The last few months of 2018 are flying by and I am more than excited to be welcoming in the New Year soon. It’s time for a fresh start – a whole 365 days to make my own all over again. Hundreds of days to make new memories, meet new people, dream big and work hard. I’ve made a list of nine goals for 2019 and I’d love to share them with you.
As we approach the end of the year, it’s very easy to get caught up in the busy festive season and the frantic planning for the upcoming 12 months. But, amongst the rush, ensure that you give yourself time to reflect on 2018. It’s important to acknowledge all the brilliant things that you have achieved this year. That is, whilst also establishing what you wanted to — but didn’t achieve — and why.
Looking back in this way is crucial because it helps you to understand, in greater depth, your cycle of self-growth. Doing this will enable you to look ahead and set yourself clear, concrete and measurable goals for 2019. A list of goals that suit you and what you want to accomplish this time around. You may have entirely different goals to those you set in late 2017, so, this is a great opportunity to explore them.
My 9 goals for 2019: The plan
With that being said and before we all jump into January head first, let’s set some goals – nine goals to be exact. But, remember, goal-setting is more than just making a wish at midnight on the 1st of January. It’s about putting a system in place and keeping on track; a reminder that you can do anything you put your mind to if you want it badly enough.
For some reason, I feel so powerful once I achieve a goal – big or small – or pass a milestone. It’s one of the greatest feelings and something no one can take away from me – I did it. Goal setting has helped to shape who I am today. The continuation of goal setting each year has boosted my confidence, enhanced my skills and values alongside my personality. Each of these factors have assisted me in becoming even more well-rounded as a young adult.
So, these are my nine goals I’m setting myself to ensure I have an amazing (and productive) 2019. I hope they inspire you to think about creating your own. If you relate to any you could always make them your goals too. Good luck.
#1: Read more
The first of my nine goals is to read more. I absolutely adored reading in my childhood and early teenage years. I was the girl with all the Jacqueline Wilson books ever published in her bookcase. Reading was one of my favourite peaceful past-times; nothing compared to my eagerness when starting a new book. As I grew up, I simultaneously began to read less. This is such a shame as I never stopped reading because I dislike it, I just didn’t make it a priority amongst everything else going on. I would still consider reading one of my passions.
So, in 2019, I want to make a proper effort with reading more. I want to bring that passion back to the forefront of my life and make it a daily activity. Instead of going onto my laptop or phone in my spare time at home, I’d like to read instead. In the past, I have regretted going on social media in this time because I’m not generally learning and am therefore not benefiting myself. Whereas, with reading, it would be the complete opposite.
Why should you read?
Literature provides people with such a wealth of knowledge. This is particularly the case if you read both fiction and non-fiction books on various topics, which is my plan. I’d like to read a few classic novels during 2019 too. This “40 books to read before you die” article couldn’t be more fitting for me to read through to find the best classics out there. You should take a look too – you could even find your new favourite book on the list.
Reading can take you out of your comfort zone in a way that won’t push you like some actives can. Also, it is an easily accessible and inexpensive hobby. You don’t even need to leave the house to buy a book. Just get it delivered from a book store or Amazon! Even better, get a library membership if there’s a library local to you.
The benefits of reading
Additionally, there are some great benefits to reading. Firstly, it mentally stimulates your mind; keeping your brain active. This stimulation can slow down and potentially prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia — how incredible. More so, it can help with reducing stress. Reading can distract you, helping you to be present and allowing you to relax for a while. Personally, my favourite advantage to reading is that it boosts my analytical thinking skills. This is brilliant as this skill comes into play in day-to-day life. Thus, it’s great to build up with an activity as simple as reading.
My goal is to read 12 books in 2019 – one per month, which I think is do-able. If I read more than that, well, I’ve really surpassed my goal. However, I think 12 is a good place to start.
#2: Travel to new places
In 2019, I would love to travel more. Now I know, it’s one thing saying it and another actually doing it. But, I have a plan to do as much as I can in the upcoming year.
