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2018 Reflections/2019 Resolutions

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It's that time of year where we can reflect on last year's resolutions and make new ones. What went well last year? What didn't? What will you do in 2019?

Last year's thread for reference: https://forum.n-europe.com/topic/36579-new-years-resolutions-for-2018/?tab=comments#comment-1793774

I didn't make any specific resolutions last year, so I'll just recap my year.

I left the job I hated (well documented in the mental health thread) and took a chance on my current job. So glad I did, as it's brilliant. It has it's bad moments, but the positives far outweigh it: working from home, a decent wage, being paid milage whenever I have to visit the office and a friendly team to name a few. That's had a huge impact on me and I think it's made me much happier overall. I genuinely dread to think what would have happened if I'd stayed at my old job.

Our household also doubled in population, thanks to us finding a tortoise early in the year and adopting a dog a few months ago. Panzer (the tortoise) hasn't really had much impact, as he's very low maintenance. Bru (the dog) has had much more effect on us. Working from home can be a lonely affair, so it's given me some nice company during the day. Bru, combined with me being comfortable on my own due to being an only child, had made my working days pretty good. I sometimes miss the conversation of an office, but I think I was spoiled by a previous job where I got on insanely well with virtually everyone.

Another side effect of the dog is that we now know a lot more of our neighbours. We've lived here 3 years and never really spoke to anyone outside of our direct neighbours. Now we seem to know half of the village. Or at least the half that are dog owners.

We had a vacation to Greece. It wasn't my idea of a perfect holiday as it was a lot of lounging by the pool, which always seems like a waste to me, but I'd never been there before and it was still pretty good. One stand out moment was the flight home. I had been to Barcelona the previous year and I was miserable on the flight home as I knew I had to return to the awful job. I had none of that on the return from Greece. I wasn't exactly excited to return to work, but there was no feeling of dread. I think it was that moment that made me realise that I was actually happy with my life overall. Returning to the normal day-to-day wasn't something I feared anymore.

As for 2019, there's only really one area of my life I'd like to improve; my fitness. I was originally going to build my fitness myself, then join a self defence class to keep developing whilst learning something new. Well, the self-motivated fitness has kind of failed, so I'm just going to go straight to the self-defence stage. I've emailed the local self defence gym and got the ball rolling. They've just moved premises, so I'm just waiting on new schedules/membership details, then I'll probably take the plunge.

I'd also like to get my bike licence and a motorbike at some point, but that's a secondary goal.

Overall, I'm very happy with how my 2018 went. At the end of 2017, I had absolutely no motivation to do anything outside of work, but the change of job has improved my overall happiness and motivation significantly. There's still some room for improvement in 2019, but I'm in a much better place to accomplish it now.

 

 

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Happy New Year everyone!

In 2018 my main focus was getting out of the house more, I had started to go for walks every day about halfway through 2017 in a bid to push through the anxiety that I was feeling most of the time and while it had helped with my recovery, I still wasn't able to get very far. In 2018 I succeeded in my goal of seeing my brothers house, I even went round for dinner a few times and looked after my nieces guinea pigs while they went on holiday and despite a few wobbles I at least feel confident enough now to spend a few hours there. I also managed to make trips into town feel pretty routine and was able to attend a doctors appointment that a year ago would have had to be a home visit. So overall I'm pretty pleased with my progress on that front, the anxiety and agoraphobia are still major factors in my life but I at least can see a way through it now.

I also set myself some less serious goals - to read at least a book a month (succeeded - just!), to watch a worthwhile film a week (managed 88) and to make progress in a creative pursuit. Unfortunately that last one wasn't achieved, at least not to the extent I had hoped it would be, and so that will be one of my goals for the following year too. 

In 2019 I hope to go even further in my recovery, ideally I would get back to work and find a place of my own so that I can begin my transition properly after the false start of a few years ago. I'll also be reading, watching and playing through my various backlogs and hoping that I can start a new routine of doing something creative for an hour or so a day. 

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I can still remember writing last year's resolutions. Are we sure that there aren't meant to be more than 365 days in a year?!

First up...

To save up and actually, finally organise a wedding.

Well...this one is proving to take longer than we expected! Who has the time to plan and organise a wedding and find the time to work and enjoy life at the same time? We've started on a guest list and are going to be looking at venues soon. So, we'll make great progress on this one, it'll just take a bit more time! I think we have a good idea in our head for the sort of day that we want, so it's just a case of finding the right venue that can match up with that.

Next year: *ahem* To plan our wedding.

 

Improve the house!

