Sunday, 31 December 2017

My 2018 to-do list

I've done my look back at the year but in reality, I'm already looking forward to 2018, plotting and making plans. I'm not one for new year's resolutions - the way I see it, if you want to change something about yourself, why wait until 1 January? Why have your last cigarette, or piece of cake, or pint of beer on 31 December, if it's something you've wanted to give up since September? (Important note: I don't indulge in two out of these three things, and I'm certainly not planning to give up the third).

Instead, I prefer to have goals - a solid list of goals that can be ticked off one by one, because really, is there anything more motivating than a to-do list waiting to be ticked off? Here's my list as it looks at the start of 2018:

Find a new flat

I'm almost 27 years old and I currently live with my mum.  My mum is lovely and I enjoy living there, but I refer you back to my first point: I'm almost 27 years old. I shouldn't be living with family any more. It's a temporary situation, born out of having to get out of an unhappy living situation in London, but it's in danger of becoming permanent.

So, I'm hoping to find my own flat to rent in the area in the early part of this year. I'm past the stage of living with flatmates, and am really looking forward to having my own space. What's more, now that I feel a lot more settled, I'd like it to be a long-term home, not just another temporary space. I've viewed a couple of flats already, but they weren't quite suitable - come on 2018, do your thing.

Start running again

Ha. Cast your minds back to 2015 and you may remember that I signed up for a half marathon. I did a few solid months of training, staying more committed than I thought I would, and was building up my distance ready to take on the half marathon. And best of all, I was (whisper it)... enjoying it.

Then some personal stuff happened and I gave up running very suddenly - that half marathon never happened. Since then, I've only been running occasionally, on days when I've got excess energy I need to burn off, or I need to relieve some stress by pounding the pavements.

I'd like to be able to run a solid 10k by the end of 2018. I was almost up to that distance when I gave up last time, so I'd like to get there again. No time pressures or goals, just running that far without collapsing. If I can do that at least once this year, that's a big tick on the 2018 list.

Take a trip to Edinburgh

I've wanted to take a solo trip to Edinburgh for a few years now, an idea that came out of wanting to see the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo. I did some research, and there are plenty of other things I'd like to do in Edinburgh too, but for one reason and another (money, time, the decision between getting the train or flying) I've been putting it off.

Why solo? Because the me that flew to South Africa alone five years ago doesn't seem to exist anymore. I had an absolute ball on that trip, and was proud of myself for doing it alone, so I'm easing myself back into the idea of solo travel gently. If Edinburgh goes well, who knows what solo trips will be on my 2019 list?

Visit a new place each month

You know what baffles me? People who claim to love travelling, but have barely seen any of their own country. They've been to the Maldives, but not Manchester, Barbados, but not Bath. I don't want to be one of those people, so I'm making it my goal this year to visit a new town or city every month. Some will be daytrips, others may be weekend breaks. Hopefully Edinburgh will be one of them. They may not be the most glamorous or far-flung of places (budget and free time will be a huge factor), but they'll be towns I haven't visited before. I'll be documenting it all on here, and on Twitter and Instagram - and I'm open to suggestions too.

A trip to Hertford in 2016. More of the same in 2018 please.

Visit the Harry Potter Studios

This is another one that's been on my list for years. The plan is to read all of the Harry Potter books, then watch all the films, then go to the Studios. Hands up: this was also my plan last year, but I read about a quarter of the first book, then got distracted by other books, and never came back to it. #MustTryHarder.

So there you have it - my 2018 checklist:

* Find a flat
* Visit Edinburgh
* Run 10k
* Visit 12 new places (including Edinburgh)
* Visit the Harry Potter studios

 Follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see how I'm getting on, and fire over any suggestions for places to visit in the UK.

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