Tuesday, May 6, 2014

26 Before 27

I mentioned on yesterday's post that it was my 26th birthday. As it turns out, blogger Kaelah from The Clueless Girl also happened to turn 26 back in March, and she wrote this great post titled 26 Before 27: Goals and Intentions: a list of 26 things she wants to have accomplished by the time her next birthday rolls around. I absolutely loved the idea then, and thought it would be awesome to come up with my own list for my birthday. So here they are, 26 goals I want to accomplish before I turn 27 (we'll come back to this in exactly one year and see how I did):

1. Pay off 70% of my credit card debt
Yes, wouldn't 100% be awesome, but I know that's not realistic, for two reasons: 1. I freaking love me a good internet sale... They are my guilty pleasure, I just need to take it under control a bit more. 2. I have a few subscriptions that go on my credit card, such as Audible, Photoshop, and Netflix. Regardless, I think 70% down is reasonable/feasible enough, no?

2. Go on an overseas trip with my husband
Over the five years that we've been together, we have been fortunate enough to take at least one trip every year, which is a tradition I am not planning on breaking this year. It's a very important time to reconnect, change routines, and spend quality time together. This is where the best memories are made and I know we'll be glad we have them in our older years. (I know this might be contradictory to the previous point... But somehow I'll try to work it out.)

3. Get rid of guilt
I am going to admit, even though it is hard to, that I don't take failure very well. I don't like the feeling of knowing I am not very good at something (although some things, like cooking and sports, are a failed cause). So in my mind I feel like I have to be the perfect parent, perfect wife, perfect boss, perfect employee... And it's an enormous pressure! I am most definitely not perfect, and the sooner I understand it the happier I will be. I am allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, and not have to feel guilty every time I do. It's funny how life works sometimes: we are usually much more forgiving of other people's mishaps than our own.

4. Learn a lot more about photography
I discovered my passion for photography only last year, and there is still so much more for me to learn. I want to be able to take gorgeous pictures to look back on life's special moments.

5. Update my camera bag
If I'm going to get more serious about photography, then I definitely need a new, chic camera bag. I haven't decided yet between this one from Jo Totes, or this one (in green) from Kelly Moore + A Beautiful Mess collaboration.

6. Become a lot more organized with this blog
There have already been a couple of times when I have made big launches on this blog, but I still find myself so busy with other commitments that they kind of fall behind after a while. I really hope that will change from this year onwards. I am putting some strategies in place to that avail (read #24).

7. Attempt at least one DIY/Craft project a month
I could easily be one of the least crafty people to walk this Earth, but that doesn't mean it always has to be the case. I don't think my projects will be Pinterest-worthy any time soon, but hey, practice makes perfect. This is also such a fun activity to start regularly doing with our son as a family.

8. Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Sean would probably roll his eyes at this one, I have been so bad with my exercise (or lack thereof!) lately... But I really have to try and change that, I do want to learn to respect my body a little bit more.

9. Become more of a tea drinker
I love coffee soooo much! After all, I do come from the land of coffee. But I realize that it's not the healthiest either, and in keeping with the above point, I will make more of an effort to substitute it for tea more often. There are awesome selections out there!  Maybe cut out on the chocolate should be featured here too, but I'm trying to keep this list realistic, so...

10. Do more of what I like
I think this year I achieved a good balance of doing the stuff I have to do vs. stuff I want to do. I want to keep it up, but also do more activities where me and my son spend some true quality time together and I am really there in the moment.

11. Be more social with this blog
For some reason I can't seem to bring myself to use social media as often as I probably should. I really want to become more active, specially on Instagram, where I haven't posted a single photo in ages.

12. Decorate my home how I want it
I think I've mentioned that I am in the process of completely redecorating my home. So for this year I intend to have a home decorated in a way that truly fits our style and reflects our personalities. I am fast becoming a big fan of old-school, rustic vintage vibes and I want my home to reflect it.

