I usually can’t wait for January 1st to start the New Year with new goals and a clean slate. It kind of feels like anything that happened in 2018 is forgotten about and all sins and embarrassing moments can be erased from memory. But this year I’m feeling quite bleurgh about the New Year.
Even though I have no idea where I’m going to be by the end of the year (hopefully somewhere far away) and the second half of next year is a completely open book, there’s just nothing motivating me to look forward to the beginning of this New Year. The thoughts of assignments, exams and my dissertation is filling me with dread, not hope. But these next six months are going to be quite crucial to what actually happens and where I end up in the second half of the year, so I need to make myself motivated.
New Year’s resolutions are never adhered to after January so I usually break them down into shorter term goals, which makes them more achievable. Then six months in, I’ll look at my overall goals and see if I’m closer to checking them off.
I mean, haven’t we all had ‘lose weight’ on our New Year’s resolutions? But if you break that down to ‘1. Go to the gym three times per week, 2. Eat healthy, good foods, 3. Lose 5lbs by the end of January’ – it makes it more measurable.
These are my long-term goals for 2019, but I’ll be breaking down each one every month to make sure I work towards being closer to checking it off before the end of the year.
1. Graduate with a 1:1 degree
I won’t know whether I’ve achieved this goal until June 2019, but there are ways I can break this down in order to make sure it happens. I’m going to get my butt in gear when I go back to Liverpool in January and become a regular at the university library. I’ll be working three days per week, so those two other weekdays will be spent in the library when I’m not in class.
I’ll be breaking my dissertation down into strategic pieces so that I can get it finished before March. I will also be making myself a lot more organised in January and getting a head start on my assignments. There’ll be no more staying out until 6am Saturday and Sunday mornings followed by a Sunday afternoon and evening spent in the local Irish bars. I have a degree to get and going out every weekend won’t help me achieve that.
I’m not going to turn into a total recluse, though. I have severe FOMO when it comes to the weekend if I’m not out so I’ll probably go out every two weeks instead, to make sure I’m not missing out on much. I can’t help it, I just love going out. What 21 year-old doesn’t?
2. Treat my body like a temple
Operation lose the ‘Coty Stone’ plus ‘extra-party-weight-I’ve-put-on-since-returning-to-Liverpool’ begins in the New Year when I get back to Liverpool. No more alcohol-filled weekends, no more takeaways, no more Starbucks (help), no more brunching every week (double help), no more McCooley’s Chicken Stacks (unrealistic) and no more Diet Coke (now you’re just kidding yourself).
Seriously though, I think I’ve cooked about ten meals in my flat since I moved in, in August. I consume Diet Coke every day, Starbucks every other day and let’s not get into the number of times I’ve went out for breakfast. For me, Dry January means no Diet Coke or alcohol and I can’t wait for it to start.
I read somewhere that if you were given one car that was to last you the rest of your life, you would treat it with extensive care so that it wouldn’t rust, break down or get damaged. We’re only given one body our entire lives, so why don’t we treat it with the same consideration? Which is very true. I’m going to start thinking about what I put into my body and the things that it can achieve with training. If I go to the gym five times next week, I’ll have exceeded the number of times I’ve visited in the past five months.
2019 is the year I’m going to get very serious about my fitness levels and overall health. Hopefully the Fitbit I received at Christmas is the start of great things to come. I might even start documenting my health and fitness journey on here, giving me even more reasons to stick at it!
3. Work hard, save hard
I’ll be fully getting back into the swing of working again in the New Year with the hopes of working three days per week. I haven’t properly worked since my placement in July so it may take a little getting used to again. However, the 9-5 life will thankfully get me back into a proper routine and also help with my chances of hitting the gym on my way home.
For whatever it is I’m to do after graduation, I’m more than likely going to need money to do it. I’m aiming to save a large portion of my wages each month and put it away for the months after graduation until I get an entry-level role (AGH) or if I decide to up and move to the other side of the world.
This is another reason I need to stop eating out so often (especially for breakfast), stop with the Starbucks and stop spending a fortune every weekend. Here’s to a more frugal 2019.
4. Make life-changing decisions
I need to start seriously thinking about what I’m going to do after graduation and where I want to be. I need to look at what’s out there and what my options are. Do I want to be in the same place this time next year? After watching people from my town celebrate the New Year in places like Australia, Thailand and New York, absolutely not.
In secondary school, we were all asked to write a letter to our future selves. It was the first week of Year 11 (that’s first year of GCSE’s for those outside NI) and we were 14 years old writing to our future 18 year old selves undergoing A Levels or whatever path we were going to chose after turning 16. When we were handed our letters during the last week of school, we had actually forgotten all about writing them, but it was amazing to see our hopes and dreams from our 14 year old selves and to look back at what we actually had achieved in those four years and to reflect on whether those ambitions had been fulfilled.
