So long 2015; its been a blast

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It seems fitting that as we move into a new year I take the opportunity to reignite my blog with a refection on the last 12 months. I have to say, I am quite sad to see the back of 2015 – it has filled my life with some fantastic opportunities and amazing memories.

Firstly, I have travelled more than i ever had before. I ended 2014 in Amsterdam, followed by a trip to Egypt a week later where I went diving with sharks on the Brothers Islands.

Then, in March i went to New York with my niece – i love, love, love this city and it was amazing to fly in a helicopter over the bright lights, watch another show on Broadway and finally go ice-skating in central park.

May saw my first experience of Eurovision and boy did I love it. I went my a friend from work, it was an impromptu trip but we managed to squeeze in sightseeing in 2 cities and a night at the Song contest too. We’ve already booked our tickets for Sweden in 2016!

In June I finally went away with the hubby (and another 20 friends) on our annual summer diving holiday to Hurghada, Egypt. I love spending time in this place with the people i now call my friends. We’ve already booked our return summer trip for 2016 too.

There was a short 3 weeks break and i was out of the country again, in July, with a once in a lifetime opportunity to the Maldives. This place was absolute paradise and it was here I got to swim with sharks, turtles and a whole horde of giant manta rays. I was literally speechless for most of the holiday and anyone who knows me, knows this is unheard of!

The next trip was a work related one, and I travelled to Changsha in the Hunan province of China. China is a country that I would never have chosen to visit but the experience really opened my eyes and I really enjoyed finding out about the Chinese culture, meeting staff and students studying at the University there and finding out more about life on the other side of the world to me.

I then travelled to Vegas a week later with another work mate and I have to say, this was one of the highlights of my year. We took a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and landed on the side of the Colorado river for a champagne picnic. This was one place on my bucket list but it was somewhere I never expected to want to come back to, but its safe to say that I will be making a return visit one day in the future. There’s still half a strip to explore and even more shopping to be done!

It was really nice to spend Christmas at home this year, after all the travelling, I was definitely looking forward to a rest, but I’ve already got itchy feet and am looking at holidays for the later half of 2016 – I most definitely have the travelling bug!

So, its fair to say that 2015 has taken me far and wide, to places I have never been before and to places I definitely want to visit again. It hasn’t all been bright lights, big cities,  fun and games. There have been days Ive cried and days I’ve been so mad and couldn’t wait for it to end. But I know that I am so lucky to be experiencing the life I have, the opportunities I have been given are not for everyone and I know that.

I didn’t actually manage to stick to any of the goals I set myself in 2015 – I was 2 books short of reading 52 this year, so Im not counting that as a complete fail – but do you know what, I actually don’t care about the goals I haven’t achieved, because I know that I have had one hell of a year with the people I love, doing the things I love, and I am so lucky to be ending the year saying so long 2015; its been a blast.

 

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The one with the 2015 Goals

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Once again I have done my usual of falling off the face of the Earth when it comes to the blogging world. It seems every time life gets a little hectic, I end up MIA! I have so many posts to edit and actually put out there it is unreal!

So here I go with the first one. My 2015 Goals – I hope that by starting at this point it might actually help when it comes to more frequent blogging!

So yes, it is 2015, a brand new year. I literally cannot believe how fast the year has gone. Actually, it is almost the end of January, so not only has the year flown by, the last month has, and once again I am a little late to the party.

Anyways, in the spirit of better late than never, I thought I would share with you my 2015 resolutions. Then I decided, what’s the point in making resolutions, as I don’t really feel any sense of guilt if I don’t stick to them. I don’t really want the year to pass me by without feeling a sense (or no sense in some cases) of achievement, so I thought maybe a better thing to do would be to set myself some goals. 15 to be precise. Its 5 more than the 10 resolutions I made last year (too many of which I definitely did not stick to), but this year I feel I have a much higher success rate, as I hate failing and if it’s a goal then I will be stubborn enough to do my damned hardest to succeed.

So here I go with my 15 goals: (starting from today I have decided, as there is no point trying to back date them, and nobody wants to be set up to fail from that start!)

  1. Read 52 books in 52 weeks (See 52 book challenge to check my progress)
  2. Tick 8 things off my Bucket List (see 30 things to do before I am 30)
  3. Complete my 200th scuba dive
  4. Drink no more than 1 Starbuck’s coffee a week (unless I am on holiday when it is allowed!)
  5. Update my blog once/twice a week
  6. Get fit (not sure how to measure this one, but ill figure something out!)
  7. Make an entire outfit from head to toe
  8. Go the gym at least twice a week (this will help with no 6.)
  9. Spend a month not a penny in my overdraft (buying less Starbuck will definitely help with this!)
  10. Save £20-£40 a month for Christmas so I am not broke in December and January (this happens every year and I never learn!)
  11. Say something I am happy/thankful for, for 100 days (See 100 happy days)
  12. Spend more time with family and friends, and less time behind my office desk
  13. Save an extra £1 every week and actually keep it in my savings account. (eg week 1 save £1, week 2 save £2, week 10 save £10!)
  14. Loose a lb a week (of the weight variety) in time for my summer holiday!
  15. Live life to the full (not so much a measurable target, but this should be a life goal for everyone)

