent for destruction.

 

After a cup of tea and a lie-down, I consulted Youtube.  I found an awesome video which helped me to replace the needle and also showed me how to thread my machine properly.  The reason the needle had broken was because I hadn’t threaded it correctly in the first place.  Feeling pumped up and full of confidence, I sat down to sew once again.

 

A million broken threads: a picture of frustration.

After two hours I had to walk away before I threw the machine through the window.  I kept running into problems in every direction.  My thread kept breaking, huge wodges of cotton were getting caught in the mechanism and forcing the machine to a halt, my stitching was loopy and uneven and I was terrified of getting my fingers jammed under the needle.  In short, I utterly sucked at sewing.

 

I think I definitely need some lessons from somebody that knows how to use a sewing machine and is patient enough to teach me.  It was very optimistic of me to believe that I’d be able to teach myself using just a couple of internet videos and the machine manual.

 

So I haven’t yet learned how to use my sewing machine.  But I wouldn’t call this resolution a total failure.  I know more about the machine than I did at the beginning of the month.  I know how to set it up and how to thread it.  I can replace a broken needle and I know how to un-jam it when it stops.  But I still don’t know how to actually sew.  At least I’m part of the way to success.

 

 

My new year’s resolutions for 2014

Happy new year!  I hope that you’re feeling bright, bubbly and ready to leap into 2014. I certainly am.

 

2013 was a bit of a bummer, to be honest.  So I’m hoping that this year will be better.  To that end, I’ve made a list of the things that I want to accomplish this year.

 

Last year I found it really helpful to make one resolution for each month.  This helped to break down my goals and make them a bit more manageable.  It was brilliant to have one thing to focus on each month, and it made the whole process a lot less overwhelming.  I also made loads of progress with the goals I set last year and I think that the one-a-month method had a lot to do with that.  So I’m going to do the same thing this year.

 

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

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January: Experiment with making my own beauty and household products

Ever since Miss Fairchild bought me a stack of her homemade beauty products, I’ve become slightly obsessed the the idea of making some of my own.  I’ve even created a Pinterest page devoted to household recipes. In January I’m going to experiment with making some of my own cleaning products and beauty concoctions.

 

February: Look for a new job

My current job is fine, but it’s only part-time.  I struggle a bit with money.  I have enough to make ends meet, but not a lot left over for fun extras.  So I’d like to start looking for a new job, that’s a bit more challenging and pays a bit better.

 

 

March: Take a trip on my own

The idea of travelling on my own both terrifies and excites me.  I’d love to take a little weekend trip to one of the small towns in my area.  There are so many beautiful places just a few hours away that it would be gorgeous to visit.  And I’d love to try going on my own.

 

 

April: Join a class or club

A few months ago, I signed up for dance classes and yoga classes. Then my Nana got ill and things just went a bit topsy-turvey.  I’m still really excited by the idea of learning to dance to doing yoga classes, so in April I’m going to throw myself into it.

 

 

May: Improve my posture

Although I’m pretty happy with my body, I think that my posture leaves a bit to be desired.  I tend to slouch and I often stand with my weight off to one side, which is murder on my back.  In May, I’d really like to make a concerted effort to improve my posture.

 

June: Go to a teppanyaki restaurant

I’ve always wanted to visit a teppanyaki restaurant, where the chef prepares your food at a hotplate right in front of you and performs all kinds of tricks.  It’s almost like dinner theater.  I’ve never been before because they’re jolly pricey, but this year I’m going to save up and go (perhaps for my birthday!)

 

July: Buy nothing new

I like to have a month each year where I give up shopping.  Not only is it good for my wallet, but it forces me to take stock of what I’ve already got and appreciate it more.  It’s always a bit of a challenge, but totally worth it.

 

 

August: Learn to use my sewing machine

I got a sewing machine for my birthday two years ago, and I still don’t know how to use it.  I’m going to ask my Mum to give me some lessons and hopefully by the end of the month I might be able to whip up a simple pattern.

 

 

September: Run a stall at a craft fair or market

I’ve always wanted to run my own stall at a market, but it’s a very daunting prospect.  I haven’t the foggiest idea how to go about securing a place, and I’m nervous about whether people would buy my wares.  But this year, I’m going to do it.  For reals.

 

October: Go camping

Despite living in Australia (where camping is one of our national pastimes) and being the daughter of an avid camping enthusiast, I’ve never been camping.  Well, I’ve slept in a tent in my backyard, but that’s not really the same thing.  I’d really like to spend at least one night sleeping under the stars and cooking with a campfire.

 

November: get my driver’s license

I’ve had my learner’s permit for more than ten years and it’s time that I took the leap into solo-driver status.  I’ve been taking driving lessons this year, and I still need a lot of practice, but I think that by November I’ll be ready to take my driving test.  Having my own license would open up a lot of opportunities for me and would give me so much freedom.

 

What are your resolutions for this year?

Some suggested New Years Resolutions

Do you struggle with new years resolutions?  Making them?  Keeping them?  Not rolling your eyes when your friends start listing all forty of the things they intend to do this year?

Me too.  I’m a big nerd, so normally setting goals is one of my favourite activities. However I usually set the bar too high.  Either I’ll make too many resolutions and get totally overwhelmed or I’ll make my resolutions too complicated and realise by March that it will take several years to actually achieve my goal.

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This is me, kicking my resolution’s butt.

So last year I decided to take a different approach.  I made eleven small resolutions, one for each month.  ( I left out December, because it’s always crazy busy and I’d rather not try to cram anything else into my already-bulging calendar).  Then I focused on one goal a month.  It was much more manageable and I feel as though I accomplished more than I would have with my old method.

