If you’ve just stumbled across my blog, I set myself two small goals for each month of 2017. Here’s why I picked these goals for January if you’d like some context. And here’s how I did…
- Read at least two books
Hello reading, my old friend. Once my first choice for both escapism and knowledge, I could devour hundreds of pages one sitting – not literally, of course, that would be a choking hazard. But figuratively a novel would always have been my meal of choice growing up until it was taken from me abruptly due to anxiety. Suddenly my underappreciated ability to concentrate was much desired and it became frustrating to fail to finish books when I had once enjoyed so many!
There are worst hobbies to try when you’re concentration is withering; I am reminded of the brief time I took driving lessons and somehow wouldn’t notice vans pulling out ahead or the difference between the gear stick and my driving instructor’s knee. It’s safe to say my attempts of taking the open road were short-lived although it probably didn’t help that my instructor used to clap his hands and shout ‘That’s another person you’ve killed!’ every time my mind wandered. Ah, the joys of being a teenager. But reading actually invites daydreaming, with the worst likely injury caused to be a paper cut.
I must confess I began my resolutions on a low, feeling more enthusiastic about writing this blog than fulfilling the actual tasks. I haven’t set myself a reading challenge before due to my weary, insomniac brain and I really should have picked a book by an author I already trusted, perhaps a Banana Yoshimoto or Miranda July’s new book. But shiny new things cost money and I earn below living wage in London so I grabbed a couple off my shelf which had been left there for some time – not a great indicator – and feeling disheartened I soon discarded them. I couldn’t get into them. The characters had stupid names. One of them used the phrase ‘he/she frowned’ too much and it started to piss me off. In the end I did finish two books but I’m not sure I cared enough for them to write about them. Whilst it’s unfortunate that goal number one didn’t give me the boost I had hoped for, I am glad I succeeded.
Since then, I have turned to colleagues and friends and asked to borrow old favourites. I have high hopes for the rest of the year. Let’s just hope I get some good sleep soon and can concentrate on the beautiful words.
2. Go out and socialise… at least twice.
If only February had been my socialising month! I’ve caught up with Becca, eaten the best Vietnamese food with Lianne, celebrated both Galentines AND Valentine’s day with my best friend Georgie (cue lashings of wine, laughter and confessionals). January, when my friends were in a post-holiday slump and weren’t in the mood to coax me out of my typical ‘if I don’t make plans I won’t feel bad about cancelling!’ self, would have been a great month to stay out of the cold. But I made my resolutions to be achievable, not easy. Other than for work and groceries I left the house a total of three times: once for a family meal, once to eat Mexican food with Sarah… and once to head to Disneyland. So mission accomplished on both accounts, if only just.
The goals get harder as the year goes on; you can view the full list here to see the proof! My socialising goal this month was far easier than my social challenges for June and December and my old familiar favourite of reading is nothing compared to the new activity I must endure in March – or if all goes to plan, enjoy! In fact it is the majority of the tricky challenges I most look forward to completing, plus I reckon it will be more interesting to read about how I did something that scared me than this slightly underwhelming documentation of reading books! February is another easy month to ease me into my resolutions but after that I’m upping my game for sure. In the meantime, I’m on a roll and the February update will be uploaded later today!
Thanks for checking in! 🙂