“Once you’re 21, time will just rush by”
The one piece of wisdom my mom dropped on me just before my 21st birthday. I’ll always remember this, as I rolled my eyes, mumbled “Sure Mom, whatever you say” and carried on about my day.
It’s now 9 years later, and I feel like I’ve just blinked, or maybe even taken a longish afternoon nap. Before I turned 21, my twenties were stretched out in front of me, a time of enjoyment, socializing, finding out what who I was and what I wanted to do with my life, and far too little time focusing on studying for exams. I thought that I’d have forever before I settled down and mellowed out. I know it’s so cliché for people to say “Wow this year has just flown by” and “I can’t believe it’s Christmas already, weren’t we just celebrating New Years?”, but it’s only so cliché because it’s the truth – time flies when you’re having fun. I thought I’d have my whole life together and planned out, I’d possibly be married with kids already, and I’d be deep in domestic bliss. BUT, as someone famous once said, life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
With my 30th birthday just on the horizon, I figured perhaps a post on my goals for this year was inevitable, so here is a list of the things I would love to accomplish this year. They might not be bucket-list-worthy, but for me, they’re the goals I want to achieve, and that I can see myself actually doing.
I love to learn new things, and improve on my knowledge and skills, yet I so rarely make time to do this. I fully intend on doing a bit of brushing up on my French, as I had studied it before, but I want to actually begin again and practice speaking it too.
I’ll also be doing something that I’ve long wanted to do – a course in make-up artistry. I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for years now, and every now and then I’ll Google the different courses that I could possibly take. They’re all fairly expensive, and some of them don’t offer full intensive courses in a part-time capacity, which I would need. I’ve signed up with Make-Up The College, a school based in Durban, to do their advanced make-up artist course, which includes special effects makeup. I’ll be going to classes every Tuesday and Thursday evening, after work, from March through to November. It’s going to be tiring, but so exciting!
This is something I’ve actually been working on since last year. I’ve always saved things – whether it be books, products I want to keep for ‘special occasions’ or ones I just hold onto even though I won’t use them, or even memories. In high school I kept a diary every single year, which I stuck mementos into, and while I have kept these (they’ll be so cute to show my kids one day!), I’m trying to get rid of things I really don’t have any need for.
I’ve cleared out my closet, kept a few pieces aside to sell over a Second Hand group on Facebook, as they’ve never been used, and everything else in decent condition I’ve donated to the SPCA. I also donated any books that I didn’t need to keep, to the SPCA. This was particularly hard for me, as I’m something of a bookworm, and I hate to part with books, as I’ll re-read most of them. However, I kept all of my classic novels, anything written by my favourite author Philippa Gregory (a historical fiction author), and a few other series of books that I know I’ll definitely re-read again and again.
I’ve also been doing the ‘Project Pan’ series here on the blog (you can see my posts here, here and here) – using up products that I’ve been keeping, and discarding anything that I’ve given a good try, and still just haven’t done it for me. I have so many products, as I’m a member of Beauty Bulletin and Beauty South Africa, as well as Rubybox, so I get sent products to review. I also get bored with products, particularly shower gels and body lotions – I’ll open a new one, use it a handful of times, and then move onto the next one, shoving the open product into a drawer. I’ve been using up any of these hoarded goodies, and anything I really don’t like I’ll either give to a friend (if it’s a good product, but just doesn’t work for me), or I’ll throw it away (if it’s a terrible product or it’s gone bad).
I’ve never been good at saving money, as I am a shopaholic of note, but I also enjoy eating out, or having drinks with friends. This year I’m determined to start saving in earnest, which may be harder than before, as I’ll be paying my way through the make-up artistry course.
I have to make a concerted effort to stop wasting money on things I don’t need, or being overly generous and paying for rounds of drinks when out with friends . I’ve found that the easiest way to do this is, if I go out, draw the amount of cash I think I’ll need for the day/evening. I leave my card at home and only take the cash out with me. This way I’m not tempted to swipe when things get festive, and I’m forced to stick to my budget.
I began saving through a financial advisor at the beginning of last year, and have debit orders come off my account every month for my retirement fund, and into investments, so at the very least I’m doing something.
My goal is to get through my course, and then be able to save up enough (using my regular day job, as well as my new skills and my singing) to travel. Which brings me on to the next point…
GET OUT THERE!
I need to start travelling more. Whether it be exploring my country or even just my province, or getting in an airplane and jetting off somewhere fabulous. However, with our currency in it’s current state, I will need to SAVE SAVE SAVE to do this. Easier said than done, but I figure as long as I put away something every month, it’ll get easier and easier to do.
I’m a couch potato of note, and I love food. Particularly food that isn’t good for me. Thanks to this, I’m not even slightly happy with my weight, or how I look. However, this year I’m not on a mission to crash diet and start an exercise regime similar to that of a Victoria’s Secret model. I want to make healthy changes in my life that will benefit me in the long run. I want to create a healthy lifestyle, where I find an exercise method that I enjoy, and where I eat healthier and more nutritiously. I have been, and will continue to get moving more, even if it’s just for a walk or a hike, and I’ll make healthier food choices, but still allow myself to have a piece of chocolate if I want it, or to order a pizza when I’m pmsing and just need carbs in my life. It’s all about balance, rather than going from one extreme to the next.
I’ve always loved reading, but in the last couple of years I’ve been so into different series and movies that I just haven’t made as much time for reading as I used to. I remember reading between 20 and 30 books a year, and only falling asleep at 3 in the morning because I just couldn’t put the book I was reading down.
It’s been somewhat difficult going straight into heavy, intense books, so I’ve started some light-reading novels to get me back into the groove of things. Once I’m in the habit of reading again, even if it’s just a few pages every night before bed, then I can make sure I read every unread book on my shelf (note – there are about 15 of them, and some of them are classics, so not exactly beach reads).
I’m a creature of habit, and rarely stray from my safe little bubble. At the restaurants I go to often, I have a set meal that I order. When going out with friends, we always choose the same places to go to. I often re-watch seasons of tv series, as just the task of beginning a new series is daunting to me.
Yes, this is strange, but habit is safe and comfortable, even if habit turns into a rut. I suffer from anxiety, and often when faced with a new situation I can get quite stressed out, but I do want to try and put myself out there more in general.
I want to try different foods (yes, friends of mine, I want to stop ordering that damn margarita pizza… even though it’s SO delicious), see different places, socialize with new people and try watching or reading things that I wouldn’t normally watch or read.
I need to start experiencing more.
And finally, I want to start filming blog videos. I’ve wanted to do it for a long time, and I love watching different Youtubers with their reviews and favourites posts. I also want to start doing video reviews on sites such as Beauty Bulletin. I’ve always been lacking in the self-esteem and confidence to do this, but this is the year that I WILL give it a try.
I want to try out make-up tutorials (especially when I’m a couple of months into my course), I want to do videos describing my favourites, and I also want to try and film some singing videos, and get myself out there more.
If I start acting confident and pushing my boundaries, soon I’ll feel confident too.
Do you have any personal goals for 2016?