Thursday, 2 January 2014
Starting the Year Anew (Resolutions)
Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!
I decided to take a little time off over the Christmas and New Year period, keeping almost completely away from social media, not blogging and making the most of time spent with the boys, my family and the bloke. It was a decision well made and we all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I will be writing more about what we got up to during our visit to see family in the coming days (including more about The Gruffalo pictured in the above photo), but for now, before I forget them, I want to write down the resolutions for 2014 that have been running through my head.
I know it's kind of old fashioned these days to think up resolutions for the coming year. From what I've read online of late, it seems that many just don't bother with them anymore, however, I always love a bit of a challenge and, with a very promising year ahead of me, I want to have a place to refer to, to keep me on track with my aims for the year and there seems no better place than this blog. So here goes...
1. Buy more local, less supermarket this year I am going to make a real effort to buy as much as I can from local suppliers such as butchers, bakeries, food markets etc and rely less on the chain supermarkets. Whilst I won't be able to do all my food shopping from local suppliers, I really want to make going to the local food markets (there are some brilliant ones not too far from me) part of my weekly routine and buy my meat supplies from the local butchers.
2. Work more efficiently Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a workaholic. I love to work and always have and it is something that is important to me for my self-worth and happiness. I am lucky that my passions and skills mean I have found a way to create work that fits well around my kids, but, with a man on the scene and soon no longer having almost every evening to spend by myself working, I need to seriously look at my workload and find a way to streamline it and use my time more efficiently.
3. Rely less on Amazon I have used Amazon a lot since becoming a mother. The fact is, that it has always been a quick and easy way of buying items I need from one resource and having it sent directly to my door. However, that of course comes at a cost and I myself have seen Amazon's growing empire having an effect on friend's small businesses. Because of this, I am going to rely less on Amazon for purchases and buy from small business. My budget will likely not always allow this move, however, I will do so as much as possible.
4. Get fit(ter) I may have over-indulged a little over the Christmas period, okay, alot! My love of cocktail sausages, pork pies, mince pies and pretty much every item that I love to eat in the UK, but can't find here in Germany, took over and I made the most of the opportunity to eat them. Lots of them! Now it's time to get physical and get a little more active. At least it will be soon. Once the bloke moves over to Berlin, I will have the chance to get in some exercise classes hopefully and tone up a little.
5. Drink (a little) less Diet Coke I am being realistic with this one. I am an addict and that will not be changing any time soon, however, I will make a real effort to cut down this habit.
6. Cook every recipe from 'Save with Jamie' Whilst in the UK, I found Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook on sale for a bargain 7.99 and I snapped it up (at time of writing this post, the book is still on sale at that price here). Upon looking through the book, it was total food p**n and my mouth was watering at just the thought of those meals. I am really looking forward to working on this resolution!
7. Travel more Having left home quite young and living in London, an incredibly expensive city, for 7 years before moving to Berlin, I have not really had the finances to travel much. I've explored bits of Europe and have been to the States a handful of times, but most of my travelling was done in my childhood and I am seriously ready to see the world a bit more. My ever-growing passion for photography has made this urge stronger as I love the idea of what I could find to photograph and it will be great to explore different places with the kids as they get older. There are a couple of trips ahead of us in 2014 and who knows what else we'll manage to fit in?!
8. Enjoy the now This is a really important one. I have spent the last few years working so hard and then, when not working, looking after the boys, I sometimes forget to just enjoy myself as me. Being in a relationship and frankly, being spoiled every once in a while, has shown me how much I enjoy just having fun and forgetting all the responsibilities and such now and then and I plan on doing that more this year. Of course, it isn't possible, or reasonable to do this all the time, but once-in-a-while it is good to just let go and treat yourself.
9. Get off benefits I've never hidden the fact that I am on benefits, despite it being something I am far from proud of. In fact, my first ever post on this blog almost 4 years ago was about exactly that. Before I fell pregnant with Alfie I had cut my reliance on benefits down to the point where I was paying the majority of my outgoings myself, but of course, having a second baby changed all that. This year though I have major plans afoot and a big one will be to get off benefits. I have given myself the deadline of August and hope to manage it sooner. Watch this space!
So that's it. My main resolutions for the year ahead. Have you made any this year or do you not go 'in' for the whole resolutions 'thang'?
Ps. thank you to my wonderful bloke for the amazing photo of the boys and I at the top of this post