It has arrived, the madness of the most wonderful time of the year. At work everyone is rushing to meet the last deadlines, stores are overflowing with christmas shoppers #poorbankaccount, weather changes are putting the entire country on its ass #snowinbelgium and I'm living next to my christmas tree 24/7. #teamchristmas
Sitting here, besides my wonderfully decorated plastic christmas tree with scented candles and coffee, I realized that after these cosy days with friends and family eating like #foiegrasducks, a new year is arriving. For most of us, this means reflecting on our past behaviour and swearing to do better in the year to come, thinking 2018 will be our tabula rasa. #resolutionstime
With some #falsehope, I as well, decided to reach my full potential next year and started setting some New Year's resolutions. However this year, to save me from tears, I made them a little special. #thankyouwham! I decided to apply something I learned from one of my textbooks to my personal life #christmasmiracle: I'm setting my goals in a SMART way.
So here it goes, my 2018 realistic resolutions. #orsoIhope
#1 | Publish my blog by the start of 2018
This first one should be rather easy. The only thing holding me back is pushing the publish button. I'm continuously working on the content but it's the publish button that is starting to get in the way. At the moment it's kind of like the like-button when you're stalking someone's instagram feed. #panic Although I'm mainly blogging as a part of some self therapy, I'm quite excited to share and learn. This is why I'm making it my number one priority.
#2 | One post per month
This one actually came from a question one of my coaches asked when I told her I hadn't published my blog yet.
A question that hit me like a ton of bricks, even more so coming from a relative stranger. I can't pinpoint the reason why finding acceptable excuses to strangers seems more difficult than to friends. Is it because of your uncertainty of their possible even higher achievements? I mean, for all you know they hiked up Mount Everest with one leg. #whatsyourexcuse So I came up with the good old fashioned excuse of having "no time". #busybusy At that moment she stunned me again with some irrefutable advice.
"Just go step by step, one post a month is just fine."
Was she right? Was posting once a month enough to really allow me to tell people "I was writing a blog"? #needforvalidation For a brief moment I could feel my performance anxiety levels rising, but it was the careless way she brought the message that made me calm down and believe her. It was her sense of #whocares that truly won me over. As long as I keep going and have fun, it really doesn't matter how often I blog. #perspective
With this in mind, I'm taking her advice with me into the new year and putting an end to setting unachievable goals for myself. #wishmeluck
#3 | Invite my grandmother for pancakes in February
This probably seems like a strange resolution, it might even make you think I'm the worst grandchild ever. Well, I'm not.
To clarify, I see my grandmother on an regular basis and we have a good relationship. However, in the past, once in a blue moon, we went out for pancakes, just the two of us. #qualitytime Nowadays, it seems like work and #grownupduties have taken over my life, taking away time and energy for special moments like these. #couchpotato. This year, I feel it's time to re-prioritise and make time again for the stuff that really matters. Starting with my grandma. #takingbackmylife
#4 | Cook two dishes from 'Cravings' by the end of June
Next to slippers, letter boards and pillow covers, I put the cookbook of Chrissy Teigen on my wishlist. I love her non-bullshit twitter comebacks and figured her cooking would be the same. Well, now the book is sitting on my shelf #thankyoubrotherinlaw, staring at me, making it the perfect time to try some of them.
A first glance inside showed me that the food is a lot more refined than I taught. #neverassume For example, a recipe for a simple-looking chicken pasta requires 5 teaspoons of 5 different oils. #Irepeat5teaspoons
I didn't even know you had that many oils.
In addition, the fact that about 40% of the ingredients in the book are completely new to me, shows me I still have a lot to learn in the kitchen, which is why I'm adding it to the list! #topchef #hellskitchen
#5 | Reading challenge: two books by the end of the year
One of my friends completed a reading challenge, which she set for herself at the beginning of last year, making her read one book a week. Seeing her final booklist, truly impressed me and inspired me to do a little more reading-effort myself. #becomingbooksmart
However the proliferation of unread books on my shelf has given me enough insights into my reading habits to know that one book a week is way too ambitious for me. Last year it got to the point, of me buying e-reader, thinking that would solve everything. #whowasIkidding Unfortunately besides my lower paper consumption, my reading habits haven't increased.
Don't get me wrong, as a kid, I used to be an avid reader, reading book after book after book, probably thanks to the fact that we didn't get distracted by computers and msn yet. Luckily, by reaching the age of 26, and going through what they call a #quarterlifecrisis I am now finding new motivations to read. #selftherapy
As such in the past few months, I bought a lot of books to help me reach those previously mentioned self-improvement goals. To put my words into action I chose two set my goal at two books. #theskyisthelimit and since I need to be SMART about it, I've already picked them out.
"The life changing magic of not giving a f*ck" by Sarah Knight. I believe the title says it all. (Photo from the book)
"Zeg me dat ik oké ben" by Marcel Hendrickx which covers more or less the same topic about the need for validation and perfectionism.
Hopefully, these books will teach me a thing or two and if not, at least I will have met another one of my resolutions for this year. #winning
#6 | Have a mexican food night in May
I love themed parties. I love everything about them, from preparing pinterest boards, diy decorations, food and last but not least dressing up. All of these things gets me as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. Luckily, I have a group of amazing friends with whom I can share this kind of excitement. #squadgoals Over the years, we have collected quite some pinterest boards together and this year I'd like to add #Mexicanfoodnight to the mix.
There were two reasons why this theme got my attention. First, I love nachos, although I only recently discovered them. Second, everytime someone is talking about a quesadilla or fritada or burrito or taco, I have no freaking clue what the difference is. They all look good. Two reasons, showing me I don't really need a reason to have this party. #badass #pinataparty #sombreros
#7 | Learn a skill that's not useful for my CV
For a while now there are two items that have been sitting on my #bucketlist: taking a photography class and learning how to sew. Both of them aren't very useful in the hunt of a new job, but to me that may just make them a little bit more appealing. #skillsjustforme
In the summer of last year, I came quite close to registering for a sewing class, but the one year commitment stopped me. Reaching the second one will be a bit easier as some friends and I enrolled already for a class for half of a year for #basicphotography. So actually I'm already halfway through my first resolution. #yaayme The only thing I need to do is buy a good camera, go to class and I'm ready for action. #decisions #paparazzi
Furthermore I'm restraining myself from adding things to this list as I can sense that my feeling of 'realistic and achievable' is being compromised by enthusiasm and good intentions. With this in mind I know this is my cue to call it a day and see how many of these I'll be able to fulfill.