Posted in Lifestyle

2020 So Far – Part 1

It’s another Wednesday folks! I can’t believe we’re already this far into April, or into 2020 in general. Isn’t it mad how time just flies? Well, I say it’s flown, but 2020 so far hasn’t exactly been the marvelous year we all anticipated, has it?

So as you know from my post Two Weeks, the last few weeks haven’t gone the way we expected them to – especially not how I expected when I first started drafting this post back in January!

But rather than looking ahead to the continued uncertainty, I thought why not take today to look back on 2020 so far? Revisit the last few months, and how I’ve been getting on with my New Years’ Resolutions? So that’s what today’s post is all about!

 

January 2020

January started out with a day of productivity – blogging, bullet journalling, cleaning, and just generally trying to get life back on track. We took down the decorations at our house, did a little bit of shopping in the sales, and had a family meal out at the local pub. Then it was back to work and back to reality – Open Uni work to do, the usual 9-5, and I had arranged to start back to guitar lessons so I desperately needed to squeeze in extra practises! The first week back to work was manic – not the slow ease back in we had hoped for or expected, but instead it was super busy, the couriers were causing their usual problems, and by the end of the week I honestly just wanted to curl up and sleep for a month. But instead I was out for dinner with Mum and Granny – a decent night, but the no fizzy drinks challenge was difficult when I was the designated driver for the evening!

Chicken Burger out for dinner January 2020

A weekend of guitar, blogging, uni work, and a family walk then led into another busy week of work, but this time I was ready for it. Well, I felt ready. I learnt a new song on guitar, taught my teacher a Taylor Swift song on the guitar (All Too Well – an easy 4 chord progression, but hey at least I can play 3 full songs now!), and then it was my half day from work. We just did a little shopping, and then home for dinner, but it was good to have the extra few hours. That weekend then was more walks, a trip to the pub to watch a rugby match, and then on Sunday was Dad’s birthday so we were out for lunch at the rugby club. And finally the last 2 weeks have been more just working, guitar, watching TV, going for walks, and generally just making sure I actually sleep enough to function!

Roast beef dinner covered in gravy, with Yorkshire pudding, peas and carrots, all on a white plate - Sunday Lunch out for Dad’s birthday January 2020

 

February 2020

Looking back on February, it wasn’t the busiest of months. Mum went to Edinburgh for a weekend, and over that time I watched a few films, and we had a couple of Dad’s friends over for dinner.

A photo of Me in a checked shirt - feeling cute when having friends round for dinner February 2020Me feeling cute before having people round for dinner

Between work, the rugby starting back, Open Uni work, guitar, and just generally trying to stay sane, I didn’t do a lot this month.  Maybe that’s why I found it a long month? Who knows. Even at the end of the month I spent the day on Open Uni work, and then cooked dinner for the 3 of us, and then settled down to watch tv. So apart from those few days in the first 2 weeks, I really didn’t do much.  Whoops!

 

 

March 2020

At the start of March 2020, we took a walk to get the cobwebs blown away, even with the constant storms. It was freezing, and we ended up getting caught in a hail storm, but it was good to get out even just for a while. We went to Granny’s for dinner, and I started my books for the month and practised guitar.  The following week was straightforward enough for during the week – the usual work, guitar, uni work, that kinda thing. Then on Friday, okay there was the dentist in the morning, but that was the weekend Mum and Dad were in Edinburgh for the rugby and to welcome Rachel back from the Philippeans. That weekend I went to a Whiskey Tasting event in the rugby club, had a hair appointment very early the next morning (not advisable when you’ve had an evening on wine, gin, and whiskey), a day out with Granny, and then a Sunday of blasting through all the housework that needed done, some reading, a lot of guitar, and a return to knitting, all before back to work for another week.

Three shot glasses containing three different Bushmills Whiskeys - the shading getting dark from left to right as the age of the whiskey increasesA short Whiskey tumbler with “The Old Bushmills Distillery Irish Whiskey” engraved on the glass. Inside the glass is a standard measure of Bushmills’ Black Bush whiskey mixed with a sparkling apple juiceBushmills Whiskey Tasting Night March 2020 - our table set up

