“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year”

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a wise man, so it only makes sense to draw inspiration from him to start 2018 off right. It’s safe to say that the year just gone has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs for me, so it’s with Emerson’s words in mind that I’m heading 2018 with all the hope for a happier year. That’s why I’ve set myself a few goals, as is the norm, to make sure that I make the most out of the little things in life…

Run, Emma, run

Around 3 months ago, I donned my running shoes in earnest, ready to take on the challenge of hitting 5k. I’m not there yet, but it’s well within sight. To keep myself actually motivated to go out and run in the January slush-rain, I’ve set myself the goal to run a 5k by June and a 10k by the end of the year.

Becoming a plant mother

I’m already the proud owner of Betty the Succulent, and this year’s birthday present from my sister brought Eddie the Swiss Cheese Tree into my life. Just like any good parent, I want my plant children to grow up happy and healthy, so I’m setting myself the target of keeping them warm, watered and generally alive.

Turn more pages

I started my blog earlier in 2017 largely to share my thoughts on literature with the world. Unfortunately, my reading progress has been somewhat less-than-impressive and the stack of “To Read” novels on my shelf keeps growing, rather than shrinking. So in 2018, I’m going to turn more pages and finish more books so that I can share my views on them with you – lucky things.

Keeping hydrated

It’s not just Betty and Eddie who need regular watering. As the weather’s got colder, I’ve upped the tea intake and fallen flat on drinking enough actually hydrating fluids. So, I’m going to aim to drink two litres of water a day in 2018 (as per NHS Choices’ recommendation) even if it does make me need to pee every five minutes.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”

Having lived about half my life at the doctor’s or in hospital this year, I’m pretty keen to stay away from the doc as much as possible this year. So, in true mother hen fashion, I’m going to make sure I get at least five servings of fruit and veggies a day for a medical professional free life.

A little bit of me time

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt this year, it’s that I can’t shoulder everyone else’s burdens. This realisation has been 24 years in the making, but it’s finally starting to sink in that I might go a little bit insane if I feel everyone else’s problems/ issues/ emotions so strongly. Whilst I’ll always be there for the people I love, I’m going to do my best to take a step back in 2018 and take some minutes out of my day to meditate, relax and focus.

Keep my skin happy

I constantly whinge about my skin (see: my entire blog), so I’m taking a stand. Whilst I say this every year, I think I’ve found a winning combination of products, food, exercise and relaxation to finally combat my acne/ flakiness/ eczema etc…

Settle into a sleeping routine

When stress and anxiety appear, insomnia, weird dreams and broken sleep are never far behind. Whilst it’s true that I struggle to manage my anxiety from time to time, however, I can’t totally use that as an excuse for my niggly sleep issues. For the sake of my brain and my sanity, I’ve promised myself to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Without setting a million and one alarms.

Music makes the world go round

Since before I can remember, I’ve loved music and singing. At school and university and just throughout my life, I love to sing, make music and create something that transcends my sense of self. Unfortunately, it’s become harder for me to make music since I left university and I really miss it. That was two years ago, now, and 2018 is the year I’m going to make it happen.

Get blogging

I started my blog with the best intentions of blogging as much as possible but I haven’t been nearly as dedicated as I would like to have been. Instead of forcing myself to write as much as possible, all the time, I’ve decided to set aside a couple of hours to focus on writing just one blog a week (maybe more if I stop flaking out).

Give something back

For 24 years, I’ve been focussed on getting A-Levels, achieving a degree and getting a job. All laudable aims and all things I’m incredibly proud to have achieved. But, now that those things are off the ground, I feel like it’s time for me to stop thinking about my own path and start thinking of others’. Whether it’s donating some time or some money, I want to give something back to the world each month in 2018, to help great causes that I believe in.