I have been lucky enough to travel to numerous beautiful countries. Whilst I don’t enjoy flying, I love the feeling of stepping off a plane and feeling the new air on my skin. Yet, what’s more amazing about travelling is that you don’t have to take a plane or even leave the country to do it. This makes the idea of travel that much more accessible. It’s fantastic knowing that you don’t have to save up crazy amounts of money to travel somewhere new especially when you’re young.
If you don’t believe that, read this article all about the top scenic, interesting and fun places to visit across England for your holidays. That’ll change your mind in no time. Due to travel becoming more attainable, achieving the second out of my nine goals – being this one, of course – will be far easier.
You can travel to new places in your city or country with ease. This is due to public transport carrying a not-so-hefty price tag in comparison to flying. This allows you to visit new areas of the world and meet new people; shaking up your daily routine and experiencing things that will make your life richer. I enjoy using the Eurostar to travel out of England to countries close-by. It’s quick, inexpensive and not as hectic as rushing around an airport.
It’s time to challenge myself
Next year, I will step out of my comfort zone. I want to learn about new cultures, foods and connect with new people. I’m not stating how many places I want to travel to because, frankly, I haven’t got a number. I just know I want to explore what this crazy world has on offer, 60 miles away and 6,000 miles beyond that.
I better start packing my suitcase!
#3: Unfollow people on Instagram
Scrolling aimlessly on Instagram every so often and comparing myself ruthlessly to everyone I see is damaging to my self-esteem. So, my plan is to unfollow people on social media who affect me and my mental well-being negatively. I want these platforms to be a positive place for me to visit when I so choose to – nothing detrimental in sight. Simple enough, hey.
Nonetheless, it’s as if I can already hear people thinking aloud as I write this, “Why would you unfollow them?”, “Why does their feed matter to you?” and “You need to care less”.
If truth be told, this year I deleted over 500 people on Facebook. Now, I’m only left with people I see and speak to. In short, people who I am genuinely interested in and care about. That is, instead of countless people that I had known years ago from parties, holidays…you get the picture. It’s unnecessary. I can count my true friends on one hand so why did I have over 500 on Facebook?!
Why is this important to do?
Doing this “clear out” boosted my mental health. I felt less insecure which was greatly refreshing. I began enjoying my five minutes of Facebook; reading about what my family and friends were up to. In 2019, this is what I want to do on Instagram and I already know it’ll benefit my life significantly. Although, this may be one of the hardest out of the nine goals to accomplish due to social pressures of social “fame” and popularity online. Nonetheless, I must do what I think is right for me. Plus, there is a great deal of things we can’t control but who we follow and what we see on our social media accounts is something that we can. It makes sense to follow through with this goal from the get-go because of this alone.
Trust me, unfollowing people works wonders for your mind and long-term happiness. So, don’t feel ashamed for doing something, such as this, that will value you and no one else. Put you and your positive mindset first.
#4: Save, save, save
Saving money is fundamental to reaching financial independence one day — as well as the ability to do some amazing things throughout your life too. I’m a saver not a spender by nature. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement as I continue through my 20s. I plan on having financial stability sooner rather than later and saving up is one of the first steps to achieving that. This, out of the nine goals I list here, is probably the most crucial (and adult-like) to out-take this coming year and in years to come.
Each month of 2019 I want to save some money in my accounts. Just as I have done in previous years, but stepped up another gear. Whatever I can save, I will, no excuses. I’m ready to work harder and push myself more than ever before. This is mainly because I know it’ll benefit my life long-term as a result. However, I’m not setting an amount for myself because I don’t want the unnecessary pressure in my life. Plus, I am only 21 – I have time to do this.
In my opinion, saving money is worth the effort and sacrifices. It will give me peace of mind, comfortability and the ability for me to have more savings in later life.
So, whether you’re saving £5, £50 or £500 per month, we all have to start somewhere. If we work at it, our financial situations will improve over time, no doubt. Let’s do this.
If you are struggling and need some tips and tricks on how to save money during the year then this article is right up your street. It’ll be your money saving “rule-book article” from now until forever, I promise.
#5: Meet new people
In 2019, I want to make a real effort to meet new people and, if we’re being honest, I’d like to make some new friends whilst I’m at it.
