Bye 2014!

Although I’ve already reflected on my travels in 2014 and where I hope to travel to in 2015, I wanted to also recap my more personal goals that I made way back  in July when I was starting out (seriously) in the blogging world.

Click here to read the goals I set myself in July for the rest of 2014

Bye 2014!

In July, I was feeling particularly unanchored, having found myself graduating from my journalism course with nothing but full-time work on the horizon. I should have been enjoying my new-found freedom, but instead I found myself almost floating in limbo, unsure of what to aim for next.

Celebrating the end of my NCTJ course with my fellow journalists!

Celebrating the end of my NCTJ course with my fellow journalists!

I’ve always been driven by goals. It could be anything from “Graduate with a 2:1”, to something as trivial as “Finish the rest of that cheesecake” (something I’ve done a lot of over the Christmas period.)

So, in July 2014, I did what I knew best and made some ambitious goals for me to aspire to complete before the year was out. How did I get on? Let’s find out…

My 2014 Goals

1. Visit at least three new countries
Well, I visited two (Holland and Greece). Money prevented me from doing a third country, but I did manage to squeeze in some pretty decent day and weekend trips in England (see point 7).

2. Take a travel writing or marketing short course
I didn’t take a conventional course, but I did manage to pick up some writing tips at Blogstock, the world’s first ever blogging festival. So I’m going to give this one a big tick.

3. Keep on going with the blog
Finally, I actually succeeded in sticking with something for longer than a month! I may have flaked out on Dexter halfway through season one, but I’m still blogging and still absolutely loving it. Granted it may not be the best travel blog out there (or even in the top 1,000), but it’s still something I love throwing myself into.

4. Lose weight
The less said about this one the better. Although my mum did say the other day “You’re looking thinner than last year” so I’m going with that.

5. Save money
YES! I’ve managed to save up money for Christmas, with some left over for booking 2015 trips. A lot of this has been down to taking on other freelancing work or overtime, while making my own packed lunches and selling old books has definitely helped the ol’ bank balance.

6. Try not to break my retainer again
Touch wood – it is still in one piece. Definitely needs a good clean though.

7. Take some day/weekend trips in England
I’ve squeezed in trips to Bath, Stonehenge, York, Northampton, Reading, Scarborough, Cambridge, Manchester, Salford Quays, London…proof that travel doesn’t have to cost you the earth!

8. Catch up with friends
I’m not sure this is something that can be completed in six months, as I have a LOT of catching up to do with people. There are still people I need to take more time out to visit, but I’ve been blessed to spend some wonderful moments at weddings, Christmas parties and birthdays with a good handful of my nearest and dearest.

9. Have more work published
Thankfully I was able to retain my links with the fabulous TNT Magazine and have written about travel destinations including Iceland, Naples and various restaurants/cafes/sights around London. Definitely something I want to continue with in 2015.

10. Spend New Year doing something different
I rang in the New Year with my boyfriend at his house party. I didn’t quite convince him to head out of London for the celebrations (mainly due to his hectic work schedule), but hey!

I’m giving myself a solid 7/10 for these goals – not bad at all!

My 2015 Goals

Seeing as I love them so much, I decided to make a few more goals for 2015. These cover everything from travelling right through to blogging and my friendships:

2015

Travel to 5 new countries
I’m not someone who measures others by the number of countries they’ve visited – whether you’ve visited 10 or 100 countries, it’s all about what you get out of those places. Saying that, I love the thrill of travelling to a new country for the very first time, and hope to experience this at least 5 times in 2015.

Blog at least once a week
I’ve worked on this pretty consistently over the last few months, but I’m determined to grow my blog further, introduce some new features, and meet a lot more bloggers on the way.

Eat more fruit and veg
I’m done with silly diets – in the end, all it comes down to is eating more healthy foods and ditching the daily chocolate feasts. In 2015, I’m going to up my intake of fruit and vegetables, and try and cut down on calorific treats.

Make more effort with friends
Birthdays, evenings out: I’m determined to remember all of these next year. I’ve already stoked up on birthday cards and stamps, and am trying to make more of an effort to set aside time to see friends.

Continue to save money
Just try a put a little aside each month.

Don’t waste time and effort…
…on people, money and other worries. I think I’m just getting too old for people’s games and attention-seeking strategies. I can’t be bothered with playing along with them, so hope to surround myself with the real friends that matter.

So, that’s what I plan to get up to in 2015! What are your goals, both professionally and personally?