If you’re a true grown up, not a pretend one like myself, you’re probably thinking that I’m either 3 months too early or 9 months too late with my new year resolutions. (If this thought makes you want to buy me a calendar, I will gladly accept your gift, thank you very much. ;))
But I’m still a school kid at heart, and even though I don’t start classes till later in the month, the beginning of September is a symbol of a new year starting. Sorry, can’t fight it. I also feel that autumn is a slightly better time for new beginnings than January. Come to think of it – although the summer is coming to an end and the days getting shorter before our very eyes, there is still enough sunlight to charge our batteries and when the leaves turn gold the world is, well, quite beautiful. What do we have in January? Snow (if that), cold, darkness and excessive post-Christmas belly fat with a lot of guilt attached to it.
Call me crazy, but I’ll do my new year resolutions in September. Because why not?
The truth is, coming back to London after a 3 month break does feel like a new beginning, even though I’m coming back to the same university and (thankfully) the same fantastic job. Therefore, I’ve prepared a little list of goals for myself for the new academic year (and a bit beyond that).
Learn to love London
Ok. Love may be too big of a word. Let’s aim for like, shall we? I’ve moved to London almost 2 years ago and if you asked me today if I like it I’d probably say something along the lines of “If my job, boyfriend and university moved to a different city, I’d swiftly follow”. I just can’t bring myself to like this place – with it’s all-over-the-place architecture where glass skyscrapers stand next to battered Tudor buildings, followed by a ghastly 60s housing estate, the long commutes, the pollution, the crazy number of tourists, sky high prices of, well, everything. I know, there are also plenty of exhibitions, theatres, festivals, shops, and god only knows what other opportunities. The big problem, though? A good number of them cost a lot more money than I have to spend.
But London is my home and will be for the foreseeable future. I have therefore decided to bite the bullet and learn to like this mess of a city. How am I going to do it? I don’t know yet! I’m sure Time Out London and its regular “what to do in London this weekend” series are probably going to help. I intend to take advantage of the free museums, tour various parks, try street food, hunt for last minute deals and student prices on theatre and cinema tickets. Basically, try to enjoy the best of London while overlooking the bad. And hopefully make it into a mini blog series. Who knows, maybe I’ll be a die hard London lover this time next year.
Start exercising again
I have become a bit of a couch potato over the summer, which really isn’t a good thing in any way, shape or form. It definitely contributed to my tummy losing shape and form ;). I somehow found it hard to motivate myself to exercise, and especially with the crazy heat, any home routines were pretty much out of question. But I definitely do miss yoga, which is my favourite form of exercise (I wrote more about it in one of the first posts on the blog) and I can’t imagine not returning to regular practice when I’m back in London. I have also decided I’d like to start swimming again. I used to do it every week when I was younger, then all the feminine growing up stuff began to stop me and I pretty much stopped swimming altogether when I was 16, save for a few lengths in the pool on holiday or jumping the waves in the sea (which definitely is not swimming). Since my university is now part of University of London, I can use their gym, which not only offers loads of classes but also *drum roll* has a pool. Nothing can stop me now.
Develop a better note taking system
As you know, I’m big on working smarter instead of harder (working less actually improved my grades). I’m pretty good at staying organised and maximising the efficiency of my working time. However, the one point on which I let myself down are the reading notes I take over the course of the term. They’re not bad notes – there is a lot of interesting and useful information in them. The only problem is, they contain more than I actually need to know, making them pretty useless when it comes to exam revision. During both revision periods last year I could be found re-doing my notes so that I had something to revise from, which was a massive waste of time. This year, my goal is to take such notes that I’ll be able to revise directly from them. I almost managed to do that in Business Law last year, so I’m optimistic. And I’ll start with buying some super pretty notebooks in Paperchase…
Lose a bit of weight
Over the course of the last few months or so I managed to gain a bit of weight. On one hand, it’s a nice thing, because my face filled up nicely. On the other, my tummy doesn’t look the way I’d like it to, and I don’t fit into some of my clothes. Shedding 4-5kg would definitely do me good, mostly in the ‘feel good about myself’ department. However, I don’t have the best opinion about all those crazy “lose 500kg in a week” diets, so I won’t even be looking in their direction. After stuffing my face with whatever was at hand for the better part of the summer, it’s time to return to regular, enjoyable exercising and healthy, yummy eating. To be honest, I’m already looking forward to all the autumn veggies.
Try new things in the kitchen
Since I want to lose weight, I will need to pay a bit more attention to what I put in my mouth. I always meal plan and try to only cook healthy meals, but they’re not always weight-loss friendly. Especially with my lactose intolerance only getting worse and forcing me to eliminate more and more dairy from my diet, I want to look for new recipes that will be yummy, filling and healthy. In particular, I’d like to explore more of the Middle Eastern cuisines, as well as Asian and Mediterranean. There are so many dishes that I have yet to try and, as a foodie, I’m already excited.
If you’ve any blogs/cookbooks/websites worth recommending, let me know in the comments.
Write as much as possible
The last one is actually the most important. When I firs decided to have a work-free summer, I didn’t really have any solid plans other than get some rest. But then I started the blog (in the middle of the exams) and I have decided that my summer goal will be to grow my readership. I have been pretty successful at that, with a slow, but steady growth. However, the most important thing I got out of these 3 months was rediscovering my passion for writing.
It’s really hard to describe the feeling I sometimes get when I write – a complete flow, when I don’t need anything other than a cup of tea, and the world ceases to exist. It only made me want more, like some amateur junkie. I’d like to spend a lot of time this year on becoming a better writer. I also want to explore various types of writing, to discover which one I enjoy the most. I will definitely continue with the blog, as I absolutely love writing it. On top of that, I would like to get involved in student media at my university, learn more about scriptwriting (as a TV show addict it’s impossible not to explore the possibility of writing for TV), copywriting, and start working on something long form. It is a lot of writing, I know, and it’s unlikely that I will be able to pursue them all at once. It will take a lot of planning and scheduling, so that I can fit it around study and work commitments, but writing is definitely my priority number one this year (after university and work, of course).
How about you, do you make your new year resolutions in January, like everyone else? Or would you like to be a bit different this time round and try doing it when it’s still somewhat sunny? I hope I manage to achieve all of my goals – there are 6 of them and I believe they are definitely achievable and can prove to be enjoyable. I will report in a few months on how I’m getting on with them. Who knows, maybe in 12 months I will be a bestselling author with a flat tummy, about to open my own restaurant and compete in Tokyo 2020 in swimming. Highly unlikely, but hey – shoot for the stars and if you miss, you will land somewhere cool anyway.
Header photo by Evelyn Paris