Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Summer To Do List: The Update

Hello! Well, it's September and even though I'm no longer working in the education sector and haven't  been a student for over 5 years now, the month still feels like the herald of a new year to me. It's a time for making plans and setting goals; for reviewing the past as well as dreaming about the future and planning for it. So with this in mind, what better to do than to review my Summer To Do list that I set out in this post. I thought the easiest way to do this would simply be to replicate the list in full and then add my annotations alongside (bold will indicate anything I've definitely done/not done and italics refer to any works in progress).

Summer To Do List

  • Declutter my room (including my wardrobe) and donate as many unwanted items as I can to the charity shop (Work in progress: I've filled some bags but these haven't yet left the house! I also know that there's a lot more tidying still to be done)
  • Go on a shopping trip to fill in any gaps in my wardrobe (and maybe treat myself too!) (Done on numerous occasions...however as I've not fully decluttered yet, I'm aware that there still might be more gaps to fill.)
  • Spend some time thinking about what my dream job would be (in terms of the skills I'd . use/ my motivation for working) and searching for job opportunities that match well with this (Work in progress: I've got a vague idea of what I'd like to be doing and sometimes look at opportunities which meet my criteria but I want/need this to be much more systematic).
  • Declutter my email inboxes: delete all non-vital emails and unsubscribe from all my spam (Work in progress: Another one I've started, but something that will take a lot of work to get on top of. One of my email accounts in particular is so cluttered that I can foresee it taking a whole day...one for a rainy day methinks!)
  • Get to know my city a little better by visiting new places and/or revisiting old ones with a fresh eye (Not yet, am going to try and dedicate some time to this during my next 4 day weekend which is approximately 2 months away)
  • Spend some quality time with my family: maybe museum trips with Amy, bowling with all my siblings, DVD nights with my mum and sisters etc (Work in progress: During my summer holiday I went to the cinema and baked with Amy and watched Bridesmaids with my mum, Amy and K (my other sister), but didn't really do as much as I would have liked to have done. I'm making an effort to keep spending more time with everyone and am sure that I'll keep everything updated on here too!!)
  • Be a better blogger: read and comment more on the blogs in my reader and post on a more regular basis (Work in progress: I'm decidedly patchy with this at best, but am sure that as I meet more of my goals, I will have more to write about and so will visit Blogger much more frequently. Also on days where I don't have time/inspiration to write, I am making more of an effort to check in with the blogs I follow.)
  • Buy a Kindle (Purchased 07/07/2012)
  • Read more frequently (either real or e-books) (Work in progress: Whilst I was off I demolished the first 2 books in a certain trilogy, but since going back to work the rate at which I'm getting through books has slowed dramatically and far too often I'm falling back into my old habits of only reading on the commute to/from work.)
  • Get back into the baking habit by baking at least once a fortnight  (Fail so far: I did bake whilst I was off on my summer break (rocky road and gingerbread if you're interested!) but nothing since. With the start of autumn however, I'll definitely be looking for seasonal inspiration, so foresee quite a bit of baking ahead!)
  • Be more active (Exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week) (Work in progress: I've finally joined the gym and am currently attending 2-3 times a week, but I've not really been that active on days that I don't go.)
  • Join the gym (Done: See above!)
  • Snack more healthily (Eat chocolate and crisps 2/3 times a week only, and cut down on the amount of biscuits I eat as well as eating more fruit, nuts, cereal etc) and drink more water (Fail: For someone like myself who is an emotional eater and also uses food as a reward, this is something that I really struggle with so will definitely be one of my priorities over the coming months.)
  • Stop putting off my dental and doctor's check ups and book the appointments!! (Both booked 09/07/2012)
  • Stop biting my nails (Fail: Another annoying habit that is proving really hard to break lol!)
  • Book in at the hairdressers (Done: I actually did this during my summer break so will have to arrange another appointment very soon.)
  • Give myself a DIY pedicure (Fail: Hopefully I will find time to do this during the longer autumn nights that are quickly creeping up.)
  • Exfoliate at least once a week (So far, my efforts at exfoliation have been few and far between but am sure that this will be quite an easy addition to my weekly routine.)
  • Drink a Starbucks frappuccino (Done, and more than once I think!)
  • Go for drinks in a beer garden/outside at a friend's (Despite the generally disappointing weather, this has been something I've managed at least once this summer.
  • Recreate my own version of last years Ben and Jerry's festival with friends (Nope: Team the aforementioned atrocious weather with a large group of friends all with different plans and priorities, and it makes it very difficult to organise any outdoor activities. Maybe I'll just wait to see if the real thing comes around again next year.)
So there we have it, and to be honest, I'm quite happy with the progress I've made. I know that in my original post I did say that I wanted everything to be at least a work in progress by the start of September, but of those goals which I haven't yet started working towards, there are only perhaps one or two that I doubt my ability to be able to make any real headway with in the near future. And similarly, with those which are already in progress, I believe that I can also see these through to completion in the next few months.

So where does that leave me for now? Well, as I said at the start of my post, for me September has always been a time for making a new start; for looking back at the past, learning from it and moving on into the future. And so that means another to do list. Some items from last time will remain, whilst new ones will be added and completed ones removed, but the aim will remain the same: to make changes that will ultimately make me a happier and more fulfilled individual. And what could be better than that?

So how about you? Are you a list maker? Do you find them useful or ultimately just a paper exercise with little meaning? Tell me all, you know I always love to hear what you have to say!

'Til next time...