Ah, resolutions. The way I look at New Year’s resolutions, it seems they are admirable life goals that all have one thing in common – they are so ridiculously admirable that they’re virtually impossible to achieve. And if they weren’t, you would probably just do them at any old time and wouldn’t have to keep setting the same challenge at the start of every darn year. Case in point: every year, I resolve to drink the recommended amount of water every day. Every year, I do this for approximately one day, get taken aback by how little my bladder can cope with the sudden influx of fluid and revert back to my bad old ‘a few cups of tea a day will do it’ ways the very next day. Every year. No matter how good my intentions, turns out I really like tea and water just takes up space in my body that tea could have. But also, this goal is just too extreme a change to keep up – it would be more sensible to set the challenge of drinking one more glass of water a day – that, I might actually do (note: I probably wouldn’t make it to February).
However, in 2014, I set myself some goals, partly linked to this blog. And the great thing about these was that they were achievable and the fact that I’d shared them publicly meant I was about 99% more likely to do them. Because, turns out, I can use my fear of failure for motivation – and there’s no more public arena of failure than in front of the whole internet. Not that I’m ever expecting a reader to grill me on which resolutions I kept – it would be very strange if any of you even remembered I wrote them in the first place. But still, you could. And apparently that’s enough for me!
For the record, I have basically kept most of them, although with varying degrees of success. I’ve worked hard on improving my blog images, I’ve bought things that weren’t pencil skirts, I’ve shared more of my life (whether you cared or not!), I got over my dental angst and restarted my Invisalign treatment and I did take better care of my nails generally (they even had nail varnish on them about 50% of the time).
So, here’s 2015’s goals…
Keep up the good photography work
In early 2014 I got a DSLR and an attitude change towards the pictures I put on this blog. Putting up dark, blurry photos taken in my bedroom frankly started to depress me because that’s not what I wanted this blog to look like. I would never say you need a camera like mine (which, by the way, was the cheapest possible Canon DSLR) to have nice blog images, but in my case, it both helped and was the huge investment I needed to trigger a change in approach mentally. I go into 2015 with a brand new lens (thanks, Santa!) and I can’t wait to get to grips with it. Oh, and expensive equipment and learning how to use it isn’t the only key to continuing to improve my image quality – I also need to stop getting so nervous before shoots that I’m miserable in 90% of photos. B has become a bit too well acquainted with my ‘when will this be over?’ face.
Write more, write better
Over the last year I’ve tremendously increased the number of blogs I read and it’s taught me one very important thing: I pour so much effort into my pictures I’ve forgotten to give any thought to the writing. In a time long ago, I thought I wanted to be a writer – all it took was a degree minoring in creative writing to knock that out of me, but writing is still something I can enjoy – particularly if I’m not then forced to analyse my authorial intentions in a 2000 word essay. And it’s taken too long to realise that I can love to write again on this blog, as I’ve become so wrapped up in the images. Although I work full-time, 8 hours a week are spent sitting on a train with my phone and there’s no reason I can’t write this blog then, although please, Google, improve your AWFUL Blogger app!!
Remember to accessorise
Ok so it’s not really that I outright ‘forget’ to accessorise my outfits, it’s more that I’ve had a fairly lacklustre approach to it in recent years which makes it look like I have. What’s actually happening is my money buys all the clothes and not the things to go with them (it’s the money, you understand, not me). Towards the end of 2014 I did make a real effort to buy a few more bags – we’re talking Primark largely, so I’m hardly breaking the bank here… and the difference it made to the choices for my outfits was great. Because, what essentially happened, is that there were more things to match other things to. And yes, for the 100th time, I’m obsessed with matching. And this doesn’t stop at bags, there’s so many ways to add extra levels of interest (and matching) to my outfits out there… I particularly see the appeal of scarves and brooches, which again Christmas has helped me out with (as all will be revealed).
Master basic sewing
Something else Santa – or rather, B to give him due credit – gave me is my very first sewing machine. Currently, the only thing I can do with a piece of thread is re-attach buttons. And I’m fairly sure I’m not the best at that. This is partly because I’m incredibly impatient and once I’ve failed to thread a needle five times I’m likely to have a hissy fit and give up, but also because I’ve simply never learned to do anything more skilful. So, the aim is to self-teach at least the basics so that I stop spending so much money on the same simple alterations time and again (basically, shortening everything). As I said recently, it really is bad when your tailor knows your measurements by heart. However, it’s fair to say I’m starting from a point of zero skills and having had a go at re-hemming already – took all day, punctured thumb deeply with needle twice, result is wonky, patchy and looks awful – this one has failure potential written all over it!
Not just Dry January… Dry 2015
Cancer Research UK is trying to get the nation to quit the drink in January, but I’m looking to go bigger and give it all up for the whole year. While I’m not a big drinker currently, I am very socially awkward and I appreciate drink’s transformative powers to make me a more outgoing, bubbly, generally more-tolerant-of-other-people-I-have-little-in-common-with person amongst others. And I really like a spiced rum and coke now and then. However, it’s come to the point where my body’s refusal to process alcohol without making me feel very poorly – especially after wine – is probably something I should stop ignoring. I don’t know what my problem is (answers on a postcard please), but I do know it’s not normal to throw-up after one glass of wine – I mean I know I’m small and a lightweight, but seriously, a mouse could probably hold its drink better. So I write this intention to at least try to be alcohol free for one year to see if I can do it and then, if I can, if I can sustain it in the years to come. I think my body will really thank me for it… Well, it hopefully won’t vomit, which is all the thanks I need.