Hogmanay is not my favourite holiday but I’ll never pass up the opportunity to reinvent myself as a new person who is focused and motivated towards achieving her goals. January is the Monday to end all Mondays (my favourite day of the week) but I do give myself a grace period until mid-February – my birthday – to get settled into any sort of routine. So I know this post is coming to you a tad late in the month, but for me, New Years is a process of adopting new routines and not just a single day of celebrations. My New Year’s resolutions usually take the form of a checklist. As much as I would love to eat healthier and work out more, without a physical goal that I can meet and tick off, it will never happen. I’ve given myself ten goals for this year to help me stay focused as the months go on and it’ll be interesting to see if I can actually complete them all.
They are as follows:
1: Take my graduation photos
At this rate, I’m not really holding onto hope for a full graduation ceremony where I can walk across the stage and receive my scroll but at the very least, I would like to wear a graduation gown in 2022. I bought my graduation outfit, a gorgeous green jumpsuit, the day I submitted my dissertation as a reward for all the hard work I’d put in in my honours years. I try to refrain from wearing it as much as I’d like because I’m afraid of spilling food down it or ripping it in a freak accident. In 2022 I’d love to put on the full outfit maybe including the cap too and show off my degree in some of my favourite spots around the city.
2: Read ten books
My goal for 2021 was to read six new books, averaging about one every two months. It was nice to take a break from having my laptop in a coffee shop, studying and replacing it with fiction instead. Besides nothing fits my main character complex more than a hot chocolate, a foggy window seat and an intriguing paperback cover. Rediscovering my love for reading means I’m pushing my reading goal for next year by going for ten but there are a couple of conditions I’ve set. One of those books has to be War & Peace. I’m a third of the way through after reading the first volume in 2019 but it’s time I shifted the other 650(ish) pages. The other condition is that one of those ten books is to be non-fiction as I would like to read the books that have graced my coffee table for this long. The other eight (or more) can be whatever I fancy though I will try and read some of the titles I’ve owned for a while. I do have a habit of rewarding myself whenever I finish a book by buying two more at my favourite bookshops.
I used the app, Story Graph to track my progress last year in reading and I had a lot of fun with it. I loved seeing my stats on common themes and leaving reviews whenever I finished a book. If you’re also a user, let’s follow each other! My username is beccamarriner.
3: Share 26 new blog posts
I evidently took a hiatus from my blog and Instagram when in my final year of university, which I talked about a bit in my previous post. But I’m getting back into writing and posting again as I want to continue sharing my love for Edinburgh and nattering on the internet This is my second of those 26 with the aim to post at least every fortnight. However, as much as I’d like to complete this resolution, I’m aware that masters applications, work and mental health can prevent me from doing so. The number 26 is a general figure but I want to be flexible with myself if I don’t stick to the number specifically.
I mentioned briefly before that the blog will also be getting a new lick of paint to reflect me and how I’ve changed since it launched in 2018. Alongside that, I’ll be rewriting/editing a few old posts too so there’s plenty to keep me occupied if new content isn’t appearing every fortnight.
4: Go to three new types of exercise classes
Resolutions like “get healthier,’ or “work out more,’ are great and definitely work for some people but unfortunately, I am not one of them. I have been meaning to try gym classes ever since I moved flat and haven’t had easy access to the university gym and boxing club, the latter I miss immensely. There are a couple of places nearby to me that often have different classes such as HIIT or yoga and I think it would be good for me to get out of my comfort zone a bit and maybe find something new I like, in the hope that it’ll become a regular thing. I might also hunt for a new boxing gym but as a girl without huge amounts of experience, it could be difficult.
5: Visit a university for a postgraduate open day
Since I finished my undergraduate degree, the possibility of doing a Masters has been looming in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until recently that I realised how different the process of applying was and how unprepared I was to even begin looking. I’m hoping I can visit a new university in person this year, preferably in London to explore my opportunities and my passions relating to a new qualification. I’m currently considering pursuing a degree in arts/cultural/festival management as it takes aspects of my honours years and introduces new things to learn. Having experienced university online during the pandemic, I will not return to education unless it is in person and I have seen the campus for myself. It’s not something I’m willing to compromise on as it’s a very large decision so I will postpone further studying as long as I need to, in order to feel comfortable.
6: Be a part of an engaging social media community.
Not only do I plan on posting on my blog more but I’m becoming much more active on Instagram and TikTok again. I’m hoping that my return to social media etc will bring back an old sense of community. I loved being a part of the Edinburgh Incounters group a couple of years ago as it opened doors to new people and opportunities for collaboration. I could connect with people that enjoyed similar hobbies I do in terms of blogging and taking photos and I do miss it. I hope that I can start doing this again in 2022 now that I have a leg to stand on with my blog and a better idea of how I want to present myself to others.
7: Create a swan in coffee art.
I’ve gotten so much better at latte art since I started making coffee. Being a barista full-time now has given me so many opportunities to practice and my leaves/flowers are getting pretty snazzy. However, I still can’t do the swan as I run out of space and get milk over my hand instead. I’m determined to nail it!
8: Complete a month of 10,000 steps every day
I love that I moved to the West End of Edinburgh and, as a bonus, it cut my commute to work in half meaning I get extra snooze time in the morning. Unfortunately living so close to the centre of town means that I don’t walk as much as I used to because there’s simply no need. As well as work, my favourite shops and cafes are closer than they were before. l loved walking around Edinburgh because it’s such a beautiful city so I’m going to get back into it, towards the Summer when it’s lighter in the evenings, I’d love to have a month of taking 10,000 steps every day and to my advantage, I’ll probably explore new parts of Edinburgh on my days off to help meet my goal.
9: Try to make butteries
A buttery is a type of fatty pastry that comes from Aberdeen and I adore them. Whilst super common up north, they are much harder to find in Edinburgh, especially near my flat so often I stock up on trips back home. In my eyes, it must be simple enough to make right? It’s about time I gave it a go. I’m not the greatest baker so I’m not expecting it to taste like home but at least I can say I tried.
10: Book a holiday
I would love to get away for a bit, and not just to visit universities for postgraduate open days. I haven’t been abroad since 2019 when I was interrailing with my friends from Budapest to Amsterdam, one of my favourite trips I’ve ever had. The past two interrail plans have been cancelled due to the pandemic so I’m not expecting a month-long holiday at this point. If possible I’d love a wee break, potentially abroad so I can lather up in sun cream and stay in the shade for a week. The holiday doesn’t even have to be in 2022, I would just love to have something bigger to look forward to because not even my birthday is that exciting to me anymore. At the moment I just look I at my Pinterest boards and sigh longingly.
I think another of my 26 blog posts will be a sequel to this, where we can find out if I actually managed to meet any (hopefully most) of my new years resolutions. I’m somewhat looking forward to this year even though it is scary living that graduate life where I have no idea what I’m doing. Here’s to 2022?! Do you have any resolutions?