TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY: New Year’s resolutions 2017

(Top Five Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey. Find out more at the Goodreads group!)

Rather than just choosing five goals to talk about on this post, I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk to you about all of the New Year’s resolutions I’m hoping to keep in 2017. I’ll be following this post up in a month or so, letting you know how I’m getting on: fingers crossed they’ll all be going well!

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I decided to split my New Year’s resolutions into four different categories:

  • self-care
  • development
  • reading
  • blogging
Each of these categories features a few different habits I’m trying to get into, so I’ll talk about them all in a little detail below:
Self-care: 
  1. Paint nails every Monday and Thursday. This might not sound like an important one, but I don’t often take time to pamper myself and I own far more nail polishes than I use!
  2. Run 30 minutes a day. I’ve actually amended this one to exercise 30 minutes a day, because I haven’t built up the stamina to run for that long yet! I am really enjoying using the 7 Minute Workout app on the Play Store, though.
  3. Drink two bottles of water every day. It’s good to keep hydrated!
  4. Cut down on crisps and sweets. …and croissants. I realised this morning that by eating two croissants with Nutella spread every morning, I’m having 70% of my recommended daily allowance of saturated fats before I even leave the house! 
  5. Purchase foundation and brushes. I always steal my mum’s make-up to use for nights out, and our skin tones are not the same – it often leaves me looking a little more orange than I’d like!
  6. No alcohol or energy drinks. I might amend this to alcohol in moderation, but I’m definitely participating in Dry January, so I won’t be drinking anything this month. 
  7. Learn to say NO!. I often put the needs of my friends and family before my own, leading me to going out when I’d much prefer to stay at home and have some me time.
  8. Take more time to decorate my bullet journal. Because at the moment it’s plain, and I’ve seen some gorgeous bujo inspiration blogs recently!
  9. Remember to wear SPF at all times. I’m going to achieve this by buying a moisturiser that has SPF in it, because it’s clinically proven to help your skin a lot more: even if you’re not burning in the height of summer, there’s still sun all around you.
Development:
  1. Learn to drive. I tried for the first time yesterday and it actually went quite well, so I’m looking forward to booking in more lessons and getting my own car.
  2. Bake more, and use icing!. I had a lot of fun baking a cake a couple of months ago, and I want to do it more. I’d also like to use icing to make them pretty – a pretty cake tastes better than a plain one!
  3. Learn how to fry and scramble and poach eggs. I know nothing about eggs, or how you do them in different styles. Seems like something I should know before I turn 21. 
  4. Cook my own meals using healthier ingredients. I’m a HUGE fan of the microwave ready meal, but I want to cook more meals myself this year. 
  5. Give mindfulness another go. I was quite judgmental about it when my therapist recommended it, because it does seem like bullshit. I tried it for a couple of weeks and felt no change, but now I’m trying to approach it with a more open mind. 
  6. Focus on you for 20 minutes a day. This will be helped by painting my nails on Mondays and Thursdays, but I need to find another way of focusing on me during the other days of the week. Maybe I’ll find a new TV show to binge watch! 
  7. Get a passport for 2018 adventures!. I’ll ideally get this sorted sooner rather than later and maybe start my adventures this year, because I’m getting excited about seeing more of the world.
  8. Put at least £300 in savings every month. While I still have a job this should be easy, and will mean I’ve saved a minimum of £2700 by the end of 2017. 
  9. Start Spanish or Italian on Duolingo. I’m currently 40% fluent in French and enjoying it so much that I’m desperate to learn more.
Reading:
  1. Return library books by the end of March, then take out a maximum of 5 at a time in the following months. This might seem harsh, but my library system allows you to take out 16 books at a time, and I’ve always got my card filled. I’d like to have the pressure of the due dates alleviated a little bit.
  2. Read at least 150 books, and make sure 70 of those are through NetGalley. My NetGalley ratio is OUT OF CONTROL. I’ve been accepted for over 300 books – I had a mad spree of requesting when I opened an account on the site, and I haven’t been able to wrangle it in since then. I will make a concerted effort to work on it this year.
  3. Continue the Classics Challenge. I wrote my TBR for this a couple of weeks ago, so I’m ready for this one.
  4. Restart the Series Challenge. I’ve also written about how I’m going to tackle this one: hopefully it will go better than it did in 2016! 
  5. Read every book received from bookbridgr and sent from publishers (solicited or unsolicited). I feel guilty getting books and not writing reviews in return for them, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood for that specific genre/author/series when it arrives. If I forced myself to read it, I’d rate the book terribly because I wouldn’t enjoy it, but I still feel so bad about it. 
  6. Read comics for an hour every Thursday. I keep buying more and more comics and not reading the ones I already own, so I’m putting the brakes on my purchasing until I can catch up on all of the ones already in my house.
  7. Read more diversely. There are some books that I know have diverse authors, but I’d like to do more research into the authors that I read. For the longest time I thought Ryan Graudin was the name of a male author!
  8. Learn to abandon boring books halfway through. I force myself to finish every book I start, but I need to learn to DNF. 
  9. Focus on reading debut novels. I read so many debuts in 2016, and there are already so many that I’m excited about reading in 2017, so I want to get as many of these done as possible. 
Blogging:
  1. Move to WordPress. GASP! Did any of you see that coming?! I’m a little bored with Blogger, and I feel as though I’ve taken EverythingAlyce as far as I’m going to on this platform. As soon as I have time, I’m going to set up a WordPress and shift myself over there.
  2. Contact small and local bands about interviews. I get so anxious when I need to email people, but I’d like to be able to start interviewing bands. This is one of the scariest resolutions by far!
  3. Create more graphics. I like my little headers throughout my book reviews, but I’d like to do more graphic things! 
  4. Bring back album reviews. I can’t remember the last time I wrote an album review, because they take SO MUCH TIME. I have to listen to the album through twice to make notes, and then write it up… That’s at least three hours spent on one post. Eek! But I have a lot of fun doing them, so I’m hoping I can pick this up again in 2017.
  5. Post to Instagram daily. I’ve managed this for the first four days of 2017, so I’m hoping I’ll remember to keep this up! 
  6. Aim to get 4,000 followers on Twitter. This is probably the hardest one, because I’ve only got 1,700 followers at the moment, but I’d like to focus on building that number.
  7. Tweet more! This is how I’m hoping to achieve the previous goal. I often scroll up and down on Twitter for hours and don’t reply to people because I’m scared of interacting, but I want to get better at that. I also want to remember to participate in the weekly chats like #ukyachat and #SundayYA, because I keep forgetting!
  8. Attempt more bulletpoint reviews. Sometimes my reviews are so long that I get bored writing them, so I can’t imagine they’re fun to read! I want to work on shaking up my reviewing style and keeping things short and snappy.
  9. Write more list posts. I freaking love reading lists, so I need to start writing them more!
Those are all of the things I’m going to attempt to do in 2017. That’s 36 New Year’s resolutions: it might be too many, but I’m looking forward to the challenge of trying to keep on top of them all. 
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Do you think I’m going to be able to keep on top of these? (I don’t!)