13. Go outdoors more
I'm not an outdoorsy person. Not at all. But I really do want to go out more, if only to breathe some fresh air and have a change of scenery once in a while. This can be incorporated into point #8, where I'll do more stuff outdoors with my son.

14. Let go of the past
I struggle with letting go of events, people and experiences from my past. I think that's why life keeps bringing me change after change, until I learn not to look back so much and appreciate what I have right now, which brings me to:

15. Focus more on the present
One of my favorite quotes lately has been: "Don't let the things you want make you forget the things you have." For me this is much easier said than done, and that's really a shame: the thought of looking back towards the end of my life and realising I didn't really live for focusing on the past or the future way too much terrifies me.

16. Finally get a curling iron
I am so boring with my hair! I just can't be bothered styling it in the morning, so I pretty much end up with a headband, or a ponytail or the most boring chignon in the planet. I have my eyes on this curling wand by NuMe in order to vary my style with minimum fuss.

17. Don't forget my friends!
I get caught up in the busyness of daily life, that I sometimes forget to make some time for my friends. Sure, there are my closest friends who I speak to/meet with on a regular basis, but there are other very dear friends who I tend to spend ages without talking to or asking about their lives. I need to make more of an effort to open up my circle of friends more.
Point 17a could be make girls night out a more regular occurrence.

18. Don't let myself get overwhelmed too often
I'm often getting way more overwhelmed than I'd like. I really just need to take a moment sometimes, breathe in deeply, and remember that everything is working itself out. Overstressed is not my favorite state, but it is becoming quite common. This is the year to give myself a break!

19. Maintain date night
Date night has become so important for me and my husband. It is basically sacred. We don't have a set schedule or day of the week, it's more of a "when we feel like it" approach. Spontaneous date nights are the best, and I intend to keep doing them. They are very refreshing for our otherwise-boring lives. Again, a bit contradictory to point #1, but priorities! and also, date night doesn't always have to be expensive: here is proof.

20. Take more pictures of my family
Not only do I want my photography quality to improve, but I also want to capture more of our family's moments. Tommy is growing up so fast and changing so rapidly that it would be a true shame not to document his milestones and phases.

21. Go on at least three spontaneous road trips
What better feeling than packing up and leaving, driving somewhere different just for a short, sweet change? the three of us love them, they don't have to be super expensive, and make for some great change of routine, so I think at least three times in the next 365 days is reasonable.

22. Read at least one book each month
Thankfully, Audible is making this one pretty easy for me. I just need to remain consistent. I definitely want to have this list done and dusted by the time I turn 27.
Update on the list: I already read Inferno, and it was sooooooooooooo good (that's 13 o's; that's how good it is!). I couldn't stop listening to it! If you have been wanting to read it, run don't walk to get it!

23. Buy a nice, good pair of basic black pumps
I have ones that I absolutely adore but they are pretty well-loved by now. I need to get another good, dressy pair, because they are lifesavers when I'm in a pinch. I'm thinking something like these peep-toe Anthropologie heels.

24. Take and complete Blog Life
Blog Life is an online blogging course by A Beautiful Mess. It covers a huge variety of topics (25, actually) about all aspects of blogging, and how to make it something you are really proud of and inspired by. Can't wait to give it a go! And hopefully, this will also help me achieve #6.

25. Participate in at least two more blog swaps
Last month I participated in Buttons And Birdcages' Blog Swap. This is where a bunch of bloggers get together, get partners assigned, and then go and get them a box of goodies they think their partner would like. It was pretty rad to go around finding stuff from my country to send to my partner, who was Martyna, from Spoolish. I will blog about it once I receive my parcel. I am very excited to receive some awesome goodies, and for her to see what I chose to send her. Such a cool experience, I want to do it at least twice again in the coming year.

26. Be more assertive
This is the area of my personality I really want to work on. It will make my life so much easier.

So there you go. Those are my 26 goals for the next twelve months. Some are easily attainable, some will require a bit more work. Some I have been wanting to do for quite a while (hello, #16 and 22) and others have been very recent (#24).

What are some goals you want to achieve in the near future?

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