Okay, so, here’s the history of my friendships. I have a few best friends that I have known practically my entire life. I love and appreciate them tremendously and wouldn’t change them for the world. Sure, I’ve had other friends and acquaintances over the years – particularly at secondary school. Unfortunately, there were none that I clicked with enough for a closer friendship to form long-term. Therefore, those relationships sort of withered away.
Maybe it is a little embarrassing to say that I don’t have many friends. Or, I’m just a bit humiliated that I haven’t got a massive group like many girls my age do. Perhaps that’s why I’m apprehensive of attempting to achieve this major goal out of the nine goals I’m setting. I feel such a pressure to have lots of friends – due to societal norms – and I want that thought process to change. I’m not a bad or mean person just because I don’t have many friends, and neither are you. I could have done things differently in the past, most likely. Although, as I step further into my 20s, I think now there is no better time than now to start anew.
How will I do this?
I’m ready to meet and get to know new people this coming year. I’d like to widen my friendship circle and welcome in some new faces to my life. No, that doesn’t mean I’ll pay less attention to my best friends – they can’t get rid of me that easily! I mean that I want to say “yes” to more opportunities even if they’re out of my comfort zone. I need to put myself out there more which I haven’t done for a good few years. What I must remember is that I’ll get out of friendships what I put into them.
I don’t expect a massive friendship group to form out of nowhere by the middle of January. Nor am I going to put pressure on or force relationships because, to put it bluntly, that’s not my thing. All I want to create over the next year (and throughout my life) are honest friendships with like-minded people.
Out of the nine goals this is one of the most important to me because it’s something that I think is an incredibly important aspect of my self-growth. It’s an area that I know could make my life richer and happier by devoting time to it.
I’ll keep you posted.
#6 Cook or bake something new each month
It won’t come as a surprise to you — if you’ve read any of my previous articles or know me personally — that I love food. I used to always favour baking over cooking but, as of this year, I’d say that I’ve enjoyed both equally. Sure, I used to enjoy cooking and baking every so often prior to being vegan. But, in the past four years, I’ve become a full-fledged foodie.
I love spending time in the kitchen testing out recipes that I’ve created myself and following those in vegan cookbooks. Recently, I’ve mastered cooking and baking countless dishes and treats. But, I seem to stick to these recipes each time I decide to make something. I don’t typically change up what I cook or bake unless I’m bringing a dish to someone’s home, having people over for tea or if I have a dinner party to help prepare for.
New dishes galore
In 2019, I’d like to make it my goal to cook or bake something new each month. Mainly this is to improve my skills further. Whether that’s testing out a new muffin or cookie recipe, a curry or shepherd’s pie — all vegan obviously. I want to make some tasty and indulgent starters, mains and desserts for my friends, my family and I to enjoy. Basically, out of all nine goals, this will be the most delicious!
The only recipe that I must try out at some point in 2019 is a double-layered cake. I’ve never made one before and I am eager to give it a go. Perhaps, I’ll ask my younger sister to assist me in baking this though as it could be a big job. If all goes to plan, I’ll have a new celebration cake to make for get-togethers and other festivities.
#7: Manage stress more effectively
Looking back on recent years I feel that I could have managed the stressful situations I’ve found myself in better. It’s not to say that I dealt with the circumstances badly, because I did what I thought was best at the time. But, in hindsight — and with everything I’ve learned since then — I know I can manage things differently. I want to put these methods into practice in 2019 hence why I’ve chosen this to be one of my nine goals to accomplish.
Stress can cause distress; impacting your mental and physical health negatively. More so than that, it can cause emotional damage which can change your personality drastically. I want to be more aware of this occurring. I fear that if I don’t, I’d be doing myself an injustice.
Techniques to help deal with stress
For those days when stress takes over — and we’ve all been there — I want to test out some stress management techniques that I’ve recently learnt. For example, trying out a guided meditation app on my phone such as Headspace before I sleep or as a productive start to the day. I’d also like to attend a yoga class as I know they are meant to be brilliant at helping with reducing stress and relaxing you. These techniques will need dedication but I’m ready to put my all in.
