It’s that time of year again where I like to take my overthinking and analysing a step further by reflecting on the past 12 months.
If you happened to be around this time last year, then you will see that not much has changed when it comes to this part of my personality. This time last year I published a post about the three challenges I wanted to set myself in 2019.
For the past few years I haven’t necessarily made strict new years resolutions for myself, simply because I didn’t want to add pressure to my life. I’m planning on making 2020 slightly different in terms of this but there should be more on that later.
Before I can begin to make plans for 2020, I need to reflect on how 2019 went and whether I was successful with my challenges.
1. READ 5 CLASSICS
I have been recording what I’ve been reading for the past few years and it’s been really interesting to see how much I can actually get through, as well as keep track of my interests.
However, in order to try diversify things a bit more I decided to set the challenge of reading five classics in 2019. I have never really been much of a fan of classics, bar the odd exception, so I thought this was a good way to push myself out of my comfort zone.
At the time of writing, I had read over 80 books this year and I have managed to read five classics!
In 2019 I read:
- Pied Piper : Nevil Shute
- Dracula : Bram Stoker
- The Borrowers : Mary Norton
- A Passage To India : E M Forster
- Frankenstein : Mary Shelley
I did struggle with most of these books – I really am not a natural classics reader! – but I’m so pleased and surprised that I managed to succeed in this challenge.
There are a couple of more classics that I would like to get to before the year is out, but I’m not sure whether that will happen right now.
2. STICK TO MY PRE-ASSIGNED BUDGET
Now this one has been pretty bad for 2019, I have to say.
In my post from last year I mentioned that money is a massive source of stress for me and that hasn’t really changed. Probably because I haven’t done anything about my spending.
I did try to set a couple of different budgets and saving goals for myself – which I would reach just in time for a holiday, event, or shopping trip.
I do wished I had been better with money throughout 2019 (and every other year of my life during employment) but I don’t regret the experiences I spent money on this year. I’ve had some brilliant trips, including a family holiday abroad, and have had such fun with some amazing people.
The way I treat spending and shopping is something I really really need to focus on in 2020 and I’m hoping to learn more from my past mistakes.
If anyone has any tips when it comes to budgeting, managing money, and all that jazz (specifically for a freelancer if possible) please share them with me as I need all the help I can get!
3. TRY A MEAT-FREE PERIOD
There are so many different ways that I want to become better in my life and my meat consumption was a bit of a worry for me at the start of 2019.
I wanted to try to cut out meat for maybe a month or longer to see how it would impact me. There are so many different ways that you can reduce your impact on the world and I felt like I haven’t been doing enough so needed to try something drastic.
While I didn’t manage to do a whole month, I did eat vegetarian for a fortnight.
This doesn’t really seem like a long time at all but I learned some valuable lessons in this time so it has totally been worth it.
I learnt that I do not like to feel restricted in anyway when it comes to food. I’m a massive foodie and eating is honestly one of my favourite things to do.
Being unable to eat certain foods felt very restrictive to me and I struggled a lot.
I’m someone who is not very creative with food as I just have no patience for cooking, which could be why I felt so restricted. I could have used this meat-free period as an opportunity to try some new things but instead I found myself eating way more cheese than I do now!
I have learnt that I do not have to cut out meat completely to be kinder to the planet and I know that there are other areas that I can focus on which will make a bigger impact.
Eating meat-free more often may be something I choose to incorporate back into my life again at some point, but I think I need to shift my focus to simply eating a more varied diet and maybe dealing with my impatience in the kitchen first.
How have your goals gone for 2019?
I hope to be back with you again soon talking about what I want to get out of 2020. Until then…
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