That was the week that things started to move here in the UK, and the weekend before St Patrick’s Day was when things began to feel real. Granny’s holiday got cancelled, so we didn’t have to do an early Mother’s Day thing like we had expected to, but she came up for a while on Saturday and then we went for a walk in the forest park on Sunday. The following week in work, things got busy. Ireland had enforced the closure of pubs, clubs and restaurants, and we were expecting a call for a full lockdown, so the week in work was spent trying to sort out making sure customers got what they needed, and then Italy and Spain closed down, and the UK was getting more and more serious. At that point, we put a stop to my guitar lessons, and it was assumed that choir wasn’t going to go ahead. By the end of the week, my half day on Friday saw us go down to Granny’s to work in her garden a bit for her, and then Mother’s Day was a quiet one in the house. When Boris’ statement was shown on Monday? Well, we went into work on Tuesday to tidy up loose ends, and that’s then us at home for the foreseeable. So since being home, I’ve been working back through the old posts on here to tidy them up and fix broken links and the likes, guitar, joining in with the exercise classes going on YouTube, and just generally reading, playing games and gardening. Rachel came home because she now needs her car for working in Edinburgh, and she’ll be travelling back on Saturday to start her shifts in the hospital. 

 Maisie - our cat - sunbathing in the garden March 2020

Wow it has been a busy enough time, hasn’t it? I’m actually not even sure how I’ve been getting on with my goals now that I’m looking at all that we’ve been up to in the last few months. Shall we find out?

Goals for 2020 – so far!

Health

  • Less soda/fizzy drinks
    Yup! With having taken January as my month of no fizzy drinks, I’ve become a lot more aware of how often I drink them. In fact, once I came off that month of no fizzy drinks, yes my intake of tonic water increased, but the Diet Coke (my biggest weakness) dropped to maybe 1 or 2 at the weekend, or 1 mid-week. Again, predominantly as a mixer!
  • Drink more water
    Again, yup! I’ve got a 1 litre water bottle that I’m drinking 2 of a day in work, and trying my best to have 2 of each day of the weekend. I started out by any time I wanted a fizzy drink I had a glass of water or a cup of coffee, but that then lead to the next goal…
  • Drink less coffee
    February’s goal was to cut out coffee, and we managed that until day 9. But since then, I’ve reduced to 1 a day, and with being off work, I managed to cut down even more. So I count this as on track!
  • Start walking more
    Well this wasn’t going so well, until the half lockdown was imposed (I say half because we are still allowed out). That one form of exercise a day became the thing keeping me sane – well that and the Joe Wicks PE With Joe classes he was running on YouTube for kids. Those things are exhausting!
  • Eat healthier
    Since going back to taking my own lunches to work, cutting out the morning tea break, and generally cutting down snacks apart from the weekends, this seems to be going to plan! My next goal will be to stop eating after dinner, but I’ll probably start that in May and see how it goes.
  • Track my habits
    Yup! I’m loving taking the time to fill in my bullet journal each night, so my monthly habit trackers are being kept on top of regularly.
  • Meditate more
    Yup! Every night so far, and even some mornings. I’ve not reached the stage of doing it at other times of the day, mainly because I can end up really sleepy or emotional afterwards, but we might start looking over the summer at walking meditations as well.
  • Get more sleep
    Not so sure if this is on track.  Some nights I sleep 10 hours, others I’m lucky to get maybe 4. We’ll work on this goal next month I think. Although the brighter days are kind of making this hard.

 

Money

  • Finish the year with a clear credit card
    Working hard on this goal! There’s a fine line between clearing the card and wiping my savings, but I’m definitely reducing what’s on it and haven’t spent anything on it in months, other than to pay it off again immediately.
  • Have more savings (Help to buy ISA!)
    This is going okay, but at this rate I don’t think I’ll be buying a house before the end of the year. But I’m trying and that’s the main thing.
  • Be financially stable
    If everything above goes to plan then yes. It mightn’t sound like a lot, but I’m slowly but surely getting there.
  • Spend less on others – I realise this sounds wrong, but I tend to go overboard with presents every now and again, so I need to try and stop this.
    Haha well this was going well until those Amazon Wish Lists started on Twitter. For anyone not aware, the current trend is to share your amazon list on these threads, and gift something to someone else on the thread. It’s so easy to get drawn into buying something for everyone, and that’s been my downfall this month! Until then it was all going so well!

