A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The 52 Lists Project // Week 01

Happy New Year everyone - I hope the first week of January hasn't been too hard on you. I'm lucky enough not to have any January exams this year so I've just been relaxing at home and catching up with friends and all those nice things!

Anyway, let's get down to today's post. If you know me at all then you'll know that I'm an incredibly reflective person and that I have a deep-rooted love for both stationary and lists. I've kept a diary for years now because I love the act of writing it every day and having entries to look back on years later. So, (I'm getting to the point now I promise) when I saw this 52 Lists Project book in Oliver Bonas in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I knew I simply *had* to buy it.

The book is essentially a reflective notebook, split into four sections relating to the four seasons of the year, and contains 52 prompts to set you off making a list each week of the year. Lists range from things like your favourite songs to things that make you happy to places you want to travel and more. I completely adore the concept and thought to make sure that I actually do it every week I'd type up whatever I make a list of in the notebook here so that I have an online record of it as well!

And that brings us on to week one's list, which says "list your goals and dreams for the year".

I know you're probably sick of reading posts about new year's resolutions at this point but I want to save these lists for Sundays so I hope you'll decide to humour me and have a quick read through mine!

Now I've gone back and forth over the years when it comes to setting resolutions in that sometimes I have and sometimes I haven't set concrete things I want to do. Last year I just set one mantra I wanted to live by and I quite liked that way of doing it but, when I saw that the list this week was to make some goals it got me thinking and I quickly found a few things I'd like to achieve this year.

I don't think there's ever any harm in setting goals and while it might be considered a cliche or frankly a load of BS to treat the new year as a time to reinvent yourself, I've always liked having something to be working towards and so here's what I wrote down for my goals for 2017 ::

  • Give more money to charity - A philosophy module I took in the Autumn term really shook me into realising that while I'm by no means rich, I can easily afford to give a bit of money every term to charities that are doing tangible good in the world and that it's not ok to ignore the terrible suffering so many people are going through anymore so I'd like to aim to give at least some money to charities I trust like Help Refugees UK every month.
  • Do yoga a minimum of once per week - I love yoga but I don't make enough time for it or I go through phases of doing it every day and then months on end not doing it once. I want to change that this year and make sure I do at least one session once a week. If you're looking to do yoga at home I can't recommend Yoga with Adrienne highly enough. 
  • Have a set Sunday self-care routine and stick to it - Things like painting your nails, exfoliating and putting on a face mask don't sound very important but taking the time to do them always makes me feel like I have my sh*t together and better about everything so this year I want to make sure every Sunday I do them without fail.
  • Travel to three different countries (Romania doesn't count) - Travelling is one of my favourite things to do and since this summer will be the last one I have before I finish uni (wow that's terrifying to write) I want to make the most of it and see new places, at least three this year.
  • Save 10% of every pay check - Travelling is crazy expensive. Sure, there are ways of doing it on a budget but it's nice to not have to worry too much about money if you can, so that means saving if I want to fulfill the goal above! I've got a part-time job at uni this year and I really need to get better at saving some of the money I make instead of spending it on things that I definitely don't need. 10% isn't that much but it'll definitely make a difference to my summer fund so I need to start doing it!
  • Read at least two books a month - I want to read more and two books a month seems like it's definitely achievable so I need to get on that.
  • Make more conscious and ethical choices - Following on from the first goal about the module I took and how I've realised there's no excuse for me not doing more good, I want to try and be more conscious in the choices I make and the things I'm buying. I recently watched Hannah Witton's video looking at how cruelty-free her make up is and was genuinely shocked at how many brands don't produce make up without cruelty to animals being done. Since there's an accessible and comprehensive website which lists which brands are and aren't cruely free in the production of make up, I feel like I really have no excuse to not buy from brands that are cruelty free from now on and so I'm going to try and research into things before I buy them. 
  • Go pescatarian for Lent - One of the choices I want to be more conscious of is the food I eat. Now I love bacon as much as the average next person if not more and have lived my entire life eating meat but it's been drawn to my attention more and more how badly some animals are treated and the huge environmental impact farming and eating meat has. I don't know enough about it yet and this is not me by any means saying that I'm going veggie but I want to do some research this year and I'm going to start by reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and going pescatarian for Lent more than anything to see how I get on - I imagine that it will be a lot easier than I think it will but we'll see!

So those are my goals for 2017. Overall I really just want to be a better person this year, in any way I can and these are a few small steps I'm going to take to do that.

I hope you like the idea of the 52 Lists Project - they won't all be as rambly as this one I promise but since the first week was setting some goals for the entire year I wanted to elaborate on them a bit! Have a wonderful Sunday whatever you're up to and I'll see you next week if not before for week two!

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