| Lifestyle

My 2014 TO-DO List | An Update

Bumpkin Betty, UK Lifestyle Blog

Seeing as it’s almost the end of July and we are now more than half way through the year (Say WHAT??), I thought it was about time I took a look back at the 2014 to-do list that I wrote back in January and see whether I’m anywhere closer to achieving my goals. I say goals, but really the list itself was more of a collection of little life laundry tasks that I wanted to do, teamed with a few bigger objectives.

Writing this post (and re-reading the list) has made me realise that I’m seriously behind on some points but at least I still have five months left to get my act in gear.

Here goes…

1. Re-design my blog  – a big fat tick is imminent

Well if you’re looking around you right now you may think I’ve utterly failed on this point, BUT actually this one is almost all but ticked off. After six months of emails back and forth, late night sketching and design decisions my new blog design is now in development phase and (all going to plan) should be launching some time in August along with my brand new business website too! I’m so excited to reveal it so stay tuned to see all the changes.

2. Save up for a teeth job/ bracein progress

This was never going to be a quick tick off the list as one, saving is never easy (shoe sales – why???) and two, I don’t really 100% know what I want/ need to do. It’s labelled as in progress as I’m currently doing some research into Invisalign braces to see if that’s something I want to do and searching for a good dentist to set up a consultation with. If anyone can recommend a good London dental surgery that you may have dealt with for braces etc please do leave me a comment as I’m pretty lost.

3. Read more booksgetting there

I’m happy to say that writing this one down at the start of the year has really helped me to make a conscious effort to do it. As I do so much on screen reading throughout the day I often feel way too tired to pick up a book when I get home, but I’ve realised that it actually relaxes me a lot and feels good to have a real paperback in my hands again after staring at a screen all day. So far I’ve read the lovely Natasha’s debut novel, The Elites, which is utterly brilliant, I highly recommend it, Coming Up Roses, the business story from Cath Kidson and right now I’m getting my teeth into Colin McDowell’s The Anatomy of Fashion which is a hefty yet fabulous read.

4. Visit more UK destinationsso far so good

Without even realising it, I have totally aced this one. I’ve had more trips to the motherland in this first half of 2014 than I normally manage all year. I’ve travelled to Aberdeen and Edinburgh twice for hen do’s and weddings, Glasgow for my Dad’s 60th and home to the coast a couple of times. I’ve also visited York for the first time (another hen do), re-visited Brighton and ventured south to Bognor Regis with the fam. I’ve got a weekend in Bath planned with friends at the start of August and me and GB are even planning a little stay-cation holiday later in the summer! Hurrah! Any other UK destinations you’d recommend I visit before the year is out?

5. Start using anti-wrinkle cream – Tick!

After too many mornings despairing at my bags (not the Chanel type) in the mirror I but the bullet and bought myself a anti wrinkle night cream (old lady alert) and an age defying eye cream which I now put on as soon as I take my make up off at the end of the day. I’m yet to see any difference but I guess it’s a long term thing – pass on brands/ product recommendations if you have any.

6. Get good at photography Giving myself props

At the start of the year I got myself a new camera, and then with my birthday came a better quality fixed lens and with that came my resolution to always use manual settings and teach myself as much as I could. I’ve still got a long way to go and I wouldn’t say my photography is exactly where I want it to be, but I’m giving myself a major pat on the back here as if I look back at my posts from the beginning of the year and compare them with my most recent ones, there’s a noticeable progress with the photography and I’m really proud of some of the shots I’ve taken. I’ve got to grips with manual mode, ISO’s and the like, now always use manual focus, know how to create extra blur when I want it and can take a mean food aerial shot. All in all I’m going in the right direction. Next up I want to invest in a F 1.4 or lower lens and a macro lens for food shots and concentrate on taking photos in RAW so I can work on the editing side. I’ve also filmed my first video (eek) and as soon as I get to grips with video editing and hoping to teach myself more on that side too – hurrah!

7. Learn more about new marketing tricks and SEOongoing

This was a bit of a boring work related one that I’m not really sure whether I’ve completed or not. The problem with SEO is that the rules are always changing so there is always something new to learn. Similar when it comes to social media as there always seems to be a new platform/ app to get to grips with. I definitely feel that I know more than I did at the start of the year and my freelance business is happily plodding along. With every new project/ contract I take I feel my knowledge, confidence and ambitions growing so I guess that can only be a good thing.

8. Stop taking sugar in my teaUTTER FAIL

I tried, I really really did try. I got down to half a spoonful for a little while and thought I was weening myself off but then it only takes one bad day or groggy morning for me to feel like I need it strong and sweet again. It’s not to say that I can’t drink it without sugar, I just don’t like to. Lately however I’ve had to majorly change my diet as I think I might have an allergy of some sort that keeps flaring up and until I figure it out I’m trying to cut out all the possibilities. Tea is one such thing which may have to be cut out very soon – milk, caffeine – so for now I’m clinging on to those sugar laden cups with dear life until I’m forced to find an alternative. Redbush might be a possibility but really who are we kidding, nothing beats a builders.

9. Create a proper working space for myself – circumstantial fail

I would LOVE to be able to tick this one off the list but right now it just isn’t happening. Our flat seems to have reduced in size every time I step through the door, while no matter how much ebaying/ depoping I do our ‘stuff’ seems to keep increasing. My makeshift dining table turned desk is starting to really frustrate me, as is the clutter of blog and business related paraphenalia that surrounds me all mixed up and unorganised. Time is a major factor that is needed to just turn it all around (something I never have enough of) and space isn’t on my side. I’m hoping that before the year is out I can make positive changes an all these matters though (see point below)

10. Move into a flat with a garden so that we can bring home Colin – on the cards

It hasn’t happened yet but I really hope that before the end of the year we can move into a new place. Space in our current flat is an issue and as I mentioned above I’d really like to set myself up with a proper home office as I feel that’s the important next step to progress my business. There are a few things that are kind of up in the air right now but as soon as we can make a decision about where we want/ need to be for the next chapter in our lives, we can start looking for a new abode. And yes, then we can get Colin – please, pretty please!

So that’s where I am, by no means finished but on the right track. I had considered creating a follow up list for the second half of the year but seeing as I’ve still to work on most of these I think I’m content with this one.
How are you getting on with any new years resolutions/ yearly goals?

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