We've done a few little things here and there, but there's still loads more that we'd like to do. We've just had a guy turn up this morning to have a look at attaching a shower door, so it's that and the staircase next. Once the little odd jobs are done, we might begin to think about a few more things, like saving up to extend. The trouble with a house is that it's essentially a money pit. It's a bit like a car in the sense that there is also something to throw money on, or something that needs fixing, etc. We haven't really touched the garden yet, aside from adding a few pieces of nice furniture here and there. Think this one will drag on.

Next year: Improve the house!

 

To look ab-solutely fabulous.

Ehh. it's been a rather inconsistent year that I would say. It's been hard to find rhythm due to the busyness of life and work, so I need to get a bit better at sticking to routines. The end of the year has especially been tricky to work out due to travelling to see Ine's family and so on. It's also been hard to get motivated to push myself, as I'm usually tired before the workouts begin! Will get out of this rut somehow. The bar is set reasonably high as I'm used to working out maybe 4 times a week, with cardio thrown in, so that's quite a bit to keep up with when you've got other commitments, too. 

Next year: work out more regularly

 

To enjoy Italy and begin to look at other holiday destinations

Italy was immense and I really enjoyed my time there! Looking forward to going back at some point in the future. I've heard lots of stories about Rome and I thought that maybe it would turn out to be a bit overrated, but the place was truly fantastic and I fell in love with it immediately. Florence is, of course, beautiful, but there is something about Rome that I really took to. Also visited Milan and took a trip to the San Siro, which was fantastic for me as I grew up enjoying Italian football thanks to the awesome Gazzetta Football Italia!

As for where to go next, I'd quite like to visit Germany as I've never been there before. Japan is on our list, but we know that this is going to cost an absolute fortune, so that will be our super-long-term goal. Disneyworld is definitely on our list, but again...expensive!

Next year: go on another holiday...somewhere. Not quite sure where at the moment. I think that I'd like to maybe visit Germany.

 

Last year: to get better with languages, especially Dutch!

My Dutch has really come on over the last year and I find myself understanding a loooot more and have finally got a good hold of the sentence structures and all that. I'm finding the vocabulary a lot easier too, so this has been a huge success. I've also got better with the Spanish and did pretty well with speaking Italian when I was in Italy. This has probably been my biggest success this year and I think I'll just continue to get better with the Dutch especially, due to the frequency in which I use it. Ine and I are planning to really get into Japanese this year, so we'll see where we are in a year's time! I've already done a little bit of it, but the Kanji side of things is reaaaaally difficult and will no doubt take a lot of time to get my head around! 

The tricky thing is finding the right materials, because a lot of language stuff out there is aimed at absolute beginners. There isn't really all that much for people who are not yet fluent, but who are fairly advanced or have a decent grasp on the language. I've been using Memrise, which is pretty great due to all of the additional courses that are on there. I've found this amazing one for Dutch for vocabulary which has already been quite useful, so I'll continue to persevere with this one!

Next year: to become awesome-er at languages!

 

Last year: music stuff. To get a drum kit and get better with guitar playing.

After around a decade of not having my own drum kit with me, I finally bought an electric kit! When I was looking for that perfect dream kit, I found that they were becoming more...and more expensive. So, I ended up buying a Roland TD-50k. It's pretty much one of the best e-drum kits on the planet and it will last me for years and years to come! So, this is THE kit. I'm in love with it. It sounds beautiful to play on and you have so much control over what you can adjust, such as volume control, but also the sound options are just ridiculous. I've already ear-marked some things that I'd like to do to upgrade the kit, such as maybe another cymbal to be used as a crash cymbal and possibly a bigger pad to act as an improved floor tom. There's so much potential here.

I've been playing a fair bit of guitar, too. I'm trying to get better at the theory/song-writing side of things and it's all starting to make a bit more sense now. I'm finding that it's easier to decode songs than it was before and I'm just finding it a lot more enjoyable to do these days than compared to before. I had an opportunity this year to play bass guitar at a performance in school, which is the first time I've ever stood in front of more than mirror with a guitar. It was daunting, but I enjoyed it and can see the appeal. I'll probably get used again for something in the future, so maybe I need to get used to it!

I'm looking at buying a better bass guitar as my current one was bought second hand for a tenner over a decade ago! So, I'm definitely in the market for a new one!

Next year: buy a new bass guitar!

Get better at music theory!

Maybe record a song with a drum, bass and guitar part.

Looking back over the year, it has been a good one and I've enjoyed it a lot. Definite highlights were Italy, going to a good friend's wedding, going to see Mogwai live in Brighton and just generally working on music and languages. Hope 2019 is going to be as good at 2018 was! 

