My Goals for 2017

Hello everybody!
I'm going to start off with a picture from last year when we actually had a winter. Remember that? Snow and stuff? So don't be fooled into thinking Northumberland looks like a winter wonderland right now, because it doesn't. It's basically a muddy mess...anyways...

Really I suppose this post is coming a bit late…I mean really everybody does these sorts of posts on 1st January right? Well I wanted to make sure that I got this absolutely perfect. I wanted to really think about what I want to achieve in 2017 and figure out how I was going to do that.

I'm not calling these resolutions, I don't really like the term New Years Resolution. It kind of infers to me that you have some sort of problem that needs resolving. Well, I don't think like that. I don't have problems, I have goals. I have dreams. I have things I want to achieve. One of the first things you learn about how to set goals is about setting small achievable steps yes? So that's what Im going to do.
Some great things happened in 2016 but I kinda felt like it was a bit…floaty? Is that a thing? I felt like we just floated along.
2017 is our year, and the year we are going to make things happen. Yeah.
I have some general areas that I want to improve, and a few specifics within those areas so I've broken them down into handy bullet points.

Improve Health and Fitness

Workout three times a week – And by ‘workout’ I mean activities that really get the heart racing, such as a video workout, jogging, swimming or whatever. Doing just 20 minutes of high intensity activity three times a week makes a huge difference.
Get my five a day EVERY DAY – Most days, I do manage this anyway but there it is known for me to go for a few days eating very few green things and this is really REALLY awful! The key to good health is about being consistent.
Drink 1 litre of water EVERY DAY –Again this is fairly self explanatory.I have got into a habit of drinking water when I wake up, before every meal, before a bath and a bit before bed. Now when I say ‘drinking water’ that it supposed to be a glass…but sometimes it's just a few gulps. I need to get into the habit of making sure it is a glass every time, and lots more in between.
Keep my weight under 10st- this isn't just necessarily about the weight but more…just how I feel. I feel at my best when I'm between 9st6-9st10. This is what I tend to weigh throughout the summer as my workload grows dramatically and I spend a lot more time on my feet. In the winter I spend a lot more of my work day sitting down…and eat a lot more stodgy food such as pies and stews (homemade of course, but stodgy none the less). So naturally I gain weight…and tend to end up over 10 st and I just don't feel confident any more. So my goal is to work just that extra bit harder in the winter to make sure I don't gain those comfort pounds. Fluctuating weight wise isn't good for you anyway. I've explained in past posts that I'm not really that fussed about weight and skinniness in general, but I do want to feel my best.

Improve Finances (yeah don't we all…)

Pay off wedding- from the moment we got engaged we set up a budget and a saving plan. And boy have we been saving! I think we've done pretty well. The wedding is in May and I've got a very organised spread sheet depicting who wants paying on what date. Everyone wants paying roughly 4-8 weeks before the wedding and I think we’ll have enough to cover them. We both have emergency credit cards in case we have to pay for something unexpected last minute. Or in case we need to spend some of our savings on an unexpected outgoing. This goal is definitely achieveable.
Fill in monthly spread sheets- depicting incoming and outgoing money's. Then use these to try and figure out where we can save, if possible.
Keep our household bills down- there are definitely things that I can do a little bit more of like turning off a light when I leave the room etc. We plan to invest in a tumble dryer this year (yaaaay!) which might sound counter-intuitive, but at the moment we have to run a dehumidifier in order to dry laundry on an airer in the spare room and that usually takes about 24 hours. It's incredibly juicy and uses a ridiculous amount of electricity. A tumble dryer that only takes half an hour will save us a huge amount of power.
Meal Prep!- I actually really enjoy doing this and do a little bit already, but I want to take this to the next level! Meal prepping will save us money. You plan out your meals by the week and then do a food shop according to those ingredients. I don't know about you, but my shopping tactics at the moment involve looking at something and thinking ‘yeah I can use that’, chucking it in the basket and then throwing it away a week later because I didn't use it. I exaggerate slightly, but that does happen to more items than I'd like. Bad Ellie.

Run the household more efficiently!

Create a cleaning schedule – my cleaning schedule at the moment is extremely haphazard. I do things when they look like they need doing…or when I remember. This is not an efficient way to run a household. I need to create a schedule of things that need doing daily, weekly and monthly.
Cupboard rotation- I am so terrible for this. I buy some new cans of soup, put them at the front of the cupboard, consume them and then put new ones at the front again. Then 2 years later I dig around at the back and find out of date soup! Not the way forward.

Be better at gardening

This year I plan to plant more vegetables (I'll blog about that at a later date). I found and bought this handy yearly vegetable planner by Charles Dowding that has loads of helpful information in it, and I feel that I can do better than the onions and parsnips that I nurtured last year.
Keep on top of weeding regularly – Little and often is the key. You achieve far more by doing just 5 minutes of weeding a day, than by spending half a day every 2 weeks. Every day I just need to suck it up and get on with it.
Do more preserving – if you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I already do quite a lot of preserving, but I know I can do more. I had to waste a lot of apples this year because I didn't preserve them fast enough. I felt awful. It won't happen again I can assure you.
Get chickens - I've wanted chickens ever since we moved to Northumberland but it's just never been the right time. So we decided that we were going to get them this year, hopefully in March…but we’ll see what the deal is with this DEFRA ban on allowing chickens outside because of avian flu. Hopefully it will have blown over by then. Fingers crossed.

Help Bosun to be a better dog

Basically there’s only one goal here, and that's training, training, training! A lot of Bosun’s flaws are purely because we haven't taught him correctly or haven't carried on with training in that particular area. This year, I want to make his recall perfect and I want him to stop chasing deer. Those are my goals for Bosun for this year. I don't think it's much to ask. But apparently he thinks it's a huge ask...

So these are the things that I really want to work on and achieve this year. I know I can do it, these things are all within my power to achieve. Have you guys ever read the poem Invictus? It is one of my favourites and I am going to leave you here with the last two lines

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

Who else has set some goals for 2017? If you've written a blog post, leave me a link in the comments section and I'll go and check it out,

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  1. Haha, poor Bosun having no choice in his goals ;-)

    Your approach to cleaning sounds similar to mine. Except I don't necessarily do tasks when they look like they need doing but frequently when they're already overdue. The shame!

  2. With the exception of the dog, I like the ideas you have here! And the idea of goals is much better than resolutions!!!
    I was up in Northumberland at the weekend! Was so nice to be up again! I will try to come and see the cattle this year- am sooooo intrigued by them!


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