We’re more than halfway through the year now, can you believe it?! You probably can as that’s perhaps the most oversaid sentence around the beginning of July. As well as being the perfect moment in the year for grabbing an ice cream or acquiring a sunburn, the start of July is a great time to pause and reflect on how your life is being lived and whether this matches up to your expecations and wishes from January.
At the beginning of 2018, I wrote a post about 18 things I wanted to focus on for the year, kind of like a list of resolutions but also not really. Resolutions aren’t particuarly my thing, but I thought by having a few aspects of my life to hold in mind over the months I would find it easier to define my priorities.
Stating all the wonderful things you’re going to do is all well and good until life take over and you forget all about them three weeks later. Which is why this check in of sorts could prove useful. Throwing it right back to my school days, in which I had to identify bits of my work that went well and skills that could be improved in some way, I’m going to evaluate the good, the alright and the not so good aspects of my progress with these goals since January.
The pat-on-the-back list
Let’s start with the most positive things, that goals that have got off to a good start and show no signs of slowing down…
Photography – this has been the year of learning manual photography for me. In January I wrote a couple of posts about my first week trying to take only manual photos and my tips for other newbies. Since then, my confidence behind a camera has grown immensely and I’m loving it more than ever: I just completed a month of travels and took literally thousands of photos… Don’t worry, they’re not all going up on Instagram at the same time but I am slowly getting my favourite 100 or so out there.
Blogging – I have tried remaining as consistent as life has allowed me to on my blog, endlessly writing, planning and even dipping a toe into a month of scheduled posting. This will be my 78th post in 2018, which works out on average as if I was posting every 2.4 days. I’m starting to really find my passion for writing about both mental health and travelling, and it makes me happy to know I have this platform to share my writing on.
Reflection and appreciation – this is something I am definitely getting better at, mainly due to having a blog and writing monthly reflection posts like this one I wrote about June. I have gratitude pages in my bullet journal as well as a few posts on here focussing on the small positives in life.
Getting outside – this has been a wonderful way to keep my mood up. I have gone on a lot more little walks around the park or to the beach this year than I normally would have done.
Spontaneity – I think this just about slides into the going well category but I could definitely loosen up a little more with letting rigid plans go sometimes. Summer will help with this for sure. I did spontaneously go sledging when it snowed in February though which was an Experience, with a capital E.
The it’s-kinda-going list
Moving onto the things that have had a little attention and effort but perhaps not enough of either…
Organisation – this was going superbly at the very start of the year, and if I had written this post a couple of months ago it would have made it to the top of the other list. However, since spring this has slipped. Things happened; I got stressed (I know, that’s when the usefulness of organsation is meant to kick in). I will be getting back into bullet journalling and making lists soon though.
Moving more – again, this was going very well. I was doing yoga, basketball, running, walking… And then it all fell apart when I got stressed and then really ill. I’m determined to pick everything back up as the summer ticks by and get some good routines in place.
Having patience – I’m definitely more aware of my levels of patience and how I present this to the world but I don’t always manage to maintain a good level of it. I’m trying!
Maintaining/making friendships – I’m making more of an effort to keep in contact with people but there are still some people I’d like to connect with more. In terms of making friends, I think the opportunities for this will become more available once I get to university in autumn.
Speak out and discuss – I’ve made good steps towards speaking out for things I believe in on this blog, mostly through advocating for mental health awareness, but there’s always more to do.
Create more – definitely ticking this off with blogging and photography, as well as writing lots of poetry, but I still feel fueled to create more than I currently am.
Focus – I lost focus when I was stressed; I lost it again when I was ill. I need to learn how to maintain ambition when I’m knocked down.
Practicing self-love and being present – I have had some wonderful moments that fall into these categories, and the travelling I have done this year certainly feels like it fits into both of these things. I don’t think I’m present a lot of the time though, and can often catch myself dwelling on the future.
The yikes-get-a-move-on list
And finally the things that need a little tender loving care…
Worrying less – as you’ve probably picked up from reading this post, the first six months have had their fair share of negative feelings: stress has featured several times on the schedule. I think by giving a little more time and focus to some of the other goals in the list above, I’ll be able to contemplate tricky things without letting them impact me so much. It’s just about working on it, little by little.
Reading more – I really wanted 2018 to be the year I got back into reading novels for fun. I have read a few books but nowhere near as many as I had hoped. I’d like to prioritise this goal for the coming months.
Apart from helping me to identify what I should probably be turning my attention to over the next few months, creating these three lists has been a very welcomed surprise in terms of the things I actually have done! Reflecting in this way has shown me that despite various challenges that have made 2018 feel a little tricky at times, I have kept trying to push towards my goals. That makes me happy and inspires me to go at everything with a new flare of motivation.
How are you doing with your 2018 goals?
Photos in this post were taken in Athens, Greece (June, 2018).
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