Sunday, 31 December 2017

2018: Goals and Aims

Greetings lovely readers, I am delighted to share with you the very last post of 2017!  My previous post looked back on the successes, failures and achievements of the past year, so in this post I'll be looking forward to 2018 and listing my goals for the year about to start.

Goal 1 - Use Happiness Jar

My newly acquired Happiness Jar

My first goal is to make use of my new Happiness Jar to record and remember things I'm grateful for, including moments of success and good things that have happened.  In general I'd like to try to be more grateful and appreciative of the things that I have this year.  There are some major goals that I have yet to achieve, but though remaining focused on your goals is a good thing it is also important to remember, acknowledge and congratulate yourself for the progress that has been made so far.

Goal 2 - Complete 52 Lists Project and Q&A A Day Books

52 Lists Project and Q&A A Day books

52 Lists Project book - double page spread

Q&A A Day book - double page spread

I was lucky enough to be gifted both of these books last year and have been eagerly awaiting the new year to start them ever since!  The 52 Lists one lasts for one year with you making one list per week while the Q&A book lasts for five years with the owner answering one question per day.  I really enjoy activities like this that get you thinking about your peccadilloes, interests and priorities - though the prospect of recording over a whole 5 year period scares me somewhat!  I'll be halfway through my thirties by the time the Q&A book is complete.  There are so many things I want to achieve by that time... I wonder if I'll have managed to accomplish them all?

Goal 3 - Driving

Probably my biggest goal of 2018 is to pass my practical driving test, after that I intend to take motorway driving lessons and once I feel I've mastered driving on a motorway I will buy my first car.  After that some major milestones will be driving to Manchester and back to visit my partner Pete's family, and then later in the year helping with the drive to Scotland and back to visit my brother James and his family.  They've indicated that they'll be spending Christmas at home in Dunfermline next year and will be inviting us up from Leicester and my sister in law's family over from Northern Ireland to spend it with them, so I'll have some time to prepare for this goal!  I'll be particularly happy to achieve this though as I always feel bad about not being able to contribute to the driving on such a long journey.

Goal 4 - Health

Me in October 2016

Me in September 2017

As stated in my previous post I've already made some great progress in this area over the year by losing 25kg, following an NHS prescribed eating plan and increasing my activity and fitness levels.  In 2018 I'd like to go the distance and finally reach my goal weight of 60kg by losing a further 25kg over the course of the year.  This would put me in my healthy weight range for the first time in my adult life (I've struggled with excess weight since my age was in single digits) and would greatly decrease my risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  This second stretch will likely be even harder than the last: my weight loss plateaued for a few weeks prior to Christmas though after a few adjustments (cutting back further on starchy foods in particular) I've managed to have it dropping steadily again by about a kilo per week.  I'm sure such plateaus will occur again as I near the finish line, so I'll have to see what sacrifices I can bear to make while still enjoying life.  In support of this I will be aiming to continue going to the gym 3 times a week and completing further long walks in the Peak District.

Goal 5 - Career

To further develop my career I'd like to improve my skills in deign programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign.  Presently I feel that I'm competent in these programs but would like to fully master them.  I also want to continue learning to code in HTML and CSS and start learning to code in JavaScript.

Goal 6 - Personal Development

During 2018 I'd like to gain further experience of public speaking in a low pressure environment to build my confidence in this area.  I may take on some small speaking roles at the non-religious Sunday Assembly group I attend and perhaps attempt some larger ones as the year progresses, possibly including a 15 minute presentation about Pedestrian, the arts education charity I work for.

Goal 7 - Illustration

This area was badly neglected in 2017 so I'd like to make some modest improvements and work on some more creative goals in the coming year.  I intend to make a new piece of work to be submitted to the Leicester Open Exhibition in 2018 as well as completing some outstanding pieces of work and designing  Christmas cards to send to family and friends.  I will also aim to do some on-location or observational drawings every month.  I am hoping to update this blog and my Facebook page once every other month as well as continuing to share good quality content on my Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Goal 8 - Relationships

A newly added category but an important one!  I've recently reconnected with a good friend I've known since infant school so I intend to keep in touch with her better by writing a letter at least once per quarter.

Phew, it's going to be quite a year!  What aims, goals and ambitions have you set yourself for 2018?  Let me know in the comments!

Best wishes for the new year, and thanks as always for reading.


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