2018 Goals List

There is  a trend (a wonderful trend) on Twitter at the moment, where people are listing their achievements, their proudest moments, the best things they've done this year-and it is making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
It also got me to thinking about what I feel I have achieved this year, and the biggest thing, the best thing I've done?...Decided who I am!

This year I have become more at ease with my likes and dislikes, more in tune with what makes me tick, and less inclined to care if it fits the status quo. I've become more vocal on the issues that are important-not just to me personally, but to society as a whole! I've become more comfortable in my own skin, and I've found my own personal style. 

So yeah, I may not have graduated uni this year, or gotten that new job, or had a baby, started my business, or even had any tangible success per se, but I feel like I've done something I've been trying to do for over half my life, and that's a pretty big deal! And the best thing about this achievement is that my 2018 goals are very reflective of where I find myself now. Whilst 2017 was all about a change in priorities, 2018 is the year of making myself nothing but happy! 

True Love, True Happiness...taking this bish into 2018-gold eyeliner and all! 

1) Be kinder to myself
I know I push myself too hard sometimes when the only one expecting too much from me is me! I'm constantly getting told off while at work for doing things that others are happy to do for me (heavy lifting is a big one). I also have an aversion to taking sick days even though I could really use them-whether I'm having a fibro flare, or a bad mental health day, or like this week a chest infection- I just can't let others down. But this year it's time I stopped letting myself down instead.

2) Have more fun
I'll be the first to admit that I've gotten a bit boring in the last year. I've let my pain, and my fatigue dictate too much of my life. I've turned down invitations so I don't have to get off the couch, I've avoided certain situations just in case they cause a flare up. But the crux of the matter is that I'm going to be in pain anyway, I'm going to be tired anyway, sometimes I'm even going to flare up just because I climbed out of bed the wrong way, so why on earth am I denying myself the fun stuff?
This year I'm going to go to the cinema (three cheers for £6.49 VIP seats at VUE cinemas!), I'm going to go to lunch with my girlfriends, and out for drinks with my favourite men. I'm going to pull on my Football and Basketball jerseys and go to Unlimited Wings Night, and cheer on my favourite sports teams. And if we think about it the more fun I have, the more I have to write about!

3) Wear what makes you happy
I have spent the longest time wearing what made me blend in with the crowd. What was fashionable, what was expected. The few times I've bought clothing that is really truly "me" I have heard all the comments from nasty, mean-spirited people that believe anything that strays from the norm must be ridiculous. And I'm fed up of caring! Obviously people are going to judge me, and everyone else, because people are judgy! I've just learned that, that is their problem not mine! So I'm going to dress like Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush had a whirlwind love affair, and shared a massive closet-that I discovered one day and claimed as my own! And I'm going to look boss doing it!

4) Dance around the flat, barefoot, listening to music, at least once a month
Does this not sound like the most fun!? I have this overriding image of myself in my head-in it I'm wearing this absolutely wonderful maxi dress, covered in mixed patterns, and all the colours you can want. My feet are bare (and no longer cold, because we FINALLY have carpets), my iridescent Champagne coupe is filled with something cold and sparkling, and Tom Petty is crackling and popping from the record player in the corner. 2018 AJ is going to be living the dream as often as she can!

5) Don't live beyond your means
Whilst buying that perfect gift for someone does fill me with a certain joy, I always instantly regret whipping out my credit card. I took steps to clearing off some debt in 2017- I paid off 2 loans, 2 credit cards, an online store card, and an overdraft I'd been living in for 11 years- and it felt amazing! So in the interest of being kinder to myself I am going to take a few more steps in 2018 and work ever harder toward being completely debt clear, and living happily within my means. Wish me luck.

6) Only accept sponsored content you would write for free.
I have constantly spoken about taking back control of my blog, about writing only that what gives me joy. But I'm only human and I have debts to pay off so sometimes the call of the sponsored post can be too strong. You see it all the time on blogs that were once filled with the soul of their writer, and yet suddenly have become a wasteland of unrelated links, and filler content. Now don't get me wrong if that's what you need to do then Godspeed and I'm happy you're making some change, more power to you! But it's not what I want, so every sponsored post I share will be one I would genuinely have written myself if I had only had the idea first. And I might even try and use the money as savings towards that debt.

7) Apply for jobs that will make you happy
I will no longer only apply for jobs that are similar to the one I already do. I will apply to any and every job that I read about and instantly think "Yes I would be bloody brilliant at that"! I mean what's the worst that can happen? They say no and I continue doing a job I do actually love some of the time? I can live with that. 

That's all I have so far but I'll no doubt keep thinking of things I want to achieve in 2018 as the year goes on. Do you have any new goals for the year ahead? Is there anything you are firmly leaving behind in 2017? I'd love to hear from you in the comments, or as always over on Twitter

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