I’m here to help.  Firstly, you don’t actually need to set resolutions if you don’t want to.  If they don’t work for you, you don’t have to do it.  You have my permission to opt out.

If you want to, you can do as I’m doing and set one small resolution for each month.  It works for me.

To help you out, I’ve created a list of pre-made resolutions.  You can take your pick and grab one for each month.  Or you can just choose a couple to focus on this year.  Or you can do none of them.  Or you can write your own.  Whatever works.  These are just here to get you started.

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Suggested New Years resolutions:

This year, I will:

– Limit the amount of media that makes me feel crappy about the way I look.  I will try to choose magazines, blogs and television programs with body-positive messages.

– Revisit a food that I don’t normally like to eat.  Try a different way of preparing it and give it another chance.

– Read 10 books that I’ve never read before.

– Make the effort to catch up with my dearest friends at least once a month.

– Start saving for that house/holiday/island that I’ve always wanted.

– Sign up for a class that teaches a skill I want to develop.

– Set aside one day a week for relaxation and recharging

– Go one month without buying anything that’s not strictly neccessary.

– Clean out my wardrobe with ruthless precision.

– Do the dishes every night before I go to bed.

– Stop making body-shaming comments about other people.

– Change my look with a new haircut/ tattoo/ wardrobe

– Spend more time with my family.

– Pull out my recipe books and try some new dishes.

– Find a form of exercise that I love

– Spend more time naked

– Start that project that’s been niggling at the back of my mind.

– Start looking for a job that doesn’t make me want to retch.

– Go to five concerts or live shows

– Have one T.V free night a week.

– Devote 10 minutes each day to clearing out the clutter in my life.

– Smile at strangers

Do you do New Year’s resolutions?  What are yours for this year?

New year’s resolutions update: October

This month I’d resolved to branch out with my writing.  This isn’t a resolution that I’d expected to accomplish all in one month, but rather one that I’d work on throughout the year and then reflect on when October rolled around.

My aim was to stretch myself outside my comfort zone a little and write more about things that are personal or controversial.  I wanted to practice putting my opinions out there more often and publishing posts that touched on issues that are more sensitive.  I have a lot to say on topics such as mental illness, self care and body image and these in particular were areas that I wanted to write about.

DSCF8548I think I’ve done pretty well so far.  At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about what it’s like to suffer from emetophobia, and I got a huge response from my readers.  This really encouraged me to write more challenging and deeper posts.

An email from a diet company asking me to promote their products on my blog prompted me to write about my feelings about diet products and the diet industry in general.  I also wrote a post about learning to love my crooked smile.

When my nine-year relationship ended this year, I went through a huge amount of turmoil and pain.  I had to move out of the home that we’d been making for ourselves and into a flat on my own.  I went through a real self-esteem crisis.  I also had to learn to romance myself. And each of those experiences prompted me to write a blog post.  Each of those posts got a great response from my readers, and so I feel heartened that I can write about difficult and personal things without experiencing a backlash.

One of the most rewarding things about writing these posts have been the emails from people all around the world telling me how much I’ve helped them.  Sometimes, when you’re going through a rough time it helps so much just to know that there is someone else who is going through a similar situation.  I feel truly happy to know that my writing has brought a little sparkle of hope into a couple of lives.

So I think I’ve done pretty well with this resolution.  I’m interested in continuing to push the boundaries of my comfort zone and write about some of the other things that are important to me, but which are tricky to put out there into the world.

New years resolution update: September

I was kind of dreading this month’s resolution: date outside the box.  When I made my resolutions at the beginning of the year, I was in a long-term relationship and I was feeling very secure.  I was excited by the idea of trying some fun new activities with my boyfriend.

Fast forward six months, and I found myself single and very unhappy about it.  I thought about leaving this resolution to fester, because I couldn’t carry it out in the way I’d originally hoped to.

Then I decided to take another look at how I could meet this challenge.  I realised very quickly that the possibility of dating someone else was out of the question.  I’m not saying that I never want to be in another relationship.  But I was with Ross for nearly a decade.  He was the man I had hoped to marry, and I’m still feeling very bruised by the end of our relationship.  I find it very difficult to even imagine opening up to another man, and it’s hard for me to believe that there might be another person out there for me.  I’ll never say never, but the simple fact is that I’m definitely not ready to start dating other people.

DSCF8370So what’s a girl to do when she’s single and has no interest in trying to attract a new boyfriend?  I figured my best bet was to try to date myself.

I sat down and made a list of all the different things I could do by myself that would be romantic.  I made a huge list, thinking of all the things I imagined my ideal partner would do for me.  Then I set out to do those things for myself.

I took myself out for a dinner of Italian food, complete with tiramisu and wine.  I went out for brunch.  I took a moonlit walk through my neighbourhood.  I soaked in rose-scented bubbles by candlelight.  I watched movies on the couch with boutique beer and fancy chips.  I bought myself a couple of cute treats.  I went thrift-shopping and walked around the lake.

DSCF7998I think I succeeded with this month’s resolution.  I definitely pushed myself outside my comfort zone and put a lot of effort into treating myself well.  All this self-romance has made me feel a lot less lonely, and I’m quite proud of how well I’ve been doing. I feel a bit more confident and happier spending time in my own company.  It’s also helped me to face some of the less-than-perfect elements of my previous relationship.  For example, while I was eating out by myself I realised that I no longer had to put up with Ross playing with his iphone at the table, or trying to force a conversation out of him (he hated having conversations in public, so our dinners out often felt a bit awkward).  While I do still miss him, it’s kind of nice to be able to see some of the not-so-great parts of our relationship to help me move forward a bit.

I’m feeling pretty good about myself at the end of this month.  I’ve done a good job with this resolution.