2017 recap + 2018 goals

Posted on January 03, 2018 under Life

Chihuly exhibition at the ROM, Hank, The Big Apple

2017 was a very rough year from a big picture perspective, for reasons that require no explanation. On a personal level, though, it was a lot better for me than 2016. Nobody I know died this year, which is a lot better than 2016’s total of four deaths. Therefore, I have nothing to complain about. This year also marked some achievements for me: I got my driver’s license, I moved to another country, and I started grad school, which has been a goal since I was 19. I had a bit of performance anxiety since I had been out of school for a year and a half before starting my Master’s, but I’m happy to report that I killed my first semester.

So, let’s take a look at how I did with my 2017 goals.

Lemon cheesecake with raspberry topping (made by me!), posing in front of a bakery in Kentucky, fika at Karelia Kitchen in Toronto
  • Blog at least five times a month: I told myself that if I missed a single month I’d fail the goal, which means I definitely failed. However, I’m okay with this – I posted more than five times in June, July, and August, and overall I posted pretty consistently. I fell off the wagon a bit at the end of the year because I got busy with school. At the end of the day, blogging is a hobby, so I’m not going to stress too much about it. And hey, I have a semester of straight As to show for letting blogging fall by the wayside…
  • Read 50 books: This was a stretch goal and I totally made it, reading a total of 51 books in 2017. (I do wish I’d read one more for an average of one a week, but oh well.) I have very strong time management skills, so I managed to read 45 books before I started grad school, which made it much easier to finish this goal in the last bit of the year.
    This was my most prolific year as a reader since 2012!
  • The Royal Cinema, a flower in my backyard, Cassius and Wally enjoying the sunshine
  • Be tidier: I’m still not a neat freak by any means, but I do think that I am slowly improving upon my natural messiness. I was worried that living by myself for the first time in my life would encourage me to be completely slobby since I didn’t have to think about anyone else, but I’ve been maintaining my flat quite well! I have actually become a person who can’t go to bed until everything is passably tidy, which will come as a shock to anybody who knows me in real life.
  • Declutter: This was kind of a freebie since I didn’t have much choice but to get rid of a lot of stuff before I moved. I did, however, manage to considerably declutter my clothes, makeup, books, and other possessions.
  • Mural on Queen St. West, walking Jet, officiating my friends’ wedding in July
  • Be mindful about new purchases: I made some impulse buys that didn’t entirely work out, but mindful consumption is a process, not an end goal. I think I’m moving in the right direction.

So… looks like I actually did a really good job with my goals this year, which is shocking. Either I set the bar low or I actually rose to the occasion. I’ll leave you to decide.

Me and my friend Katie, view from the Lachine Canal in Montreal, learning to drive

And my goals for 2018…

  • Finish my MA with an A average. I come from a university known for grade deflation, where a TA once said “Great job, Clementine!” as she handed me back an assignment I got 7/10 on, so I almost feel cocky setting this goal. However, I got all As this semester so I think this is doable. By the way – in the UK MA programmes are one year long, so I have one more semester of classes and then I’ll write my dissertation over the summer. I’ll have my degree by this time next year!
  • Complete all my readings and screenings before messing around on the internet. I always have a more productive day overall if I complete my routine schoolwork prior to checking social media. Last semester I did well keeping up with readings and screenings, but this semester I want to form a stronger habit that truly prioritizes school.
  • Neighbours’ plants, hanging out in the hammock with Jet, a building in Glasgow
  • Get fitter. Ugh, I know, I’m being that person this year. I always neatly avoid setting this goal for myself, but I think it’s finally time, guys. I’ve always been a walker (and currently walk about 5km round trip each day), but I think I should step up my game. I’m not out here to run a marathon or anything, but I’d like to raise my level of fitness just for my daily life.
  • Read 30 books. Adjusted the reading goal downwards again because grad school = very little desire to read for fun. 30 might actually be pushing it, but I might as well challenge myself a little. I just picked up four books today with a Chapters gift card,
    so that will help me start the year right!
  • Trixie Mattel performing in October, being a tourist in Lewes, pretty steps in Glasgow
  • Keep to my beauty budget, consume mindfully, and enjoy using what I have. Self-explanatory! I’ve been doing pretty well with mindful consumption over the past few years since I really started to think about it, and I want to do even better this year!

