It has to be said, I don’t really see New Year as a big thing. It’s not a full stop or a complete change in tides, everything remains largely the same…and I don’t think motivation should be governed by the turning over of a new calendar.

Despite that, I do enjoy a good old dreaming session, where I imagine myself a stone lighter, a fair bit prettier, and engaged in some sort of dalliance with Tom Hardy. Having realised that at least two of those are unlikely, my thoughts recently drifted to what I’d ACTUALLY like to achieve this year. My friend Alice, who blogs at Living With A Jude, wrote about her wishes for 2017 and she invited me to do the same. So, here I am!

My Family Wishes

1. I’ve put quite a lot of emotional energy in my upcoming house move being a Big Thing for my family, and a real drive towards happy changes. So I sure as hell hope it all comes off, because the rent ain’t cheap. No, I hope that we settle in quickly and that Mouse adjusts well, as our current home is the only one she’s ever known.

2. Still on Mouse, I realised with a thud that she actually starts school this year. This very year. In 9 months. Firstly I hope we get the school that we’ve listed as our first choice, and secondly I hope she likes it. From September onwards we’ll be on the education treadmill for a million years so I want to spend the first half of the year making the most of non-term-time-regulated activities and…

3. …Holidays. We really need a family holiday this year. I don’t care where we go and I’m not even that fussed about jetting off abroad (Moo hasn’t got a passport yet anyway), so a week in a cottage somewhere would be perfect. Although staycations can often cost a bloody arm and a leg can’t they?!

4. A new car. Alright, this one is totes materialistic, but our car is pushing ten years old and meh, I just want a new one. Plus it keeps failing its MOT and has two unsightly dings in it that we haven’t bothered to repair. One of which, my husband caused when he reversed into a tree in his office car park, but failed to tell me about as he assumed I wouldn’t notice. Nope, that 8cm flagellation to the bodywork above the boot release is totally invisible. *eyes roll*.

5. My Moo, my little baby Moo, starts nursery in a few days and I’m trying to style the whole thing out with a brave face. I pretty much flick the v’s at Mouse some mornings when I drop her off, so I’m not overly sentimental about leaving Moo to be honest. But then we have these little moments together, when we’re on our own and dicking about doing tummy raspberries and poking each other in the mouth, and I think “by Christ I will miss this, every day”. Genuinely.

My Blog Wishes

1. To somehow stumble across a magic time-generating device, so that I can just write and write and write and write. At the moment, writing is confined to the evenings that I don’t go to the gym. Currently that’s a 3:4 ratio and I’m not writing enough but I’m not getting enough downtime, either. So I guess I want to get to a place where my blog / life balance is easier to maintain.

2. I love working with brands and I’ve been lucky enough to have collaborated with some beauties. The more blogs I read, the more companies I see that I’d really like to get involved with, so with a bit of work on my pitching it would be nice to harness some of those gems.

3. I’d like to double my web traffic, which is pretty optimistic! Ditto my social media following – I’ve done so well to date but I’d like to hit 5k Twitter followers and 1k Facebook followers by Q3 of 2017. I absolutely love Instagram and it’s my favourite social media, slowly but surely I’m growing that which I’m really happy about.

4. I’d like to meet more bloggers and go to some more blogging conferences this year. I went to Blogfest last November which was so inspiring, and this year I really want to go to BritMums and do some more networking. Although I go all fangirl over pretty much everyone I meet.

5. My friend Pat at White Camellias runs an Instagram community called #WorldOfLittles, where she features a weekly selection of images posted using that hashtag. They’re of children, as the name suggests, and they’re absolutely stunning photographs. She has over 40k entries now which is marvellous but lessens my chances of being featured by quite some way! I have been trying to improve my photography but, dare I say, I’m just a bit shit.

My Wishes for Me

1. I ran my first half marathon in November, and (brag alert) I ran it faster than I ever thought I could. I have another one in April which I know is going to be excruciating because the course is so hilly, but I hope I manage to do alright and don’t let myself down too badly. I want to crank my fitness up a notch too as I think I’ve lost muscle tone and condition over Christmas, which doesn’t sit well with me. First stop: abs!

2. I used to be a massive great bookworm, and pre-children I’d often sneak off to bed for an hour with a steaming mug of tea and a good book. As a child I’d read the back of cereal boxes if I had nothing else to hand, so keen was I to commit words to my brain. Nowadays though, reading just drops off the bottom of my to-do list which really makes me sad. I have no idea where I’d pack it in but I’d like to start reading again, and not take a whole year to finish a book.

3. I want to try veganism in 2017. I don’t know how to word this without sounding naff and pissy-offy, but I could totally go without meat and most forms of dairy. I think the thing that puts me off is the ease, convenience and relative inexpense of non-vegan food. I’m not a fussy eater by any means, and I always meal-plan, but it’s those quick in-a-rush meals or snacks that would require extra thought. For example, if we’re really pressed for time (and money!) one of my go-to meals is a cheese omelette, which is decidedly un-vegan! But the idea of clean eating is really appealing so I hope I can give it a go.

4. To get a bit more control over my finances. Two rounds of maternity leave in four years has really buggered us up financially, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to NOT watch the pennies one week after payday. What I need is a jolly good lottery win, just a cool million to set me straight and buy me that new car.

5. I’d like to do some work around my self-confidence, which has been on the floor a few times over the past couple of years. I’ve never really been comfortable in my own skin and I’ve never reached that place where I can truly say I’m happy with my lot, however great it may be. Now that I’m *cough* in my thirties I feel like this should be MY time, where I actually feel good about what I’ve achieved, who I am, and what I have ahead of me. Maybe I need to try that mindfulness shit and get a bit of zen in my life.

My Wishes Au General

1. Everyone in the world should have access to clean water. I work with Infruition and I put together a piece for them about their collaboration with Drop 4 Drop, who are aiming to do just that. When a nation like ours is so frivolous, it’s important to remember that we’re the ones who can bring about change.

2. Syria’s Civil War. Seriously, enough now.

3. That the Meningitis B vaccine is made free for all children.

4. That the government-funded childcare hours increase from 15 to 30 from the age of 2, not 3. I’ve pretty much realised that we’re in the long grass financially until 2019, when Moo can get 30 hours free and Mouse is at school. Until then, it’s budget central and I can’t progress my career on my existing part-time hours, either.

5. That every local health authority could offer a free infant first aid course to all parents as part of their antenatal classes. It’s so, so important – but not accessible to everyone currently.

Ooh, that was like a proper counselling session! Thanks loves. I’d be really interested to hear about your wishes if you’d like to share them. I’m nominating Bridie By The Sea to have a go – her blog is truly fab so I bet she has some great aims under her hat.

-SJW January 2017

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