 

 

 

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Get a job that will be permanent. These temp gigs do pay the bills but it's the leapfrogging about which is a bit of a bitch. Few leads coming up soon, so fingers crossed. Which would be nice as it helps with the rest of the resolutions.

Contribute to my wedding properly, I've not really had much money to help pay towards my wedding which shall be in 2020, only been able to pay my half of the bills with a couple of hundred left over which I've had to either use for more immediate projects or save to use the next month.

Get back learning da saxophone. I had to cancel my lessons a year ago and haven't picked up Benny since. One day my dream of bursting into mum's house on Christmas Day blasting out Careless Whisper will come to fruition...

Buy a bench. I don't think I'll be rejoining my gym any time soon, despite their constant emails of "we'll give you the first month half price" emails. I think it'd be better if I put a bench in the conservatory and bought some dumbbells and did a few small sessions a day as opposed to doing a little bit more than a few sessions once a week, or whenever I can be bothered.

Finish painting more of my backlog. I'm not doing that bad a progress finishing off some of my models, but new ones keep coming out... basically the gaming backlog you all have.

 

 

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I don’t do resolutions but getting married and having a baby meant a fantastic 2018 for me.

Just going to enjoy it all this year... as well as not sleep much! :laughing:

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From last year's thread:

 

Quote

Well, not to put a damper too much on this thread but, here's mine:

Live to 2018. 

Most of you know its been a rough year for me. I had major surgery, the loss of my grandad and I'm set to have a hysterectomy in 2018. Things are rough, but I made it!

Join the gym

I actually did this one too! I started a couple of months ago. 

Start a skincare routine. 

I made this one as well, which means I ended up with much better skin towards the end of last year :)

For 2018? Well I've not made anything, I'm just kind of grateful to be alive at this point. 

1. Joined the gym way back in October 2017. In this old thread I wanted to consistently go. I did that! I on average went to the gym 3-4 times a week and lost 15kg. 5 more to go! 

2. Live to 2018. Well, sending this beyond the grave, I meant a bit more than this at the time, but I started really addressing my mental health and doing more things, we went to the zoo, harry potter, japan, cotswolds etc etc. It was a good year for trips. I also started being more open and honest and this has earned me 2 payrises this year! 

3. Skincare, heck yes! My skin is still a battle, but its SO much better than  2017/2018.

This year

Lose more weight. I lost enough to drop down a couple of dress sizes, so I now stand at 12 stone 9. Which aint too shabby. I'd love to get down a wee bit further so that I can level out.

Be less worried. Did you know I'm a Taylor Swift fan? No? Probably not. I have yet to shake off the "I need to be cool", a knock off I learned in therapy from having some really shitty friends the last few years. So "Be less worried" is a general term to myself. Be more me and less what others want.

Keep going with my mental health. In 2018 I went to therapy and it was a weird but really cool thing. I finally admitted after many, many years and 2017 that I really needed someone to speak too. I only did a certain amount due to money, but it was eye opening. I want to keep going and have less mental "blips" than I did late 2018. 

I genuinely hope that end of 2019 I have smashed the above like I did last year, I am so dang proud of myself for it, never thought I'd ever lose weight never mind anything else. 

Cheers! :hug:

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I didn't do resolutions last year which is just as well as I've ended up being ill for 12 months and going so any plans I had kind of went on the back burner. Because of that, troubles in the family and the struggle to find work, 2018 was  pretty awful year for me bar a few stand out moments, such as becoming an uncle again as my brother and his partner had a daughter and she's adorable.

I had wanted to read more last year but I ended up reading only 2 books, both of which were autobiographies. This year, in resolved to reading far more than that. I've a bookshelf full of stuff to read so I'm going to set myself a target of reading at least 5 books. That's not a lot but I'm keeping it low to try and spur me on to achieve that mark.

One of the big things I'm wanting to do more is to get out and just do more nature walks and more exercise. I moved out of a terrible flat last year that was riddled with mould everywhere with a letting agency who wouldn't budge on doing anything about it but the place I'm in now is outside the city meaning that there's plenty of opportunity for walks so hopefully I'll be able to do that more with the missus. On the exercise front, I'm hoping that it'll help with some of the chronic stomach issues as changing diet hasn't helped and the doctors can't figure it out beyond chucking tables at me. So I'm looking at gyms near me to get back into shape as well as looking into starting up swimming again.