Nothing special here, really, and no blogging goals. I’ll keep posting as regularly as my schedule and interest allows, but I don’t want to hold myself to a posting schedule and feel guilty when I inevitably fail to meet it.

Happy 2018, everyone! I hope this year is a little kinder to the world…

Scenes from Prague, Christmas tree

2016 Blog + Life Goals

Posted on December 29, 2015 under Thoughts

I made it back just in time to squeeze in one last post of 2015! Here are my goals for this year, which I may or may not succeed at. (I failed both of my goals last year, which were to read 25 books and to stop picking my zits. I’m terrible.)

Continue to interact with more bloggers and make blog friends

At the tail end of 2016 I started occasionally participating in Twitter beauty blogger chats, which led me to discover a lot of cool people and blogs. I’d like to continue doing this, especially because I’m a lurker by nature and tend not to comment on blogs very frequently. So this year I want to continue to be active in the #bbloggers Twitter community and comment on blogs more regularly. (You can follow me on Twitter if you want to help me with this goal!)

Post at least once a week

For prolific or professional bloggers, this goal is probably pretty pathetic. In some of my better months, I easily exceeded this goal – but, as I’m sure some of you have noticed, my blog does go through periods of radio silence when I’m busy with work or school or just uninspired. Five times a month is the bare minimum I’d like to achieve, though I’m hoping I’ll manage more than that for at least half the year.

Diversify content

I love beauty blogging, and it’s something I want to continue with. But sometimes there are other cool things in my life that I’d like to share, and I don’t want to be pigeonholed. I have occasionally shared interesting things I’ve done or places I’ve gone, though through the lens of beauty, and once in awhile I’ll talk about a book, film, or TV show – but I want to do this a bit more often, and maybe not only tacked onto the end of favourites posts or talked about in terms of beauty. So expect a wider variety of posts in 2016!

Quality over quantity

I’ve been naturally transitioning towards this philosophy when it comes to buying new things, especially makeup, but I want it to be a conscious effort when I’m interested in buying something. I don’t want to buy a cheap dress because it’s cute and affordable. I want to buy things that I will use often and that will last me a long time. This year I want to be more thoughtful about what I bring into my home, making fewer purchases that are of a higher quality. (And I’m not talking pricey here – but if I buy something at the drugstore, it has to be because I’ve researched it thoroughly and feel that it will be used and loved, not because it’s cheap!) I think I’ve flushed the “Buy a lot of things because they’re cheap and I want to experiment” thing out of my system now. I have all the basics when it comes to clothes, makeup, and general life items – so now it’s about acquiring things in a well-thought-out, slow, sustainable way.

Get into and start grad school

I haven’t applied for grad school yet (the applications for the programmes I’m interested in aren’t due until July, so I have time!), but I’m hoping to get that sorted within the first quarter of the year. After that, it’s just a waiting game. I’ll let you know when I hear more!

Read 25 books, 75% by marginalized people

I used to be a prolific reader (100 books in 2012 was my peak), but university seems to have sucked up all my time. When I am free, I usually turn to Netflix rather than a book – and I want to change that! 25 does seem paltry to me, but it’s a start. The second half of this goal is aimed at broadening my horizons and supporting writers whose voices are often passed over. Nothing against straight cis white male authors – there are many who I love. But women, LGBTQ+ people, people of colour, and any combination thereof deserve my attention to, and I’m making an active effort to read more works by people who fall into these categories. This was an unofficial goal last year and I really enjoyed it, so I’m happy to continue on with it! For the sake of fairness to myself I won’t be including any works by white men in the count if I have to read them for school, because, you know. I have to read them if I want to get my degree in June.

Learn to wake up earlier

Guys, I’m so bad at waking up in the morning. I’ve struggled with insomnia for as long as I can remember, so my sleep schedule has tended not to match up with the schedule that civil society runs on. In my entire university career I have never signed up for a class that started earlier than 10am, and 11:30am is really my preferred earliest start time. But next semester I have 10am classes four days a week, so I’d better get used to it! I also want to stop overcompensating by sleeping in late on the weekends and then completely ruining the sleep schedule I’d perfected during the week. Sleep is a big struggle for me (although it’s markedly improved over the last two years), and I want to start tackling it in 2016.

Happy 2016, everyone! I’ll see you on the flip side!