Now I’ve made my goals I have to stick with them! Like anything, some will be easier than others. But as usual I will keep you updated with my progress! Or at least I say I will…

So, I guess I better decide which 8 things I am going to tick of my bucket list, whilst driving to the gym, before updating my blog and putting some money in my saving account, and eating my delicious and nutritious salad of course…because I am totally not still sat behind my office desk, wishing I was going out for a takeaway!

The one without any diet coke

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Keeping in line with my new year’s resolutions, I thought I would update you all on how things are going on the resolution front. If I’m being completely honest, it is a little bit of a mixed bag.

Well, that was me being honest, when I started to write this blog post 2 weeks ago. (NYR no 7 – Blog once a week.) As you can see, my last post was New Year’s Day, and we’re now on the 21st – so yeah, this whole resolution thing is going really well for me!

Maybe I should start by posting what I’d wrote so far, on the 13th Jan – and ill update you on the actual progress to date along the way!

13-01-2014

Resolution 1: a photo a day – I started strong, I even began posting them to Facebook so that would encourage me to carry one. I got to day 7 pretty easily. Then day 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 happened so fast that I blinked and missed them. So, it’s now a photo a day, minus a week-ish. Note to self: Must do better.

Resolution 2: gym at least twice a week. Well, this couldn’t start until I was back from New York – so I haven’t technically broke this one yet, but I have already lost 2 out of the 7 days by not going at the weekend and having a disaster of a start to my Monday morning drive to work.

To be fair to me, I’d packed my bag the night before and had it ready and waiting for me to leave with it on Monday morning. When I opened the door, I realised that my car was missing from outside the house. I looked outside the garage but couldn’t see if, so thought that my beloved husband had decided to hide it on me as a joke. 20 minutes of searching the estate later, I remembered that I’d left it in the town centre yesterday as we decided to go shopping in the same car. I’d totally forgot on the way home, didn’t pick it up (obvs) hence why it wasn’t on the drive as expected. Cue the one mile long walk to the town centre to get car before I could drive the 20 minutes to work. Drama, drama eh. I’d actually been organised and prepared lunch so I had my bag, a bag with food and water in (1.5 litres to get me off to a good start!) and a file full of work I’d taken home to carry, so there was no way I could fit the gym bag on my person as well. So, there you have it, a totally justified reason as to why I haven’t yet been able to go the gym. There’s still 5 days left of the week though so all is not lost…YET.

Resolution 3: Read 2 books (at least) a month – Now this one I thought would be pretty easy, considering I was spending 14 hours on a plane and it was January so I would (naturally) have no money whatsoever so I would have to spend my evenings living my life through the characters in my books. Not really got an excuse for this one to be honest. There’s still 18 days left of the month, so I have 9 days per book. I can totally do this. Note to self: Must also do better.

Resolution 4: Savings – Now I knew this one was going to be hard and technically I haven’t broken this one as there was no specified amount or time limit. The only deal was that I could not transfer the money back when I ran out before the end of the month. Therefore I consider this one to still be valid. Note to self: Must transfer £1 into savings before the end of the month and not spend it. Next month, must do better.

Well, this was actually as far as I’d got, so in brief, my current status of unbroken resolutions is 1. Number 3 is still going strong. I am half way through one book and downloaded a million others last night, so I am determined to get through them in the next 10 days.

So, here I am now on the 21-01-2014 and so far progress on keeping my resolutions is slim to non-existent. I have definitely on occasion had more than one diet coke a day (no 5) I have eaten out twice last week, and had takeaway twice the week before (no 6)nor I have not blogged (until today! L) However, number 8 is going quite well. I most certainly am having as much fun as possible – eating out, drinking coke, not reading books, eating unhealthily and not saving a penny! Woop – go me! I have still not even started to look at the unfinished novel that dons my shelf (no 9) and also I haven’t really saw much of the world yet either (no 10) 😦 I mean, I have been to Chester 3 times, but I’m not really sure that counts!

I am though, about to rectify it all… I have a plan and so I’m counting myself as armed and dangerous. I have hired a personal trainer, signed up for a triathlon with a friend, and downloaded every single healthy recipe off BBC good foods. I’ve put £5 in my savings account (you’ve got to start somewhere right) and I’m taking my laptop home tonight to proof the pages I’ve already wrote. All of this and I’ve not had one drop of diet coke today… Oh god; that explains A LOT…What on earth have I got myself into now?