 A spring garden, with yellow and red wallflowers growing against a green trellis. In white writing in the foreground, the words 2020 So Far Part One are written in cursive writing

Self

  • Read 18 books
    Currently I’ve read 7 books. Girl Stop Apologising (Rachel Hollis), Between The Stops (Sandi Toksvig), Me (Elton John), Hypnosis (Jon Biddle), Tusker (Dougie Arnold), F**k No! (Sarah Knight), and Warlight (Michael Ondaatje). I swear, #StayHome was good for my reading goals! I’ve also listened to more audiobooks but we won’t count them in this total.
  • Use my phone less
    So in January I was averaging 2 hours 40 minutes a day on my phone. February saw that change to 3 hours 10 minutes per day on average, and March was not being recorded because that’s unfair. Maybe 2020 wasn’t the year to decided to cut down on using my phone.
  • Journal daily
    Yup and yay for that! It’s crazy how much more in control of myself I am when I’m journalling, and I really enjoy doing it.
  • Improve at Guitar
    You’d probably be better asking the guy who’s teaching me, but I feel like I’m getting better? I can now actually play a couple of songs though so that’s something! And I’ve taught myself a new song over the lockdown period, so I’m quite pleased with myself.
  • Keep my room tidy
    Yeah we fail at this one every time. But it is part of my weekend routine to do a proper tidy and clean on a Saturday or Sunday morning depending on what the weekend plans are. So as long as I stay on top of it then that’s something.
  • Be more self confident
    Can we judge this one? I don’t think I’ve become more self confident over the last few months, but we can work on that.
  • Make decisions
    Okay this one is a yes. I no longer constantly just go with whatever.
  • Travel more
    Eh not so much. Travelling more doesn’t exactly go well with saving money, and the delightful COVID-19 kinda put paid to all my travelling trips so… anyone any tips on travelling more while saving then please send them my way. Especially for when freedom of travel opens up around the world again!

 

Blogging

  • Reach 10,500 followers on Twitter
    Achieved! I’m currently over the 10,500 mark actually!
  • Reach 800 blog followers
    At time of writing (Monday 13th April) I am sitting on 789 followers – so close! So if you don’t already follow, maybe you could help me out?
  • Post weekly
    Managed this so far, apart from February.
  • Remember to promote my blog posts!
    Ever since I ditched Instagram and focused on Twitter and Facebook, my posts have been getting more views. Maybe Instagram just wasn’t right for me, but I’m definitely promoting my posts more. Just a shame I leave scheduling tweets until 11pm and then haven’t the energy to schedule them all… but we’re working on that.

 

So there you have it – my 2020 so far! Anyone else on track with the majority of their goals for the year? What’ve you been up to so far? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Author:

Hey :) I'm 25, from Northern Ireland and no longer new to blogging. I love all things TV, books, food, music and film as well as going out with friends. This is hopefully somewhere you'll be able to come if you feel you need a laugh or even just to stay in touch. Life can be hard and confusing, so

12 thoughts on “2020 So Far – Part 1

  1. What a funny time it is hey. I love that you’re looking back though and focusing on your successes.

    You’ve done phenomenally well. Here’s to a better few months ahead for us all x x

  2. Well done on the book reading – already a great accomplishment and we are just wrapping up Q1 of 2020. It sure has been a crazy start to the year. Spending less has certainly been made easier.

  3. Congratulations on managing to hit so many of your goals when the world has gone so topsy-turvy! I definitely need to start looking at what I’ve managed to achieve this year, because this is inspiring!

  4. Congrats on reaching so many of your goals! I find that making permanent goals for the whole year to be a little too much. As I change my mind or something comes up which makes me have a change of plans. Right now, I started a new goal of trying to knit my very first blanket! I’ve been practicing making pot holders since there small but now I’m more confident in starting a blanket! That and I ran out of yarn for making pot holders. I’m hoping that after my three college classes end I’ll get the change to spend more time on it.

    Jordan | Myflourishingretrospect.blogspot.com

  5. I really love this post, it’s a good idea 😉 And I agree with all your 2020 goals. I’m also trying to eat more healthy and work consistently on my blog (I started writing since few weeks) 😆 keep going

  6. Aw it’s nice to read about the first half of your year and to think back to slightly more normal times! I love your list of goals and definitely need to have a look back over my own- one of mine is also to save into my Help to Buy. I hope you’re well!
    Soph- https://sophhearts.com x

  7. I think you’ve achieved loads, despite the hurdles thrown up by lockodwn. Kudos to you!

  8. Reading this just highlighted how quick things turned. Being able to socialise feels like a million years ago now. Your February sounded really busy! I’m glad you’ve found lockdown a productive time in terms of blog stuff x

    Sophie

  9. Isn’t wild looking back on the year thus far and realizing how quickly everything changed? January and February we had no idea what was waiting just around the corner… Oh how I would love to return to that feeling of blissful ignorance once again! I can’t help but wonder when we will see ‘normal’ again, and what the new normal will even be!

  10. You’ve given yourself quite a list of challenges! I may join you with some of them…except for cutting back on coffee! ha

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