I’ll be honest, January was a bit of a warm-up month for me. I spent half of it sniffing and coughing and re-orientating my brain to the New Year. So February is my new January. And here are my 2020 goals.
I’ve bought myself a lovely new Papier diary. It has my name on the front and everything. So I’m celebrating with 20 things that I’m calling 2020 goals. Some big, some very little – but it gives me something to aim for.
What are your 2020 goals?
Here’s what I’ll be attempting to do …
1 Refresh our lounge
We live in a 120 year old Tramwayman’s cottage on the Great Orme in Llandudno. So interior design is limited to stippled walls, low beamed ceilings and barn doors. Small windows are the trade off for a south facing panoramic view of Llandudno bay. Refreshing the lounge is this spring’s job. We chose Dulux White Mist – a pale light reflecting “cottage perfect” shade. We’ll rearrange the wall art. We’ll replace an old oversized radiator with a slim vertical one. And we’ll probably add a few more plants. Because – why not? Watch this space.
2 Step up my fitness
Last year turned into a bit of a lazy year and lack of fitness for me usually leads to increased anxiety, low mood, and a flare up of my back pain – dodgy sacroiliac joint diagnosed a few years back. So I’m starting with walking – my first love. I’m getting out most days and feeling better for it already.
3 Acquire more plants
2019 was an experimental year for me. I’ve never thought of myself as a plant-lady but our new bathroom really needed a plant or 2 to complete the styling. Apparently plants love bathrooms – it’s the humidity. Since then I have developed a “Calathea” habit. They’re the best houseplants and (so far) really easy to look after. So there will absolutely be more this year.
4 Build my IG audience
I’ve been hanging around the 1200 mark on my Instagram for a good while now and whilst I love all 1200 of you, it’s time to spread the word about life in North Wales to a few more zeros. I’ll be focussing more on the quality and variety of my content and showing you the hidden corners of the place I get to call home.
5 Book our summer holiday
Shall I let you into a secret? We already booked our apartment in Sa Riera. Only because if we don’t book it just after Christmas we might miss out – and that would be unthinkable. We’ll be flying to Marseille and spending an extra week in our beloved Provence, but that part is for later.
6 Plant more spring bulbs in the garden
Yes I know it’s the wrong time of year to be planting bulbs. But I never get round to it in the autumn. So my thinking is this – if I buy some pots of almost flowering tete-a-tete daffodils and plant them in little clumps round the garden I can enjoy them straight away and next season too. Maybe some Muscari too?
7 Discover hidden places in North Wales
We live right in the centre of North Wales with easy access (west) to Anglesey, Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsular and (east) to Denbighshire towards Cheshire. When you live on the edge of a National Park it’s easy to take the opportunities for granted. So this year I’m on a mission to discover lots of new places. Hidden “off the beaten track” places, as well as amazing attractions that we usually leave for the tourists.
8 Reach scholar level on audible
Honestly, Audible is my best discovery of 2019. Currently completely addicted to the DCI Ryan books by LJ Ross, and part of the reason for no 11 on this list. We just passed “Professional” reading level, on our way to ‘Scholar”.
9 Get to know Amazon Prime Video
Just before Christmas we upgraded our 10 year old TV to a very exciting Samsung Frame with more smart functions that you could dream of. One of these is Amazon Prime, which we’ve had for a good while but so far only benefited from fast track parcel delivery. Trouble is – there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with all the great drama on offer. And then there’s Apple TV. Eeeek. Pass me the wine.
10 Learn how to cook with aubergines
What do you call a dairy free “almost-vegan” who loves eggs and cheese? Oh, and fish. I’m not sure either, but it means lots more veggies. Anyone else struggle with aubergines? I love eating them, but don’t have much clue how to cook them nicely. All suggestions will be welcome.
11 Discover the Northumberland coast
Holy Island has been on my radar for years. Have you been to Bamburgh Castle? The Northumberland National Park and Hadrian’s Wall? It must be the romantic historian in me but I can’t wait get up there. We’re thinking late spring so if you know of the perfect Airbnb cottage, I’m listening.
12 Drink Lydia Millen’s morning”pick me up”
It’s the talk of Lydia’s IG stories – her Lemon & Ginger Tonic. 100g ginger root grated into 500ml water. Boil and stand for 45 minutes. Add juice of 3 lemons and sieve.
13 Take better pictures with my Olympus Pen
I’m afraid my Nikon D3200 has taken a bit of a back seat for the last few months since the Olympus Pen arrived. It’s so convenient. handbag sized and wifi enabled. I just need to get my head around the functions a bit better.
14 Visit Copenhagen
I’ll be honest. I’m not sure Copenhagen will make the 2020 calender. But I really hope so. It’s been on my wish list for a few years. Who wouldn’t want to visit the happiest city in the world?
15 Build anxiety-fighting routines
Dealing with anxiety is a day by day, moment by moment thing. I try to focus on the things that I know make me happy and improve my mood. A beach stroll. Watching the sunset. Booking a trip. Mojitos. An hour with Audible. A bubble bath. Tea and scones. An episode of Vera. A walk with my camera. Watching the birds in my garden. It’s the little things.
16 Declutter my office
It’s a bit of a loosing battle. I have to work quite hard to avoid the office becoming a dumping ground. It’s really our spare room used for computer work, photography and books, music and guitar storage, and my wardrobe. About twice a year I have a ruthless decluttering, and we’re due another one – very soon.
17 Make photo albums
For years I have made coffee table photo albums of our holidays using Snapfish but in 2017 when we said farewell to little Henry, our 14 year old miniature wire haired dachshund, I lost my mojo. So if I can gather enough “get up and go” I’m planning to catch up our holiday books. Look out Snapfish.
18 Drink all the coffee
To be fair I drink quite a lot of coffee but it’s always the same oat cappuccino. Delicious, and I’m not changing my order any time soon. But it seems a shame to have an amazing coffee roastery on your doorstep and not take advantage of all the single estate coffee gorgeousness that’s on offer. So watch out Heartland Coffee – it might be Ethiopian, Guatemalan or Mexican – but I’ll be trying it.
19 Complete my tax return before Jan 2021
For someone who comes from a long line of “planner-aheaders”, I feel a bit ashamed to be a fully paid up member of the “last minute tax return” club. I will do better in 2020.
20 Bring home the BOSH
I’ve been following the BOSH guys on IG for a while and they can do no wrong. They’re now on TV and I’m completely obsessed. What these guys don’t know about cooking veg just isn’t worth knowing. So watch this space Mr Bond for some magnificent dinners. Hopefully.
How about you? Have you got a little list of things you want to achieve this year? Have I inspired you to try something new? I’d love to get some ideas from you. Let me know in the comments.
So there’s my 2020 goals. I’ve never been a high achiever but if I was a betting woman I’d back myself for a strong 15/20.
That’s all for now.