Writing is one thing I failed miserably at getting back into last year. I did a little at the start of the year and have a couple of notebooks of ideas for pieces that I started working on but just couldn't be bothered finishing them or posting them anywhere as I didn't feel of find an audience for them. I'm hoping I can get out of that mentality and start writing again, even putting it out there on my blog and whatnot. I'm hoping that having something like this to focus on I can minimise my convulsions, another health issue that's crept in at the end of last year with no answer.

The two biggest things for me this year are getting a new job and working on my mental health. Not being in work has been a bummer and on top of my health issues, it's had a pretty negative impact on my every day life. Hopefully I'll find some luck on the job front at the start of this year and focusing on projects, reading, going for walks and listening to more music will help get me out of the rut I've been in.

So hoping that 2019 will be my year. Fingers crossed for some positivity to come my way at least. To everyone, happy new year and I hope it treats you all well.

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Good luck with all of your resolutions and plans, people! How have our first few days of 2019 been?

I'm currently sat with a hot water bottle, a sore throat and some Lemsip. I've been pretty solid over the last few months, so I guess I was due to fall under the weather! Booo.

On the plus side, I've played a loooot of guitar this week and have really enjoyed it. I've set myself some personal challenges of songs or even whole albums to be able to play through as close to perfectly as possible. I'm tackling the entirety "Siamese Dream" by the Smashing Pumpkins at the moment. :D 

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Love this thread. Very motivating stuff seeing everyone else's goals and successes.

 

My 2018's resos were..

Read 15 books (again)

Had to sneak in a couple of 100 page-rs before NYE but just about made it!

Run 250 miles

Injured myself so nearly didn't make it but a couple runs in late december got me over the line!

Finish an out-of-work animation project on my own rather than with a colleague

Success!

Do two pages of sketchbook work a week

Failed hard at this one

Make a little bit of headway into learning Italian.. 

And failed hard at this one!

 

Found having goals to be really motivating last year - so I've got a whole bunch for 2019

Read 15 books

Watch 20 movies released in 2019

Finish 10 games as I so often give up halfway through / endlessly play fornite

Run 260 miles

Get my 5k time down to under 19 minutes

Improve my half marathon time

Page of sketchbook per week (minimum)

Swim 40 times

Write something fiction (probs a short story)

Finish two out-of-work animation projects

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I made no resolutions in 2018 and I achieved them none!

2019 is pretty much more of the same.  I'm making tweaks (which I'll list), but nothing I'm going to claim as a resolution as that seems to put more pressure on it;

  • Improve diet (little things like less fizzy drinks - so far none! - fewer snacks etc etc)
  • Try and exercise a little bit more (currently do a few pull ups each morning and just slowly increase the number)
  • Try and get into more of a routine with swimming
  • I maaaaaaaay take up Japanese again but I don't want to overwhelm myself (as I have a tendency to take too much on, get overwhelmed and then nothing happens)

I feel like 2019 is the year my life needs a big shake up. My current contract ends in October, my housemate is moving to America some point early this year (depending on how long the visa takes) and it just feels like I need some change.  I've been in the same line of work for many years, same flat for 5 years (although I do like the flat)...I've been wanting to live abroad for a while and I think its finally the time.  Just trying to decide what shape that will take.

I'm trying to gain some knowledge/experience in certain web development stuff in part because there is a slim chance I could get something with the software supplier we use at work in Australia (they are developing something new and seem to be doing so, partially, out there so will throw in a speculative app).  There's a good startup scene in Lisbon which is a city I love but we need to ignore bollocking Brexit.  Or maybe just travel for a while...

idk.  Stuff?  I'll do/be stuff in 2019!  That's my resolution.

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I didn't make any in 2018 either, and looking back it seems to be a year where nothing much happened. There's a few things I actually want to try and achieve this year so putting them down here so I can have something to rate at the end of the year.

Job/Work
I currently do two roles at work, one looking after strategic planning for the company and one running our office in Manila. To be honest I'm usually either bored or frustrated so I'm looking to make a change this year. I'm going to work towards either taking over a specific aspect of the business at my current company, doing that somewhere else, or starting my own company.

Fitness
I never really follow any proper fitness program but feel like I need to try and stick to something and make some proper progress. I've been jogging almost every morning so far this year and I'm planning on getting a proper trainer to work on my overall fitness. I'm also going to improve my diet and cut down on my drinking which is probably the thing most holding me back from making progress.

Money
I'm fairly lucky that I earn a decent amount of money and don't have any worries in this area. However, because of this I tend to not really think about spending and just buy whatever I want, whenever I want it. This year I'm going to try and stick to a budget, not buy things without any thought and try to build up some savings.

Just those three, fairly clear and not too much complications - hopefully I can make some progress in each area.

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