If time isn’t on my side, another option I have is to test out yoga instructor videos available on Youtube. They are quick, cheerful and don’t cost a penny either — result. Trying out these techniques may also help me to find new hobbies too. This would be wonderful as these activities are completely different to what I get up to currently in my spare time.
Sleep is key
On top of that, a note to myself – sleep more. Sleep is a fast stress buster that I’ve taken for granted over the years. I can’t function properly without at least eight hours of sleep. Therefore, I have no choice but to make it a priority in 2019 to maximise my productivity daily. Getting enough sleep will improve my mood as when I’m tired I am much more frantic and irritable. So, by default, I am less tolerant throughout the day which isn’t what I’d like to be. This can cause stress to build up which is not ideal. I’m sure many of you have had days like this too so let’s begin to tackle them together.
Practicing stress-lowering strategies and getting into a good sleeping pattern will surely improve my stress levels. Hopefully, it’ll aid in me in continuing to manage these situations better in the future. Fingers crossed.
#8: Increase my water intake
It’s a well-known fact that water is the healthiest beverage you can drink. Amongst other benefits, drinking water provides you with increased energy and digestion alongside helping to subdue hunger, clear up acne and hydrate your skin. In short, water is fundamental to your health. This is the healthiest out of the nine goals I’ve chosen, hands down.
The average recommended water consumption for men and women is two litres every day. Only six months ago, this was my daily intake. At times, I’d have even more – three litres was my norm for a long while. I felt amazing drinking this much water and I was reaping its benefits each day. Nonetheless, and for no reason whatsoever, I randomly stopped drinking as much a few months ago. Some days, I’d have a mere one-and-a-half litre intake of water. This is a shame considering how much you’re supposed to drink daily and how good my body felt when I was drinking that much.
With everything being said, the penultimate of my nine goals for 2019 is that I want to increase my water intake back to two to three litres daily. I want to take advantage of its benefits again. In particular, how it can help to improve hormonal acne which I struggle with every so often. Maybe this a simple goal, sure, but one that will improve my day-to-day life immensely. That is why it’s so crucial to add to this list. Who’s making this one of their goals too?
#9: Clear out my clothes
The last of my nine goals is to do a wardrobe clear out. If, like me, you have accumulated many clothes over the years, this goal may be for you too.
In comparison to some people my wardrobe may be tiny and to others, massive. What sticks out to me the most is that I have a collection of clothes that I haven’t worn in ages. They just sit in drawers or stay hung up waiting to be worn. Every time I see them, I think, “I’ll wear you one day just not today”. I’ve been thinking this for years with some items and it’s time to change.
Unfortunately, I’m guilty of getting an attachment towards clothes. You know, the ones you wore on a special occasion, for instance. Yet, others, I keep just for the sake of it. I’m never going to wear that crop top I bought at 16, so why is it still in my wardrobe?
The clothes clear out 2.0
Trust me, I’ve got a plan. At the beginning of 2019 I am going to do a big clear out of my clothes. I’ve done this before, I can admit that. Occasionally, I would give away my less-loved items to friends, family and charity shops. Yet, this time things will be different. I am going to be much stricter and give away those items I’ve hoarded since I was much younger. The ones that when I’ve cleared out previously, I’ve said, “No, I’ll keep that, I’ll wear it”. After six clear outs, that’s unlikely to happen.
As I’ve purchased items over time, my wardrobe can’t fit it all. Imagine the space I’d have when I get rid of the old clothes. I’d just have the clothing I wear frequently – choosing my outfit every morning would be a breeze.
So, that’s the plan
So, there you have it, my nine goals for 2019. Nine goals seems a little intimidating right now but I know that with some motivation and determination I can work hard to achieve them all. I’m sure that like magic, the changes I’ve made along the way will become part of my everyday life with ease.
A new year, a clean slate and nine goals to attain – let’s do this and make it the best 365 days yet.
New Year top tips
If you are into healthy living, have a read of some health products to help kick off your 2019 right. You’ll be feeling your best before January ends! Or, if you love your music, this article will give you some cool tunes to add to your new year playlist.