So I’m going to write one of those letters today for me in 365 days time. I’m going to jot down what I hope happens in 2019, things I want to achieve, where I hope to be and what I hope my life looks like in 12 months. It’s a great way to vision the future and also put all of those dreams out into the world so that you speak it into existence. Hopefully when I open it again in 52 weeks, I’ll have achieved everything I set out to in 2019.
5. See new parts of the world
I don’t travel as much as I wish I could but I hope to see a few new places this year. I also hope to move somewhere new this year and live in a new and exciting city. One of my highlights of 2018 was visiting America for the first time, and I would love if I’m able to return again this year. I wish I could pack up everything and buy a one-way ticket to somewhere exotic, but these things cost money and money is nothing something I have much of right now.
I’m going to aim to visit somewhere new in Europe, America and Ireland this year. I already have two trips lined up to Dublin, but I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to that city so it would be nice to see a new part of Ireland for a change. I might even try to visit Scotland and Wales for the first time ever. The most exciting thing about 2019 for me is to find out where I’m going to be living this time next year. I know it won’t be in the UK, and it definitely won’t be in Ireland. I’m hoping for somewhere warm, but I’m also hoping for somewhere with a vibrant PR industry that will hopefully employ me.
6. Say goodbye to Liverpool
Which will be heartbreaking. I love Liverpool more than I could put into words, but it’s not where I’m going to be forever. I’ve come to see it as my home because I have my whole life there, but it’s not for me for the future. It’s a student city through and through and I just can’t keep living the student life forever.
In typical me fashion, I’ll be making a Bucket List for the remaining six months that I’ll be in Liverpool, hoping to tick off everything that I can so that I’ve seen and done everything there is to do in the city. I’ve lived there three years now and still haven’t been to Sefton Park, Crosby Beach, Lark Lane or Bongo’s Bingo. I know, do I even live there?!
I’ll be saying goodbye to Liverpool, but I’ll be back as many times as I possibly can. How will McCooley’s cope?
6. Start my journey in the PR world
I’ve said in previous posts that after working for a year during my degree, I’ve realised that I don’t want to jump into working straight away and become a mundane 9-5 robot. But what I meant by that was that I didn’t want to work Monday to Friday, 9-5 in a city in the UK or back at home. Not yet, anyway.
I want to move away somewhere completely new, but still work in the PR industry. If I’m living and working somewhere like Sydney, Australia then I’ll be able to explore a new country on the weekends and on days off – not head to the same shopping centre and same bars week in, week out. Or if I moved to Dubai, think of the ladies nights and weekend brunches I could go to. If I moved to Europe, I could hop on a train at the weekends and explore so many new towns, cities and countries. I would really just love to meet so many new people, visit new places and experience a new culture while still making progression in a PR career.
7. Educate myself
I’m going to try and learn a new skill this year. What will that be? I haven’t decided yet. Perhaps a new language, a new sport or how to improve SEO. I love learning and think it shouldn’t stop once we leave formal education. Ha, maybe I’ll do a post-grad.
I also want to read a lot more this year as I can’t actually remember the last time I read a book from start to finish. I used to read a book every few days when I was younger, but now I brush it off as not having the time, but I need to start making time. There’ll be more non-fiction books on my reading list this year as I received The Secret, How to Win Friends and Influence People and Getting There for Christmas to start me off.
8. Keep blogging
Whatever I get up to this year, you’ll be sure to hear all about it on here. I’m hoping that whatever happens after graduation, I’ll still keep up with my blog. During my placement year, I was still able to blog every week so I’m hoping it will be the same, whatever happens in the later part of this year.
I want to discover new blogs and widen my reading as I don’t seem to find the time to read much online recently. Maybe I should stop watching so much Netflix in the evenings… I can’t get my head around Bloglovin, but I wish there was another platform where I could search for personal blogs to read around things that interest me.
I have a few personal goals for my blog, and still can’t believe the brands that got in touch with me last year about my blog and that I was given some amazing experiences and worked with some amazing brands too. In 2019, there may be a few changes on my blog and some new introductions, but all will be revealed in due course.
Posting this might make me look as if I have my life together and priorities in check, but it’s just words on a screen. The ideas are there, but it’s the actions that follow that count the most. When I read this post again in January 2020, I’m hoping that I will have kept to my goals for the year.
2019 will be the year of newness. New surroundings, new people, new job, new life.